NC History Tour: 7-14-07
Sherman's March North
The fourth of five scheduled NC MRF History Tours was held in North Carolina on July 14th. The tour started in Fayetteville and followed Sherman's March North through North Carolina during the Civil War. Twenty-nine riders came out for this tour. Major stops on this tour were the Fayetteville Arsenal, Averasboro Battlefield and Bentonville Battleground.
We would like to thank the riders who came out for this tour. These riders understand the importance of protecting the things they love. Riding our motorcycles is important to all of us and these riders have shown their love for motorcycling by financially supporting the Motorcycle Riders Foundation on this History Tour. Even though MRF members ride for free on these tours, we still had twenty-three riders make a $10 donation. We also had one member renew his $100 annual sustaining membership during the tour, bringing the total Freedom Fighter donation to $330. That donation will go directly towards our fight at the federal level for fair motorcycle related legislation.
The next NC History Tour be a 190+ mile ride to visit the site of the Battle of Elizabethtown on Saturday, August 11, 2007. There will be a total of five NC History Tours during 2007.
We would like to thank long-time MRF Member Bruce Harris for his dedication to the MRF, his time and effort in organizing and planning this History Tour, and his enthusiasm for creating fun, alternate riding opportunities for North Carolina riders.
Summary of Sherman’s March North
March 11, 1865: Sherman’s Union Army of 60,000 battle hardened men arrive in Fayetteville and occupies the previously tranquil city. Sherman’s Army was not an army of occupation, it was an army of destruction and as such destroyed everything useful to the Confederate war effort. Among the destroyed property was the Fayetteville Arsenal. All that remains today are the foundation stones.
A few days later Confederate General Hardee engaged Sherman’s troops in a delaying action at Averasboro. Fighting spread out over three days and three lines of battle, giving General Johnson time to gather his Confederate Army in Smithfield and march to Bentonville.
The Confederates had 20,000 men going against 60,000 Union men in a three day hard fought battle at Bentonville. In spite of be outnumbered three to one, the Confederates were not defeated. They did decide that enough was enough and the time to advance to the rear had arrived.
Weeks later the Confederate Army formally surrendered at The Bennett Place. General Sherman’s “hard war” policy that justifiably earned him a low reputation among the good citizens of the South was offset by the “easy peace” terms of the surrender given the Confederate Army. By allowing the Confederate soldiers to swear loyalty to the Union and go home, Sherman destroyed his future political ambitions as he gave the South a bright economic future.