On September 10, 1863, Union Major General Fred Steele, Army of Arkansas commander, sent Brigadier General John W. Davidson's cavalry division across the Arkansas River to move on Little Rock, while he took other troops to attack Confederates entrenched on the north side.
In his thrust toward Little Rock, Davidson ran into Confederate troops at Bayou Fourche.
Aided by Union artillery fire from the north side of the river, Davidson forced them out of their position and sent them fleeing back to Little Rock, which fell to Union troops that evening.
Bayou Fourche sealed Little Rock's fate. The fall of Little Rock further helped to contain the Confederate Trans-Mississippi theater, isolating it from the rest of the South.
Result(s): Union victory
Location: Pulaski County
Campaign: Advance on Little Rock (1863)
Date(s): September 10, 1863
Principal Commanders: Brigadier General John W. Davidson [US]; Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke
Forces Engaged: Cavalry Division, Army of Arkansas, Arkansas Expedition [US]; District of Arkansas [CS]
Estimated Casualties: Total unknown (US 72; CS unknown)
Civil War Arkansas, 1863
The Battle for a State
The Arkansas River Valley is one of the most fertile regions in the South. During the Civil War, the river also served as a vital artery for moving troops and supplies. In 1863 the battle to wrest control of the valley was, in effect, a battle for the state itself.
All Cut to Pieces and Gone to Hell
Union General Frederick Steele led 8,500 soldiers out of comfortable quarters in Little Rock and into the pine and scrub woodlands of southwest Arkansas. Steele's intended target was Shreveport, Louisiana. He planned to join another Union force coming from Fort Smith, bringing his projected complement to 12,500 troops
Fields of Blood: The Prairie Grove Campaign
A gripping narrative of the events surrounding Prairie Grove, Arkansas, one of the great unsung battles of the Civil War that effectively ended Confederate offensive operations west of the Mississippi River. Shea provides a colorful account of a grueling campaign that lasted five months and covered hundreds of miles of rugged Ozark terrain
Rugged and Sublime: The Civil War in Arkansas
Arkansas was also the scene of bloody struggles, not only battles but smaller clashes involving guerillas as well. According to editor Mark Christ, the state of Arkansas saw "at least 771 Civil War military actions", a number which ranks the state fifth in total number of battles, actions, and skirmishes
Red River Campaign: Politics and Cotton in the Civil War
Fought on the Red River throughout Central and Northwestern Louisiana, this campaign is a study in how partisan politics, economic need and personal profit determined military policy and operations in Louisiana and Arkansas during the spring of 1864.
Civil War Arkansas: Beyond Battles and Leaders
Written and first published in 1866 soon after the author's discharge from the Union army, A.F. Sperry's History of the 33rd Iowa Infantry is one of the classic regimental histories of the American Civil War. It is a detailed account of the regiment's movements and actions
Wilson's Creek, Pea Ridge, and Prairie Grove: A Battlefield Guide, with a Section on Wire Road
three of the most important battles fought west of the Mississippi River during the Civil War. They influenced the course of the first half of the war in that region by shaping Union military efforts while significantly contributing to Confederate defeat. A history of each battle and an overview of the larger strategy and tactics of the military action in which these battles figured.