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Other Names: Bentonsville

Location: Johnston County

Campaign: Campaign of the Carolinas (February-April 1865)

Date(s): March 19-21, 1865

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman and Maj. Gen. Henry Slocum [US]; Gen. Joseph E. Johnston [CS]

Forces Engaged: Sherman’s Right Wing (XX and XIV Corps) [US]; Johnston's Army [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 4,738 total (US 1,646; CS 3,092)

Description: While Slocum’s advance was stalled at Averasborough by Hardee’s troops, the right wing of Sherman’s army under command of Maj. Gen. O.O. Howard marched toward Goldsborough.  On March 19, Slocum encountered the entrenched Confederates of Gen. 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, Maj. Gen. 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.

Result(s): Union victory

Organization of Confederate Forces³

Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, Commanding

Lt. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart
(Total Casualties: 1,227)

Lee's Corps (761)
Maj. Gen. D. H. Hill

Stevenson's Division
Maj. Gen. Carter L. Stevenson (336)

Palmer's Brigade
Brig. Gen. Joseph B. Palmer
3rd Tennessee
18th Tennessee
26th Tennessee
32nd Tennessee
45th Tennessee
46th Tennessee
58th North Carolina
60th North Carolina
54th Virginia
63rd Virginia
23rd Tennessee Battalion

Pettus's Brigade
Brig. Gen. Edmund W. Pettus (W)
20th Alabama
23rd Alabama
30th Alabama
31st Alabama
46th Alabama

Cumming's Brigade
(Arrived on the battlefield March 20)
Col. Robert J. Henderson
34th Georgia
36th Georgia
39th Georgia
56th Georgia

Clayton's Division (290)
Maj. Gen. Henry D. Clayton

Stovall's Brigade
Col. Henry C. Kellogg
40th Georgia
41st Georgia
42nd Georgia
43rd Georgia
52nd Georgia

Jackson's Brigade
Lt. Col. Osceola Kyle
25th Georgia
29th Georgia
30th Georgia
66th Georgia
1st Confederate
1st Battalion Georgia Sharpshooters

Baker's Brigade
Brig. Gen. Alpheus Baker
37th Alabama
40th Alabama
42nd Alabama
54th Alabama

Hill's Division (105)
Col. John G. Coltart

Deas's Brigade
Col. Harry T. Toulmin
19th Alabama
22nd Alabama
25th Alabama
39th Alabama
50th Alabama

Manigault's Brigade
Lt. Col. John C. Carter
24th Alabama
34th Alabama
10th South Carolina
19th South Carolina

Stewart's Corps (223)
Maj. Gen. William W. Loring

Loring's Division (153)
Col. James Jackson

Adams's Brigade
Lt. Col. Robert J. Lawrence
6th Mississippi
14th Mississippi
15th Mississippi
20th Mississippi
23rd Mississippi
43rd Mississippi

Scott's Brigade
Capt. John A. Dixon
27th Alabama
35th Alabama
49th Alabama
55th Alabama
57th Alabama
12th Louisiana

Featherston's Brigade
Maj. Martin A. Oatis
1st Mississippi Battalion
1st Mississippi
3rd Mississippi
22nd Mississippi
31st Mississippi
33rd Mississippi
40th Mississippi

Walthall's Division (70)
Maj. Gen. Edward C. Walthall

Reynolds's Brigade
Brig. Gen. Daniel H. Reynolds (W)
Col. Henry C. Bunn (W)
Lt. Col. Morton G. Galloway
4th Arkansas
9th Arkansas
25th Arkansas
1st Arkansas Mounted Rifles (dismounted)
2nd Arkansas Mounted Rifles (dismounted)

Quarles's Brigade
Brig. Gen. George D. Johnston
1st Alabama
17th Alabama
29th Alabama
42nd Tennessee
48th Tennessee
49th Tennessee
53rd Tennessee
55th Tennessee

