Battle of Fort Macon

CAMPAIGN: Burnside's North Carolina Expedition

DATE(S): February-June 1862

PRINCIPAL COMMANDERS: Major General John Parke [US] Lieutenant Colonel Moses White [CS]

FORCES ENGAGED: 0 total (US 0; CS 0;)

ESTIMATED CASUALTIES: 442 total (US 3; CS 439;)


In late March, Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside's army advanced on Fort Macon, a third system casemated masonry fort that commanded the channel to Beaufort, 35 miles southeast of New Berne. The Union force invested the fort with siege works and, on April 26, opened an accurate fire on the fort, which soon breached the masonry walls. Within a few hours the fort's scarp began to collapse, and the Confederates hoisted a white flag. This action demonstrated the inadequacy of masonry forts against large-bore, rifled artillery.

RESULTS: Union Victory

The fall of Fort Macon gave the Federals access to the sea via Beaufort and Morehead City, strengthening their control over much of eastern North Carolina.

 Fort Macon2Fort Macon OverviewFort Macon Cannon