Plymouth, a town and the capital of Washington co., North Carolina, situated on a small creek, a few miles S. of Roanoke river, where it enters into Albemarle sound, 105 m. E. of Raleigh; pop. in 1870, 1,389, of whom 807 were colored. Early in 1862 Plymouth, with the neighboring region, fell into the hands of Burnside's North Carolina expedition, and was retained till April, 1864, when it was invested by the confederates under Gen. Hoke. On the 20th the iron-clad ram Albemarle ran down the river, sunk one Union gunboat at Plymouth, and drove off the other. The garrison, 1,600 strong, being cut off from communication with the fleet, surrendered after a severe conflict, in which the confederates lost heavily. On May 5 the Albemarle, with a tender, emerged from the river, and attacked the Union gunboats in the sound, but was driven back, her tender being captured. On the 25th an unsuccessful attempt was made to destroy the Albemarle by a torpedo. In October Lieut. W. B. Cushing formed a plan to blow up this vessel, which at that time formed the principal defence of Plymouth. On the 27th, with a party of 13 men, he embarked in a torpedo boat, crept up the river, put the torpedo in place, set fire to it just as he was discovered, and entirely destroyed the Albemarle. His boat was filled with water flung up by the explosion.

He and his men sprang overboard and tried to swim to the shore amid a fire of musketry. Of his party all but himself and one companion were killed or captured. Though slightly wounded, he gained the shore, hid himself until night in the thickets, and then found a skiff in which after eight hours' paddling he reached the Union vessels at the mouth of the river. On the 31st the fleet was moved up the river, and Plymouth was occupied without resistance, the confederate force in North Carolina having gone to Yirginia.

Plymouth #1

Plymouth, a fortified seaport of Devonshire, England, at the head of the sound of the same name, on the river Plym, 190 m. W. S. W. of London; pop. in-1871, 68,080. The sound, about 3 m. long by 3 m. wide, is an inlet of the English channel, and receives the estuaries of the Plym and the Tamar. Its coast is generally rocky and abrupt, and the rooky island of St. Nicholas rises out of the water at its head, near the N. shore. On the W. side is Cawsand bay; and further up in the N. W. corner of the sound is the estuary of the Tamar, which is called Hamoaze, and forms the harbor for ships of war. The estuary of the Plym or Laira forms another harbor, which is called Catwater; it is capable of containing 1,000 ordinary vessels, and is generally used as a harbor for merchant ships and transports. The Catwater opens into the N. E. corner of the sound, and is not so deep as Hamoaze. Sutton pool is a tide harbor, also used by merchant vessels; and a pier at Mill Bay, on the opposite side of the town, accommodates the largest steamships at all states of the tide. The harbor of Hamoaze is 4 m. long, has moorings for nearly 100 sail of the line, and 15 fathoms of water at ebb tide.

A breakwater 1,700 yards long protects the sound against gales from the southward. (See Breakwater).

Guildhall, Plymouth.

Guildhall, Plymouth.

Taken in its widest sense, the name Plymouth comprehends what are called the " Three Towns," viz., Plymouth proper, Devonport, the seat of the great naval dockyard and arsenal, and Stonehouse. Plymouth proper is very thriving and handsome, covering about 1 sq. m. The royal hotel is an extensive structure with a theatre and assembly rooms attached, erected by the corporation of the town at a cost of £60,000. A new guildhall and law courts were opened in August, 1874. The number of places of worship in 1872 was 46, of which 12 belonged to the church of England. Plymouth is the seat of a Roman Catholic bishop. In the Oottonian public library there are many rare and valuable works, a large collection of manuscripts, paintings, drawings, etc. The town is supplied with water brought from Dartmoor by a channel nearly 30 m. long. The manufactures, with the exception of those connected with the naval establishments, are of little importance. The fisheries are very productive. The imports for the year 1872 were valued at £1,335,-794, the exports at £76,437. The number of vessels entering the port in 1871 was 738, tonnage 123,445; cleared 495, tonnage 61,345. Several lines of ocean steamships touch at or ply from and to Plymouth; but the place "owes its chief importance to the works in the most important division of the town. (See Devonport.) - Plymouth was a place of some importance as far back as 1438. The British fleet rendezvoused here at the time of the threatened invasion of the Spanish armada (1588), and the port furnished a larger quota of vessels for defence than any town but London. It sided with the parliament against Charles L, and was several times unsuccessfully besieged by the royal forces.