One hundred and fifty years ago, the Federal army in Arkansas was gaining momentum in their occupation of the cities and communities they had gained in north west Arkansas and east Arkansas. Following the capture of Arkansas Post, the Federal army now had a better means of communication and transportation. By mid-February, Arkadelphia was a subject of interest.
As noted by Arkansas historian Margaret Ross, “A Federal blow at Arkadelphia would also cut off the retreat route of the Confederates to Texas, the only direction they could move if forced to evacuate Little Rock.” With Helena secure and Arkansas Post listed as a “win”, a move on Little Rock was in the works.
Arkadelphia was an important community of manufactory for the remaining Confederates in the State. The chief of scouts for the Federal Army related in January, 1863 that the Ouachita River community is where “they make guns, ammunition, clothing, salt, medicines, and other army supplies.” Arkansas was indeed “the great depot for the Trans-Mississippi Confederate States army.”
As plausible as it seemed to attack Arkadelphia, no action was taken against the community, as the focus was to be placed on keeping the Mississippi River open for actions against Vicksburg.