Skirmish at Little Rock (September 2, 1864)


Location: Little Rock
Campaign: None
Date: September 2, 1864
Principal Commanders: Captain Thomas J. Mitchell (US); Colonel John L. Logan (CS)
Forces Engaged: Third Missouri Cavalry (US); Eleventh Arkansas Cavalry (CS)
Casualties: 0 (US); 1 captured, unknown wounded (CS)
Result: Union forces collected intelligence on Confederate forces in the area

The skirmish at the tannery near Little Rock (Pulaski County) proved a minor affair but provided local Union forces with intelligence on the whereabouts of area Confederate movements and posts.

On September 2, 1864, Captain Thomas J. Mitchell of the Third Missouri Cavalry reported that approximately seventy-five Confederate troops attacked the Union forces at the tannery but failed to repel them. The number of Confederate wounded is unknown, while Union forces lost several horses but captured a Confederate soldier.

The Confederate prisoner informed Capt. Mitchell that he belonged to Colonel John L. Logan’s regiment, consisting of 150 to 200 men, which started its march from Benton (Saline County) that morning. On the south side of the Saline River were the cavalry brigades of Brigadier General William L. Cabell and a man named Steen. The prisoner also mentioned an infantry force moving from Camden (Ouachita County) to Princeton (Dallas County).

Mitchell dispatched his entire mounted force after the Confederate infantry, which was moving to Princeton. He had also called for a detail of twenty-five mounted men but had not received them. Although the prisoner mentioned several men wounded while fighting, the more revealing information obtained was that the force left the area quickly, meaning that Mitchell would not have to anticipate another attack.

For additional information:
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series I, Vol. 41, Part I, pp. 736–737. Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1893.

Matthew Whitlock
Old Dominion University


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