Ram Albemarle, Marker B-10
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member drmellow
N 35° 52.001 W 076° 44.922
18S E 342121 N 3970573
Quick Description: Ram Albemarle. Confederate ironclad, winner of notable victories under Capt. J. W. Cooke, was sunk 600 feet north, night of Oct. 27.1864.
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 5/6/2006 12:59:40 PM
Waymark Code: WMC1F
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member showbizkid
Views: 62

Long Description:

Text on marker:

Ram Albemarle
Confederate ironclad, winner of notable victories under Capt. J. W. Cooke, was sunk 600 feet north, night of Oct. 27.1864.

This historical marker is located on Main Street in Plymouth. It was erected in 1938.

Wikipedia has an informative entry about the CSS Albemarle:

CSS Albemarle

On 16 April 1862, the Confederate Navy Department, enthusiastic about the offensive potential of armor-protected rams following the recent victory of the ironclad CSS Virginia (the rebuilt USS Merrimack) over the wooden-hulled Union blockaders in Hampton Roads, Virginia, signed a contract with Gilbert Elliot of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, to build such a vessel to destroy the Union warships in the North Carolina sounds. These Northern men-of-war had enabled President Abraham Lincoln's troops to hold the strategic positions which controlled eastern North Carolina.

Since the terms of the agreement gave Elliot freedom to select an appropriate place to assemble the ram, he established a primitive shipyard in a cornfield up the Roanoke River at a place called Edward's Ferry, near modern Scotland Neck, North Carolina. There the water was too shallow to permit the approach of Union gunboats which otherwise would have destroyed the ram while it was still on the way. Chief Constructor John L. Porter designed an ironclad ram armed with two eight-inch rifles, one forward, the other aft, behind iron shutters, propelled by two engines of 200 hp each.

Construction of the ram began in January 1863, and word of the project soon alarmed Union naval officers in the region. They appealed to the United States Department of War for an overland expedition to destroy the ram, which was named Albemarle after the body of water into which the Roanoke emptied, but the Union Army never felt it could spare the troops needed to carry out the task.

In April 1864 Albemarle, under the command of Captain James W. Cooke, got underway down-river toward Plymouth, North Carolina, to clear the river of federal vessels so that General Robert F. Hoke's troops could storm the forts. She anchored about three miles above the town and the pilot, John Lock, set off with two seamen in a small boat to take soundings. The river was high and they discovered ten feet of water over the obstructions that the Federal forces had placed in the Thoroughfare Gap. Captain Cooke immediately ordered steam and, by keeping in the middle of the stream, they passed safely over the obstructions. Their armor protected them from the guns of the forts at Warren's Neck and Boyle's Mill.

However, two steamers, USS Miami and USS Southfield, lashed together with spars and chains, were approaching up-river, attempting to pass on either side of Albemarle and so trap her. Captain Cooke turned to starboard, running dangerously close to the southern shore, but got outboard of Southfield. Turning back into the river, he rammed the Union ship, driving her under. Albemarle's ram stuck in Southfield's hull and her bow was pulled under, but Southfield rolled over when she hit the riverbed and released the Confederate ship.

Miami fired a shell into Albemarle at point-blank range while she was trapped by the wreck of Southfield, but the shell rebounded off Albemarle's armor and exploded on Miami, killing her commanding officer, Captain Charles W. Flusser. Miami's crew tried to board Albemarle but were driven back by musket fire. Miami then avoided the ram and escaped into Albemarle Sound.

With the river clear of Union ships and the assistance of Albemarle's guns, General Hoke attacked and took Plymouth and the nearby forts.

Read more....

The US Navy has a copy of the report on the Destruction of CSS Albemarle. This report is an interesting read, providing a first-hand account of Civil War naval battle.

Marker Name: B-10: Ram Albemarle

Marker Type: Roadside

Related Web Link: [Web Link]

Required Waymark Photo: yes

Local North Carolina markers without State Number Designation: Not listed

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