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Battle of Bentonville (March 19-21, 1865), US Civil War

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The Battle of Bentonville (March 19–21, 1865) was fought in Johnston County, North Carolina, near the village of Bentonville, as part of the Western Theater of the American Civil War. It was the last battle between the armies of Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman and Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston.

As the right wing of Sherman's army under command of Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard marched toward Goldsboro, the left wing under command of Maj. Gen. Henry W. Slocum encountered the entrenched men of Johnston's army. On the first day of the battle, the Confederates attacked the XIV Corps and routed two divisions, but the rest of Sherman's army defended its positions successfully. The next day, as Sherman sent reinforcements to the battlefield and expected Johnston to withdraw, only minor sporadic fighting occurred. On the third day, as skirmishing continued, the division of Maj. Gen. Joseph A. Mower followed a path into the Confederate rear and attacked. The Confederates were able to repulse the attack as Sherman ordered Mower back to connect with his own corps. Johnston elected to withdraw from the battlefield that night.

As a result of the overwhelming Union strength and the 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 on April 9, Johnston's surrender represented the effective end of the war.