Steele Supply Depot

A major concern of General Frederick Steele, once his army had occupied Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1863, was the supplying of his army deep in enemy territory. Such supplies were normally shipped by steamers on the Mississippi River and into Arkansas by way of many smaller waterways. Due to the unreliability of the Arkansas River, Steele established a supply depot at DeValls Bluff (Prairie County) on the White River, approximately sixty miles to the east. Supplies were offloaded, stored in government storehouses (shown here), and later transported by wagon to Steele’s army. Supplies were also sent to Little Rock via the Memphis and Little Rock Railroad.

Steamboats at port with town buildings and cannons in foreground

Courtesy of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Central Arkansas Library System