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Roanoke Island

Roanoke Island is an island in the Outer Banks, near Manteo, North Carolina. About 12 miles long and 3 miles wide, the island lies between the mainland and the barrier island, with Albemarle Sound on its north, Roanoke Sound on its east, Pamplico Sound on its south, and Croatan Sound on its west.

In 1586 the island was the site of the first English colony in the New World, Roanoke, but the colony disappeared. During the American Civil War the island was occupied by Union forces, and they established a colony there for freed slaves. After the Battle of Roanoke Island, the three Confederate forts on the island were renamed for the Union generals who had commanded the winning forces: Fort Huger became Fort Reno; Fort Blanchard became Fort Parke; and Fort Bartow became Fort Foster. The freedmen's colony is now a major tourist attraction, as is the North Carolina Aquarium on the island.