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[248] henceforth this was changed. General Joseph E. Johnston, his old foe of Resaca and Kenesaw Mountain, had been recalled and was now in command of the troops in the Carolinas. No longer would the streams and the swamps furnish the only resistance to the progress of the Union army.

The first engagement came at Averysboro on March 16th. General Hardee, having taken a strong position, made a determined stand; but a division of Slocum's wing, aided by Kilpatrick, soon put him to flight, with the loss of several guns and over two hundred prisoners.

The battle of Bentonville, which took place three days after that of Averysboro, was more serious. Johnston had placed his whole army, probably thirty-five thousand men, in the form of a V, the sides embracing the village of Bentonville. Slocum engaged the Confederates while Howard was hurried to the scene. On two days, the 19th and 20th of March, Sherman's army fought its last battle in the Civil War. But Johnston, after making several attacks, resulting in considerable losses on both sides, withdrew his army during the night, and the Union army moved to Goldsboro. The losses at Bentonville were: Federal, 1,604; Confederate, 2,348.

At Goldsboro the Union army was reenforced by its junction with Schofield, who had come out of the West with over twenty-two thousand men from the army of Thomas in Tennessee. But there was little need of reenforcement. Sherman's third great march was practically over. As to the relative importance of the second and third, Sherman declares in his memoirs, he would place that from Atlanta to the sea at one, and that from Savannah through the Carolinas at ten.

Leaving his army in charge of Schofield, Sherman went to City Point, in Virginia, where he had a conference with General Grant and President Lincoln, and plans for the final campaign were definitely arranged. He returned to Goldsboro late in March, and, pursuing Johnston, received, finally, on April 26th the surrender of his army.

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