Bentonville Battlefield Museum & Visitor Center

    Tour the site of the last major battle of the Civil War, and largest land battle fought in North Carolina!

    Exhibits at the Visitor Center, Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site, Four Oaks, NC.Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site is a Civil War battlefield registered as a National Historic Landmark. The Battle of Bentonville was fought March 19-21, 1865, nearly three weeks before Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox and nearly four weeks before the largest troop surrender in the state of North Carolina, at Bennett Place in Durham.

    The last major battle of the Carolinas Campaign involved approximately 80,000 men (60,000 Union troops and 20,000 Confederate troops). When the battle ended, the number of dead, wounded, and missing numbered 4,143 (1,527 Union casualties and 2,606 Confederate casualties).

    The Battle of Bentonville was the last full-scale action of the American Civil War in the spring of 1865. It was the only significant attempt to defeat General William T. Sherman's large Union army that marched from Atlanta. Sherman was aiming to occupy Goldsboro to destroy railroad line to stop the supply of goods to Confederate troops.

    General Joseph E. Johnston met in Smithfield weeks before Sherman's arrival to engage and stop him. Johnston marched towards the Village of Bentonville where the 3-day battle took place on nearly 6,000 acres of farm land in eastern Johnston County. After Sherman's victory over the smaller Confederate army, he occupied the town of Smithfield and announced to his troops that the War between the states was over.

    John and Amy Harper's House

    The farm home of John and Amy Harper, built in the late 1850s, played a key role in the Battle of Bentonville. Occupied by Union troops on the first day of fighting, the house served as a field hospital for Sherman's XIV Army Corps. Over 500 wounded soldiers, including 45 Confederates, were treated at this facility.

    Bedroom in the Historic Harper House at Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site, Four Oaks, NC.John, Amy, and seven of their children remained at the home throughout the battle, helping to care for the wounded men. On March 22, 1865, Sherman's army left the Bentonville area, transporting all Federal wounded to nearby Goldsboro. Wounded Confederate soldiers were left behind at Harper's, many of whom convalesced here for weeks.


    Visit the site's museum, tour the Harper House, or explore the driving tour.

    The visitor center offers displays and interprets many artifacts from the three-day battle. Visitors to the site can follow the battle troop movements, day-by-day on the electronic wall map. Free admission to the site and self-guided tours, however there is $2 charge for guided tours of the Harper House.

    The gift shop on site offers t-shirts, an extensive book collection, and various items. Several events are held throughout the year from March to December, check the calendar of events listings for the next special event.

    More information on hours and location, as well as social media links and video, can be found at the Bentonville listing on our website. For more fun exploring Johnston County history, try out the suggested day trip entitled Stepping Back in Time.

    Bentonville is now part of the Mountains to the Sea Trail.  

    Trail development and hiking is now available at Bentonville at the Cole Plantation, just a few miles from the Visitor Center. Be sure to ask the staff for the driving tour map and information on trails.

    Singing on the Land is a virtual music project that celebrates the stories of historic sites across North Carolina through the voices of North Carolina musicians. Enjoy Rissi Palmer and James Gilmore performing the song ‘Barley’ where a community witnessed tragedy and hope in the Battle of Bentonville.

    Check the calendar for upcoming events at Bentonville Battlefield.

    NC Civil War Trails

    Wednesday, May 25, 2022 12:00 PM

    Civil War Trails was founded in 1994 with 12 thematic trails and now has over 1,200 sites across six states. Follow the world's largest open air museum, as history unfolds around every corner --…

    Blue-Gray Scenic Byway

    Wednesday, May 25, 2022 12:00 PM

    Named for the great impact that the Civil War had on the region, the Blue-Gray Scenic Byway is rich with history. Travel over Civil War battle sites in North Carolina. Explore beautiful landscapes and…

    Bentonville 156: A Carolinas Campaign Virtual Event

    In case you missed the live Facebook event, enjoy this series of videos on the Carolina's Campaign of 1865 which culminated in the battle of Bentonville. To commemorate the 156th anniversary of the largest battle ever fought in North Carolina, the site staff prepared this virtual series of tours, demonstrations, and talks from experts on the Campaign and eastern North Carolina. This virtual event is brought to you by the Friends of Bentonville Battlefield who help fund battlefield education and interpretation. Find more information, donate, or become a member at

    Bentonville Battlefield Driving Pull-Offs

    With over 18 driving pull-offs and wayside markers in the Bentonville Battlefield area and beyond to Smithfield, Selma, and Clayton, visitors can track troop positions, marches, and major battles that took place here, March 19-21, 1865. Drive throughout the rural area and stop at several Civil War Trail driving pull-offs, and walk the Confederate cemetery and union earthworks trails.


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