Skirmish at Harrison's Landing


Location: Monroe County
Campaign: Little Rock Campaign
Date: August 17, 1863
Principal Commanders: Lieutenant Colonel Gustavus Eberhart, Major Lothar Lippert (US); Unknown (CS)
Forces Engaged: Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry, Thirty-second Iowa Infantry (US); Robert Newton’s Arkansas Cavalry (CS)
Estimated Casualties: None (US); 6 captured (CS)
Result: Union victory

Shortly after completion of a successful expedition along the White and Little Red rivers, which resulted in the destruction of a Confederate warehouse and a pontoon bridge, along with the capture of two steamers, Union forces were again dispatched upon White River transports on a reconnaissance mission.

On August 16, 1863, a force consisting of portions of the Thirty-second Iowa Infantry and the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry boarded transports docked at Clarendon (Monroe County) and headed down the White River to Harrison’s Landing. The force, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Gustavus Eberhart, arrived at the landing at about nightfall. Upon disembarking from the transports, the Union force was fired upon by hidden Confederates. At about 2:00 a.m. on August 17, Major Lothar Lippert of the Thirteenth Illinois led his cavalry out onto the Little Rock Road. Approximately two miles out, he was fired upon by an enemy force. A running fight ensued for the next five miles. The fight resulted in the capture of fifty stands of arms, a number of saddles and horses, and six Confederate prisoners. Lippert sent a dispatch requesting that Eberhart advance with reinforcements. Eberhart moved forward to a designated location about three miles down the Little Rock Road with three of his Iowa companies and remained there waiting for further orders. At approximately 3:30 p.m., the Illinois troopers rejoined Eberhart. Both units then returned to Clarendon.

For additional information:
Christ, Mark K. Civil War Arkansas, 1863: The Battle for a State. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2010.

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series 1, Vol. 22.Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1888.

Mike Polston
CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas


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