The new North Carolina Civil War Trails Progam and Roadside Pull-Off Exhibits were officially dedicated at Bentonville Battlefield on March 14, 2005.
Speakers at the dedication included Mitch Bowman, director of the Civil War Trails Program and Libba Evans, secretary of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. The keynote address was given by Dr. Jeffrey Crow, deputy secretary for the N.C. Office of Archives & History, the agency that administers North Carolina's state historic sites, museums, and historical resources.
North Carolina now joins Virginia and Maryland in a three-state heritage tourism venture that leads travelers to more than 700 Civil War sites. The first phase of the program in North Carolina will feature more than 100 newly interpreted sites. The program is ongoing, and signs at many more sites will be added in the future.
The centerpiece of the Trails program in North Carolina is a driving tour of major points associated with the Carolinas Campaign of 1865. These sites cover the final engagements between the armies of Gen. William T. Sherman and Joseph E. Johnston, culminating in the Battle of Bentonville and leading to the Confederate surrender near Durham.
The North Carolina Civil War Trails Brochure (now available up and down the East Coast) features a statewide tour map showing locations and descriptions of sites interpreted to date. In additon to the Carolinas Campaign, topics covered in the program and brochure include the Burnside Expedition, Foster's Raid, Confederate Lifeline, Race to Washington, Ironclads, North Carolina's Contributions, and North Carolina Firsts.
The new Roadside Pull-Off Exhibits at Bentonville, which are separate from the Trails program, provide crucial battlefield orientation for visitors. Through interpretive text, photos, illustrations, and maps, visitors can now step onto the battlefield and visualize the action as it unfolded around the pull-off sites.
Beautifully landscaped and surrounded by split-rail fences, these outdoor exhibits give visitors a historic context and a better sense of the size and scope of this enormous battle, fought over an area covering 6,000 acres.
The Department of Cultural Resources wishes to thank the many agencies and individuals who have made the Trails Program and new exhibits at Bentonville a reality. The North Carolina Departments of Transportation, Commerce, and Cultural Resources are partners in the state's Civil War Trails Program. We all look forward to our continued work with Mitch Bowman and the Civil War Trails team to expand the program into other parts of North Carolina.
Battle Maps on Roadside Exhibits (PDF format)
The final Confederate attacks on the first day of battle - Morris Farm and South of the Goldsboro Road.
Union defense of the Morris Farm, including positions of the XX Corps artillery. Also includes final actions south of the Goldsboro Road on the first day of battle.
Main charge of the Confederate Army of Tennessee and Taliaferro's Division, including the rout of Carlin's Union division and Fearing's counterattack.
Attack of Hoke's Confederate division on Morgan's Union position south of the Goldsboro Road. Also includes elements of the Army of Tennessee in rear of Morgan, and the advance of Cogswell's Union brigade.
Morgan's struggle to maintain position south of the Goldsboro Road. Includes attack of Hoke's Confederate division, elements of the Army of Tennessee in rear of Morgan, and the advance of Cogswell's Union brigade.
First position at Cole's Farm on March 19, and change of position on March 20, 1865. Also includes approach of the Union Right Wing, with overview of maneuvers on March 20.
Advance of Mower's Union division toward the village of Bentonville and Mill Creek Bridge, with positions of Fuller's and Tillson's brigades. Also includes a portion of the extended engagement between the Confederate Hoke-McLaws line and the Union Right Wing.
Confederate counterattack on Mower's Union division, showing defense of Mill Creek Bridge and flood of reserves to the Confederate left flank. Also includes a portion of the extended engagement between the Confederate Hoke-McLaws line and the Union Right Wing.