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Central North Carolina

Civil War Battlefields & Sites

Fayetteville

Fayetteville and Area

See also the Carolinas Campaign Driving Tour

The site of a significant cavalry engagement (Monroe's Crossroads, March 10, 1865) is located on Fort Bragg west of Fayetteville. It's usually inaccessible to the public.

Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex / Fayetteville Arsenal
801 Arsenal Ave, Fayetteville NC 28305
910-486-1330
 road map 
The Fayetteville Arsenal manufactured and repaired weapons and other items used by Confederate soldiers. It was destroyed in March 1865 by Sherman's troops as his columns marched north from South Carolina. The museum complex preserves remains of the arsenal and offers displays on area history, including Civil War. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm, Sunday 1-5 pm. Free.

Parade Ground
Trails sign on Cool Spring Street between Grove and Person streets
 Road map 
    Home ground for the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry unit, organized in 1793. The organization enrolled in the North Carolina armed services April 17, 1861; seized the arsenal; fought at Big Bethel, Va., and returned to Fayetteville; then reorganized with many of its members serving in the Confederate cause.

Cross Creek Cemetery (Confederate Burial Grounds)
Trails sign located on Cool Spring Street between Grove and Person streets
 Road map 
    The Confederate section of this 1785 cemetery was established in March 1865. The Confederate monument here is the oldest in the state, dating to 1868.


Averasboro Battlefield

Cemetery

3300 NC Highway 82, Dunn NC 28334
 road map 
Confederates attempted to slow down Sherman's advance out of Fayetteville toward Goldsboro in this battle March 15-16, 1865. Museum, interpreted driving tour, and the historic Chicora cemetery are features of this well-preserved site. Museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm, Sunday 1-5 pm. Free, donations are welcome. 919-891-5019. For more information, call area tourism at 910-892-3282 or write to the Averasboro Battlefield Commission Inc, PO Box 1811, Dunn NC 28335.

See also the Carolinas Campaign Driving Tour


Four Oaks

Harper Hs

Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site
Visitor center near intersection of Routes 701 and 1008
5466 Harper House Road, Four Oaks NC 27524
 road map    Podcast
   Confederate Gen. Joseph Johnson gathered together hardened veterans, garrison troops and anyone else he could get his hands on for a final attempt to halt the Union juggernaut led by Gen. William T. Sherman as he marched north from Georgia in early 1865. Johnston saw an opportunity to attack Sherman's divided army here and he struck hard on March 19, 1865. After heavy fighting, Sherman was able to reunite his army and overpower the outnumbered Southerners. Johnston finally withdrew March 21 and Sherman moved on to Goldsboro and his waiting supplies. This was the biggest battle in North Carolina and the last major Confederate offensive of the war.
    The visitor center features bookshop, audio-visual program and recently-updated exhibits relating to the battle. The centerpiece of the exhibits is a large fiber-optic battle map offering a vivid portrayal of the first and bloodiest day of fighting at Bentonville.
    The historic Harper House still stands on the battlefield. During the battle, the house served as a field hospital for the Federal XIV Corps. The downstairs rooms interpret a functioning Civil War field hospital, while the upstairs rooms feature period domestic furnishings.
    Reconstructed breastworks, history trail, wayside exhibits, Confederate mass grave, and the Harper family cemetery are adjacent to the Harper House and visitor center.
   Open 9 am–5 pm Tuesday–Saturday year-round.

Animated map from Civil War Preservation Trust
See also the Carolinas Campaign Driving Tour


Weldon

Wilmington and Weldon RR Trestle
Trails sign at the south end of the US 301 bridge over the Roanoke River
    A critical link in the Confederate supply system, the town and its railroads were heavily defended during the war. This trestle was a vital link from the supply center at Wilmington and Lee's army in Petersburg 1864–65.


Roanoke Rapids

Roanoke Canal
Trails sign located at the Roanoke Canal Museum,
15 Jackson St Extd, Roanoke Rapids NC 27870
 Road map 
    This canal, built in the 1820s to bypass the rapids here, saw a surge in activity during the war as goods from the western part of the state flowed into Weldon, an important rail link with the Confederate army in Virginia.


Halifax

Outfitting the CSS Albemarle
Trails sign at the north end of Saint Davis Street
 Road map 
    The Confederate ironclad gunboat CSS Albemarle was equipped with its armor and stores here on the Roanoke River. For more on the famous ironclad see the Fort Branch and Plymouth listings.


