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Arkansas Post National Memorial in Arkansas County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

38,000 Reasons to Fight

Arkansas Post National Monument

— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

 
 
38,000 Reasons to Fight Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
1. 38,000 Reasons to Fight Marker
Inscription.  
Half the Yankees in the West [were coming].
Confederate scout

I expected Mary would be a widow before I got 10 rods [55 yards].
John Matson, corporal, 120th Ohio Infantry

Every soldier had his own reason to be here. Many Confederates here were outraged that Federal soldiers had invaded Southern states. None wanted distant Washington politicians to change Southern customs, laws, or property rights-including slave property. For others, gaining independence from the United States was worth risking their lives.

Disease and bad food killed more than bullets. Soldiers lacked enough guns and tools. One officer mourned, "My poor men, many of them are barefooted...many with no coats." Despite overwhelming odds, a Union soldier observed, "These men were overpowered, not conquered."

Many Union soldiers fought to keep the states united. Some wanted to end slavery. Others signed up for the cash recruitment bonus. Some Federal soldiers saw this as their patriotic
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duty.

Their mission here was brutal. Both the raw recruits and General Sherman's seasoned soldiers "marched all that night through woods and swamps." One Iowan noted, "At every halt, they would drop down on the cold, wet ground and almost instantly were asleep." Though better equipped, Union troops suffered many more casualties at Arkansas Post than the Confederate defenders.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Notable EventsWar, US Civil.
 
Location. 34° 1.328′ N, 91° 20.856′ W. Marker is in Arkansas Post National Memorial, Arkansas, in Arkansas County. Marker can be reached from Old Post Road, 0.4 miles south of State Route 169. Located near the first parking area on the road to the picnic area. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gillett AR 72055, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Four guns...opened on us and a thousand rifles from the pits (within shouting distance of this marker); On they come like an irresistible thunder bolt (approx. ¼ mile away); Where is Fort Hindman? (approx. ¼ mile away); Our ironclads and gunboats knocked the fort to pieces (approx. ¼ mile away); The Post of Arkansas
Marker at parking area on road to Picnic Area. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
2. Marker at parking area on road to Picnic Area.
(approx. 0.3 miles away); The European Settlement (approx. 0.3 miles away); Stone from Ruins of Old Bank (approx. 0.3 miles away); The French Period (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Arkansas Post National Memorial.
 
Regarding 38,000 Reasons to Fight. During the Civil War, Confederate troops tried to maintain tactical control of the confluence of the Arkansas and White Rivers, and in 1862 they constructed a massive earthen fortification known as Fort Hindman at the Post. In January 1863 Union troops destroyed the fort, ensuring control of the Arkansas River.

Union strength: 28,944
Confederate strength: 4,900
Union losses: 134 dead, 898 wounded, 28 missing
Confederate losses: 28 dead, 81 wounded, 4,791 captured
 
Quotes from Union & Confederate soldiers at Battle of Arkansas Post. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton
3. Quotes from Union & Confederate soldiers at Battle of Arkansas Post.
Quotes from Union and Confederate soldiers at the Battle of Arkansas Post. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton
4. Quotes from Union and Confederate soldiers at the Battle of Arkansas Post.
Closeup of map showing where soldiers came from to here. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
5. Closeup of map showing where soldiers came from to here.
Trail of quotes near this marker. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
6. Trail of quotes near this marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 2, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 423 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 2, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Mar. 2, 2024