Village of Bentonville

Village of Bentonville (HM9J5)

Location: Four Oaks, NC 27524 Johnston County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 20.903', W 78° 17.835'

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Wounded and Abandoned

— 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 attack 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.
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Hoping to deflect Union Gen. William T. Sherman's army from Goldsboro, Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston attacked Sherman's Left Wing here on March 19, 1865, after finding it separated from the Right Wing, located several miles southeast. As the fighting intensified, Sherman led the Right Wing here in support. Johnston's forces, vastly outnumbered, withdrew to Smithfield on March 21, and Sherman's army marched to Goldsboro.

You are standing in the center of the wartime location of the village of Bentonville. Named for John Benton, this tiny hamlet gave its name to the largest Civil War battle ever fought in North Carolina. On March 21, 1865, Union Gen. Joseph A. Mower attacked near the village, but Confederate Gen. William J. Hardee's counterattack repulsed him. During the battle, Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston had his headquarters in John Benton's yard, and a nearby log structure served as the main field hospital.

Johnston's army and most of his wounded retreated toward Smithfield during the night of March 21. At sunrise, Confederate Gen. Joseph Wheeler's men attempted to destroy the Mill Creek bridge by igniting barrels of rosin. When the bridge failed to burn, they threw the flooring into the creek. After the Federals occupied Bentonville, they discovered in several Confederate field hospitals more than 60 seriously wounded men of Johnston's army as well as about 45 of their own. Union Gen. Oliver O. Howard's Right Wing spent most of the day removing the Federal wounded and burying the dead while Gen. Henry W. Slocum's Left Wing continued toward Goldsboro. Before the Right Wing left Bentonville, an unidentified high-ranking officer seeking to aid the abandoned Confederate wounded "ordered his quartermaster to supply them with both rations and medicine."

On the evening of March 22, the 100th Indiana Infantry built "fires on the battlefield along our picket lines so that we could move about without stumbling over the graves and dead bodies." - Capt. Eli Sherlock, 100th Indiana Infantry, Catterson's Brigade
HM NumberHM9J5
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 Monday, September 29th, 2014 at 9:03pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 745610 N 3915031
Decimal Degrees35.34838333, -78.29725000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 20.903', W 78° 17.835'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 20' 54.18" N, 78° 17' 50.10" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)919, 910
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 8201-8229 State Rd 1009, Four Oaks NC 27524, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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