DeValls Bluff: A Key Union Base Historical

DeValls Bluff: A Key Union Base Historical (HM1TM0)

Location: De Valls Bluff, AR 72041 Prairie County
Country: United States of America

N 34° 47.05', W 91° 27.537'

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Inscription

DeValls Bluff Was A Major Union Supply Depot

DEVALL'S BLUFF, ARKANSAS
August 23, 1863.

GENERAL: Having reconnoitered the different routes, I have decided to commence my line of operations at this point, and have moved the depot and hospital here to-day. The site chosen is a plateau (oak opening), high bluff on the river, and sloping on both sides, on one side a deep ravine. The two gunboats which are to remain here can defend the flanks, and an intrenchment can be thrown up in rear which will make the place tolerably secure against any force that will be likely to annoy us while we are pushing the enemy to the front. The buildings here do not amount to much, but there is considerable lumber, and, by sending to Clarendon for more, we can erect tolerable shelter for the sick and the supplies.

— Major General Frederick Steele


With this report, DeValls Bluff began its role as a major Union base of operations. Steele's men soon built fortifications, a hospital, and a supply depot to support the Union army's drive to capture Little Rock.

Once Union troops occupied the Arkansas capital, they had to be supplied — army regulations specified that Steele's men should be issued 20 tons of rations every day, in addition to the 120 tons of fodder his 24,000 horses and mules would need daily. The best way to bring these
mountains of supplies to the U.S. soldiers was via the White River, where they could be stored in warehouses constructed in DeValls Bluff before the railroad would take them to Little Rock. Dozens of storehouses, hospitals, and other government buildings were soon built, some using lumber taken from buildings in Des Arc.

As the war progressed, thousands of Union soldiers were stationed in DeValls Bluff to protect those supplies and the railroad that carried them, as well as to conduct operations against Confederate troops and guerrillas in the surrounding area.

(Upper Left Image Caption)
Civilians opened businesses in DeValls Bluff to serve the hundreds of Union troops stationed here. R.H. White opened a photography studio in 1863 and made cartes de visite of many of the soldiers before opening a studio in Little Rock in 1864.
Courtesy, Arkansas History Commission

(Lower Left Illustration Caption)
Most of the buildings in DeValls Bluff had been destroyed before Maj. Gen. Frederick Steele's Union army occupied the town in August 1863, but new structures were quickly built as the White River port became a major supply depot.
Courtesy, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Central Arkansas Library System, Little Rock.

(Middle Image Caption)
The quartermaster's stables (right) at the remount camp
adjacent to DeValls Bluff helped serve the thousands of horses and mules used by the Union army in Arkansas.
Courtesy, National Archives and Records Administration.

(Upper Right Image Caption)
Among the benefits of garrison duty at DeValls Bluff was the return of such amenities as musical performances. This photo shows the Third Michigan Cavalry Regiment band, stationed here in the winter of 1864-65.
Courtesy, Arkansas History Commission.

(Lower Right Image Caption)
The Ordnance and Provost Marshall's offices were built to serve the sprawling Union base at DeValls Bluff.
Courtesy, Arkansas History Commission.
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Details
HM NumberHM1TM0
Tags
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, August 10th, 2016 at 1:02pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 640997 N 3850190
Decimal Degrees34.78416667, -91.45895000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 47.05', W 91° 27.537'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 47' 3" N, 91° 27' 32.22" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)870
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 381 Prairie Ave, De Valls Bluff AR 72041, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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