Joseph Johnston Monument, Bentonville Battlefield, Four Oaks
The monument is a bronze statue of General Johnston atop a stone and brick base. The statue depicts a uniformed Johnston standing with one foot on a rock, pointing off into the distance with his left hand. He has binoculars in his right hand and sword at his side. The statue weighs approximately 400 pounds.
The statue and base are surrounded by a brick paver patio. A circular area around the base is of tan brick and the remainder is of red brick. Behind the statue are two large granite blocks with bronze plaques listing the Organization of Confederate Forces during the battle. A flag pole flying a Confederate battle flag is centered between the two blocks. This feature was added in March 2015. A memorial brick walkway leads from the parking area to the statue.
Images: Bronze plaque | Far-off view | Left plaque with Organization of Confederate Forces | Right plaque with Organization of Confederate Forces
"DEFENDER OF THE SOUTHLAND TO THE END” / GENERAL JOSEPH EGGLESTON JOHNSTON / IN MEMORY AND HONOR OF THE CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS / WHO FOUGHT AT BENTONVILLE BATTLEFIELD, NORTH CAROLINA / DURING MARCH 19-21, 1865 / ERECTED BY SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS / DEDICATED MARCH 20, 2010 / SCULPTOR: CARL W. REGUTTI
Smithfield Light Infantry Camp, SCV
March 20, 2010
35.303630 , -78.315920 View in Geobrowse
"General Joseph Eggleston Johnston," The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed February 2, 2011) Link
"Joseph E. Johnston," The American Battlefield Trust, www.battlefields.org, (accessed November 10, 2020) Link
Quillin, Martha. "Statue of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston Erected by SCV," Sons of Confederate Veterans, (accessed February 2, 2011) Link
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Joseph Johnston (1807 - 1891) served in the Mexican-American War and Seminole Wars in addition to being a senior general officer in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Johnston's accomplishments in the Civil war include commanding the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861. He defended Confederate capital Richmond during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Johnston fought in both the Vicksburg and Atlanta Campaigns and in the last few months of the war commanded a small group of forces in the Carolinas Campaign. He was forced to surrender his armies to Sherman on April 26, 1865. Johnston became close friends with Sherman and Grant in the years following the war, during which he worked as an executive in the insurance and railroad businesses and later served as commissioner of railroads.
In order to avoid controversy over the statue being placed on Bentonville Battlefield historic site due to Johnston’s Confederate credentials, the Smithfield Light Infantry placed the statue on a private inholding land donated by an adjacent property owner.
The statue is located on private property with public access,
about 100 yards off Harper House Road at the battlefield driving
tour stop A: Confederate High Tide. A brick walk leads from the parking area to the statue. An
unpaved walk to the statue's right, in front of an unoccupied house, leads to two more
memorials. One features the bust of a horse wearing a collar, honoring the loyalty of horse
teams during the war. The second memorial is for the 123rd Regiment New York State Volunteers
Other memorials at Bentonville Battleground include Texas Soldiers Monument, Bentonville Battlefield Memorial, Union Monument, North Carolina Confederate Soldiers, and Confederate Monument.
The memorial complex stands in a rural area, surrounded by trees.
The statue was built on private land based on the belief that approval to place it on state-owned land would be incredibly time-consuming and likely impossible.