Bentonville in Johnston County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Fighting at the Cole Plantation: The “Battle of Acorn Run”
Deploying north of the Goldsboro Road on March 19, 1865, Union Brig. Gen. William P. Carlin’s division (of the Union XIV Corps) sought shelter in a Y-shaped ravine from the incoming barrage by the Confederate batteries of Earle, Halsey, Atkins and Dickson. In an initial probing attack, Carlin realized that the entire Confederate army was entrenched in front of him. Part of Robinson’s brigade of the Union XX Corps was brought forward to bridge the gap in Carlin’s line but was unable to do so.
At 2:45 p.m. Confederate Lt. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart’s Army of Tennessee began a fierce frontal attack. Heavy Union casualties resulted, as Carlin had neither properly fortified the ravine nor repositioned Buell’s brigade. Carlin’s men fled in disarray to the Morris farm and did not rejoin the growing battle. The rout of Carlin’s division led men of the XX Corps to refer to the fight as the “Battle of Acorn Run,” a mock tribute to the XIV Corp’s insignia, the acorn.
“The eastern edge of an old plantation, lying principally
Lt. Gen. Wade Hampton, describing terrain used against advancing Federals.
“our Enemies…poured in one continuous fire of destruction…one man was Shot down right by my side…on the other side of me…another poor fellow was shot in the back of the Head…I did not know but Every moment would be my last…”
Pvt. Joseph Hoffhines, 33rd Ohio.
“We were in plain sight in the open field in musket range…we found the place a little unhealthy.”Capt. Joseph Hinson, 33rd Ohio.
“As far as we could see on both our right and left they were coming in unbroken lines with that old yell we had learned to know so well….We could plainly see their trap closing around us as they enveloped our flanks….It was impossible to maintain our position.”
Lt. Marcus Bates, 21st Michigan.
Four men received the Congressional Medal of Honor for their efforts at Betonville on March 19, 1865. The medal, authorized by Congress in 1863, was (and is) awarded “for particular deeds of most distinguished gallantry in action.”
• Pvt. Peter Anderson, 31st Wisconsin, single-handedly salvaged the sole remaining cannon from Webb’s battery, 19th Indiana, during the melee of the Confederate assault on
• Lt. Allan H. Dougall, adjutant, 88th Indiana, (right) received his Medal of Honor for voluntarily returning to the fallen color bearer to save his regimental flag from capture. This action occurred during the rout of Carlin’s division at Cole’s plantation.
Two more soldiers received Medals of Honor for their actions near the “Bull Pen” south of the Goldsboro Road (behind you).
Erected 2005 by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
Location. 35° 18.895′ N, 78° 18.011′ W. Marker is in Bentonville, North Carolina, in Johnston County. Marker is on Harper House Road (County Route 1008), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Four Oaks NC 27524, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cole Farmhouse (a few steps from this marker); First Union Attack (within shouting distance of this marker); Fighting South of the Goldsboro Road: The “Bull Pen” (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederate Line Crossing the Goldsboro Road Fighting Below the Road (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Main Confederate Line (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bentonville (approx. 0.2 miles away); Confederate North Carolina Junior Reserve Line (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bentonville.
More about this marker. The top of the marker features a photo of “Lt. Gen. Wade Hampton, Confederate cavalry commander at Bentonville” (from Valentine Museum) and “Union Brig. Gen. William Carlin, division commander, XIV Corps” (from National Archives). There is also a photo of the “Current image of the ‘Y-shaped ravine” and a Cole’s plantation Battle map.
On the bottom section of the marker are images of the Congressional Medal of Honor, The National colors of the 88th Indiana (from the Indiana War Memorial), the Regimental colors of the 88th Indiana (from the Indiana War Memorial), and a photo of COH recipient Lt. Allan H. Dougall (from Indiana State Library)
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Take
Also see . . .
1. Bentonville Battlefield. North Carolina Historic Sites website. (Submitted on March 1, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. Roadside Exhibits at Bentonville. (Submitted on March 1, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
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 2,700 times since then and 48 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. submitted on March 1, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 5. submitted on August 12, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 6. submitted on March 2, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.