Fort Hancock (3)

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Fort Hancock (3) (1778-1780) - A Revolutionary War Fort established by French Captain Denis de Cottineau of the frigate Ferdinand and an artillery officer, Captain Luis-Antione Jean-Baptiste, le Chevalier de Cambray in 1778 on Shackleford Banks, Carteret County, North Carolina. Likely named Fort Hancock after Enoch Hancock, owner of the property. Abandoned in 1780.

Fort Hancock Marker at Shell Point on Harkers Island, North Carolina.


French privateer Captain Denis de Cottineau sailed his ship Ferdinand into the harbor behind Cape Lookout in February 1778 to escape the British warship, Emerald. His ship needed repairs and de Cottineau constructed a small fort for protection with the help of a French artillery officer, Captain Luis-Antione Jean-Baptiste, le Chevalier de Cambray.

Captain de Cottineau applied to the state of North Carolina to sanction the fort construction and the State agreed. The fort was completed and garrisoned by mid-May 1778. The state was unable to arm the fort and de Cottineau donated six cannons and two swivel guns with ammunition.

As de Cottineau prepared to leave North Carolina he made claims for some of his expenses and was later awarded some 940 pounds. For his work, Captain de Cambray asked for letters of recommendation to the Continental Congress in hopes of securing a commission in the Continental Army.

The fort never saw military action and it was abandoned and partially dismantled in 1780.

Current Status

Marker only at the ferry terminal at Shell Point on Harkers Island. The Marker reads:

"Erected in 1778 by Le Chevalier de Cambray & Capt. de Cottineau to protect Cape Lookout Bay. Dismantled, 1780. Site four miles south."

Location: Shackleford Banks, Carteret County, North Carolina. The fort map point identifies only a general location on the eastern end of Shackleford Island and is not precise. Zoom out to see marker map point.

Maps & Images

Lat: 34.63068 Long: -76.53184

See Also:



Visited: 26 Mar 2018

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