Bentonville

Bentonville Battle Hero

Bentonville

You are here

SHARE THIS
 

After marching to the sea, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's army group headed north from Savannah, Georgia on February 3, 1865. As in Georgia, Sherman planned to live off the land and resupply his men at Goldsboro, North Carolina. Confederate Gen. Joseph Johnston was assigned the task of slowing Sherman's movement. On March 19, 1865, Johnston's force struck Maj. Gen. Henry Slocum's Army of Georgia near Bentonville, North Carolina. That afternoon, the Confederates smashed Brig. Gen. William Carlin's division from the XIV Corps. Sweeping south of the Goldsboro Road, the Confederates ran into stiff resistance from Brig. Gen. James Morgan's division, buying Slocum time to establish a defensive position. Johnston's assaults continued throughout the day but were unable to dislodge the Federals. Sherman arrived on March 20 with Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard's Army of the Tennessee. In response, Johnston reformed his line into a “V” with his flanks on Mill Creek. Sherman, however, did not attack and hoped to break off the assault and continue to Goldsboro. On the afternoon of March 21, Brig. Gen. Joseph Mower led his XVII Corps division on a reconaissance in force toward Johnston's left. Mower's infantry slammed into the thin Confederate line and threatened to cut of Johnston's retreat. A series of desperate counterattacks led by Lt. Gens. William Hardee and Wade Hampton pushed Mower back and stabilized the line. That night, Johnston retreated across Mill Creek. The Federals pursued but were driven back in a sharp skirmish with Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler’s cavalry. Sherman elected not to pursue Johnston and several days later marched into Goldsboro. The last battle of the war for Sherman's army, the Union victory at Bentonville forced Johnston's surrender at the Bennett farmstead on April 26, 1865.

Battle Facts

Result

Union Victory
COMMANDERS
Forces Engaged
81,000

Union

60,000

Confederate

21,000
Total Estimated Casualties
4,133

Union

1,527
194
killed
1,112
wounded
221
missing & captured

Confederate

2,606
239
killed
1,694
wounded
673
missing & captured