The refurbished visitor center at Bentonville is now open to the public. The hallmark of the new facility is a large fiber-optic map exhibit, which provides instant spatial orientation for visitors to the battlefield.
In the past, visitors to Bentonville have had a difficult time understanding the scope of the battle. The questions have been:
- "Where did the battle actually occur?"
- "What happened?"
- "Where did the action take place in relation to the Harper House and Visitor Center?"
Now, for the first time, these questions will be readily answered by spoken narration and stunning visual orientation!
The fiber-optic exhibit covers the first and bloodiest day of action at Bentonville - March 19, 1865. At the press of a button, visitors can see all of the major battlefield maneuvers of both armies unfold before their eyes!
This exciting exhibit (a color topographical base map, with 3,500 red and blue lights representing the opposing armies) is accompanied by spoken narration of the action, and dramatic sounds of battle!
In addition to the fiber-optic display, Bentonville's remaining exhibits have received a major upgrade with an all-new layout—featuring new artifacts, new portraits of soldiers and commanders from both sides involved in the action, contemporary battle scenes, maps covering the second and third days of the battle, a campaign theater map, complete orders of battle for both sides, and an exhibit on the Harper House (Federal XIV Corps field hospital).