19 March 2013

The Civil War - 19 March 1865

General William T Sherman continued his march through the Carolinas, despite Confederate Gerenal Joseph Johnson's attempt to stop him at what has become known as the Battle of Bentonville, in North Carolins.
After Sherman's famous March to the Sea in late 1864, he stayed in Savannah, Georgia before turning north into the Carolinas. His army crushed everything in their path, further demoralizing the South. Sherman thought that the Confederate forces in the Carolinas were too widely dispersed to offer any significant resistance. Johnston however assembled 17,000 troops and attacked at Bentonville on March 19.

The Confederates had the advantage of the surprise and succeeded in driving them back until a Union counterattack halted the advance. Night fell and the fighting men of both sides rested. The next day, Sherman was joined by more Union troops, giving him a nearly three to one advantage over Johnston. Johnson withdrew north on 21 March when a Union force threatened to cut off the Rebel's only line of retreat.

The Union lost 194 men killed, 1,112 wounded, and 221 missing, while the Confederates lost some 240 killed, 1,700 wounded, and 1,500 missing. Johnston surrendered his army to Sherman the following month.

Photo Credit:
National Park Service (NPS).

Source:
The Battle of Bentonville: Caring for Casualties of the Civil War
http://www.nps.gov/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/69bentonville/69bentonville.htm
This Day In History
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/battle-of-bentonville-north-carolina

 

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