Battle of Elizabeth City




Battle Summary

Battle Reports


USN Casualties

CSN Casualties



Fort Cobb








Fort Cobb


Fort Cobb was a 4-gun battery built at Cobb’s Point near Elizabeth City, NC, during late 1861. Court authorization was given 1 September 1861 for “building a battery at Cobb Point”. Colonel Lucien D. Starke was appointed to be in charge of the construction. On 3 September 1861, the court gave “the persons erecting the fort” permission to use timber belonging to Elizabeth City. On 5 September 1861, Starke reported, “My little fort is nearly completed, and looks pretty well for a three day’s job.”


By 15 September 1861, two guns were mounted at the fort and two more were expected soon. On 22 October 1861, the court underwrote the freight on the four smoothbore 32-pounder cannons brought from Roanoke Island for use in the battery.


The fort was poorly designed. The powder magazine was described as looking like a large African anthill. The door to the magazine was improperly placed on the side facing incoming fire from the river. Three of the guns were fixed facing down the river; one was placed in barbette. All were poorly mounted. The guns were subject to enfilading fire from the river once the fort had been passed.


A developer bulldozed the fort in the early 1960s. Dr. Thomas Horsley’s house now stands on the site of the former fort.