In March 1865, almost 80,000 soldiers descended on the woodlands near the village of Bentonville. Fighting waged for three days in what would become the largest Civil War battle fought in North Carolina.
In March 2015, Bentonville Battlefield State Historic site will mark the 150 anniversary of the battle with a weekend full of activities.
The event will feature two battles: “The Fight for the Morris Farm” at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 21, and the “Last Grand Charge of the Army of Tennessee & Morgan’s Stand” at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, March 22. In addition to the battles, activities include free lectures from Civil War historians, book signings, 19th century medical displays, domestic skills, period music and dozens of “sutlers,” who will turn an open field into a Civil War shopping mall.
The battle scenarios Saturday and Sunday are the only events that require tickets. Advance tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 9 to 12. After March 15 and at the gate if available, tickets will be $15 for adults and $10 for children 9 to 12. Children 8 and younger get in free. A discounted two-day ticket is also available in advance.
The tickets are available at www.150thbentonville.com/tickets, at Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site or by calling 910-594-0789.
Organizers say the two-day event will be the largest in North Carolina to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
Bentonville was the site of the last major Confederate attack of the war, as Gen. Joseph Johnston tried to stop Gen. William T. Sherman’s Union advance northward on Goldsboro in March 1865. More than 4,100 men were killed, wounded or missing after three days of fighting, but the battle was overshadowed by Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox in Virginia three weeks later.
Bentonville Battlefield is located at 5466 Harper House Road, Four Oaks.