While US General Slocum's advance was stalled at Averasborough by Hardee's troops, the right wing of Union General Sherman's army under command of Major General O.O. Howard marched toward Goldsborough. On March 19, Slocum encountered the entrenched Confederates of General Joseph E. Johnston who had concentrated to meet his advance at Bentonville.
Late afternoon, Johnston attacked, crushing the line of the XIV Corps. Only strong counterattacks and desperate fighting south of the Goldsborough Road blunted the Confederate offensive. Elements of the XX Corps were thrown into the action as they arrived on the field. Five Confederate attacks failed to dislodge the Federal defenders and darkness ended the first day's fighting.
During the night, Johnston contracted his line into a "V" to protect his flanks with Mill Creek to his rear. On March 20, Slocum was heavily reinforced, but fighting was sporadic. Sherman was inclined to let Johnston retreat. On the 21st, however, Johnston remained in position while he removed his wounded. Skirmishing heated up along the entire front. In the afternoon, Major General Joseph Mower led his Union division along a narrow trace that carried it across Mill Creek into Johnston's rear.
Confederate counterattacks stopped Mower's advance, saving the army's only line of communication and retreat. Mower withdrew, ending fighting for the day. During the night, Johnston retreated across the bridge at Bentonville. Union forces pursued at first light, driving back Wheeler's rearguard and saving the bridge. Federal pursuit was halted at Hannah's Creek after a severe skirmish. Sherman, after regrouping at Goldsborough, pursued Johnston toward Raleigh.
On April 18, Johnston signed an armistice with Sherman at the Bennett House, and on April 26, formally surrendered his army.
Sherman's March to the Sea
The destruction spanned more than sixty miles in width and virtually cut the South in two, disabling the flow of supplies to the Confederate army. He led more than 60,000 Union troops to blaze a path from Atlanta to Savannah, ordering his men to burn crops, kill livestock, and decimate everything that fed the Rebel war machine
The 4th North Carolina Cavalry in the Civil War: A History and Roster
With the Civil War was entering its second year North Carolina was rallying to supply more troops. The Partisan Ranger Act prompted local leaders to recruit companies of irregular soldiers for service in the Confederate Army. Seven such companies were banded together into a regiment to form the 4th North Carolina Cavalry.
Six Years of Hell
Harpers Ferry During the Civil War
While Harpers Ferry was an important location during the Civil War, in most Civil War books it's a sideshow of something larger. John Brown's raid, Lee's invasions of 1862 & 1863 as well as Early's 1864 raid are all covered in depth
Lee's Tar Heels: The Pettigrew-Kirkland-MacRae Brigade
The most successful of North Carolina's units during the Civil War. The brigade played a central role in Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg and also fought with distinction during the Petersburg campaign and in later battles including the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor
The Battle and Its Aftermath
Chancellorsville was a remarkable victory for Robert E. Lee's troops, a fact that had enormous psychological importance for both sides, which had met recently at Fredericksburg and would meet again at Gettysburg in just two months. But the achievement, while stunning, came at an enormous cost: more than 13,000 Confederates became casualties, including Stonewall Jackson