Thursday, April 30, 2009

They Got Across The River

Major General Frederick Steel
Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith caught up with Union General Frederick Steel's force on April 30th 1864, bring on the Battle of Jenkin's Ferry.

After having been slammed at Mark’s Mills and Poison Spring, and being low on supplies, Major General Frederick Steele’s Union forces were in retreat from Camden, Arkansas. On the afternoon of April 29th 1864 they began crossing the flooded Saline River at Jenkin’s Ferry. On April 30th the Confederate’s caught up and made repeated attacks on the Union troops. The Federals fought off the attacks and managed to cross the river with men and supply wagons. General Edmund Kirby Smith’s Confederates lost the last chance to destroy Steele’s army due to his army being deployed piecemeal. They failed to hit the Union’s vulnerable left, choosing instead frontal attacks, which devastated Kirby’s men.

Both armies had high casualties, with the Confederates reporting 443 dead, wounded or missing, and the Union side reporting 521 casualties. The battle is still consider a Union victory as they held back the Rebel’s until they could cross the Saline River. The Union troops continued to retreat toward Little Rock, Arkansas.

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