August 9 marked the seventh day of a 14 day expedition up the White and Little Red Rivers in 1862. In the same year it was day six of a fourteen day expedition to Helena and Clarendon August 4-17). In 1863, this date marked the seventh day of a fourteen day expedition up the White and Little Red Rivers. On this date in 1864 was the fourth day of an eleven day expedition from Little Rock to the Little Red River and it was also the first day of a week long set of operations in Central Arkansas, including multiple skirmishes. There was a skirmish on this date in 1864 at Hatch’s Ferry.
The following is from the report of Major James F. Dwight of the 11th Missouri Cavalry Regiment, Aide-de-camp. Dwight kept a journal of events from August 6 through August 16, 1864 having set out from the vicinity of Little Rock. Dwight was under the command of Brigadier-General J.R. West of the U.S. Volunteers. General West was directed through the August 4, 1864 Special Order telling him to “proceed with all the available cavalry of this district in pursuit of the enemy’s, reported to be on Little Red River, and will pursue them until they are captured or dispersed.”
Tuesday, August 9.-Moved,, with Geiger’s (First) brigade leading, with two 12-pounder howitzers. A detachment Eleventh Missouri Cavalry, under Captain Kauffman, of 120 men, left at daylight to reconnoiter ahead all day, if not attacked. After crossing the Little Red the road runs northward for one mile and a quarter, then turns east, and passing over a high and good but stony road descends a steep declivity 100 fee high to the Overflow-named given to a creek which bounds on the west the swamps of the Mingo. About six miles from the landing a road to the left leads toward Grand Glaize, and to the right to Prospect Bluffs, three miles. After leaving the Overflow the road runs through the heavy bottom lands of the Mingo Swamps eight miles, to Glaize Creek, all timbered, with little underbrush; must be bad in wet weather. The Mingo is not much of a creek, though bad crossing on account of the deep mud; narrow. Stuart’s brigade remains at bridge First encamps at headquarters, two miles and a half below, on road to Augusta. After crossing bridge at Glaize road leads down directly east on a tongue of land to a point of land opposite Augusta, seven miles from bridge; also turns to left and leads three miles northeast to the White River, then turns down the bank two miles to a ferry called Hatch’s, whence it is two miles to Augusta. Likewise on this last road another to the left, about two miles from the bridge, leads to Grand Glaize and Denmark. The whole land below the bridge is canebrake, with heavy bottom growth. The road toward the point narrow, with several sloughs with steep banks-corduroy crossings-in bad order. After leaving the Overflow there are very few habitations and clearings. After crossing the Glaize Creek only two habitations, one three miles below the bridge on right-hand side and one five miles and half below on left hand, and on the run bank (Chambers’). The banks of this tongue of land are low on the south side and bluff on the north side; sand spit opposite Augusta; run about twelve yards wide. Detachment of Third Michigan, Captain Latimer, seized ferry-boat at Hatch’s in the p. m.; got it across under cover of their rifles, with a fight across the stream with a body of rebels, and after night-fall took it down below Augusta, together with a skiff. Saw rebel pickets rushing about on our arrival. From a lagoon, about three-quarters of a mile long, on the road to the point, transferred a dug-out down and across the point three miles, and launched it below Augusta. Sent three men therein to Devall’s Bluff with dispatches after dark.
Brigadier General E.A. Carr compiled a list of military actions, including, “combats, skirmishes, &c.,in District of Little Rock, during the fifteen days ending August 15, 1864. The August 9 entry notes: “Dispatch received from Colonel Clayton, commanding Pine Bluff, states that his scouts captured 2 Confederates to-day.”
Military actions in this “Today in Arkansas During the Civil War” column can be traced better using the Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas. You can trace the same roads they walked in many cases in this atlas. You can find obscure references to communities mentioned in Civil War records that can be located in this atlas. Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas is the perfect companion book for this “Today in History” series.
If you know of any other military actions or other things that happened that we did not post on a certain day, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.