Cannons to Boom at Bentonville for 'Heavy Thunder'


Eyewitnesses to the battle of Bentonville likened the noise of the fight to “one continuous peel of heavy thunder.” Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site will look to recreate that noise on August 21 during an event called “Heavy Thunder.” Historians will explain how multiple artillery pieces functioned in the battle. Visitors can learn the different ways artillery was used in combat and how cannons were loaded and fired.

Demonstrations will occur at 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., with additional activities scheduled throughout the day. Interpretive talks will shed further light on the role of artillery in the Battle of Bentonville and the Civil War as a whole. Tours of the Harper House, which served as a field hospital for the XIV Corps of the U.S. Army, will also be available. Bring the family and enjoy this event which promises to be both fun and educational! The event runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and is free to attend.

The Battle of Bentonville, fought March 19-21, 1865, was the largest battle ever fought in North Carolina and one of the last major battles in the Civil War. Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site interprets the battle and the Harper House, a farmhouse used as a field hospital where surgeons treated nearly 600 men wounded in the battle.

The site is located at 5466 Harper House Road, Four Oaks, NC 27524, three miles north of Newton Grove on S.R. 1008, about one hour from Raleigh and about 45 minutes from Fayetteville.

For more information, visit or call (910) 594-0789.

Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site is part of the Division of State Historic Sites in the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.