The Attack on Ocracoke was an ambush executed by the Royal Navy with the aim of capturing Edward Thatch, more infamously known as Blackbeard, on 22 November 1718 at the island of Ocracoke, near the state of present North Carolina.
In early 1718, Thatch was approached by Benjamin Hornigold about the stagnation of the Pirate Republic at Nassau, and about the lack of medicine that was needed for the population's survival. With the simultaneous news of a pardon issued by King George, Thatch asked his fellow pirate Edward Kenway to help him with his search for medicines in the wrecks of the sunken Spanish Treasure Fleet, rather than raiding the Royal Navy ships to obtain them. They proceeded with the plan, but the medicines they found were spoiled.
The lack of success prompted Thatch to attack a British Man O' War, resulting in Benjamin Hornigold's vessel, the Benjamin, suffering heavy damage, and Thatch's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, running aground on Mariguana Island. After meeting with Hornigold at sea, Kenway made his way to the island, rescuing Thatch from the British troops.
Subsequently, the pirates used the Queen Anne's Revenge to board the Man O' War which had once again crossed their path, and obtained the medicines. The amount was small however, but they discovered the medicine possessed stamps of Charles-Towne in South Carolina. Taking the crew of the Man O' War prisoner, Thatch besieged the town for a week, without success. Eventually, Kenway arrived and stole the medicines from Charles-Towne.
Despite their success, and with the King's pardon in mind, Thatch decided to retire from the life of piracy, and sailed to North Carolina. However, the theft of medicines spurned the governor, Alexander Spotswood, into ordering Lieutenant Robert Maynard to find and eliminate Thatch. In the meantime, the appointed governor of the Bahamas and a member of the Templar Order, Woodes Rogers, arrived in Nassau with Commodore Peter Chamberlaine, and blockaded the island in order to pressure the pirates into taking the pardon.
- "This will be the end of them... Quickly, send the signal. And remember always this day."
- ―Lieutenant Robert Maynard, ordering the start of the ambush, 1718.[src]
After destroying the blockade and escaping from Nassau, Edward Kenway and Charles Vane traveled to Ocracoke, in order to convince Thatch to reconsider his retirement. They were unsuccessful however, with Vane leaving the island shortly after. Kenway remained to speak with Thatch about the Sage, Bartholomew Roberts, whom Thatch revealed to be working on a slave ship called the Princess.
Subsequently, Kenway noticed a suspicious man, and decided to follow him. In the wilderness of Ocracoke, the man met with Maynard and informed him about the situation and the possible suspicion of Kenway. Eavesdropping on the pair, Kenway followed them to a cliff overlooking the beach, where they fired a signal, alerting the British warships to shell the island.
The ambush destroyed many pirate vessels, including the Queen Anne's Revenge, although a few managed to escape and engage the Royal Navy, with Kenway's ship, the Jackdaw, among them. Kenway engaged a Man O'War and boarded it along with Thatch. However, the pirates were soon overwhelmed, and despite Kenway's help, Thatch was eventually killed with no more than 5 gunshot wounds and over 20 cutlass hits. This momentarily shocked Kenway, who was then pushed overboard.
- Adéwalé: "What of Thatch, sir? Did he fall? Captain?"
- Edward: "He drinks damnation."
- ―Edward informing Adéwalé of Thatch's death.[src]
Kenway managed to board his ship, and escaped the carnage that ensued, along with his crew. Adéwalé, Edward's quartermaster on the Jackdaw, questioned Kenway about Thatch, to which Edward responded that he had fallen in battle. Some time later, Kenway met up with Charles Vane again off the southern Cuban coast, determined to follow the lead that Thatch had given him concerning the Princess.