The fight for the Morris Farm on the first day of the battle of Bentonville marked the high tide of the Confederate effort to destroy Slocum's wing of Sherman's army. The remnants of the Army of Tennessee, supported by Taliaferro's division of Hardee's corps, drove a wedge into the Federal center and broke against determined Federal infantry supported by several batteries. See a map of the assault here (requires Adobe PDF Reader).
The Federals marched onto the field, stacked rifles, and began to entrench. They made quick work of the soft, sandy Carolina soil and soon completed an imposing earthwork. The front rank sheltered within the entrenchment, while the rear rank crouche just behind, still gaining some protection from the mound of earth facing the oncoming rebels. Federal artillery, posted to the rear, opened on the advancing enemy.
The rebels, emerging from the tree line opposite the Federal works, advanced cautiously. Cavalry probed for an opening on the left, finding none. The rebels attempted to close, but the steady volleys from the boys in blue kept them at bay.
The engagement ended in an uneasy stalemate, both sides aware that more fighting would need to be done tomorrow.
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