Near Wade in Cumberland County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Old Bluﬀ Church
The Muddy Road to Averasboro
—Carolinas Campaign —
The Carolinas Campaign began on February 1, 1865, when Union Gen. William T. Sherman led his army north from Savanna, 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 logistical lifeline, where Sherman defeated Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's last-ditch attack at Bentonville. After Sherman was reinforced at Glodsboro late in March, Johnstone saw the futility of further resistance and surrendered on April 26, essentially ending the Civil War.
This is the entrance to the Old Bluff Church churchyard and cemetery. You are facing north, in the direction in which the lead element of Union Gen. William T.
Early on March 15, half a mile north along the Fayetteville-Raleigh Stage Road, Confederate cavalrymen skirmished with the Union vanguard at Silver Run Creek and Mill Pond. Later, Sherman established temporary headquarters there. The rainy weather that week made the roadway nearly impassible and the soldiers miserable.
Despite the terrible weather, at nightfall on March 15, Union Col. William Hawley's brigade prepared for a hot meal and a night's rest here at Bluff Church after working all day corduroying the road. At 7:30 p.m., however, the brigade was called forward to assist the Union cavalry, which was halted and engaged, as the Battle of Averasboro began. One of the soldiers described the seven-mil trek to the battle site: "Men had their shoes sucked off by the mud, while others stumbled, lost their guns, and were thankful that they were not trampled under by the moving column and buried alive."
Scottish immigrants formed the first congregation here in 1758. A century later, this church
Jane "Janie" Smith (1846-1882) is buried in the family plot here in the church cemetery. The daughter of Farquhard Smith of Lebanon Plantation, which served as a hospital during the Battle of Averasboro, the teenaged girl wrote a detailed and graphic description of the battle and her family's involvement.
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 35° 11.074′ N, 78° 43.419′ W. Marker is near Wade, North Carolina, in Cumberland County. Marker is on Old Bluff Church Road one mile west of Sisk Culbreth Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located immediately outside the Old Bluff church cemetery gates. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4150 Old Bluff Church Road, Wade NC 28395, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Colonel Alexander McAllister (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Old Bluff Church David M. Williams (approx. 3.4 miles away); Battle of Averasboro (approx. 4.2 miles away but has been reported missing); Prelude to Averasboro (approx. 4.2 miles away); Federal Hospital (approx. 4.2 miles away); Federal Artillery (approx. 4.9 miles away); Oak Grove (approx. 5 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wade.
Also see . . . Battle of Aversasboro. Photos and description of battle. (Submitted on June 6, 2010, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
Categories. • Churches, Etc. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 6, 2010, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This page has been viewed 1,115 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 6, 2010, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 5, 6. submitted on August 3, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 7. submitted on June 6, 2010, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 8. submitted on August 3, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.