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“Life on Campaign” Living History Program at Bentonville Battlefield

Four Oaks

The sounds of artillery and musket fire will once again ring out at Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site. The annual summer artillery living history program will be held Saturday, Aug. 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Costumed living historians will demonstrate how soldiers made meals, maintained their weapons, equipment and uniforms, trained for battle, withstood the weather and much more. This free program will feature artillery and musket firings at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.  

Visitors can visit a Civil War soldier’s camp and discover what role the enlisted man played in battle.  Re-enactors from Co. D 27th North Carolina Troops will give musket demonstrations and explain and answer questions about military life during the war. The living historians will also give uniform and equipment talks.

Artillery demonstrations will be performed by members of the Carolina Living History Guild on Bentonville’s 3-inch ordnance rifle. According to one witness, the artillery fire at the battle of Bentonville was so heavy that it “literally barked the trees, cutting off limbs as if by hand.” Dozens of artillery pieces were used by both sides during the 1865 battle. 

The Battle of Bentonville, fought March 19-21, 1865, involved 80,000 troops and was the last Confederate offensive against Union Gen. William T. Sherman. Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site interprets the battle and the hospital, where many Confederates were left in the aftermath.

For more information about the site visit https://historicsites.nc.gov/all-sites/bentonville-battlefield or call (910) 594-0789.  

Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site is located at 5466 Harper house Rd., Four Oaks, N.C., and part of the Division of State Historic Sites in the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.