Friday, October 30, 2015

Ashley Mills

Following the fighting at Reed's Bridge the next spot of conflict was at Ashley's Mills.  The Union drove the Confederates back from this point towards the Arkansas River on September 7.  There was skirmishing along the river over next couple of days.  There isn't much here besides the sign but next door is the Scott Plantation Settlement.  It was closed when we were there but it looks like an interesting place to visit.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Reed's Bridge

One of the larger battles of the Little Rock campaign is the battle of Reed's Bridge.  I'm a bit familiar with it from some previous research and I was glad to see that there is quite a bit preserved and that it is also well marked. 

First we ran into a small park nearby that has a bunch of markers for local history.

Then farther along we ran into two nearly connected parks on either side of the Reed's Bridge fight.  This is the Confederate side.  About 1,300 Confederates held the ground along Bayou Meto against 6,000 Federals.  There is quite a bit here to see, plenty of markers as one wanders around the park with some short walking trails. 

There are some buildings which I'm sure are well used by living historians during the tourist season.  We could peek in some windows and saw a garden full of vegetables but that was about the extent of our access.

Then on the Union side of Bayou Meto there are more markers, and cannon.  There is not much land preserved here but it is nice to have a bit preserved on both sides of the bayou so that a fuller story can be told.

A bit hard to see but in the distance the road crosses the bayou.  The other preserved land we saw earlier is on the left side of the road as seen in this picture, obscured by the trees.

One interesting thing we came across was silhouette cannons.  I'm sure it was done to show a bit of an artillery line with much less expense.  And from the road it does help.  Walking around though it feels a bit odd.  But really all it did was make me want one of my own. 

Monday, October 26, 2015


I know little of the Little Rock campaign, just some general information but I am not well acquainted with the campaign.  For our Vicksburg trip we flew in to Little Rock so on our way back home we decided to tour it.  I knew from previous research that there is a good driving tour of the campaign so we knew there was at least something to see.  Overall it was a great tour and the next several posts will follow the driving tour.  We did it in one afternoon, just a couple of hours, and would recommend the tour to all who happen to be in the area.

The first stop is Brownsville.  This was a small cavalry skirmish about 2-3 weeks before the city fell.  The Union advance was repulsed but the Confederates were forced to retreat as more Union forces came to the area.  Brownsville is on the military road between Memphis and Little Rock.  This road continues west and is the site of the next engagement, Reed's Bridge. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Brice's Crossroads revisited

I've written about Brice's Crossroads before.  I've been there since and there have been some updates done to the battlefield.  I've always enjoyed visitng this battlefield.  It has a nice museum (which unfortunately was closed on my most recent visit as it was late in the afternoon) and the park maintains most of its wartime appearance.  It is also an interesting battle in how Forrest fought it, and won.

As you can see in my original post the last time I was here this modern monument was just days away from being revealed. 

There are now a fair number of new signs that explain the battle better than the original markers.  The Tishomingo Creek bridge (modern) can be seen in the center of the photo.

Some of these markers were in place last time I was here but since then more have been added.

This bridge takes one to a small section of other markers.  I believe though that this bridge is closer to the historical location than the modern one.  Although the banks of the creek are choked with underbrush the creek itself was not a big deal on the day of our visit.