This Day in the American Civil War for January 14

Tuesday Jan. 14 1862

HOWLING HATTERAS HURRICANE HORRIFIES HUNDREDS

Gen. Ambrose Burnside was supposed to be leading an invasion force of nearly 100 ships to Hatteras Inlet, N.C. Instead he was spending his time on continuous rescue missions as the ships of his fleet were torn by fierce winds and storm. Many were being driven onto shoals and sandbars as their anchor lines were dragged or broke entirely. Burnside was seen on one tugboat personally leading a rescue party to the “City of New York” which was loaded with stores; he was willing to let the stores go but wanted to rescue the crew. All of this chaos was going on within the relative shelter of the inlet; many of the ships of the mission had not made it even that far, could not attempt the entrance as long as the wind blew, and were at the mercy of the storm on the open ocean. As this was taking place in the dead of winter the storm was probably not a hurricane in the technical sense, but few cared to debate the finer points of meteorological terminology.

via This Day in the American Civil War for January 14.

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