Saturday, August 09, 2014

Battle of Bentonville (N.C.) interactive panoramas/tour

Click here for my interactive Antietam, Cedar Mountain, Chickamauga, Cold Harbor, Gettysburg, Harris Farm, Manassas, Malvern Hill, Salem Church, Spotsylvania Courthouse and Harrison's Landing panoramas. (Whew! That's a mouthful.)



Under a stand of trees and a bed of pine cones and needles rest the remains of 20 unknown Rebels who died at the Battle of Bentonville (N.C.). Outnumbered nearly 3-to-1 (60,000 to 21,000), the Confederates were routed here on March 19-21, 1865, suffering more than 3,000 casualties to about 1,600 for the Union army in a battle "remarkable both for the obstinancy with which the Rebels fought and the terrible fire which they maintained."

"Beautiful day," a 5th Connecticut soldier noted of the Sunday the battle began. "Peach trees in blossom and all the country seems lovely, but the sound of cannonading is heard." Less than a month before Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, eight soldiers in the 20th Connecticut were killed or mortally wounded at Bentonville -- including Corporal Abner C. Smith of East Haddam, Conn. He died March 28, nine days after his right leg had been amputated.

"The wound appeared to do well," the regimental chaplain wrote to Smith's wife from Goldsboro, N.C., "and we had hoped that he would recover from the shock. But he was very much exhausted by the long ride from the hospital near to the battle field to this place; and he never fully recovered himself. All was done which could have been under the circumstances: but it was in vain: he continued to fail till the morning of the 28th when he was taken from this scene of pain and sorrow to another world." ...



... Near the graves of Confederate unknowns, a memorial marks the site of a trench containing the remains of 360 Rebel soldiers, all gathered from the battlefield after the Civil War by Confederate veterans. Among the donors for the monument was Union veteran T. E. Harvey, who lost four fingers during the battle. At the dedication on March 20, 1895, Reverend J.J. Harper, son of the farmer on whose property some of the battle swirled, gave a prayer described by Confederate Magazine as "patriotic" and "comprehensive."

"And grant, O Lord," Reverend Harper said, "that the light of Thy presence, and warmth of Thy love and Thy strength of Thy mighty arm may ever be present and manifest to the brave sons of the South, who by Thy providence were preserved through the dangers and carnage of war, and the eclipse of the cause they loved, and who still linger on these mortal shores." ...



... The Rebels made five attacks from right to left here but were stopped by the Union army's XX Corps. The Army of Tennessee made its last great charge of the war across this field, which is privately owned and still farmed today ...



... More than 500 wounded Union were treated at the house of John and Amy Harper, whose 11-member family was ordered to stay upstairs while a field hospital operated downstairs. After the Union army left the area, it left behind about 50 wounded Rebels, 23 of whom died in the Harper family's care and were later buried near the family graveyard. (Pan to the far right in the interactive panorama above to view it.)  It wasn't the first time the war hit home for the Harpers, whose 16-year-old son, Martin, a private in the 20th North Carolina, had been wounded at the Battle of South Mountain on Sept. 14, 1862. ...


... This pink granite monument honors the sacrifice of Texas soldiers at Bentonville. It's nearly identical to the state's monuments at Antietam and Gettysburg ...


... and this cenotaph honors all Rebel soldiers who fell at Bentonville. "Sleep soldier sleep in thy rough earthen tomb," begins the inscription on the side. ...


... Union soldiers, including those of the 5th and 20th Connecticut, are also remembered at Bentonville. This monument was placed on the battlefield by Sons of Union Veterans in 2013.

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