Guerilla Action At Coinjock Bridge May 16, 1863 -- By, Dr. Dave And E.G. Swain



After the capture of Fort Hatteras and Clark on August 29th, 1861 as well as Roanoke island on February 8th 1862. Most of the Northeast region of North Carolina was under union control. There were home guard unit; called guerillas operating in the area. Among those were Captain Banks in Currituck, Captain Willis B. Sanderlin in Camden, And Captain E.T. Elliot in Pasquotank county.
When Roanoke Island and Elizabeth City were captured the union offices decided to block the Albemarle and the Chesapeake canal. They did this so that the Confederates could not use it. On February 13th, 1862, only five days after the capture of Roanoke Island Lutenant William N. Jeffers was sent to sink captured prize schooners across the canal. Instead he sank an drudge right across the canal.
Later the Union forces decided to clear the sunken ships and use the canal to be able to better supply their army’s at the Outer Banks and inland forts like Plymouth
On May 16th 1863, Captain E.T. Elliot with an estimated thirty members of his Pasquotank Guerrilla group waited at Coinjock bridge for the mail boat coming down from Norfolk, Virginia to Roanoke Island and other stops. At about 6pm as the steam arrow, A 60 ton propeller boat was passing by the bridge the guerrillas jumped on board from the raised bridge.
Being took by surprise the crew of six and a Navy surgeon surrendered without incident. The Captain was placed in the wheel house and they sailed down the canal towards the North River, where a larger boat was waiting at Bumplanding to transfer the mail. This was the Emily, a 94 ton side wheel steamer. The Captain of the Arrow was given directions steer up alongside the Emily as if nothing was wrong. The Guerrillas then captured the Emily’s crew of thirteen.
Both ships has been appropriated by the Union Army from their former southern owners. So their recapture at the least boosted Southern morale. The captured ships then steamed down the north River to Albemarle sound and up Chowan river, passing Edenton about daylight. They then steamed up the Blackwater River. Arriving at South Quay around ten o’clock on the 18th. The prisoners were sent o Franklin Virginia and then to Raleigh North Carolina.
The arrow was recaptured by the Federal gunboat Whitehead on July 29th 1864. No word on what happened to the Emily.


Sources; Juniper Waterway By, Alexander C. Brown (1981)
Civil War In North Carolina By, John G. Barrrett (1963)
Guerilla Action At Coinjock Bridge May 16, 1863 -- By, Dr. Dave And E.G. Swain Guerilla Action At Coinjock Bridge May 16, 1863 -- By, Dr. Dave And  E.G. Swain Reviewed by kensunm on 7:00:00 PM Rating: 5

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