On March 19, 1865 the quiet little village of Bentonville, NC found itself in the center of the largest battle ever fought on North Carolina soil. General Joseph E. Johnston was charged with gathering Confederate forces scattered throughout the Carolinas into a concentrated force large enough to halt General William T. Sherman’s juggernaut army of Federals numbering 60,000 men before it reached Virginia. The resulting clash between the two armies lasted three days and ended in a tactical draw, with Johnston’s army withdrawing from the battlefield. The battle was fought over an area of 6,000 acres with nearly 80,000 troops engaged. More than 4,000 casualties were reported. The Battle of Bentonville marked the last Confederate tactical offensive of the war and it would also leave an unforgettable mark on the history of the state of North Carolina.
“The most terrible battle I ever imagined….It was the most fearful scene I ever witnessed.”--Capt. G.B. Gardner, Courier, staff of Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee
“We Run Like the Duce.” --Lt. Charles Brown, 21st Michigan
“They came down upon us like an avalanche, our situation at this time was truly awfull [sic].” --Capt. Ferdinand Boltz, 88th Indiana
In commemoration of this historic battle, Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site would like to invite the public to attend the 145th Anniversary of the Battle of Bentonville program on March 20 and 21, 2010. This two day event will feature two battle re-enactments: “Last Grand Charge of the Army of Tennessee & Morgan’s Stand” on Saturday at 3:00 pm and “The Fight for the Morris Farm” on Sunday at 1:30 pm. Visitors can also attend lectures by local historians and experts on topics including “The Carolinas Campaign prior to Bentonville,” “The African American Experience in NC,” and “Mourning Practices during the American Civil War.” Guided tours of the Harper House, a Federal field hospital during the battle, and the civilian and military camps will be provided throughout the event. Civilian and military exhibits and living history demonstrations on camp life and daily activities will be available on both Saturday and Sunday. Visitors must purchase tickets for each battle scenario, but all other activities are free to the public. Food vendors will be on site, as well as period sutlers demonstrating and selling their wares.There are a limited number of tickets available. Advance purchase tickets for the battle re-enactments are $8.00 per day for adults and $4.00 per day for children ages 7-12 yrs. Advance ticket sales will be available until March 1, 2010 and they can be purchased online at www.bentonvillebattlefield.com or picked up at Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site during regular site hours. After March 1, tickets will be $10.00 per day for adults and $5.00 per day for children ages 7-12 yrs. Children under 6 yrs are admitted free. For updates and a complete schedule of program events please visit www.bentonville145.com. For other information please contact: