Battle of Backbone Mountain

The Battle of Pine Bluff, also known as the Action at Pine Bluff, was an engagement during the American Civil War at Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Arkansas on October 25, 1863. A Union garrison under the command of Col. Powell Clayton successfully defended the town against attacks led by Confederate Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke. Much of the fighting took place near Jefferson County Courthouse, which Confederate forces tried unsuccessfully to set ablaze. The Union victory ensured that Pine Bluff was held by the United States' garrison until the end of the Civil War in 1865.[1]


After the capture of Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S. forces occupied several towns along the Arkansas River. Confederate Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke decided to test their strength at Pine Bluff. On October 25, 1863, he attacked the Post of Pine Bluff, a U.S. garrison commanded by Col. Powell Clayton.[1]


At 8:00 a.m., Gen. Marmaduke's 2,000 cavalry approached the town from three sides. The 550 federal cavalrymen and Missouri militia, supported by 300 freedmen, barricaded the courthouse square with cotton-bales and positioned the cannon to command the adjacent streets. Marmaduke's Division made several attacks upon the square, then attempted to set the county courthouse on fire. They were unsuccessful and withdrew to Princeton, Arkansas.[1][2]

See also


  1. ^ a b c The Conservation Fund (1998). Kennedy, Frances H. (ed.). The Civil War Battlefield Guide (2nd ed.). New York: Houghton Mifflin. p. 233. ISBN 0-395-74012-6. OCLC 917572471. OL 3494237W.
  2. ^ Banasik, Michael E., ed. (2000). "Appendix F: The Battle of Pine Bluff (October 25, 1863)". Reluctant Connoneer: The Diary of Robert T. McMahan of the Twenty-fifth Independent Ohio Light Artillery. Unwritten Chapters of the Civil War West of the River. Volume II. Iowa City, Iowa: Camp Pope Bookshop. pp. 309–314. ISBN 1-929919-01-8. LCCN 00-105377. OCLC 45105391. OL 6798910M. |volume= has extra text (help)

Further reading

  • Christ, Mark K. (2010). "Chapter 7: "The Federals Fought Like Devils": The Battle of Pine Bluff". In Urwin, Gregory J. W. (ed.). Civil War Arkansas, 1863: The Battle for a State. Campaigns & Commanders. 23. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 224–244. ISBN 978-0-8061-4087-2. LCCN 2009017622. OCLC 320352031. OL 23218465M.
  • Watts, J. Carter (n.d.). Battle of Pine Bluff, October 25, 1863. Pine Bluff: Jefferson County Historical Museum.

External links