“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
DeValls Bluff in Prairie County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)

The Memphis and Little Rock Railroad

The Memphis and Little Rock Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 30, 2016
1. The Memphis and Little Rock Railroad Marker
Inscription. On the eve of the Civil War, the Memphis to Little Rock Railroad had completed a line between Hopefield across the Mississippi River from Memphis and Madison in eastern Arkansas. A second section between DeValls Bluff and the north side of the Arkansas River across from Little Rock was finished by January 1862. These were the only rail lines in Arkansas.

Confederate forces used the railroad to transport troops to fight east of the Mississippi until Memphis fell to Union forces in June 1862. The eastern section was little used after that.

Union troops under Gen. Frederick Steele occupied DeValls Bluff in August 1863 and utilized the western stretch of the Memphis to Little Rock Railroad after Steeleís troops occupied Little Rock on September 10, 1863. The line was the frequent target of attack and sabotage by Confederate cavalrymen as it crossed the vast prairies east of the capital.

This railroad, from Devallís Bluff to Little Rock, is through a prairie country, it is built in almost a Straight line, with but a few bridges, and those over inconsiderable streams. It can be very easily kept in running order.
Amos F. Eno, Secretary pro tem of Arkansas,
and Adjutant-General January 13, 1863

The railroad from Devallís Bluff to Little Rock is in working order, and I am now sending
Memphis and Little Rock Railroad Markers image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 30, 2016
2. Memphis and Little Rock Railroad Markers
View to west across Main St (State Route 33)
two engines around, to be used after taking Little Rock, and until the Arkansas rises that command can be supplied by White River and the railroad.
Maj. Gen. Stephen Hurlbut
September 9, 1863

The immediate and tangible fruits of my expedition are 577 prisoners, including 1 field officer and 11 line officers; over 200 Federals killed and wounded; ten miles of railroad track destroyed completely--the ties torn up and burned, the iron heated and bent, telegraph destroyed, bridges and trestle-works ruined; 3,000 bales of hay destroyed by fire; 20 hay machines chopped to pieces; 5 forts razed to the ground; 500 stand of small-arms distributed to my unarmed men; many fine horses captured; 12 barrels of salt brought off the field and given to a command suffering for it, besides supplying many needy soldiers with blankets, shoes, boots, hats, and clothing. All this was done within six miles of Devallís Bluff, and my detail was tearing up the track while the enemyís bullets, fired at the covering regiments, were throwing the splinters from the ties in their very faces.
Brig. Gen. Joseph O. Sibley
August 30, 1864

(Illustration Caption)
The Cylene was one of several locomotives used by the Union on the Memphis to Little Rock Railroad up to June 1865. The others were the Brinkley, St. Francis, Little Rock, General Steele, General Reynolds, Opelousas, Adams and General Carr. Courtesy Central Delta Depot Museum, Brinkley.

(Map Caption)
This map, created by Confederate engineering officers, shows the Memphis and Little Rock Railroad as it extends from DeValls Bluff to a point across the Arkansas River from Little Rock. Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration.
Location. 34° 47.166′ N, 91° 27.483′ W. Marker is in DeValls Bluff, Arkansas, in Prairie County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (State Highway 33) and Snyder Road, on the right when traveling south on Main Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: De Valls Bluff AR 72041, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Memphis and Little Rock Railroad (here, next to this marker); DeValls Bluff: A Major Union Riverport (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Why DeValls Bluff (about 700 feet away); DeValls Bluff Under Fire (about 700 feet away); War on the White River (about 700 feet away); DeValls Bluff in the Civil War (about 700 feet away); Common Ground for Many Soldiers (about 800 feet away); DeValls Bluff: A Key Union Base (about 800 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in DeValls Bluff.
More about this marker. Marker is one of seven interpretive signs on the Civil War in DeValls Bluff.
Also see . . .  Memphis and Little Rock Railroad (M&LR). From The Arkansas Encyclopedia of History & Culture. (Submitted on August 10, 2016.) 
Additional comments.
1. Marker Sponsors
The following is written at the lower right corner of the marker: “This project is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the Department of Arkansas Heritage. Other sponsors are the Arkansas Sesquicentennial Commission, the City of DeValls Bluff and the Bill & Sharon Arnold Family Foundation.”
    — Submitted August 10, 2016.

Categories. Railroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 132 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on August 10, 2016.
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