Saturday, September 15, 2012

A crossroads near the farm of Charles Monroe, deep in the heart of Fort Bragg

Last March, a number of regulars from the CompuServe Civil War Forum made a visit to the North Carolina battlefield of Monroe's Crossroads for a tour with historian Mark Bradley (who also conducted a tour of Bentonville the following day). Access to Monroe's Crossroads is complicated by the fact that it is situated deep inside the grounds of Fort Bragg, and subject to overshot from live fire ranges. Each of these photos needed to be reviewed and approved by the U.S. army before permission was given to post them on my blog, and at the Forum website.

Mark Bradley secured permission for our bus, and enlisted Charles Heath, an archaeologist with Fort Bragg's Cultural Resources Program, to escort us and aid in interpretation of the site. From a preservation standpoint—because of its location—Monroe's Crossroad's remains more or less unchanged from its 1865 condition. It is the final resting place for cavalrymen on both sides of the fight.

For quick reference, there is a compact narrative of events and archaeological report, along with excellent maps, online here. For in-depth reading, you can do no better than Eric Wittenberg's, The Battle of Monroe's Crossroads and the Civil War's Final Campaign, and Mark Bradley's, The Battle of Bentonville, Last Stand in the Carolinas (which treats Averasboro and Monroe's Crossroads in good detail).

Mark Bradley, right, gives us our bearings.

Charles Heath and Mark Bradley

1 comment:

Chris Evans said...

Nice post.

I find it fascinating that Fort Bragg built up around the battlefield like it did.