Bentonville Battlefield Museum & Visitor Center

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

Exhibits at the Visitor Center, Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site, Four Oaks, NC.

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 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. For more information on the history of Bentonville click here.

Banner ad to promote the 160th Bentonville Reenactment, with soldiers firing guns.

Save the Date for the next Reenactment

On March 15-16, 2025, thousands of living historians from across the country will descend on Bentonville Battlefield for the 160th Anniversary Reenactment of North Carolina’s largest battle. Over 2,000 reenactors are expected for the two-day event, which will make it one of the country’s largest reenactments in 2025.

NC Civil War Trails

Cole Plantation Civil War Trail Marker at Bentonville Battlefield near Four Oaks, NC.

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 -- drive, hike, bike or even paddle Civil War Trails. To help make your travel plans Civil War Trails now has a new interactive map feature - CLICK HERE to check it out.

156th Virtual Event

Bentonville Battlefield 156 Virtual Event Facebook Screenshot

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. This virtual event was put together by Bentonville's staff with help from the Friends of Bentonville Battlefield - find more information, donate, or become a member at

Blue-Gray Scenic Byway

Blue-Gray Scenic Byway begins in Four Oaks, I-95, Exit 90.

Named for the great impact that the Civil War had on the region, the Blue-Gray Scenic Byway is rich in history. Travel over Civil War battle sites in North Carolina. In Johnston County, follow the path of General Sherman as he marched from Bentonville to Goldsboro after the battle of March 1865. CLICK HERE to download the scenic by-way pages.

Singing on the Land

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. In this episode, Rissi Palmer and James Gilmore perform the song ‘Barley’ on land where a community witnessed tragedy and hope in the Battle of Bentonville. Click to watch above or watch on YouTube HERE.

Bentonville's Hiking Trails & Driving Tour

Miles of hiking trails wind through flat county-side and farm-land, some of which saw active fighting in 1865. History buffs can enjoy signage detailing the event as they walk and those just looking to hike can do so on beautiful and well-maintained trails (though none are paved). Bentonville is even part of the state's Mountains to Sea Trail. Segments 11 to 12 of this trail, which stretch 1,200 miles across the state, extend from Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center down to Bentonville. 

Bentonville Mountains to Sea Trail Map from the Friends of MST

For those not interested in walking, and maybe more interested in history, there is a Bentonville Battlefield Driving Tour (self-guided). 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. The map below offers more information and Google driving directions for each pull-off point. 

More Information on Bentonville's History

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 the 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 farmland 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.Bedroom in the Historic Harper House at Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site, Four Oaks, NC.

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.

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.

Check the calendar for upcoming events at Bentonville Battlefield
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