The sounds of artillery and musket fire will once again ring out at Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site. The annual summer artillery living history program will be held Saturday, Aug. 25 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Costumed living historians will demonstrate how soldiers made meals, maintained their weapons, equipment and uniforms, trained for battle, withstood the weather and much more. This free program will feature artillery firings at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. and musket demonstrations at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Visitors can visit a Civil War soldier’s camp and discover what role the enlisted man played in battle. Re-enactors from Co. D 27th North Carolina Troops will give musket demonstrations and explain and answer questions about military life during the war. The living historians will also give uniform and equipment talks.
Artillery demonstrations will be performed by members of the Carolina Living History Guild and Starr’s Battery. They will feature a Three-Inch Ordnance Rifle and a six-pounder field gun, both typical Civil War field pieces. According to one witness, the artillery fire at the battle of Bentonville was so heavy that it “literally barked the trees, cutting off limbs as if by hand.” Dozens of these guns were used during the 1865 battle.
The Battle of Bentonville, fought March 19-21, 1865, involved 80,000 troops and was the last Confederate offensive against Union Gen. William T. Sherman. Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site interprets the battle and the hospital, where many Confederates were left in the aftermath. The site is located at 5466 Harper House Road, Four Oaks, three miles north of Newton Grove about one hour from Raleigh and about 45 minutes from Fayetteville.