Union Brigadier Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside leads an amphibious assault in the North Carolina coastal sounds with thousands of soldiers and sailors and more than 60 ships.
The federal attack on Roanoke Island gave the Union a much-needed victory early in the conflict. Federal forces would seize that island and hold it for the rest of the war.
It began in earnest Feb. 7, 1862. Burnside landed about 7,500 men on the southwestern side of Roanoke Island as his fleet approached after sailing from federally held Fort Monroe off southeast Virginia.
The next day, federal fighters backed by their gunboats thrust themselves on fortifications held by more than 2,500 Confederate fighters.
The invaders rapidly outgunned and overran an overwhelmed foe during the two-day assault.
Union losses were reported as 37 killed and 214 wounded. Confederate forces reported 22 dead and 58 wounded amid fierce cannon and rifle fire before their remaining troops surrendered or fled.