Editor’s Letter (Vol. 32, #6)
The End in North Carolina
We featured Bentonville more than 20 years ago when Mark Bradley’s and Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes’ books on the battle were published concurrently in 1996, followed by Mark A. Moore’s excellent maps in his Historical Guide to The Battle of Bentonville (1997). Since then there has been scant new material focused solely on the Bentonville battle and campaign. When one considers that Sherman’s campaign through the Carolinas that led to the Confederate surrender at Bennett Place is the Western Theater equivalent of Grant’s final campaign that led to Appomattox, there is a huge gap in the amount of literature between the two major theaters.
Since 1996, a lot of changes have occurred at the Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site. The protected ground has grown from a few dozen acres in the mid-1980s to a couple hundred in the 1990s, and now more than 2,000 acres. In addition to the Visitor Center that dates to 1965 and the centennial of the Civil War, the improved battlefield park tour now has seven Driving Tour Stops and ten Audio Tour Stops.The author of this issue’s feature is Daniel T. Davis. He is a young historian working to fill the gap in the scholarship between the two major theaters during the final days of the war. Dan’s recent book, with Phillip Greenwalt, is Calamity in Carolina: The Battles of Averasboro and Bentonville, March 1865 (2015).
David E. Roth