Monday, October 25, 2010
Saved By Cotton Bales
Union troops under the command of Colonel Powell Clayton took the town of Pine Bluff Arkansas on September 17th 1863. He garrisoned the town with the 1st Indiana and 5th Kansas Cavalries of about 600 men. At 8am on October 25th 1863 Confederate Brigadier General John S Marmaduke split his force of about 2500 into three and attacked the town, in an attempt to retake it. With the support of about 300 freed slaves, the Union soldiers put up a barricades with cotton bales around the courthouse square, and backed it up with nine cannon. Marmaduke attacked several time, but was unsuccessful in taking the square.
Confederate casualties were reported at around 40 killed or wounded. The Union lost 56 men. Marmaduke did take about 250 horses and bales of cotton.