‘On March 19, 1865, Joseph E. Johnston organized his forces into a hook-shaped line at Cole’s Plantation, blocking the Goldsboro Road. That morning William T. Sherman’s Federal Left Wing stumbled into the Confederate trap, just as it was being set.
After a Union probing attack failed, the Confederates launched a massive assault which drove Gen. William P. Carlin’s XIV Corps division from the field. Morgan’s division managed to hold on despite being surrounded on three sides by Confederate adversaries. Late that afternoon a strong Federal defense of the Morris Farm by the Left Wing’s XX Corps managed to squelch the Confederate advance. The first day’s fighting ended in a tactical draw.”
In March 2015 we attended the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Bentonville. More than 3,000 reenactors, some descendants of Civil war soldiers, participated in the ‘Fight for the Morris farm’. 150 years ago, 80,000 Union and Confederate soldiers battled it out and more than 4,000 men died.
Reenactors go to great lengths to look authentic. In addition to the soldiers, there are reenactors filling the role of peddlers, slaves, and families. It was kind of surreal to drive up and see them walking around in long dresses with baskets on their heads. You almost feel like you’re infringing on their space with your car and your cell phone and your tube of lip gloss.
Just down the hill from the farm is their base camp…also totally authentic. Artisans thrill the crowds with their crafts and ability to cook over an open fire. I can barely cook on a stove-top. And there are tents to buy merchandise. I bought a pink soldier’s cap. I couldn’t help myself.
It really is phenomenal…you can’t help but notice how authentic it is and how much time and effort they put into recreating such a large event and coordinating so many people. If you can make this year’s event I highly recommend it.
March 16-17, 2019
A Fighting Change for Life
Learn about Civil War medical practices and how they revolutionized battlefield medicine. Visit the Harper House and a modern field hospital to see the advancements in the treatment of wounded soldiers.
Nighttime Hospital Tours: Saturday Evening Only (March 16)
The Harper House and grounds will be transformed back in time to the XIV Corps field hospital as it may have looked on that first night of the battle, 154 years ago.
Tickets go on sale the day of the event and are extremely limited.
**Warning: This program will simulate combat trauma, and may not be suitable for all audiences.**
Visit their Facebook page