Saved: 6 Acres at Bentonville
The American Battlefield Trust’s ongoing fight to save this nation’s hallowed ground has resulted in yet another preservation victory: Six acres at the Bentonville Battlefield in Johnston County, N.C. The Trust-saved land played a vital role in the initial fighting on March 19, 1865 and brings the preservation of the first-day's battleground ever-closer to completion.
The Battle of Bentonville, the largest battle ever fought in the Tarheel State, was the catalyst for the last series of standoffs between Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman and Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee, as Federal forces closed in around the Confederate army. And at this central North Carolina site, the Confederates charged on with determination running through their veins, as they took the first step in their final stand.
The six newly-saved acres helped set the stage for the following two days of fierce fighting at Bentonville. The two now- preserved properties witnessed action brought forth by Confederate forces as they launched assaults and maneuvers against Union troops. But regardless of what was thrown against them, the Federals held their ground. The first day’s battle ended in a tactical draw. However, by the battle’s end the Union would ultimately claim victory and guide the Civil War’s Western Theater toward its end.
Contributing to North Carolina’s Civil War story, the preservation of this acreage drew the support of not only the Trust’s crucial members, but also the American Battlefield Protection Program. And even more, the properties have not only been secured — but already transferred to the State of North Carolina for incorporation into Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site.
With more than 1,860 acres of hallowed ground already saved by the Trust at Bentonville, the organization continues to march toward the comprehensive preservation of the first day’s battle and aims to protect even more land integral to the Civil War’s Western Theater.