"No Such Army Since the Days of Julius Caesar"

Sherman's Carolinas Campaign from Fayetteville to Averasboro, March 1865

Mark A. Smith, Wade Sokolosky

Date Published :
June 2023
Publisher :
Savas Beatie
Illustration :
50 images and 18 maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781611216639
Pages : 248
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


The final days of the Confederacy saw a kaleidoscope of action in the east, with most Civil War historians focusing on the imminent demise of the Army of Northern Virginia. However, to both Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, it was the inexorable advance of the Union’s western army up through the Carolinas in the spring of 1865 that dictated their final moves.

William Tecumseh Sherman’s Carolinas campaign has long been overshadowed by the events in Virginia, even as the Confederates themselves recognized it as the crucial, war-winning blow, and pitted a luminous array of their best generals—Johnston, Hardee, Hampton, A.P. Stewart, D.H. Hill, and others—against it. In this work, career military officers Mark A. Smith and Wade Sokolosky rectify the oversight with “No Such Army Since the Days of Julius Caesar”, a careful and impartial examination of Sherman’s advance up the seaboard.

After his largely unopposed “March to the Sea,” in March 1865 Sherman struck off again north, aiming to unite with Grant and crush Lee between them. But the Confederacy in the Carolinas was not finished yet, and while Sherman rampaged through South Carolina they gathered forces to resist him in its northern neighbor.

In North Carolina the Rebels conceded their vast arsenal at Fayetteville, which the Federals destroyed, but under William J. Hardee prepared to receive Sherman’s host in the narrow corridor between the Black and Cape Fear rivers at Averasboro. With a number of untried units (former coastal battalions) plus a scattering of veterans in Lafayette McLaws’ division, and Joe Wheeler’s cavalry, Hardee created a defense-in-depth, reminiscent of four-score years earlier at the battle of Cowpens.

At Averasboro, Sherman’s spearhead was stopped cold in a two-day battle, which in these pages is described in intimate detail. Arraying his disparate forces into three lines, Hardee forced a full two Union corps to struggle against each one, while saving his true strength for the last. Even then, it was only the fortuitous appearance of Wheeler’s cavalry that retrieved the second day, when Sherman launched a flank attack.

Strategically, along with Braxton Bragg’s command fighting off a Union thrust from the coast, the battle of Averasboro provided time for Joe Johnston to assemble all of his forces in the Carolinas, and then contest the advance of Sherman once and for all, at Bentonville.

This work uncovers a long-overlooked clash in the Civil War, which had consequences beyond the gallant sacrifices of the men, who by then on both sides knew that the war for the Union was approaching its culmination.

About The Author

Major (Ret) Mark A. Smith, who holds a Masters in Military Studies, is a U.S. Army veteran with 21 years of service. He served in various positions including Scout Platoon Leader, Three Company Commands, Battalion Executive Officer, Brigade and Battalion S-4, and was an Army ROTC Instructor at Virginia Tech. Smith is the co-author (with Wade Sokolosky) of “No Such Army Since the Days of Julius Caesar”: Sherman’s Carolinas Campaign from Fayetteville to Averasboro.

Colonel (Ret) Wade Sokolosky is a graduate of East Carolina University and a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Army. Wade is the co-author (with Mark A. Smith) of “No Such Army Since the Days of Julius Caesar”: Sherman’s Carolinas Campaign from Fayetteville to Averasboro, and the author of Final Roll Call: Confederate Losses during the Carolinas Campaign.


“Now in a completely revised and updated edition, "No Such Army Since the Days of Julius Caesar": Sherman's Carolinas Campaign from Fayetteville to Averasboro, March 1865 details an aspect of General William T. Sherman's service to the Union during the Civil War that has received minimal attention from historians. Yet the Carolinas campaign was undoubtedly a crucial blow... Expertly researched, yet accessible to readers of all backgrounds, "No Such Army Since the Days of Julius Caesar" meticulously reconstructs the entire campaign, enriched with a handful of black-and-white maps and photographs, appendices, and an index for quick and easy reference. Highly recommended, especially for public and college library Civil War collections.”

- Midwest Book Review

"Important addition to the library of material on American Civil War battles. Like the Vietnam War, the American Civil War is something I've never paid much attention to. Smith and Sokolosky are military historians with a particular interest in what happened in the Carolina States. What they bring to the table regarding Sherman and Johnston is remarkable, a revelation."

- Books Monthly

More from this publisher