Battle of Averasborough

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Battle of Averasborough
Part of the Campaign of the Carolinas
DateMarch 16, 1865 (1865-03-16)
Result Inconclusive
United States United States (Union) Confederate States of America CSA (Confederacy)
Commanders and leaders
William T. Sherman William J. Hardee
Units involved
Army of Georgia Hardee's Corps
12,000 7,000
Casualties and losses
700 500

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.

Opposing forces[edit]


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 had crossed the Cape Fear River at Fayetteville and were marching up the Raleigh plank road. Near Averasborough, 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 stopped 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 Battle of Averasborough was fought on the grounds of Oak Grove, near Erwin, North Carolina.[1] Lebanon was used as a hospital.[2] Prior to the battle, Union soldiers raided the Ellerslie Plantation for supplies and quartered troops in the plantation’s main house.[3] The Averasboro Battlefield Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.[4] The Civil War Trust (a division of the American Battlefield Trust) and its partners have acquired and preserved 520 acres (2.1 km2) of the Averasborough battlefield.[5]

Map from The Record of the Fifty-Fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry (1904)


The Confederates had not held up the Union Army as long as they had hoped. Each side suffered about 700 casualties; however, these were losses the Federals could afford while the Confederates could not.


  1. ^ Survey and Planning Unit Staff (May 1972). "Oak Grove" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places – Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  2. ^ Survey and Planning Unit Staff (April 1972). "Lebanon" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places – Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  3. ^ Elliot, Jane Evans (1908). Diary of Mrs. Jane Evans Elliot, 1837–1882. Edwards & Broughton Print Company.
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  5. ^ [1] American Battlefield Trust "Saved Land" webpage. Accessed May 24, 2018.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Davis, Daniel T., and Phillip S. Greenwalt. Calamity in Carolina: The Battles of Averasboro and Bentonville, March 1865. Emerging Civil War Series. El Dorado Hills, CA: Savas Beatie, 2015. ISBN 978-1-61121-245-7.
  • Smith, Mark A., and Wade Sokolosky. No Such Army Since the Days of Julius Caesar: Sherman's Carolinas Campaign from Fayetteville to Averasboro, March 1865, rev. ed. El Dorado Hills, CA: Savas Beatie, 2017. ISBN 978-1-61121-286-0. First published 2006 by Ironclad Publishing.

35°19′13″N 78°36′01″W / 35.3204119°N 78.6001482°W / 35.3204119; -78.6001482Coordinates: 35°19′13″N 78°36′01″W / 35.3204119°N 78.6001482°W / 35.3204119; -78.6001482