This Week in the Civil War - #1052
At daybreak on Monday, March 20, 1865 Union reinforcements from Sherman’s right flank arrived on the Bentonville, North Carolina battlefield; Wheeler’s Confederate cavalry had not stopped the two wings of Sherman’s army from uniting. By late afternoon Sherman’s army was now in front of both flanks of the Confederate position. After heavy skirmishing on the 20th, Union troops turned the Confederate left on the 21st, threatening the Confederates’ line of retreat. Only multiple counterattacks featuring concerted fighting arrested the Union attack. After learning that Union forces had taken Goldsborough, under the cover of night Joseph Johnston evacuated his army. Union casualties at Bentonville exceeded 1500, but Confederate forces suffered over 2600, many becoming prisoners of war. Bentonville was the last significant attempt to defeat Sherman’s march through the Carolinas.