After his march through Georgia, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman headed north into the Carolinas, reaching central North Carolina by mid-March 1865. On the afternoon of March 15, Maj. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick’s Union cavalry came up against Lt. Gen. William Hardee’s corps, consisting of two divisions of infantry and one of cavalry deployed across the Raleigh Road near Averasboro. Hardee’s orders from Gen. Joseph E. Johnston were to delay the progress of Sherman’s army so that Johnston could consolidate the remainder of his force. After feeling out the Confederate defenses, Kilpatrick withdrew and called for infantry support. During the night, elements of the XX Corps arrived to confront the Confederates. At dawn, March 16, the Federals advanced, driving back skirmishers, but were stopped by the main Confederate line. Around mid-morning the Federals renewed their advance with reinforcements and drove the Confederates from two lines of works, but were repulsed at a third defensive line. Late that afternoon, parts of the Union XIV Corps arrived on the field but were stopped by Confederate cavalry. Hardee retreated during the night after holding up the Sherman’s advance.