Sunday, March 22, 2015

Civil War Sunday - Tar Heels

The United States Civil War's 150th anniversary commemoration is almost over.

But now, one of the remaining focuses turns to the state of North Carolina.

General Sherman, known for his "March to the Sea" from Atlanta, Georgia to Savannah, Georgia in the fall and early winter of 1864, had shifted his focus to the Carolinas.  In early 1865, his armies (including the local regiment fielded by Broome County, New York, where I live) had fought their way through South and North Carolina, on their way to meet up with Grant's Army of the Potomac.  If this happened, the war would basically be over for Robert E Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and the Confederate States of America would be forced to surrender.

On March 19, 20 and 21 remnants of four Confederate armies faced off against Sherman's forces at Bentonville, North Carolina.  This was the largest battle of the war fought in North Carolina.

Today, I attended a reenactment of that battle.  Unlike previous reenactments I have gone to, this one was on part of the actual battlefield - the Morris Farm.  It made the reenactment, if anything, more meaningful.
The Confederate reenactors, including troops from North Carolina (called "Tar Heels") march to the battlefield.  You can see how they are dressed, in various odds and ends.  But they are bravely ready to fight.
At the battlefield (again, the actual Morris farm where some of the three day battle took place) Federals enter.

The Harper House, an 1850's farmhouse that served as a field hospital for Sherman's troops, a long walk away from the Morris Farm.

What happened at the end of the battle?

The Confederates withdrew, but this battle weakened them so much that, a month later, the largest surrender of the war (which was NOT Lee surrendering to Grant)  took place a few miles away.

I won't show pictures of the battle, but will note that, at one point, the Confederates started chanting "Tar Heels!  Tar Heels" in addition to sounding their rebel yells.

 And, North Carolinians, to this day, are proud to be called Tar Heels.


  1. I've never attended a reenactment of a battle but I can imagine it's quite interesting and intense, especially when it held on the actual battle field!

  2. It's really interesting that people re-enact olden day battles. I've seen a couple, too, and can't help but be amazed at how warfare has changed and advanced with technology - and become more vicious as a result.


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