By mid-1862, Union gunboats commanded most of the Mississippi River. When the gunboats went up the White River into the heart of Arkansas, the Confederates began to prepare defenses on the Arkansas River, an important water route to the capital at Little Rock. Before the end of 1862, Confederate Gen. Thomas J. Churchill completed an earthen fortification at Arkansas Post called Fort Hindman or Post of Arkansas. In January 1863, the Battle of Arkansas Post saw nearly twenty-five thousand Union soldiers tangle with almost six thousand Confederate troops. Union ironclad gunboats showered the greatly outnumbered defenders of Fort Hindman. The resulting Union victory opened the way for the capture of Little Rock and later the siege and capture of Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Rison, Arkansas | This site marks the location of the March 30, 1864 skirmish at the town of Mount Elba between Confederate and Union forces involved in operations connected to Steele's Camden expedition.