The M.C. Etheridge was a large wooden hulled schooner built in Plymouth in 1859 that belonged to brothers William D. and Joseph H. Etheridge of Colerain and used for trade along the North Carolina coast. It was put into Confederate service to assist in the defense of Roanoke Island in February 1862 and was renamed the CSS Black Warrior with Acting Master F. M. Harris commanding. At the Battle of Elizabeth City, the Black Warrior, stationed at Fort Cobb, received the first enemy fire. At the end of the battle, the Confederate Navy was forced to set the vessel ablaze in order to prevent its capture by Union forces. The crew escaped into the marshes of the Pasquotank River.