Lecture: The Battle of Averasboro w/ Mark Smith

Saturday, November 10, 2018 | 12:10 PM

When it comes to the study of the events of spring 1865, most Civil War historians focus on the imminent demise of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. However, for both Lee and Grant, it was the inexorable advance of Sherman’s western army up through the Carolinas that dictated their final moves. The Battle of Averasboro, part of Sherman’s long overshadowed Carolinas Campaign, forms the subject of this month’s meeting. Confederate General William Hardee prepared to receive Sherman in the narrow corridor between the Black and Cape Fear Rivers at Averasboro, North Carolina with a number of untried units, a scattering of veterans in Lafayette McLaws’ division, and Joe Wheeler’s cavalry. Hardee’s defense in depth managed to stop two full Union corps of Sherman’s army cold in a two- day battle. The time purchased at Averasboro enabled Joe Johnston to assemble all his available forces to take on Sherman at the Battle of Bentonville.

Our speaker, Mark A. Smith, is no stranger to our group. He spoke to us last year on the March 1865 Battle of Wise’s Forks, where Braxton Bragg fought off a Union westward thrust from the Carolina coast. Along with co-author Wade Sokolosky, Mark A. Smith has written “To Prepare for Sherman’s Coming – The Battle of Wise’s Forks”, and “No Such Army Since The Days of Julius Caesar – Sherman’s Carolinas Campaign From Fayetteville To Averasboro”. 

A U.S. Army veteran with 21 years of service, Mark holds a B.S. from Slippery Rock University and an M.A. in Military Studies – Civil War from the American Military University.

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