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Jenkinson's Ferry, battle of.

In 1864, General Steele, at Little Rock, Ark., tried to co-operate with the Red River expedition, but was unable to do so effectually, for he was confronted by a heavy body of Confederates. He started southward, March 23, with 8,000 troops, cavalry and infantry. He was to be joined by General Thayer at Arkadelphia, with 5,000 men, but this was not then accomplished. Steele pushed on for the purpose of flanking Camden and drawing out Price from his fortifications there. Early in April Steele was joined by Thayer, and on the evening of the 15th they entered Camden as victors. Seriously menaced by gathering Confederates, Steele, who, by the retreat of Banks, had [139] been released from duty elsewhere, moved towards Little Rock. He crossed the Washita on the night of April 26. At Jenkinson's Ferry, on the Sabine River, he was attacked by an overwhelming force, led by Gen. Kirby Smith in person. Steele's troops, though nearly famished, fought desperately during a most sanguinary battle that ensued. Three times the Confederates charged heavily, and were repulsed. The battle was fought by infantry alone, and the Nationals finally drove their adversaries and gained a complete victory. Then they crossed the river and moved on towards Little Rock. In the struggle at Jenkinson's Ferry the Confederates lost over 3,000 men, including more than 300 officers. The Nationals lost 700 killed and wounded. Steele's broken army reached Little Rock on May 2.

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