This Week in the Civil War - #1049
On Thursday, March 16, 1865 an advance column of Sherman’s Union troops under Henry Slocum attacked and attempted to turn the right flank of Confederates defenders who had gathered to block Sherman’s advance toward Goldsborough, North Carolina. At Averasborough, William Hardee’s Confederates grudgingly gave ground, but when Hardee learned that Federal troops had successfully crossed the Black River to further turn his left flank, he had to retreat en masse to protect his smaller army. The Battle of Averasborough witnessed 682 dead, wounded, or missing Federals; Confederate losses totaled 865. Once again, the larger Union command inflicted an even greater loss on its Confederate opponents. This minor engagement served as a preclude to the more important engagement at Bentonville, North Carolina, which would occur some three days later.