Prelude to Bentonville
The Battle of Averasboro during the 1865 Carolinas Campaign
In recognition of the 156th Anniversary of the Carolinas Campaign, noted author and researcher of the time period, Wade Sokolosky, will discuss the March 1865 battle of Averasboro. The battle was the third of four fought in North Carolina during a brief two week period. At Averasboro, Sherman’s spearhead was stopped cold in a two-day battle. Arraying his forces into three lines, William J. Hardee forced a full two Union corps to struggle against each one, while saving his true strength for the last. Even then, it was only the fortuitous appearance of Joseph Wheeler’s cavalry that retrieved the second day, when Sherman launched a flank attack. Operationally, along with Braxton Bragg’s command fighting off a Union thrust from the coast, the battle of Averasboro provided precious time for Joe Johnston to concentrate assemble his forces, and then contest the advance of Sherman again at the battle of Bentonville.
Colonel Wade Sokolosky (Ret.), a native of Beaufort, North Carolina, is a graduate of East Carolina University and a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Army. He is one of North Carolina's leading experts of the 1865 Carolinas Campaign. Wade has lectured throughout the country speaking to roundtables, various societies and organizations, and at historical sites.
He is the co-author (with Mark A. Smith) of "To Prepare for Sherman's Coming": The Battle of Wise's Forks, March 1865, chosen as the winner of the Civil War Books and Authors Best Book of the Year for 2015, Battle/Campaign Histories - Eastern Theater category, and "No Such Army Since the Days of Julius Caesar": Sherman's Carolinas Campaign from Fayetteville to Averasboro. Wade is also author of “Final Roll Call” Confederate Losses during the Carolinas Campaign.
Near term, Wade is finalizing a manuscript titled, North Carolina Civil War Hospitals, vol. I: Confederate, due out in late 2021, well who knows with COVID. Long term, Wade and Eric Wittenberg are working on a book-length study of the Sherman’s military operations in South Carolina during the 1865 Carolinas Campaign. He is the recipient of the Raleigh Civil War Round Table’s 2017 T. Harry Gatton Award for his important efforts to study, preserve, and share the Civil War heritage of his native North Carolina. Additionally, Wade is tour guide with the Friends of Bentonville Battlefield, and is a member of Brunswick County Civil War Round Table Advisory Council.
Wade lives in Beaufort, North Carolina and works for the N.C. Dept. of Transportation Ferry System.