|Bennett Place State Historic Site|
Durham, North Carolina
Johnston's surrender was the largest of the War Between the States (or Civil War) and came after his army waged one last brutal fight at the Battle of Bentonville. The Confederate attacks came close to wiping out one wing of Sherman's larger army. The tide of the battle turned when Sherman rushed reinforcements to the field and Johnston called off the attacks and withdrew.
|Road by which Johnston approached Bennett Place|
Johnston now found himself in a critical position. With Sherman's much larger army just 35 miles away in Raleigh, he knew that if he continued to fight he could expect Union General Ulysses S. Grant to push down from the north. His small army would be swallowed up.
|Restored farm and monument at Bennett Place.|
Rather than launch a guerrilla war that would flood the South with blood, Johnston decided to meet with General Sherman. He sent a letter through the lines, Sherman responded, and the two generals met near Durham, about half-way between their armies. They decided to find a house where they could sit down and talk, but the first home-owner they approached refused to let Sherman set foot in his house. They moved on to the Bennett Place, home of James and Nancy Bennett, who consented to allow the generals to meet in their home.
|Table at which the surrender document was prepared|
Johnston knew that he had no hope of defeating Sherman, so on April 26, 1865, he surrendered the Confederate Army of Tennessee and all Confederate forces east of Alabama on the harsh terms demanded by the politicians in Washington.
To learn more about the surrender at Bennett Place, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/bennettplace.