This Day in the American Civil War for January 20

Monday Jan. 20 1862


The U.S. Army and Navy’s amphibious attack on Hatteras Inlet was not exactly setting any speed records in its execution. Part of this was by design, intended to avoid problems encountered in prior attack attempts in wintertime. For this reason it had been prearranged to sail in two groups, which were to rendezvous offshore and wait for stragglers to catch up so the attack could be made as a unified force, a not-insignificant factor given the vicious gales that could strike the coast in the wintertime. The rendezvous had been set for Jan. 13, and in fact the weather had been dreadful, with many ships driven onto shoals, sandbars and land. Today, however preparations for the initial attack, on Roanoke Island, were firmly in hand. A Confederate ship chancing on the scene hastened to alert Navy Sec. Mallory that he “there saw a large fleet of steamers and transports.”

via This Day in the American Civil War for January 20.

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