On 28 August 1861, a squadron of U.S. Navy ships under the command of Flag Officer Silas H. Stringham attacked the Confederate-held forts at Hatteras Inlet in North Carolina. The naval attack quickly overwhelmed the Confederate garrison at Fort Clark, and then Fort Hatteras. An amphibious contingent from the U.S. Army under the command of Major General Benjamin F. Butler aided in the capture of both forts.
On 7 November 1861, Flag Officer Samuel F. DuPont, U.S. Navy, began his bombardment of the Confederate-held forts at Port Royal. Confederate naval officer Josiah Tatnall and his small fleet offered little opposition to this confrontation. Although Federal forces were unable to launch an amphibious attack due to complications caused by bad weather, the Confederate garrisons retreated inland within hours after the U.S. Navy squadron began firing upon them.