I went to a Civil War battlefield recently, a battle for which I had no knowledge. Bentonville, south of Raleigh in North Carolina. There, on March 19-21, 1865, General Joe Johnson and his twenty thousand Confederates met General William Sherman and his sixty thousand Union boys on their way anywhere they wanted. They fought. Three days they fought in sandy forests, amid teeming creeks and fields under cultivation in what some described as fighting every bit as horrific as anything that happened at Gettsyburg or anywhere else during the four year blood letting that became American history. Eighteen days later Lee would surrender to Grant at Appomattox. Johnson himself would surrender to Sherman eighteen days after that. No one at Bentonville believed anything but the truth, yet they fought valiantly, bravely, heroically and without respite. Casualties amounted to four thousand two hundred men. A wood frame house on the battleground […]

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