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Malvern in Hot Spring County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Bridging the Ouachita River

 
 
Bridging the Ouachita River Marker (front) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, August 2, 2018
1. Bridging the Ouachita River Marker (front)
Inscription.  Gen. Frederick Steele led a Union army from Little Rock on March 23, 1864, to join an invasion of Texas. Confederate skirmishers harassed the army as it reached Rockport March 27. An inflatable pontoon bridge, in 34 wagons and served by men of the 24th Missouri and 4th Arkansas (African Descent) Infantry, was deployed to help the troops cross the Ouachita one-half mile from here. The Federals again used the bridge to cross the Little Missouri River at Elkins’ Ferry 13 days later. Critically low on supplies, Steele turned to Camden, arriving April 15.
(Continued on other side)

Reverse
(Continued from other side)

After occupying Camden, the Union army used the pontoon bridge to span the Ouachita and ease access to the U.S. troops at Pine Bluff and Little Rock. After suffering severe losses at Poison Spring and Marks’ Mills, Steele abandoned Camden, taking the bridge up and rushing it forward to span the flooded Saline River at Jenkins’ Ferry on April 30. After a savage battle, the Union army crossed. The much-used bridge was in poor condition and
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the starving mules too weak to pull the wagons, so the Federals destroyed it to prevent its use by Confederate forces.
 
Erected 2015 by Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, City of Malvern, Ouachita River Park Commission, Center for Arkansas Culture and History in Education, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. (Marker Number 122.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansBridges & ViaductsWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission series list. A significant historical date for this entry is March 23, 1864.
 
Location. 34° 22.912′ N, 92° 49.589′ W. Marker is in Malvern, Arkansas, in Hot Spring County. Marker is on Pavilion Road east of Martin Luther King Boulevard (Business U.S. 270), on the left when traveling east. Located at Malvern City Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Pavilion Road, Malvern AR 72104, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. War Memorial (approx. 1˝ miles away); The Boyle House (approx. 1˝ miles away); Military Road / Settlement of Midway (approx. 11.6 miles away); Hot Springs Country Club (approx. 13.4 miles away); Indian Trail (approx. 13˝ miles away).
Bridging the Ouachita River Marker (rear) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, August 2, 2018
2. Bridging the Ouachita River Marker (rear)
 
Marker at the Malvern City Park, about 4,000 feet east of the Ouachita River. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, August 2, 2018
3. Marker at the Malvern City Park, about 4,000 feet east of the Ouachita River.
View from marker looking south towards downtown Malvern. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, August 2, 2018
4. View from marker looking south towards downtown Malvern.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 5, 2018. It was originally submitted on August 5, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 428 times since then and 61 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 5, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Jun. 19, 2024