Battle of Averasboro

Battle of Averasboro (HM3FB)

Location: Dunn, NC 28334 Harnett County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 16.5', W 78° 37.54'

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Sherman's Left Wing Departs Averasboro

— 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.

After the delay of his army's Left Wing at the Battle of Averasboro, Gen. William T. Sherman marched most of it past this point en route to Goldsboro. He sent some of the troops in pursuit of the Confederates to maintain the appearance of moving towards Raleigh. Sherman's wagons carried 500 Union wounded, and part of his force crossed the flooded Black River one mile west of here. Early on the morning of March 19, 1865, Sherman and his staff departed the Left Wing to join Gen. Oliver O. Howard's Right Wing between Bentonville and Goldsboro.

Gen. William J. Hardee's command, meanwhile, had withdrawn through Averasboro and east of the Black River into Johnston County. There his troops reassembled in the elevated area about fifteen miles from Averasboro, then marched east to join Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and the main body of Confederates near Bentonville. Hardee left more than 600 wounded men in the care of physicians and civilians at the plantation houses on the Averasboro battlefield and in the town. Later, wounded Confederates from both Averasboro and Bentonville traveled by rail from Smithfield to a Thomasville hospital.

(Sidebar): The town of Averasboro was located on the Cape Fear River three miles north of the battlefield and five miles west of here. Averasboro had a post office, stage stop, sawmill, ferry, and as many as 700 inhabitants depending upon the river commerce at the time. The Fayetteville to Raleigh Stage Road passed directly through Averasboro. The town, which was abandoned by early 1900s in favor of sites closer to the railroad, lay in the path of Sherman's Left Wing.
HM NumberHM3FB
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 Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 12:13pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 715955 N 3906125
Decimal Degrees35.27500000, -78.62566667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 16.5', W 78° 37.54'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 16' 30.00" N, 78° 37' 32.40" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)910, 919
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1-167 Norma Dr, Dunn NC 28334, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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