The Battle of Roanoke Island took place on february 8th and 9th 1862 between Federal costal division commanded by of Brigadier General Ambrose Burnside and Southern troops from the Department of Norfolk commanded by Colonel Shaw.
On February 8th, the federal vessels began a bombardment of the forts on the island : Fort Barlow, Fort Blanchard and Fort Huger. At the same time 10,000 men of the division led by Burnside landed on the beaches of the island.
At dawn on February 9, the Brigades Foster and Reno made contact with the small Confederate force of barely 1,500 men commanded by Colonel Shaw.
At the end of 4 hours of combat, the federal regiments had overwhelmed the Confederates who were flowing back in disorder.
Driven to the edge of the island, Colonel Shaw surrendered the next day, handing over all of the island and its forts to the Yanks.
The Battle of New Bern (also known as the Battle of New Berne) was fought on 14 March 1862, near the city of New Bern, North Carolina, as part of the Burnside Expedition of the American Civil War.
The US Army's Coast Division, counting around 10,000 soldiers, led by Brigadier General Ambrose Burnside and accompanied by armed vessels from the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, were opposed by an undermanned and badly trained Confederate force of around 4,000 North Carolina soldiers and militia led by Brigadier General Lawrence O'B. Branch.
Although the defenders fought behind breastworks that had been set up before the battle, their line had a weak spot in its center that was exploited by the attacking Federal soldiers.
When the center of the line was penetrated, many of the militia broke, forcing a general retreat of the entire Confederate force.
General Branch was unable to regain control of his troops until they had retreated to Kinston, more than 30 miles (about 50 km) away. New Bern came under Federal control, and remained so for the rest of the war.
The Battle of South Mills, also known as the Battle of Camden, took place on April 19, 1862 in Camden County, North Carolina.
Learning that the Confederates were building ironclads at Norfolk, Burnside planned an expedition to destroy the Dismal Swamp Canal locks to prevent transfer of the ships to Albemarle Sound. He entrusted the operation to Brig. Gen. Jesse L. Reno's command, which embarked on transports from Roanoke Island on April 18. By midnight, the convoy reached Elizabeth City and began disembarking troops. On the morning of April 19, Reno marched north on the road to South Mills. At the crossroads a few miles below South Mills, elements of Col. Ambrose R. Wright's command delayed the Federals until dark. Reno abandoned the expedition and withdrew during the night to the transports at Elizabeth City. The transports carried Reno's troops to New Bern where they arrived on April 22.
At the request of the general staff, Burnside planned an offensive against Norfolk, led by Huger troops. He decided to separate his Coast division in 3 parts, himself leading the bigger one.
To counter it, Huger gathered 3 brigades from Norfolk and recalled 2 other brigades which had left to reinforce the Peninsula front.
This scenario is a meeting engagement between two armies of equal force (about 15,000 men each) and without cavalry. . The bad weather of the past days has considerably soaked the grounds, complicating the movements of the troops.
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