PART 2 — Blue Jim Weaver and the Phantom Battle Late one night in the fall of 1905, a Bentonville resident experienced a frightening incident while hunting in the woods on the battlefield.
“We had a neighbor by the name of Jim Weaver,” explained Bentonville native and area historian Herschell V. Rose in 1952. “I heard [the] story . . . as far back as the turn of the century. Time and again I have listened to Weaver tell his story which was a whopper of its kind and withal a good one.” Born on January 17, 1887, Rose was about 18 years old when the incident occurred, and thus grew to adulthood hearing one of the best known ghost stories associated with the battlefield.
HAUNTED BENTONVILLE: Some Facts behind the Folklore
By Mark A. Moore
Author of The Old North State at War: The North Carolina Civil War Atlas
In the late winter of 1865, Gen. William T. Sherman’s 60,000-man Union army blazed through North Carolina, leading to the culmination of the Carolinas Campaign at the Battle of Bentonville, fought March 19-21. Virtually unopposed, the Union juggernaut had covered more than 400 miles on foot between Savannah, Georgia, and Bentonville. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston struggled to assemble a hodgepodge Confederate army from far-flung units, but managed to concentrate a partial force to resist Sherman’s advance between the Cape Fear and Neuse Rivers. Their final clash occurred just 20 miles short of Sherman’s ultimate destination of Goldsboro, North Carolina.