Cheatham's Corps (243)
Maj. Gen. William B. Bate

Cleburne's Division (112)
Brig. Gen. James A. Smith

Govan's Brigade
Col. Peter V. Green
1st Arkansas
2nd Arkansas
5th Arkansas
6th Arkansas
7th Arkansas
8th Arkansas
13th Arkansas
15th Arkansas
19th Arkansas
24th Arkansas
3rd Confederate

Smith's Brigade
Capt. J. R. Bonner
1st Georgia (Volunteers)
54th Georgia
57th Georgia
63rd Georgia

Granbury's Brigade
(Arrived on the battlefield March 20)
Maj. William A. Ryan
35th Tennessee
6th Texas
7th Texas
10th Texas
15th Texas
17th Texas
18th Texas
24th Texas
25th Texas
5th Confederate

Lowrey's Brigade
(Arrived on the battlefield March 21)
Lt. Col. John F. Smith
3rd Mississippi
8th Mississippi
16th Alabama
32nd Mississippi

Bate's Division (131)
Col. D. L. Kenan (W)

Tyler's Brigade
Maj. W. H. Wilkinson (K)
2nd Tennessee
10th Tennessee
15th Tennessee
20th Tennessee
30th Tennessee
37th Tennessee
37th Georgia
4th Georgia Battalion Sharpshooters

Finley's Brigade
Lt. Col. Eli Washburn
1st Florida
3rd Florida
4th Florida
6th Florida
7th Florida
1st Florida Cavalry (dismounted)

Brown's Division (Not Reported)
(Arrived on the battlefield March 21)
Brig. Gen. Roswell S. Ripley

Gist's Brigade
Col. Hume R. Field
16th South Carolina
24th South Carolina
46th Georgia
65th Georgia
3rd Georgia Battalion
2nd Battalion Georgia Sharpshooters

Maney's Brigade
Lt. Col. Christopher C. McKinney
1st Tennessee
8th Tennessee
16th Tennessee
27th Tennessee
28th Tennessee

Strahl's Brigade
Col. James D. Tillman
4th Tennessee
5th Tennessee
19th Tennessee
24th Tennessee
31st Tennessee
33rd Tennessee
38th Tennessee
41st Tennessee

Vaughan's Brigade
Col. William P. Bishop
11th Tennessee
12th Tennessee
13th Tennessee
29th Tennessee
47th Tennessee
51st Tennessee
52nd Tennessee
154th Tennessee

Gen. Braxton Bragg
(Total Casualties: 740)

Hoke's Division (734)
(From the Army of Northern Virginia)
Maj. Gen. Robert F. Hoke

Clingman's Brigade
Col. William S. Devane (W)
8th North Carolina
31st North Carolina
51st North Carolina
61st North Carolina

Kirkland's Brigade
Brig. Gen. William W. Kirkland
17th North Carolina
42nd North Carolina
66th North Carolina

Hagood's Brigade
Brig. Gen. Johnson Hagood
Contingent of Lt. Col. James H. Rion:
11th South Carolina
21st South Carolina
25th South Carolina
27th South Carolina
7th South Carolina Battalion
Contingent of Lt. Col. John D. Taylor (W):
1st North Carolina Battalion Heavy Artillery
(9th North Carolina Battalion)
36th North Carolina
Adams's Battery (Company D, 13th Battalion, North Carolina Light Artillery)
Contingent of Maj. William A. Holland:
40th North Carolina

Colquitt's Brigade
Col. Charles T. Zachry
6th Georgia
19th Georgia
23rd Georgia
27th Georgia
28th Georgia

North Carolina Junior Reserves Brigade
Col. John H. Nethercutt
70th North Carolina (1st North Carolina JR)
71st North Carolina (2nd North Carolina JR)
72nd North Carolina (3rd North Carolina JR)
20th Battalion North Carolina JR

13th Battalion North Carolina Light Artillery (6)
Lt. Col. Joseph B. Starr
Atkins's Battery (Company B)
Dickson's Battery (Company E)


Hardee's Corps
Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee
(Total Casualties: 526)

