The Capture of Col. Rhett and His Fabulous Boots

March 15, 1865 (Wednesday) “On the 15th of March the whole army was across Cape Fear River, and at once began its march for Goldsboro’; the Seventeenth Corps still on the right, the Fifteenth next in order, then the Fourteenth and Twentieth on the extreme left ; the cavalry acting in close concert with theRead More

Lee Wants Johnston ‘To Avoid a General Engagement’

March 14, 1865 (Tuesday) A few days past, President Jefferson Davis ordered Joe Johnston, commanding the Confederate forces in the Carolinas, to remove supplies from Raleigh, North Carolina, as it appeared that Sherman’s forces were en route to that very place. General Lee added a message of his own to Johnston, demanding that the railroadRead More

‘The Whole Thing Was Done So Quickly’ – Sherman Captures Fayetteville

March 11, 1865 (Saturday) “The advance of the Fourteenth Army Corps last nigth reached Buckhead Creek,” wrote General Henry Slocum in his morning message to Sherman, “where they met the enemy in some force. [Absalom] Baird’s division is now moving from this point. The Twentieth Corps is several miles in rear. I shall soon learnRead More

The Battle of Kilpatrick’s Pants

March 10, 1865 (Friday) Now, these young men ought undoubtedly to have been engaged in saying their prayers and softly humming snatches of hymns recalled from early days, for the purpose of bracing up their nerves for the fight fixed for daylight, but the truth must be told, and the words overheard by the hungry,Read More

‘I Determined at Once to Intercept Him’ – Kilpatrick Pursues Wade Hampton

March 9, 1865 (Thursday) Union Cavalry General, Judson Kilpatrick, along with his division, was screening the left of Sherman’s columns as they entered into North Carolina. All the way, they had been driving Rebel cavalry under Matthew Butler of Wade Hampton’s command as they made their way toward Fayetteville. This was no easy slog. TheRead More

Johnston Tries to Think of Something

March 6, 1865 (Monday) Joseph Johnston, now in command of all the Confederate forces in the Carolinas, was concentrating at Fayetteville, North Carolina, in hopes of blocking the path of Sherman’s forces. Johnston’s original proposition was a risky one. He suggested to General Robert E. Lee that half of the Army of Northern Virginia beRead More

Of Old Wine, Fine Rugs, and the Necessity of Stealing Books

March 5, 1865 (Sunday) The end of February saw William Tecumseh Sherman’s army turn towards Cheraw, where Confederate General William Hardee had rested his men in retreat. As March came, Sherman’s forces divided, and the Seventeenth Corps, followed closely by the Fifteenth, entered the town on the 2nd. “General Hardee had retreated eastward across heRead More