Jackson

Battle of Jackson (Boone's Mill)
Trails sign 2 miles west of Jackson on Route 158
    On July 28, 1863, Union cavalry dashed through Jackson en route to the Wilmington and Weldon RR bridge at Weldon. The rapid assault surprised some Confederates, who were bathing in a nearby mill pond, but the Confederates rallied and fought off the attackers, saving the bridge at Weldon.


Goldsboro and Area

Wayne County Museum
116 N William St, Goldsboro NC 27530
919-734-5023
 road map 
The railroad junction at Goldsboro was Sherman's main objective as he began his 1865 march through the Carolinas. Much on the Civil War here including a diorama of the Battle of Goldsboro (1862) and local relics from both armies. Civil War Trails sign describes the critical rail junction here and the Confederate defenses, the town's role as a hospital and the occupation by Union troops in 1865. Open Tuesday-Friday 11 am-4 pm. Free.

See also Foster's Raid Tour.


Wilson

Wilson Confederate Military Hospital No. 2
Trails sign at 401 Goldsboro St South, Wilson NC 27893
 Road map 
Wilson's location on the busy Wilmington & Weldon Railroad made it a good place for a military hospital. On April 2, 1862, Confederate authorities seized the Wilson Female Academy building for that use. The 40 classrooms were turned into wards where soldiers were treated for wounds and disease. Many of the dead from the hospital were buried in nearby Maplewood Cemetery. The building here is the only surviving portion of the Academy.


Raleigh

For general information, call 800-849-8499.
See also the Carolinas Campaign Driving Tour

North Carolina Museum of History
5 E Edenton St, Raleigh NC 27601
919-807-7900
 road map 
Large and comprehensive Civil War exhibit covers the state's involvement from reluctant secession to the final campaigns. Free. Open Monday–Saturday 9 am–5 pm; Sunday noon–5 pm.

State Capitol
1 E Edenton St, Raleigh NC 27601-2807
919-733-4994
 road map 
Wonderful building constructed 1833-1840 holds onto much of its original architectural detail. A recent restoration presents the capitol as it was from 1840 to 1865. Ask the information desk about Civil War events, including the secession crisis and the Union occupation of the building, or take the guided or self-guided tour. Free. Related Civil War Trails sign on Bicentennial Plaza across from the building.

Saint Mary's School
Trails sign inside the front gate of the school,
900 Hillsborough St, Raleigh NC 27603
 Road map 
    Great story here of the girls and Union occupation in 1865. Union Gen. Sherman visited here and was impressed with his polite reception until he turned on leaving to see the young girls making faces at him. He was amused and told the story often.

Oakwood Cemetery
701 Oakwood Ave, Raleigh NC 27601
919-832-6077 or 919-832-5786
 road map 
Rolling hills make a nice setting for the burial site of more than 2,800 Confederate soldiers including those removed from the Gettysburg battlefield. Many Confederate memorials and monuments.


Durham

For general information, call 800-446-8604.
See also the Carolinas Campaign Driving Tour

Bennett

Bennett Place State Historic Site
4409 Bennett Memorial Road, Durham NC 27705
919-383-4345
 road map 
Confederate Gen. Joseph Johnston and Union Gen. William T. Sherman held a series of meetings here (then the Bennitt Farm) in April 1865. Negotiations for the surrender of Johnston's army began April 17 with Sherman offering liberal terms. Those terms were rejected, however, and the final agreement, reached April 26, resembled the one Grant and Lee had made nearly two weeks earlier at Appomattox. The Confederate surrender here was the largest troop surrender of the war. A visitor center offers an audio-visual presentation, a museum and ranger help. Guided and self-guided tours are offered. Open Tuesday–Saturday 9 am–5 pm; closed Sunday and most major holidays. Free. Call to confirm hours.

Duke Homestead, Trails sign located in the parking lot of the historic site (I-85 exit 175, then follow signs to site)
 Road map 
    Washington Duke, future tobacco magnate, owned a small farm here when the war broke out. He was drafted into the Confederate navy in 1863 and then was captured. Released to New Bern, he walked the 134 miles back home.


