Key facts about the American Civil War Carolinas Campaign.
Date and Location
- February 1, 1865–April 26, 1865
- North and South Carolina
Timeline of the Carolinas Campaign
These are the main battles and events of the Carolinas Campaign in order.
- February 3, 1865 — Battle of Rivers’ Bridge
- February 11, 1865 — Battle of Aiken
- March 7–10, 1865 — Battle of Wyse Fork
- March 10, 1865 — Battle of Monroe’s Cross Roads
- March 16, 1865 — Battle of Averasboro
- March 19–21, 1865 — Battle of Bentonville
Principal Union Commanders
- William T. Sherman (overall)
- Major General Oliver O. Howard
- Major General Henry W. Slocum
- Major General John Schofield
Principal Confederate Commanders
- Joseph E. Johnston (overall)
- Major General Lafayette McLaws
- General Braxton Bragg
- Lieutenant General Wade Hampton
Union Forces Engaged
- Army of the Tennessee
- Army of Georgia
- Army of the Ohio
Confederate Forces Engaged
- Army of the South
- Army of Tennessee
Number of Union Soldiers Engaged
- Roughly 90,000
Number of Confederate Soldiers Engaged
- Roughly 20,000 to 25,000
Estimated Union Casualties
- 4,000+ (killed, wounded, captured/missing)
Estimated Confederate Casualties
- 5,400 (killed, wounded, captured/missing), 89,270 surrendered at Bennett’s Place in Hillsborough, North Carolina
- Union victory
- Major General William T. Sherman, correctly believed that Carolinas Campaign would cut off supplies and reduce any remaining hopes for reinforcement of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, which was under siege at Petersburg, Virginia.
- Major General William T. Sherman, correctly believed that Carolinas Campaign would further demoralize Southerners, much as the March to the Sea had done.
- On February 17, 1865, Major General William T. Sherman’s troops occupied Columbia, South Carolina.
- On the night of February 17, 1865, roughly two-thirds of Columbia, South Carolina went up in flames. The source of the fire remains undetermined. Unionists claimed that the inferno was started by retreating Rebel soldiers ordered to burn Columbia’s cotton stores to keep them from falling into enemy hands. Some Columbia residents maintained that drunken Union soldiers initiated the blaze, perhaps in revenge for South Carolina’s role in launching the war.
- On March 23, 1865, Major General William T. Sherman’s forces united with Major General John Schofield’s Army of the Ohio, at Goldsboro, North Carolina, swelling the size of Sherman’s command to roughly 90,000 soldiers.
- On April 13, 1865, Major General William T. Sherman’s forces occupied Raleigh, North Carolina.
- On April 16, 1865, Confederate General Joseph Johnston contacted Major General William T. Sherman on March 16 to discuss capitulation.
- On April 18, 1865, Confederate General Joseph Johnston surrendered the 89,270 troops under his command in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida to Major General William T. Sherman. The agreement the two men signed was the largest surrender of Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War.
- Radical Republican leaders in Washington, embittered by President Lincoln’s assassination on April 14, 1865, rejected the accord reached between Confederate General Joseph Johnston and Major General William T. Sherman on April 18, because it went beyond strictly military issues.
- On April 26, 1865, Major General William T. Sherman and General Joseph Johnston met again at Bennett Place and signed a new surrender document using the same terms Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant and General Robert E. Lee had agreed to at Appomattox Court House.
- Although the campaign took place entirely in Carolinas, it is considered part of the Western Theater because it was a continuation of an offensive by the western armies under Sherman (the Military Division of the Mississippi), starting in Tennessee in 1864.