Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Arkansas Post, Part Five
This is part five of a continuing series on Arkansas Post Natioanl Memorial. To read the previous posts first, please scroll down the page.
This is a Civil War sketch from the collection of the National Park Service showing the January 10-11, 1863, Union naval attack on Fort Hindman at Arkansasw Post.
At 5:30 p.m. on January 10, 1863, Union army forces informed Union Rear Admiral David D. Porter that they had formed across the peninsula facing the Confederate rifle pits at Arkansas Post.
Upon receiving this news, Porter moved the ironclads Baron de Kalb, Louisville and Cincinnati to within 400 yards of Fort Hindman and opened fire. The Confederate gunners in the fort responded and the Battle of Arkansas Post was underway. A short time later, Porter ordered the tinclads Lexington and Black Hawk to join the attack. When the Confederate fire began to slow, he sent the tinclad Rattler to fire on the fort from the opposite shore of the Arkansas at almost point blank range.
The Rattler, however, found itself trapped by pilings the Confederates had placed in the river at a deadly range of only 100-yards from the fort. The Confederate gunners ravaged the unfortunate vessel with heavy fire, doing considerable damage.
As darkness began to fall on the scene, Porter realized that there would not be time for the Union infantry to attack the Confederate breastworks stretching across the peninsula from Fort Hindman to Depot Bayou, so he pulled back his vessels to wait for the next day.
Our series will continue, but until the next post you can read more about Arkansas Post National Memorial by visiting www.exploresouthernhistory.com/arkansaspost.