Action at Ashley’s Station
The Action at Ashley’s Station was a large engagement fought between Confederate States Army cavalry raiders under Brigadier General Joseph O. Shelby and Union Army garrison forces under the overall command of Brigadier General Christopher Columbus Andrews and immediate commands of Colonel Greenville M. Mitchell and Colonel Washington F. Geiger in northeast Arkansas on August 24, 1864 during the American Civil War.
Shelby led between 2,000 and 2,500 men against five small forts guarding operations of Union contractors cutting hay for the Union cavalry and guarding the railroad between Brownsville, Arkansas and the large Union cavalry depot at DeValls Bluff, Arkansas. Shelby’s men, mostly wearing captured Union Army uniforms, quickly captured three of the forts while Colonel Mitchell gathered remaining men from the 54th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment and detachments of the First Nebraska Cavalry Regiment into another fort and sent a message to General Andrews at DeValls Bluff for help. Andrews sent Colonel Geiger with 890 cavalrymen as reinforcements. Mitchell and his men were captured when they tried to rush from the fort to join Geiger. Geiger slowly drove back
Shelby claimed his men tore up 10 miles (16 km) of railroad, destroyed 20 hay-cutting machines and the Union forts, while capturing many horses, small arms and supplies. After a two-hour fight, more Union reinforcements arrived and Confederate forces withdrew. Shelby said he had taken 577 Union prisoners and killed or wounded 200 other Union soldiers. Andrews admitted to losing between 400 and 500 men of Mitchell’s command and 9 killed, 43 wounded and 1 missing from Geiger’s command. Shelby had casualties of 173 killed and wounded. Shelby withdrew to his camp along the White River after fighting a delaying action at Big Cypress Creek (Arkansas).
- “Action at Ashley’s Station”. Encyclopedia of Arkansas. 2014-11-18. Retrieved 2015-06-17.