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Near Augusta in Woodruff County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

“It Was a Hard Little Fight”

The Battle of Fitzhugh's Woods, April 1st, 1864

 
 
"It Was a Hard Little Fight" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 9, 2018
1. "It Was a Hard Little Fight" Marker
Inscription. As Maj. Gen. Frederick Steele's Union army marched into southwest Arkansas in the spring of 1864, Col. C.C. Andrews was ordered to lead an expedition to Woodruff County. The column's orders were to keep Brig. Gen. Dandridge McRae from recruiting Confederate forces in the region and from attacking the strategically important Memphis to Little Rock Railroad.

Andrews, with 186 men of the Third Minnesota Infantry Regiment and 45 troopers of the Eighth Missouri Cavalry, boarded the steamer Dove and traveled up the White River, arriving at Augusta on April 1. They marched north and nearly captured McRae, who escaped on horseback. The Yankees continued until they were twelve miles past Augusta, then turned back.

When the Union column reached Fitzhugh's Plantation northwest of where you are standing, they were charged by Rebel cavalrymen. Turning that attack back, the Federals hurried to Fitzhugh's Woods, where a combined Confederate force of 595 men hit them from three sides. Both sides traded fire for nearly three hours before Andrews crossed a bayou to the south and marched back to Augusta. McRae's troops, nearly out of ammunition, were unable to pursue.

The Third Minnesota suffered seven killed, sixteen wounded and four left wounded on the battlefield, while the Eighth Missouri Cavalry lost one man killed
"It Was a Hard Little Fight" Marker on left looking at woods area. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 9, 2018
2. "It Was a Hard Little Fight" Marker on left looking at woods area.
and one missing. Confederate forces lost twenty to twenty-five killed or mortally wounded and another sixty to seventy-five wounded.

"I directed Rutherford to take such part of my force as were armed with pistols, mount his men, and charge the Federals, who were then retreating, but... he was unable to accomplish anything, being entirely out of ammunition.".
-Brig. Gen. Dandridge McRae

'The pith of this short story is the fact that the Third Minnesota in the Battle of Fitzhugh's Woods charged and successfully repulsed - why should I not say defeated - three times its own number."
-Col. Christopher Columbus Andrews
 
Erected by the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
 
Location. 35° 20.885′ N, 91° 19.346′ W. Marker is near Augusta, Arkansas, in Woodruff County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Arkansas Route 33 and Woodruff Road (County Road 165), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located at a small pullout, about 2 miles east of Negro Head Corner, on east side of road. Marker is in this post office area: Augusta AR 72006, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies
View from marker looking west towards another marker - "Action at Fitzhugh's Woods" image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 9, 2018
3. View from marker looking west towards another marker - "Action at Fitzhugh's Woods"
. Action at Fitzhugh's Woods (within shouting distance of this marker); Augusta Memorial Park (approx. 4.6 miles away); Woodruff County Courthouse (approx. 4.8 miles away); Woodruff County War Memorial (approx. 4.8 miles away); Augusta Presbyterian Church (approx. 4.9 miles away); Woodruff County Presbyterian Church (approx. 4.9 miles away); Chickasaw Crossing (approx. 5.1 miles away); City of Augusta (approx. 5.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Augusta.
 
Also see . . .  The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture article on Action at Fitzhugh's Woods. (Submitted on April 20, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 20, 2018. This page originally submitted on April 20, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 66 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 20, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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