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Definition of ROANOKE ISLAND
island North Carolina S of entrance to Albemarle Sound
geographical name(Concise Encyclopedia)
Island, off the North Carolina coast, U.S. Situated near the southern entrance to Albemarle Sound, the island is about 12 mi (19 km) long and 3 mi (5 km) wide. It was the site of the first English settlement in North America; its original colonists, sent by Walter Raleigh, arrived in mid-1585 but stayed only until 1586. A second group arrived in 1587; Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the Americas, was born on the island. When a supply ship arrived in 1590, all the colonists, including Virginia, had vanished; their fate is unknown. During the American Civil War the island was captured in 1862 by Union forces under Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside. It is now a resort and residential area.