The North Carolina Squadron only played a minor role in the battle at Hatteras Inlet. The Ellis was at Portsmouth Island on Wednesday, August 28th, when Col. Martin’s call for reinforcements came from Fort Hatteras. She immediately took on troops and left for Hatteras, several schooners full of soldiers in tow. Arriving at the inlet, she delivered her passengers and returned to pick up the passengers of the schooner Parthenon, which had traveled from Portsmouth under sail.
The CSS Winslow arrived at Hatteras from New Bern shortly after the Ellis arrived from Portsmouth. She brought Commodore Barron, Lt. Sharp, and Lt. Murdaugh of the CS Navy and Col. Bradford, the artillery commander for the state of North Carolina. Murdaugh had just been named to command the CSS Manassas stationed at New Bern.
The CSS Raleigh was posted at Oregon Inlet and did not participate in the battle. The CSS Beaufort sat tied to a dock in New Bern with no crew. The crew left the ship when the CS Navy took over command from the North Carolina Navy six days earlier. The CS Navy had refused to buy the Albemarle, so she had been turned over to the army quartermaster and was at New Bern. The CSS Weldon N. Edwards was en route to W.A. Graves’ Shipyard in Norfolk for and overhaul.
The squadron had never acted as a fleet until after the battle of Hatteras. When Barron was captured at Hatteras, Flag Officer Lynch was quickly named to replace him. He set about organizing a regular fleet that operated as a unit rather than as a group of independent commerce raiders.