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Reed's Bridge Battle Field

Jacksonville, Pulaski County, Arkansas


Battle of Reed's Bridge
On August 27, 1863, the Federal Army was advancing along the Military Road toward Little Rock when its Cavalry Division of 6,000 men under Gen. John W. Davidson attempted a crossing here and was met by a Confederate force of 4,000 under Gen. John S. Marmaduke, After burning the bridge the Confederates defended the crossing under heavy fire throughout the day. Several attempts at crossing failed and the Federals withdrew at sunset and two days later crossed the Bayou five miles southward. Little Rock ultimately fell on September 10, 1863.

Re-enactors performing at the dedication of the new panels depicting the Reed's Bridge Battle Field.

Samson Gray's house and stagecoach station was located northeast of where you are standing. It was torn down in the 1980's.

Several sections of the original Memphis to Little Rock Road, such as this one at Village Creek State Park still exist. The road through the Jacksonville area is overlaid by Military Road and State Highway 161.

You are standing near where Battery K Second Missouri Light Artillery under Lieutenant T.S. Clarkson, Battery M. Second Missouri Light Artillery under Captain Gustave Stange and the Twenty-fifth Ohio Battery under Captain Julius L. Hadley fought on August 27, 1863. Following the First Iowa Cavalry Regiment's failed attempt to capture the bridge across Bayou Meto, the Federal and Confederate artillery engaged in a fierce duel that lasted until near sundown.

"Bullets were flying thick from the sharpshooters and it was rather dangerous to expose one's person too much. We formed on the right of Clarkson's Battery and run our guns up to the brow of the hill on the field and opened up with shell - Col. Glover directing the fire. He said we placed shells in the very midst of the enemy."
- Robert T. McMahan, Twenty-Fifth Ohio Battery

"Our artillery was instantly ordered up, with supports, and placed in position under continued fire from that enemy. Our batteries, in position, opened a tremendous fire, soon silencing the enemy's guns and driving them from their position." - Col. John M. Glover
Third Missouri Cavalry, U.S.

"Their artillery was well planted, and was served with steadiness and precision. They opened with twelve or sixteen guns." - Major John Newman Edwards, C.S.A.

No known photographs of the artillery units that fought at Bayou Meto on August 27, 1863 exist. However, they probably would have looked much like Captain J.M. Knap's Pennsylvania Independent Battery E. Light Artillery, pictured here at Antietam, Maryland.

Overview of the Battle Field

The "Trail of Tears" Panel.

Location List | Reed's Bridge Battlefield One | Two