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The Civil War Month by Month: Mar 1865

CW - 150

Civil War 150th anniversary

The Civil War 150th Anniversary

Interesting facts, links, and suggested books for each month of the Civil War.

March 1865

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

Adult Fiction

Children's Fiction

This Month's Non-Fiction

Adult Non-fiction

Children's Nonfiction

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