Alamance County
(between Durham and Greensboro)

See also listings for the Carolina’s Campaign

Occaneechi in the Service
Trails sign at 4902 Dailey Store Road, Burlington NC 27217
 Road map 
    Although their rights were restricted by an 1833 law — preventing service in militias — many Occaneechi Indians served as paid foragers, teamsters and body servants in the Confederate army.

Nathaniel Polk DeShong
Trails sign at the Haw River Historical Museum, 509 W Main St, Haw River NC 27258
 Road map 
     Deshong enlisted June 21, 1861, and was detailed as a teamster and ambulance driver in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. He never forgot the screams and moans of the wounded he removed from the battlefields at Antietam, Gettysburg and others. He was paroled at Appomattox after Lee’s surrender.

The next three Trails signs are located at 301 Drama Road, Snow Camp NC 27349
 Road map 

  • Cane Creek Meeting House
    Anti-slavery and anti-war, the Quakers here were regarded with suspicion by their Confederate neighbors and were often subjected to physical and psychological violence. Refusing conscription, one member, Solomon Frazier, was taken to the prison in Salisbury, but he stuck to his beliefs despite brutal treatment there.
  • Freedom’s Hill Wesleyan Methodist Church
    Members of the congregation here were strong opponents of slavery and in sometimes violent conflict with the dominant society surrounding them. During the war, the church members sheltered escaped slaves, Federal prisoners and draft resisters. Not recognized as a pacifist group, North Carolina forcibly conscripted many church members during the war.
  • Macajah McPherson
    McPherson, a trustee of the Wesleyan Methodist Church and a strong abolitionist, was lynched near here in 1862 after he refused to tell Confederate conscription agents where his son was hiding. McPherson survived the hanging.

Vance County
(northeast of Raleigh, borders Virginia)

Kittrell Confederate Cemetery
Trails sign in Kittrell, just off Route 1
    Fifty-four Confederate soldiers, who died at a nearby wartime hospital, are buried here. Kittrell's location at a railroad junction made it a good spot for the 300-bed facility, created in mid-1864.


Greensboro

Greensboro Historical Museum
130 Summit Ave, Greensboro NC 27401
336-373-2043
 road map 
Civil War exhibit includes rare weapons, prints and paintings. Museum building on site of Civil War hospital. Open Tuesday–Saturday 10 am–5 pm, Sunday 2–5 pm.


Rockingham County
(north of Greensboro, southwest of Danville, Va.)

The following are marked with North Carolina Civil War Trails interpretive signs:

Wentworth in the Civil War, Trails sign at corner of Route 65 and Tyre Dodson Road
 Road map 
    Tour of this antebellum courthouse village includes homes, churches and a tavern building.

Wentworth Cemetery
Trails sign on Route 65 at the Wentworth Methodist Church
 Road map 
    Graves of local residents killed in the war and other Confederate veterans buried in this churchyard. The church itself was built in 1859. Free blacks and slaves also buried here.

Scales Law Office
Trails sign at Academy (Route 311) and Franklin streets in Madison
 Road map 
    Office of Alfred M. Scales, who raised a company of soldiers here. He participated in most of the major battles in the East including Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and the Wilderness. He was wounded several times.

Leaksville Cotton Mill
Trails sign at Morgan and Meadow streets, west of the traffic circle in Eden
    Story of the Leaksville cotton mill that produced cloth for Confederate uniforms and tents early in the war. Labor shortages caused by able-bodied men entering the Confederate armies created problems for the operation.

Piedmont Railroad
Trails sign at Chamber of Commerce building, 321 SE Market St, Reidsville NC 27320
Road map
    Important rail link, completed in 1864, sending supplies from Greensboro via Danville to Lee's army in the field. The train carrying Confederate Pres. Jefferson Davis and many of his cabinet used this line, passing through here on the way south April 11, 1865, two days after Lee's surrender at Appomattox.

Annie Eliza Johns
Trails sign located in churchyard, Henry and Moncure streets, Leaksville
 Road map 
    Johns gained fame as a nurse and advocate for both Union and Confederate soldiers in Civil War hospitals Danville, Va. She is buried here.

Dan River
Trails sign located in Eden at the Leaksville Landing parking area, next to the bridge where Route 87 crosses the Dan River
    This river port became an important link in the Confederate lifeline connecting this rich farming and raw materials area with Danville. Goods gathered here eventually were shipped to Richmond and other points north by rail.


Links to North Carolina websites: North Carolina Links