Durham in Durham County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Meeting of the Generals
On April 17, 1865, Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman and Gen. Joseph Eggleston Johnston met on this section of the Raleigh to Hillsboro Road at the home of James and Nancy Bennett to negotiate a peace settlement to end the war. Staff officers, troopers, and news reporters accompanied them.
Limited documentation makes it difficult to know who came to the Bennett Farm each day, but it is clear that several officers in attendance assisted the generals during the three meetings. After the initial conference, Johnston was accompanied by Secretary of War John C. Breckinridge on April 18, to help in securing the most favorable terms. Gen. John Schofield served as Sherman’s second in command and remained at Raleigh during the first two meetings, but accompanied Sherman on the final meeting of April 26.
Location. 36° 1.755′ N, 78° 58.476′ W. Marker is in Durham, North Carolina, in Durham County. Marker is on Bennett Memorial Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located on the grounds of the Bennett Place State Historic Site. Marker Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Unity (within shouting distance of this marker); The Original Chimney of the Bennett House (within shouting distance of this marker); Bennett Place (within shouting distance of this marker); North Carolina (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Bennett Place (within shouting distance of this marker); Rotary Bandstand (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named North Carolina (approx. 3 miles away); Duke Homestead (approx. 3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Durham.
More about this marker. Several photographs appear on the marker. These include: Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, Confederate Secretary of War John C. Breckinridge, Union Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield, Union Bvt. Maj. Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick, and Confederate Lt. Gen. Wade Hampton III.
The lower left of the marker features a painting, The First Meeting, by Dan Nance, 2010. The caption reads, “Although they had opposed each other across battlefields, the April 17meeting at the Bennett home marked the first time these famous commanders met face to face. Johnston was accompanied by cavalry commander, Gen. Wade Hampton and elements of the 5th South Carolina Cavalry. Sherman was accompanied by cavalry commander Gen. Judson Kilpatrick and an assortment of troopers from the 9th Pennsylvania, 13th Pennsylvania, 2nd Kentucky, and 8th Indiana.”
At the lower right is an etching from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, May 1865. It has a caption of, “Though the meetings between Johnston and Sherman were amiable, Hampton and Kilpatrick rehashed their wartime rivalry with a heated argument outside the house, as sketched by J. E. Taylor on April 18, 1865.”
Also see . . . Bennett Place State Historic Site. (Submitted on August 11, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on October 23, 2018. This page originally submitted on August 11, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 511 times since then and 8 times this year. Last updated on October 23, 2018, by Bruce Guthrie of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 11, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 6, 7, 8. submitted on February 13, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.