Civil War Battlefield Conservation: North Carolina
Harper House, a field hospital, at the Battle of Bentonville.
Photo by Straitgate/Wikimedia
We were able to help protect more than 80 acres of what was the Confederate line at the Battle of Averasboro, which took place on March 16, 1865. A conservation easement now protects this land and was funded by a grant from the North Carolina Farmland Preservation Program. The Fund’s North Carolina partners also included the Averasboro Battlefield Commission, the Sandhills Area Land Trust, and the Cumberland County Conservancy.
Major General William Tecumseh Sherman had begun his advance against General Joseph E. Johnston in May 1864 in north Georgia and had pushed the Confederates to Atlanta. Following his victory at Atlanta, Sherman turned his forces east, marched to the sea, and then headed north through the Carolinas. They defeated Johnston’s Confederates in the battle of Bentonville on March 19-21, 1865, and continued their advance through the Carolinas.
The Fund and its partners have protected three critical areas, now within the Bentonville Battleground State Historic Site. Ross W. Lampe of Smithfield donated an acre, which includes rifle pits, to the Fund and we then donated the land to the Battleground in 1991. A loan from the Fund’s Battlefield Revolving Fund, established by grants from the Gilder Foundation, enabled the Bentonville Battlefield Historical Association to purchase eight more acres near the Harper House, a field hospital during the battle, and add them to the battleground. We worked in partnership with the state of North Carolina, which purchased an additional eight acres of Harper Farm and added them to the Battleground.