Taliaferro's Division (323)
Brig. Gen. William B. Taliaferro

Elliott's Brigade
Brig. Gen. Stephen Elliott Jr. (W)
22nd Georgia Battalion
28th Georgia Battalion (Bonaud's)
2nd South Carolina Heavy Artillery
Hanleiter's Battalion
Gist Guard Artillery

Rhett's Brigade
Col. William Butler
1st South Carolina Infantry (Regulars)
1st South Carolina Heavy Artillery
Lucas' South Carolina Battalion

McLaws's Division (203)
Maj. Gen. Lafayette McLaws

Conner's Brigade
Brig. Gen. John D. Kennedy
2nd South Carolina
3rd South Carolina
7th South Carolina
8th South Carolina
15th South Carolina
20th South Carolina
3rd South Carolina Battalion

Fiser's Brigade
Col. John C. Fiser
1st Georgia Regulars
2nd Georgia Battalion Reserves
5th Georgia Reserves
6th Georgia Reserves
27th Georgia Battalion

Harrison's Brigade
Col. George P. Harrison
5th Georgia
32nd Georgia
47th Georgia

Hardy's Brigade
Col. Washington Hardy
50th North Carolina
77th North Carolina (7th Senior Reserves)
10th North Carolina Battalion

Blanchard's Brigade
Brig. Gen. Albert G. Blanchard
1st Battalion South Carolina Reserves
2nd Battalion South Carolina Reserves
6th Battalion South Carolina Reserves
7th Battalion South Carolina Reserves
Kay's Company, South Carolina Reserves

Battalion Artillery
Maj. A. Burnet Rhett
LeGardeur's Battery
H. M. Stuart's Battery (Beaufort Light Artillery)

Lt. Gen. Wade Hampton
(Total Casualties: 113)

Wheeler's Corps (61)
Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler
(Army of Tennessee)

Humes's Division
Col. Henry M. Ashby

T. Harrison's Brigade
Col. Baxter Smith
3rd Arkansas Cav.
4th Tennessee Cav.
8th Texas Cav.
11th Texas Cav.

Ashby's Brigade
Lt. Col. James H. Lewis
1st Tennessee Cav.
2nd Tennessee Cav.
5th Tennessee Cav.
9th Tennessee Battalion

Allen's Division
Brig. Gen. William W. Allen

Hagan's Brigade
Col. D. G. White
1st Alabama Cav.
3rd Alabama Cav.
9th Alabama Cav.
12th Alabama Cav.
51st Alabama Cav.
53rd Alabama Cav.
24th Alabama Battalion

Anderson's Brigade
Brig. Gen. Robert H. Anderson
3rd Confederate Cav.
8th Confederate Cav.
10th Confederate Cav.
5th Georgia Cav.

Dibrell's Division
Col. George G. Dibrell

Dibrell's Brigade
Col. William S. McLemore
4th Tennessee (McLemore's) Cav.
13th Tennessee Cav.
Shaw's Tennessee Battalion

Breckinridge's Brigade (formerly Lewis's)
Col. W. C. P. Breckinridge
1st Kentucky Cav.
2nd Kentucky Cav.
9th Kentucky Cav.
2nd Kentucky Mounted Infantry
4th Kentucky Mounted Infantry
5th Kentucky Mounted Infantry
6th Kentucky Mounted Infantry
9th Kentucky Mounted Infantry

Butler's Division (45)
(From the Army of Northern Virginia)
Maj. Gen. M. C. Butler
Brig. Gen. Evander M. Law

Young's Brigade
Col. Gilbert J. Wright
10th Georgia Cav.
Cobb's Georgia Legion
Jeff Davis Legion
Phillips's Georgia Legion

Butler's Brigade
Brig. Gen. Evander M. Law
Brig. Gen. Thomas M. Logan
4th South Carolina Cav.
5th South Carolina Cav.
6th South Carolina Cav.

Horse Artillery
Earle's South Carolina Battery
Hart's (Halsey's) South Carolina Battery (7)