Voices from the Invaders

Sherman's March Through North Carolina

Battle of Averasboro Estimated casualties: 1,182 total

"Before the skirmishers had gained the position assigned them, the brave [Capt. William G.] Barnett fell, shot through the head, dying almost instantly . . . . Just as his remains were carried back to our line Col. [James] Lake was struck in the right forearm, when, quietly slipping the sword knot from his wrist, he grasped the sword in his left hand, and was about giving an order 'Forward on a charge!' when he fell, severely wounded in the groin, and was carried to the rear . . . . [W]e kept up a dull skirmishing fire until dark."
  Sgt. William B. Westervelt, 17th New York Zouaves, Vandever's brigade, Morgan's division, 14th Corps, Army of Georgia (Late Army of the Cumberland) (Left Wing), describing the Battle of Averasboro, N.C., March 16, 1865

Battle of Bentonville Estimated casualties: 4,500 total

"I was there [at Bentonville] with a regiment that had faced Beauregard at Shiloh and Bragg at Stone's River; that had participated in nearly every battle of the Army of the Cumberland. We had taken a hand in the terrible assaults at Kenesaw Mountain and Jonesboro; but for desperate valor on the part of the rebels, and for a desperate resistance and a determination to whip them on the part of our own men, we saw nothing in four years of army life to compare with that 19th of March at Bentonville."
  Lt. R. J. Heath, 34th Illinois Regiment, Mitchell's brigade, Morgan's division, 14th Corps, Army of Georgia (Late Army of the Cumberland) (Left Wing), describing the Battle of Bentonville, N.C., March 19, 1865


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In Their Own Words ...

Memoirs of William T. Sherman