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Civil War Troops Stationed in Portsmouth

This is a list of the troops, Union and Confederate, known to have been stationed at Camp Washington (Portsmouth Village) or Fort Ocracoke on nearby Beacon Island.

Confederate List * Union Lists


Confederate Troops

Official correspondence, personal memoirs, and soldiers' letters indicate that the following companies were stationed in Portsmouth Village and/or on Beacon Island.

17th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry (1st Organization)

Companies sent to Fort Ocracoke (Beacon Island) or Camp Washington (Portsmouth):

  • Tar River Boys, Company C - under command of Capt. George Johnson
  • Hertford Light Infantry, Company D - under command of Capt. Thomas H. Sharp
  • Morris Guards, Company H - under command of Capt. Henry A. Gilliam
  • Confederate Guards, Company K - under command of Capt. James H. Swindell

This excerpt was taken from the regimental information found on the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System website:

"17th Infantry Regiment, formerly the 7th Volunteers, was assembled at Plymouth, North Carolina, in June, 1861. ... Attached to the Department of North Carolina, eight companies were captured at Fort Hatteras and three at Roanoke Island. After being exchanged, it was reorganized with ten companies and for a time served in North Carolina. ... On April 26, 1865, it surrendered with the Army of Tennessee."

1st Regiment, North Carolina Artillery

Companies sent to Fort Ocracoke (Beacon Island) or Camp Washington (Portsmouth):

  • The Washington Grays, Company K - under command of Capt. Thomas L. Sparrow

This excerpt was taken from the regimental information found on the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System website:

"10th Regiment Volunteers-1st Artillery was organized at Raleigh, North Carolina, in June, 1861, and was composed of five light companies (A,C,D,E, and I) and five heavy companies (B,F,G,H, and K). ... Company K was stationed at Weldon, North Carolina and disbanded during the winter of 1864-1865."


Union Troops

The capture of the North Carolina coast from Roanoke Island down to Fort Macon was significant for several reasons, one of which was that the Union offensive involved units from both the Army and the Navy.

Official correspondence indicates that the ships listed below, or detachments from them, were sent to Ocracoke Inlet. The role of the Union Army at Portsmouth and Beacon Island is less clear. However, the companies listed below were known to have been stationed at Fort Clark or Fort Hatteras and official correspondence indicates that they may have monitored Beacon Island and/or Portsmouth.


The information available on the naval troops stationed in this area is limited.

USS Pawnee - light-draft steam sloop of war, under command of Cdr. S.C. Rowan

USS Fanny - tug under command of Lt. J.G. Maxwell.

The Fanny was part of the expedition to Beacon Island and Portsmouth following the Confederate evacuation. The tug carried 6 men as well as 61 naval brigade soldiers who were commanded by Lt. Tillotson and Lt. Rowe.

USS Susquehanna - sidewheel steam frigate, under command of Capt. Jno. S. Chauncey.

USS Tempest - tug, commander unknown.

The Tempest was meant to aid the Fanny and the launch from the Pawnee, but winds prevented the tug from entering Ocracoke Inlet.


9th Regiment, New York Infantry

  • Company F - under command of Col. Rush C. Hawkins

This excerpt was taken from the regimental information found on the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System website:

"Organized at New York City and mustered into State service April 23, 1861. Mustered into United States service May 4, 1861. ... Expedition to Hatteras Inlet August 26-29 (Cos. "C," "G" and "H"). Bombardment and capture of Forts Hatteras and Clark August 28-29 (Cos. "C," "G" and "H"). Companies "A," "D," "E," "F" and "I" moved to Fort Clark September 10 and duty there till February 5, 1862. ... Regiment mustered out May 20, 1863, expiration of term."

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