Battle of Averasboro

Battle of Averasboro (HM2U3)

Location: Dunn, NC 28334 Harnett County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 17.842', W 78° 35.882'

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Union Route to Bentonville

— Carolinas Campaign —

(Preface): The Carolinas Campaign began on February 1, 1865, when Union Gen. William T. Sherman led his army north from Savannah, Georgia, after the "March to the Sea." Sherman's objective was to join Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in Virginia to crush Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Scattered Confederate forces consolidated in North Carolina, the Confederacy's logistical lifeline, where Sherman defeated Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's last-ditch attach at Bentonville. After Sherman was reinforced at Goldsboro late in March, Johnston saw the futility of further resistance and surrendered on April 26, essentially ending the Civil War.
As Gen. William T. Sherman marched north from Fayetteville, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston positioned his army near Smithville, uncertain whether Sherman's destination was Raleigh or Goldsboro. On March 15, 1865, the head of Sherman's Left Wing struck Confederate Gen. William J. Hardee's skirmishers guarding the road just south of Averasboro. Hardee struck back, and the fight began. After several bloody attacks and counterattacks, Hardee withdrew during the night of March 16, and Sherman turned toward Goldsboro.

Gen. William T. Sherman's Left Wing, the U.S. Army's XIV and XX Corps, marched past this point on March 17, 1865. The determined Confederate resistance at the Battle of Averasboro on March 15-16 had delayed the Union march to Goldsboro, increasing the distance between the Left Wing here and the Right Wing several miles to the east and south. Confederate cavalry harassed the Federals as they marched down this road. At Smithfield, Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston studied area maps and concluded that Sherman's two wings were far enough apart that if one was attacked it might be defeated before the other could come to its aid. The next day, March 18, Gen. Wade Hampton notified Johnston that the Left Wing was approaching Bentonville, where Confederate cavalry had taken up positions. That night, Johnston marched most of his army to Hampton's side and by the next morning was ready to spring the trap.
HM NumberHM2U3
Series This marker is part of the North Carolina Civil War Trails series
Placed ByNorth Carolina Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 4th, 2014 at 1:51am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 718408 N 3908666
Decimal Degrees35.29736667, -78.59803333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 17.842', W 78° 35.882'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 17' 50.52" N, 78° 35' 52.92" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)910, 919
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1100 E Cumberland St, Dunn NC 28334, US
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