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Jacksonville in Pulaski County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Thunder on Bayou Meto

Confederate Artillery in the Battle for Reed's Bridge

 
 
Thunder on Bayou Meto Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 9, 2018
1. Thunder on Bayou Meto Marker
Inscription. Click to hear the inscription.  As Reed's Bridge burned and Confederate artillery broke up the charge of the First Iowa Cavalry Regiment, Union artillery opened fire on Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke at his position near Lt. Charlie Bell's "little teaser" prairie gun. An exploding shell killed Bell and wounded Major C.C. Rainwater, Marmaduke's aide, among others.

As Bell's crippled gun was pulled to the rear, Marmaduke called up Captain Joseph Bledsoe's Battery of two ten-pounder Parrott rifles and a pair of six-pounder smoothbore cannon. Using information Lieutenant Richard Collins had gathered by crossing Bayou Meto to scout out the Union artillery position, Bledsoe's Battery opened a blistering barrage on the Yankee cannon. As the big guns of the opposing forces blasted away at each other, both Union and Confederate riflemen paused to watch the spectacle of an artillery duel.

"The enemy at first put their shots in well but as Dick Collins worked his guns down closer and closer upon them, and made their position warmer and warmer, their firing became less regular and accurate, until, as shot after shot took effect
Small park located across the road from the Reed's Bridge Battlefield. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 9, 2018
2. Small park located across the road from the Reed's Bridge Battlefield.
upon them, they entirely lost their coolness and precision, and sent their shells recklessly through the tops of the trees, destroying much foliage and frightening the wild birds terribly."
Maj. John Newman Edwards, C.S.A.

Photo captions
Bottom left: Though not depicting the battle at Reed's Bridge, this illustration shows a gun crew at work. Bledsoe's Battery would have looked much like this during the fighting on Bayou Meto. Courtesy washingtonartillery.com .
Top right: Capt. Joseph Bledsoe's Battery included two six-pounder smoothbore cannon similar to the one shown in the drawing here. The six-pounder was one of the most common cannon used by both sides during the Civil War. 1864 Instructions for Field Artillery, U.S. War Department.
Bottom right: This image shows a Confederate mountain howitzer in Richmond, Virginia, after its capture by Federal troops. Lt. Charlie Bell's battery had a similar cannon atop a larger carriage, called a "Prairie carriage." Courtesy Library of Congress.
 
Erected by the Arkansas Humanities Council and the Department of Arkansas Heritage, the City of Jacksonville and Reed's Bridge Battlefield Preservation Society.
 
Location. 34° 50.566′ N, 92° 7.452′ W. Marker is in Jacksonville, Arkansas, in Pulaski County. Marker is at the intersection of South First Street (Arkansas Route 161) and Lakeshore Drive, on the right when traveling south on South First Street. Touch for map. Located at the Bayou Meto Canoe & Walking Trailheads. Marker is at or near this postal address: South First Street, Jacksonville AR 72076, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Marmaduke-Walker Duel (a few steps from this marker); The Little Rock Campaign (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Like Sorrow's Veil... (about 700 feet away); Brother Against Brother (approx. 0.4 miles away); A Gallant Charge (approx. 0.4 miles away); Battle of Reed's Bridge (approx. 0.9 miles away); Shared Gray Jacob Gray (approx. 0.9 miles away); Memphis Military Road (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jacksonville.
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia article on the Battle of Bayou Meto (aka Battle of Reed's Bridge). (Submitted on April 18, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsWar, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 18, 2018. This page originally submitted on April 18, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 77 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 18, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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