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Bentonville in Johnston County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Merging of the Armies

Sherman’s Right Wing Arrives

 

—Carolinas Campaign —

 
Merging of the Armies Civil War Trails Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 18, 2006
1. Merging of the Armies Civil War Trails Marker
Inscription. (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.
* * *
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 Marcy 21, and Sherman's army marched to Goldsboro.

(Main Text):You are standing near the position held by the North Carolina Junior Reserve on March 19, 1865, looking east down Old Goldsboro Road. Behind you and to your right, elements of Confederate Gen. Robert F. Hoke’s division
Marker at N.C. Junior Reserve Tour Stop image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2010
2. Marker at N.C. Junior Reserve Tour Stop
engaged Union Gen. James D. Morgan’s division. The last grand charge of the Army of Tennessee, against Union positions on the Cole Plantation north of the road, took place in the open field directly behind you.

On March 20, when Gen. William T. Sherman appeared from the east with the Union Right Wing (directly in front of you), The Confederates changed position to meet the new threat. The Junior Reserves fell back to your left and formed a new line parallel to Old Goldsboro Road on Sam Howell Branch. The remainder of Hoke’s division occupied ground to the left of the Junior Reserves, who skirmished with the 14th Michigan and 16th Illinois Infantry. While the Confederate lines were shifting, an action ensued near the Green Flowers House crossroads one-half mile east, with the near capture of Union generals Oliver O. Howard, John A. Logan, and Charles R. Woods thwarted by the arrival of the 100th Indiana Infantry. During the next two days, the Confederate dug in and held firm against constant pressure from Union forces.
 
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 35° 18.975′ N, 78° 17.841′ W. Marker is in Bentonville, North Carolina
Marker on the Bentonville Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2010
3. Marker on the Bentonville Battlefield
, in Johnston County. Marker is at the intersection of Harper House Road (County Route 1008) and Bass Road (County Route 1194), on the left when traveling east on Harper House Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Newton Grove NC 28366, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Confederate North Carolina Junior Reserve Line (here, next to this marker); Bentonville (a few steps from this marker); Main Confederate Line (within shouting distance of this marker); N. C. Junior Reserves (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Confederate Line Crossing the Goldsboro Road (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Union Attack (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fighting at the Cole Plantation: The “Battle of Acorn Run” (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fighting South of the Goldsboro Road: The “Bull Pen” (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bentonville.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is a photo of "Gen. Robert F. Hoke
Courtesy U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle, Pa." On the lower right is an engraving “Action on March 20, 1865,” Harpers’s Weekly, April 15, 1865. On the right is an operational level map of the action described in the text.
 
Also see . . .
1. Bentonville Battlefield
N.C. Junior Reserve Tour Stop image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 18, 2006
4. N.C. Junior Reserve Tour Stop
The Merging of the Armies is located on the Bentonville Battlefiled at this Tour Stop. It is in the background, to the left.
. North Carolina Historic Sites website. (Submitted on March 1, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. Civil War Traveler. North Carolina Civil War Trails. (Submitted on March 28, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Bentonville Battle Map image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 18, 2006
5. Bentonville Battle Map
Site of the Cole Plantation image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 18, 2006
6. Site of the Cole Plantation
Across this field, the site of the Cole Plantation at the time of the Battle of Bentonville, the Confederate Army of Tennessee charged Union Troops. It would be their last major charge against the North.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 1, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,313 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on March 1, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   2, 3. submitted on August 12, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   4, 5, 6. submitted on March 1, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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