About Averasboro Battlefield
Averasboro Battlefield, in North Carolina, was the site of The Battle of Averasborough, during the Carolina Campaigns of the American Civil War.
History of Averasboro Battlefield
The Battle of Averasborough took place on 15 and 16 March 1865. Part of the Carolinas Campaign of the American Civil War, the Battle of Averasborough was fought between the Unionist Army of Georgia led by Major General Henry W. Slocum and a Confederate army led by Lieutenant General William J. Hardee. The Union army, under General Sherman, had begun to march north – the Confederates acted swiftly in order to try and delay and damage the Union army’s progress northwards.
Sherman decided to split his troops at Cape Fear River, with those under General Slocum going via Averasboro and Bentonville. General Hardee was ordered to delay Slocum’s troops to allow General Joseph E. Johnston to amass troops at nearby Bentonville: he did this by engaging them at the Battle of Averasborough.
There is debate as to whether Hardee succeeded in delaying the Union army for as long as he required. Overall, the Battle of Averasborough resulted in over a thousand casualties, with 682 on the Confederate side and around five hundred Unionists. However, given Union forces outnumbered Confederate forces 3 fold, many believe they should have had a crushing victory.
Many see the battle as setting the stage for the major clash at the Battle of Bentonville, shortly afterwards, which was the last major clash in the Western American theatre of war.
Averasboro Battlefield today
The battlefield and accompanying museum and visitors centre are run by the Averasboro Battlefield Commission today – a non-profit organisation who have also restored the nearby Chicora Civil War Cemetery. The site is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10-3 normally, although it’s worth checking ahead of time. Look out for living history and battle re-enactments, which run semi-regularly. They’re a bit bonkers but quite fun, and definitely bring the place to life.
Getting to Averasboro Battlefield today
Averasboro is about 45 minutes south of Raleigh, and 25 minutes north of Fayetteville on the I-95. If you’re coming from Fayetteville, take exit 65 and move onto Highway 82 WEST, which is a scenic route through the heart of some of the most important territory from the Civil War. If you’re coming from Raleigh, take Exit 73 at Dunn and then follow signs for the battlefield and museum.