The Battle of Bentonville was fought March 19–21, 1865, in Bentonville, North Carolina, near the current town of Four Oaks, as part of the Carolinas Campaign of the American Civil War. It was the last major battle to occur between the armies of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman and Gen. Joseph E. Johnston.
On the first day of the battle, the Confederate army attacked one Federal wing and was able to rout two Union divisions, but was unable to drive the rest of the wing off the field. The next day, the other Federal wing arrived and for the next two days, the armies skirmished with each other before Johnston retreated. In light of overwhelming enemy strength and the relatively heavy casualties his army suffered in the battle, Johnston surrendered to Sherman little more than a month later at Bennett Place, near Durham Station. Coupled with Gen. Robert E. Lee's surrender earlier in April, Johnston's surrender represented the effective end of the war.
During the late winter and early spring of 1865, Sherman's Union army cut a swath of destruction through South Carolina, a logical continuation of the previous fall's March to the Sea. Sherman intended to cut Confederate supply lines to Petersburg and damage Confederate morale. On March 8, Union soldiers crossed into North Carolina as a collection of Confederate units attempted to concentrate and block their path. Sherman divided his command into two parts, a Left Wing commanded by Maj. Gen.Henry W. Slocum and a Right Wing commanded by Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard. The two wings marched separately toward Goldsboro beginning on March 13, with no one in the Union officer command expecting major resistance from Johnston.
On February 23, Confederate general-in-chief Robert E. Lee ordered Johnston to take command of the Army of Tennessee and units in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, and to "concentrate all available forces and drive back Sherman."Johnston mananged to concentrate in North Carolina the Army...