Civil War Trail
The Atlantic coast of North Carolina is protected for much of its length by a series of barrier islands. Control of these islands and the bodies of water west of them known as “sounds” was crucial for both sides. Early in the war Union forces moved to occupy the islands in order to choke off Southern-friendly shipping and control the deep-water rivers that fed the sounds. Losing the coast put most of Confederate eastern North Carolina in danger and threatened the critically important supply line on the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad.