Bennett Place – Durham, North Carolina - Atlas Obscura

Bennett Place

The scene of the largest surrender of Confederate troops at the end of the American Civil War. 


While most people associate the end of the Civil War with Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865, the later surrender of Confederate forces at Bennett Place, North Carolina, was much more substantial.

At this simple little farm, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered 89,270 troops comprising forces from the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida to Union General William Tecumseh Sherman.

The two men chose to hold their meetings at Bennett Place because it would afford them a bit of privacy. Negotiations took more than a week, as the Union and what remained of the Confederacy argued the terms of surrender. Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated just days before Sherman and Johnston first sat down, and the Union Cabinet feared that the negotiated terms would leave room for the southern states to reestablish slavery. Eventually a set of terms were established on April 26, 1865.

Though the original house where the surrender took place was destroyed by fire in 1921, another house from the neighborhood, which dates to the war, now sits on the original foundation.

Today, Bennett Place is a North Carolina State Park. The site includes a visitor center and small museum, where the negotiation table used by Johnston and Sherman has been preserved and put on display.

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Admission to the Bennett Farm is free, though donations are encouraged.

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