Part of General William Tecumseh Sherman’s army in South Carolina, the left wing under the command of General Henry W Slocum and the right wing under Oliver Otis Howard marched with an objective of Goldsborough, North Carolinia. Howard marched toward Goldsborough while Slocum’s wing affected a march toward Raleigh in order to draw the Confederates.
Confederate General Joseph E Johnston attacked Slocum’s wing. Johnston sent General William J Hardee’s corps to slow Slocum up. On March 16th 1865 to two forces ran into each other in the town of Averasborough. Sherman who was traveling with Slocum’s wing ordered an attack on Hardee’s right and front. Although initially routing the Confederates, somehow Hardee’s men drew up and formed a defensive line in about a mile. The Confederates held this spot, holding off the Union’s repeated attacks until after dark. Hardee withdrew during the night having succeeded in delaying Slocum’s movements. The Union forces lost only 182 to the Confederates 865 casualties.