Confederate Catfight…Part I

With the possible exception of the feud between General Jo Shelby and General James Fagan over the debacle of not pursuing the Federal army toward Jenkins’ Ferry, one of the finest examples of two people absolutely despising one another in the Trans-Mississippi theater during the Civil War were Confederate General Richard Taylor (shown above) and General Edmund Kirby Smith. Read More…

Where was the Battle Fought?

The three questions I receive most regarding the battle of Jenkins’ Ferry are (1) Where was the actual battle fought? (2) Why were they fighting there to begin with and (3) My ancestor died at Jenkins’ Ferry, where would he have been buried? Today we’ll focus on where the actual fighting occurred. If you’re like Read More…

A Jenkins’ Ferry General Seeks a Pardon…

General John G. Walker commanded a Confederate Division of Texas troops at Jenkins’ Ferry though his participation was limited, having been severely wounded three weeks earlier during the battle of Pleasant Hill, Louisiana. His Division, organized at Camp Nelson (near present day Cabot, Arkansas), was to be the deciding factor at Jenkins’ Ferry. Having started Read More…

An Eyewitness at Jenkins’ Ferry

This Confederate kepi was in the midst of the fight at Jenkins’ Ferry. It shielded its owner from the pouring rain that covered the Saline River bottoms that morning as well as the blinding sun the army marched under following their defeat at the hands of the Federals. Its owner was with the 34th Arkansas Infantry, a part Read More…

Hot Springs Civil War Museum…

There’s a new museum coming to the city of Hot Springs, and it promises to be a extraordinary experience. Located on Central Avenue in the historic downtown district, the Civil War themed museum,  founded by private collectors Rick Williams and Dennis Magee hopes to open for business in November. As I understand it, the museum will focus on Read More…

Historic Flooding…at Jenkins’ Ferry

A year or so before his death, I spent an afternoon with Pierce Reeder, the former mayor of Leola who, in 1961, escorted historian Ed Bearss throughout the Saline River bottoms as Ed researched his book, “Steele’s Retreat from Camden and the Battle of Jenkins’ Ferry.” Pierce was a fascinating character in his own right, Read More…

The Death of a Friend…

It’s hard to see the death of a friend, especially one who brought you such joy for so many years. But as I drove by “Books a Million” bookstore in North Little Rock this morning, that is exactly how I felt. The bookstore recently closed its doors for good a few days ago after over Read More…

Where the Hell was Fagan??

Years after the battle of Jenkins’ Ferry, a soldier in Walker’s Texas Division wrote: “It appears mysterious to the mind of a sane man that General Fagan failed to leave scouts behind him to watch the movements of the enemy, instead of a vacancy of some thirty miles between his forces and those of the enemy, Read More…

The Federal Death Toll at Jenkins’ Ferry…

It still amazes me that more Federal soldiers were not killed at Jenkins’ Ferry.  Though they were secured behind make-shift log breastworks, they were still under fire for hours from musket and artillery. To understand the battlefield, you have to place yourself behind those breastworks on that bloody field the morning of April 30, 1864. You’d Read More…