Battle of Averasborough
|Battle of Averasborough|
|Part of the American Civil War|
|United States (Union)||CSA (Confederacy)|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Henry Warner Slocum||William J. Hardee|
|Army of Georgia||Hardee's Corps|
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of Averasborough or The Battle of Averasboro, fought March 16, 1865, in Harnett and Cumberland counties, North Carolina, as part of the Carolinas Campaign of the American Civil War, was a prelude to the climactic Battle of Bentonville, which began three days later.
Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman was moving his army north towards Goldsboro in two columns. The right column (Army of the Tennessee) was under the command of Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard and the left column (Army of Georgia) was under Maj. Gen. Henry W. Slocum.
Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston sent Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee's corps to attack Slocum's left wing while it was separated from the rest of Sherman's forces. Slocum's troops crossed the Cape Fear River near Averasborough, where they encountered Hardee's corps. On the morning of the March 16, troops of the Union XX Corps under Maj. Gen. Alpheus S. Williams were driven back by a Confederate assault. When reinforcements arrived, the Union forces counterattacked and drove back two lines of Confederates, but were repulsed by a third line. By this time, units from Maj. Gen. Jefferson C. Davis's XIV Corps began to arrive on the field. Outnumbered and in danger of being flanked, Hardee's troops withdrew.
The Confederates had not held up the Union Army as long as they had hoped. Each side suffered just under 700 casualties; however, these were losses the Federals could afford while the Confederates could not.