MAY 5TH, 1854: The CSS Albemarle, under Commander Cooke, accompanied by the Bombshell and Cotton Plant, steamed into Albemarle Sound and engaged Union naval forces in a fierce action off the mouth of the Roanoke River.
The Bombshell was captured early in the action after coming under heavy fire from the USS Sassacus and the Cotton Plant withdrew up the river.
The Albemarle continued the action and was rammed by the Sassacus but with little effect. The ram then sent a shell into the Sassacus' starboard boiler, putting her out of action. Sidewheelers USS Matahessett and Wyalusing continued fighting for three hours until darkness halted the fight.
The Albemarle withdrew to the river and the small sidewheelers USS Commodore Hull and Ceres took up picket duty at the mouth of the Roanoke in case the Albemarle returned.