Arkansas Post

January 10-11, 1863

Photos and captions are from the
Thanks to Bruce Schulze!


(3-97) Site of Fort Hindman. Site Marker: Battle of Arkansas Post January 1863 Sideshow to the Union Capture of Vicksburg. While assembling for the descent on Vicksburg during the winter of 1862-63, General John A. McClernand diverted the portion of the Union army under his command to attack Arkansas Post. On Friday evening, January 9, sixty steamers unloaded 32,000 Union soldiers to besiege the fort from the north (your left). On Saturday Union soldiers drove the Confederates back to their last line of defense adjacent to the fort. Union gunboats steamed upriver (toward you) and began pounding the fort. On Sunday, small-arms and cannon fire crackled and boomed up and down the weakening Confederate defense line (behind you), while the gunboats knocked out the fort's heavy artillery. Outnumbered and outgunned, the defenders raised white flags over their works after a 30-hour engagement         (3-97) Site Marker: Confederate Fort 1862 - 1863 It fell to the Gunboats - And the Arkansas River. To protect Little Rock and southeastern Arkansas  from a river attack, Confederate engineers built an earthen fort at Arkansas Post in 1862. Known later as "Fort Hindman," it measured 100 yards from point to point and was armed with three heavy guns and several smaller cannon. From a high bluff here on the river bend, the fort's guns could zero in on boats upriver (to your right) or downriver (straight ahead). Yet they were no match for the fleet of Union gunboats which compelled the garrison to surrender in January 1863. Today the river follows a new course, but before it abandoned the old channel in front of you, it ate away the bluff "Fort Hindman" stood on
(3-97) Center of Confederate Defense Line. Site Marker: Confederate Defense Line Jan. 1863 Traces of the Rifle-Pits Are Still Visible Here.  From the northern corner of "Fort Hindman" extending about 700 yards west to the swamps of Post Bayou, the defenders of Arkansas Post established a fortified line to deter attack from the north. Consisting of hastily dug rifle-pits and artillery positions, the line ran parallel to this trail. Subtle irregularities in the landscape to your left are remains of the rifle-pits. The final Union assault on the line came on the afternoon of January 11, 1863. About 4,800 Confederate faced more than 32,000 approaching bluecoats. With their small-arms and only six field guns, the defenders held the trenches until Union gunboats silenced the fort's guns and sent shells hurtling along the rifle-pits. White flags appeared on the fort and along the line, and swarms of Union soldiers rushed in to disarm their prisoners

(3-97) Blue arrow is pointing toward rifle-pit remains at left of site marker

Map of Confederate Defense Line 39KB

PDF NPS Map (96KB)

Arkasas Post from Images of the Past



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