03/06/13 — Artillery display highlight of Bentonville event

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Artillery display highlight of Bentonville event

By From staff reports
Published in News on March 6, 2013 1:46 PM

FOUR OAKS -- Said to be the "King of Battle," artillery played a key role in the 1865 battle of Bentonville. Come view the destructive firepower of massed artillery at Bentonville 148th anniversary program, "One Continuous Fire of Destruction," on March 16 and 17.

Taking its name from a description of Bentonville by a Union soldier, "One Continuous Fire of Destruction" will focus on artillery's contributions to the battle, the largest and bloodiest ever fought on North Carolina soil.

Two artillery batteries for a total of eight guns with crews from across the state will take part in the program. Members of these crews will demonstrate the operating and firing procedures of cannons that were commonly used in the Civil War including a M1857 12-pounder "Napoleon", 6-pounder field guns, 10-pounder Parrott rifles and 3-inch Ordnance Rifles. From the Napoleon, which could accurately fire a 12 pound cannonball nearly 1,500 yards, to the rifled pieces which fired a 10 pound conical shell nearly 1,900 yards, all had a role. These guns will demonstrate how batteries would have worked together to deliver concentrated firepower on the battlefield. This is one of the largest collections of artillery ever amassed for a living history program at Bentonville Battlefield.

In addition to artillery, members from the 4th Regiment ANV will be on hand demonstrating infantry tactics and drill. Visitors can enjoy viewing a recreated Civil War encampment, and interact with the living historians. Demonstration will take place throughout the day Saturday and Sunday. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the Harper House, which was used a field hospital during the battle, and view civilian demonstrations near the Harper House kitchen.

Saturday's program includes a monument dedication to all of the Union soldiers that fought at the Battle of Bentonville March 19-21, 1865. Members of the Sons of Union Veterans will take part in an unveiling ceremony scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday in the monument and cemetery area.

In conjunction with the anniversary of the battle, Bentonville will offer free guided battlefield tours to the public. Two guided tours will take place Saturday, March 23. Tours are scheduled to leave the Visitors Center at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Visitors will be led by certified field guide Dean Harry. Each tour will last approximately two hours. Space is limited for these tours; reservations should be made with Amanda at (910) 594-0789.