Battle of Backbone Mountain

The Battle of Pine Bluff (also known as the Action at Pine Bluff) was a battle of the American Civil War. The battle was fought on October 25, 1863, in Jefferson County, Arkansas, near the county courthouse, where the U.S. garrison under the command of Col. Powell Clayton successfully defended the town against attacks led by Confederate Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke. The Union victory ensured the safety of the garrison until the end of the war.[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.

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