previous next

Rifle-pits and redoubts were constructed on the north of the river, near Little Rock, for occupation by the infantry, should the position at Bayou Meto be turned by the enemy. This was a danger to be apprehended for the bayou line of defense, and, in fact, for the rifle-pits, as the river was fordable in a great many places, and the enemy could cross east of the city. General Price ordered the removal of all public stores in the city to Arkadelphia, in order to be prepared to evacuate Little Rock; but he still strengthened his defenses in front, and perfected the means of transit so as to be able to throw forces from one side to the other, and particularly, to secure the withdrawal of the army to the south side in the event of defeat. Then came information from General Cabell of the retreat of Gen. William Steele in the Indian country, the defeat of Cabell near Fort Smith, and that the Arkansas river above was exposed at all points, all pointing to the inevitable abandonment of the Arkansas valley.

Steele's army advanced slowly. Davidson, reaching Clarendon, August 15th, reported to Steele that the expedition which he had sent up White river had captured the two Confederate steamers Kaskaskia and Tom Suggs, in the Little Red, and had destroyed the bridge of flatboats over which the ‘ubiquitous Marmaduke’ had crossed his cavalry to the south side; losing 2 men killed in the expedition, and 5 wounded. It was rumored among the Federals that Kirby Smith was in command at Little Rock.

On the 23d, Steele, occupying Devall's Bluff, reported that he should operate from that base, with two gunboats there to defend his flanks; that his sick list was frightful, including many officers, and if reinforcements were not sent him, he should very likely meet with disaster; that his army was the poorest command, excepting the cavalry, he had ever seen; more than 1,000 reported unfit for duty, and he asked for ‘more gunboats.’

General Davidson's cavalry force met with its first

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
William Steele (4)
J. W. Davidson (2)
Edward C. Cabell (2)
Kirby Smith (1)
Celsus Price (1)
John S. Marmaduke (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
August 15th (1)
23rd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: