One hundred and fifty years ago, the Federal forces in Arkansas had their sights set on Little Rock. With a supply route extending from Helena, a Little Rock campaign was now conceivable and was seriously considered in early August, 1863. Brigadier-General Davidson , who was placed in command of the First Division of the Sixteenth Army Corps (US) on August 5, 1863, was approaching Clarendon and was in the process of assembling a bridge across the White River.
His force consisted of 6,000 Federal troopers including three batteries of artillery, regiments consisted of dragoons, “taught by me to use the carbine dismounted when necessary, and after a march of 300 miles from Pilot Knob to this point are better fitted – men, horses,and transportation – to strike the enemy than when they started.”
As Davidson and his 6,000 Yankees approached the White River, he noted that the Confederate forces had already evacuated the towns of Jacksonport and Des Arc. As the Federal force inches toward the capitol city, they learn that General T.Holmes is very sick and that General Sterling Price was now in command of the Confederate garrison in Little Rock.