Flag Officer Silas Stringham had almost 50 years naval experience before the Civil War, having fought the Barbary pirates of Algiers in his youth. He was now summoned to end a new piracy, of Confederate privateers, sheltering in the protected waters of the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. When signalled by the Hatteras lighthouse they would pounce on commercial shipping, ferrying their loot off down the Dismal Swamp Canal. Two hastily built Forts, Hatteras and Clark on the glorified sandspit which faced Hatteras inlet guarded these marauders and the Confederate port of Hatteras. On the morning of 28 August 1861 Stringham, with seven warships and 900 troops, bombarded the forts. While firing, his ships circled to prevent the enemy artillery finding their range. Fort Clark ran out of ammunition, and was quickly abandoned. The next day Fort Hatteras was pounded into surrender, and both forts occupied by landing parties led by Benjamin Butler.
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