the johnston county heritage center is a good place to learn about the history of smithfield and johnston county. the heritage center has an interesting collection of fossils and native american artifacts. for those interested in history and native american culture the johnston county heritage center is a worth while stop when in smithfield.
the bentonville battlefield is located about 15 miles southeast of smithfield. the battle of bentonviile was one of the last battles in the civil war. pictured is the bentonville battlefield visitor center. at the visitor center you can get information about the battle and they have a collection of civil war relics.
the battle of bentonville was fought between the forces of union general william t. sherman and the confederate forces of general joseph e. johnston on march 19-21 1865. the battle of bentonville was one of the last battles of the civil war. the battle of bentonville was a union victory and general johnston surrendered to sherman a month later at bennett place near durham. the surrender of general johnston ended the american civil war.
the battle of bentonville was fought on the grounds of the harper farm. john and amy harper built this house in the late 1850's. the union occupied the harper house and used it for a field hospital. after the battle union troops left the area and wounded confederate soldiers were also hospitalized here. mr. and mrs. harper helped both sides in the care of the wounded.
at this site the confederates attacked the union XX corps on march 19. the union forces were repulsed but counter attacked the following day. the confederate forces of general johnson were greatly out numbered and the battle of bentonville was a union victory. the battle of bentonville was one of the last battles of the civil war.
downtown smithfield is listed on the national register of historic places. downtown smithfield has an excellent collection of historic buildings and antebellum homes. for those interested in history and architecture smithfield is worth a side trip when traveling on I-95 in central north carolina.
the actress ava gardner was born near smithfield in the town of grabtown. the ava gardner museum has a collection of movie posters and personal effects of this famous actress. the museum has a collection of 40 bert pfeller portraits of ava gardner. a must see site for fans of this hollywood icon.
the original johnston county courthouse was built in 1771. during the civil war general william t. sherman used the courthouse as his headquarters on his march toward raleigh. on april 12 th 1865 sherman received a telegram from general ulysses s. grant informing him of general robert e. lee's surrender at appomattox while in smithfield. the current johnston county courthouse was built in 1921.
located near the harper house is the bentonville confederate cemetery. 360 confederate dead are inturned here. the monument at the bentonville cemetery was erected in 1893.
located on the grounds of the bentonville battlefield is a monument and statue of confederate general joseph e. johnston. johnston was one of the most able and celebrated generals in the civil war.
at this location the forces of union general w. p. carlin were repulsed by the confederates on march 19 th 1865.