Said to be the “King of Battle,” artillery played a key role in the 1865 Battle of Bentonville. See the destructive firepower of massed artillery at Bentonville 151st anniversary program, “The Ground Trembled Under Our Feet,” March 19 and 20. This year’s program will focus on artillery’s contributions to the battle.
Several artillery pieces from across the state will participate. Members of these crews will demonstrate the operating and firing procedures of cannons commonly used in the Civil War including 6-pounder field guns, 10-pounder Parrott rifles and 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. These guns will demonstrate how batteries would have worked together to deliver concentrated cannon firepower on the battlefield.
In addition to artillery, members from the 4th Regiment ANV will demonstrate infantry tactics and drill. Visitors can enjoy viewing a recreated Civil War encampment, and interact with the living historians. Demonstrations will take place throughout the day Saturday and Sunday. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the Harper House, which was used as a field hospital during the battle, and view civilian demonstrations near the Harper House kitchen.
The program will include presentations by Col. (Ret.) Wade Sokolosky, author of “To Prepare for Sherman’s Coming,” “The Battle of Wise’s Forks, March 1865” and Thomas Robertson, Jr., editor of “Resisting Sherman, A Confederates Surgeon’s Journal and the Civil War in the Carolinas, 1865.” Sokolosky will present on the battle of Wise’s Forks Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. Robertson will speak at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 19. Book signings will follow both presentations.
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, NC 27524, three miles north of Newton Grove on S.R. 1008, about one hour from Raleigh and about 45 minutes from Fayetteville.
For more information, visit www.nchistoricsites.org/bentonvi/bentonvi.htm or call (910) 594-0789. Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site is part of the Division of State Historic Sites in the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.