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’s 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 take part. 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 view a Civil War encampment and interact with the living historians. Demonstrations will take place throughout the day Saturday and Sunday. Also, visitors can 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 retired Col. 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 talk at 11 a.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Robertson will speak at 1 p.m. Saturday. 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.
For more information, go to nchistoricsites.org/bentonvi/bentonvi.htm or call 910-594-0789.