Documenting the American South

Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Union Monument, Bentonville Battlefield, Four Oaks

  • Type


  • Subjects

    Civil War, 1861-1865

  • City

    Four Oaks

  • County


  • Description

    The five foot tall granite monument was erected to the nearly 60,000 federal troops who fought in the battle, and the approximately 1600 who died. It features the insignia of the four U.S. Army corps who were at the battle.

  • Inscription

    Front: In Memory / of / Union Soldiers of the / 14th, 15th, 17th, and 20th Corps Who / Served During the Battle of Bentonville / March 19 - 21, 1865 / XIV/ Corps / XV / Corps / XVII / Corps / XX/ Corps / Representing the States of / Alabama, Connecticut, Illinois, / Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky / Massachusetts / Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, / New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and / Wisconsin

    Reverse: E PLURIBUS UNUM / Erected by the / Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War / Department of North Carolina / 2013

  • Custodian

    North Carolina Historic Sites

  • Dedication Date

    March 16, 2013

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.306050 , -78.324990 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Series

    Bentonville Battlefield

  • Supporting Sources

      Bingham, Larry. “Southerners Resist Monument To Sherman,” Fayetteville Observer-Times (Fayetteville, NC), July 10, 1994, (accessed April 30, 2015) Link

      “Bentonville Battlefield to get a Federal monument.” CivilWarTalk, (accessed April 30, 2015) Link

      “NC Historic Sites - Bentonville Battlefield.” North Carolina Historic Sites,, (accessed April 30, 2019) Link

      “The Battle of Bentonville,” ExploreSouthernHistory.Com, (accessed April 30, 2015) Link

      “Union soldiers get their due as NC recognizes them with memorial,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), March 17, 2013, (accessed April 30, 2015)

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques


  • Sponsors

    The Sons of Union Veterans, General Thomas Ruger Camp #1

  • Monument Cost


  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    On Saturday, March 16, 2013 members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Department of North Carolina participated in a dedication service for a Union monument at Bentonville Battlefield.

  • Subject Notes

    The Battle of Bentonville, March 19-25, 1865, was the climactic finale to the Carolinas Campaign of the late Civil War. It was the last large battle in which a Confederate force mounted a tactical offensive against Sherman’s army, and the largest battle fought in North Carolina. 60,000 Union men fought against 20,000 Confederates. General Joseph Johnston surrendered to Sherman at Bennett Place near Durham on April 26, 1865

    Efforts to build the monument to the Union troops of the Battle of Bentonville began in 1993, a century after the Goldsboro Rifles History Club built a monument to honor the 360 Confederate soldiers buried in in a mass grave in the former battlefield. The battlefield is now a North Carolina state historic site.

  • Controversies

    The monument was first proposed in 1993, but efforts to build it were stymied by Betty Ray McCain, then-Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, who opposed the monument. Her opposition was based on the continued resistance to the memory of General William Sherman of the Union Army, who left a swath of destruction across the South during the Civil War.

    The monument was re-proposed in 2012 by The Sons of Union Veterans, General Thomas Ruger Camp #1 and approved by the North Carolina Historical Commission in 2013.

  • Location

    The monument is near the Bentonville Battlefield Museum and Visitor’s Center.
    Other memorials at Bentonville Battleground include Bentonville Battlefield Memorial, Texas Soldiers Monument, North Carolina Confederate Soldiers, General Joseph Johnston, Civil War horses, 123rd Regiment New York State Volunteers, and Confederate Monument.

  • Landscape

    The battlefield is a grassy field marked with monuments.

  • Death Space


  • Post Dedication Use

    Bentonville Battlefield is still used for Civil War reenactments that often take place close the anniversary of the battle. It is also open to the public, who can visit the visitor’s center or any of the monuments at the site.

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