Racing Sherman’s 65,000 man army to Cheraw, South Carolina after evacuating Charleston on 17 February 1865, General William J. Hardee and his 10,000 men continued to Fayetteville and then Averasborough, North Carolina, to establish a strong defensive position. There Sherman was stung for the first time since departing Atlanta on his raid upon farms, old men, women and children.
Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"Unsurpassed Valor, Courage and Devotion to Liberty"
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"
A North Carolinian Estimate of Sherman's Associates
“On March 7, 1865 General William T. Sherman and his army of mercenaries from Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and Prussia, as well as the northern United States, many of whom could not speak English, crossed the North Carolina State line. Behind them lay the smoking ruins of sacked Georgia and South Carolina cities, homeless widows and orphans, and death by starvation.
At Laurel Hill, NC, Sherman halted to refresh his troops, and from here he wired General Schofield in Wilmington that he would be in Goldsboro, NC March 20, 1865 via Fayetteville, NC. On March 12th Sherman and his army of barbarians reached Fayetteville. After plundering the residential section, it was then burned. Also destroyed were four cotton mills, the churches, banks, courthouse and warehouses. Sherman then moved on looting and burning. Any item that could not be carried, including furniture, carpets and farm equipment, was destroyed. Even the cabins of the slaves were robbed by the Yankees.”
(Land of the Golden River, Volume 2 & 3, Lewis Philip Hall, Hall’s Enterprises, 1980, page 101)