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CW - 150
The Civil War 150th Anniversary
Interesting facts, links, and suggested books for each month of the Civil War.
This Month's Events
- 3-5 March. Sherman's troops occupy Cheraw, South Carolina. While in Cheraw, Sherman sees a copy of the New York Tribune that contains information on Federal plans and realizes that the Confederates now know that he is headed for Goldsboro.
- 7-8 March. General Sherman's army enters North Carolina.
- 10 March. At the Battle of Monroe's Crossroads, Wade Hampton's cavalry fight Union cavalry under Judson Kilpatrick. (This site is now within Fort Bragg, N. C.) Despite the fact that this is one of the largest cavalry actions of the war, it has very little real effect on the war; it's basically a draw. Kilpatrick, who is asleep when the attack starts, makes his escape in his nightclothes. The lovely young lady who was accompanying him is left standing in the middle of a battle in her nightgown. A Confederate officer gladly takes on the task of escorting her to a ditch where she can hide.
- 11 March. The Union occupies Fayetteville.
- 11 March. While General Beauregard is desperately trying to get men and supplies to Johnston, 120 railroad cars of men and supplies are bottlenecked at Salisbury because the 2 railroads meeting there are different gauges (track sizes).
- 13 March. President Jefferson Davis signs a bill passed by the Confederate Congress. The bill says that Negroes may join the Confederate army and will be given their freedom as a reward. Although some units are formed and start training in Richmond, none will see combat.
- 15 March. General Joseph Johnston pulls together an army out of what is left of the Army of Tennessee, Hardee's Corps, Hoke's Divison, and Hampton's cavalry.
- 19-20 March. The Battle of Bentonville, the bloodiest battle ever fought in North Carolina, pits 20,000 Confederates led by Johnston against Sherman's invading Federal forces in the last major battle of the war. Johnston succeeds in delaying but not in stopping the Union invasion at the cost of many lives.
- 23 March. Johnston sends a telegram to Robert E. Lee. "Sherman's course cannot be hindered by the small force I have. I can do no more than annoy him."
- 23-24 March. Combined Union forces totaling 90,000 men reach Goldsboro. This town is Sherman's goal due to its importance at this time as a railroad center supplying Lee's army in Virginia.
- 28 March. Six thousand Union cavalry led by George Stoneman leave Mossy Creek, Tennessee and head east with orders "to destroy, but not to fight battles". Their route leads through Boone, Wilkesboro, and up into Danville, Virginia where they destroy 150 miles of railroad lines (the main Richmond line). As a well-known song has it, "Virgil Caine is the name, and I served on the Danville train, Til Stoneman's cavalry came and tore up the tracks again." This took away Lee's option in Virginia to have his men taken back to North Carolina to unite with Johnston. [See next month.]
- During this month sick and wounded soldiers pour into Charlotte, but there are few resources left to care for them. Says the Western Democrat on the 28th, "The citizens of town are doing what they can towards supplying the wants of the sick soldier, but they have not the means to do much."
This Month's Fiction
Call Number: FIC FRA N.C.
Publication Date: 1997-05-16
The Civil War's last months are the setting for this first novel by Frazier, erstwhile college teacher and author of travel books and stories. Inman, a wounded Confederate soldier, leaves the hospital before his gashed neck heals enough to get him sent back to war. Still weak, he heads for the mountains, where a minister's daughter named Ada is his objective. Inman's return could hardly be timelier for the Charleston-raised Ada: her father has died, and she finds she knows little about operating a farm. Frazier blends the story of Inman's journey with that of Ada's efforts, with the help of a drifter named Ruby, to wring a subsistence living from the neglected land; in the background are the yelping dogs of war (most dramatically, gangs chasing Confederate deserters like Inman), as well as hints of changes the end of war will bring. Cold Mountain, based on a Frazier family story, is a satisfying read.
Who Comes with Cannons?
Call Number: J BEA N.C.
Publication Date: 1992-10-19
Twelve-year-old orphan Truth Hopkins lives on Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Matthew's farm in North Carolina. The outbreak of the Civil War brings danger to their Quaker family; Quakers were pacifists, and pacifists were scorned. Soon Truth discovers that the farm is a station on the Underground Railroad. She struggles to survive the war only to find herself trapped in the middle of the Battle of Bentonville. (This is based on a real incident.)
This Month's Non-Fiction
The Battle of Monroe's Crossroads
Call Number: 973.7 WIT
Publication Date: 2006-04-19
The Battle of Monroe's Crossroads, fought March 10, 1865, was one of most important but least known engagements of William T. Sherman's Carolinas Campaign. Confederate cavalry, led by Lt. Gen. Wade Hampton and Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler, launched a savage surprise attack on the sleeping camp of Maj. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick, Sherman's cavalry chief. After three hours of some of the toughest cavalry fighting of the entire Civil War, Hampton broke off and withdrew. His attack, however, had stopped Kilpatrick's advance and bought another precious day for Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee to evacuate his command from Fayetteville. This, in turn, permitted Hardee to join the command of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and set the stage for the climactic Battle of Bentonville nine days later. Noted Civil War author Eric Wittenberg has written the first detailed tactical narrative of this important but long-forgotten North Carolina battle, and places it in its proper context within the entire campaign. His study features 28 original maps and 50 illustrations. Finally, an author of renown has brought to vivid life this overlooked portion of the Carolinas Campaign.
Call Number: 973 .738 HUG N.C.
Publication Date: 1996-09-30
The battle of Bentonville, the only major Civil War battle fought in North Carolina, was the Confederacy's last attempt to stop the devastating march of William Tecumseh Sherman's army north through the Carolinas. Using a rich array of archival and published sources, Hughes presents a detailed tactical study of one of the last major Civil War confrontations.
Stoneman's Raid 1865
Call Number: 973.7 HAR
Publication Date: 2010-09-01
In the spring of 1865, Federal major general George Stoneman launched a cavalry raid deep into the heart of the Confederacy. Despite its geographic scope, Stonemans 1865 raid failed in its primary goal of helping to end the war. Based on exhaustive research in thirty-four repositories in twelve states and from more than 200 books and newspapers, Hartley's book tells the complete story of Stoneman's 1865 raid for the first time.
The Making of a Confederate
Call Number: 973.7 BAR
Publication Date: 2008-07-18
Born into a wealthy slaveholding family, Lenoir abhorred the institution, opposed secession, and planned to leave his family to move to Minnesota, in the free North. But when the war erupted in 1860, Lenoir found another escape route--he joined the Confederate army, an experience that would radically transform his ideals. After the war, Lenoir, like many others, embraced the cult of the Lost Cause, refashioning his memory and beliefs in an attempt to make sense of the war, its causes, and its consequences. While some Southerners sank into depression, aligned with the victors, or fiercely opposed the new order, Lenoir withdrew to his acreage in the North Carolina mountains. There, he pursued his own vision of the South's future, one that called for greater self-sufficiency and a more efficient use of the land. For Lenoir and many fellow Confederates, the war never really ended. As he tells this compelling story, Barney offers new insights into the ways that (selective) memory informs history; through Lenoir's life, readers learn how individual choices can transform abstract historical processes into concrete actions.
Vehicles of the Civil War
Call Number: j973.7 DEL
Publication Date: 2013-07-01
This short book describes and illustrates various land, air, and sea vehicles used by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. Gr. 4-6.
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