Burnside's North Carolina Expedition - Outer Banks History

Burnside Expedition Outer Banks North Carolina

The Outer Banks is well-known for some obvious reasons – gorgeous beaches, great weather, fabulous beach vacations, etc. – but I often find that OBX lovers miss some of the less obvious magic.

I know, it’s tough to pull ourselves off the beach to see what else is around, but WOW, the Outer Banks is amazing beyond the beach. I could give a long list of reasons for my amazement, but for purposes of this post, I’m going to stick to one subject, OBX history.

The Outer Banks has so much history – the Wright Brothers, Blackbeard the Pirate, The Lost Colony, shipwrecks, Civil War battles, sunken WWII submarines, wild horses descending from Spain!

It’s bizarre to think the OBX is such a popular vacation destination, but the massive amount of history goes unnoticed by the majority of visitors.

OK, I agree, history lessons are not quite as fun as toes in the sand. But let’s spend a few minutes to realize what’s going on around us. And to help with this, we’re going to drop some OBX history knowledge on you all year long. Every month, we’re going to pick a piece of Outer Banks history and pass it along with you.

So next time you have your toes stuck in the sand, you can tell everyone about the great history all around us…even if the beach won’t release its grip.

Stay tuned, more great Outer Banks history to come. January marks the start of “Burnside’s Expedition.”

Here is Wikipedia’s description of Burnside’s Expedition:

Burnside’s North Carolina Expedition (also known as the Burnside Expedition) was a series of engagements fought along the North Carolina coast between February and June 1862.

The expedition was part of Winfield Scott’s overall Anaconda Plan, which aimed at closing blockade-running ports inside the Outer Banks. The amphibious operation was carried out primarily by New England troops under Brig. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside and assisted by the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron under Captain Louis M. Goldsborough.

You may have noticed in Wikipedia’s description that the battles took place between February and June. But I just said January marks the start date.

What gives?!

As is the case at just about every time of year, Outer Banks weather is unpredictable and often dangerous. Nor’easters love the winter months on the Outer Banks, and Burnside’s Expedition got off to a late start because once the fleet (80 ships!) took off from VA, Mother Nature threw them for a loop.

Two days after lifting anchor, the fleet hit a strong nor’ easter trying to cross Hatteras Bar, and reassembling the fleet in Pamlico Sound was delayed until February due to stormy weather. OBX weather strikes again!

You really can’t beat Mother Nature…she has our number.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published