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DeValls Bluff in Prairie County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Why DeValls Bluff

 
 
Why DeValls Bluff Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 30, 2016
1. Why DeValls Bluff Marker
Inscription. DeValls Bluff was ideally situated to be an important location in the Civil War. The riverport was located at a point on the White River that was navigable at all seasons, a distinct advantage over Arkansas River sites that were frequently isolated by low water.

DeValls Bluff also was the head of the Memphis and Little Rock Railroad, which ran from there to present-day North Little Rock. Thus, people and supplies could be shipped by steamboat to DeValls Bluff, then transported by train to the capital at Little Rock.

Union troops occupied DeValls Bluff in late August 1863 during the campaign to capture Little Rock, and it became a major supply depot for the remainder of the war. While the heavily fortified town itself never faced serious attack, the railroad line was a frequent target for Confederate raiders.

DeVall’s Bluff Through The Soldiers Eyes

“White River is at present a better one for the purpose of navigation than the Mississippi; it is falling now, but will rise again next month, and can be depended upon all the time for over 4 feet of water to this point … No pilot is required. All that is necessary is to keep a boat from running on the banks. With such a base as this, it will be a very easy matter to carry on operations against Little Rock.”
Maj. Gen. Frederick
DeValls Bluff Civil War Interpretive Signs image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 30, 2016
2. DeValls Bluff Civil War Interpretive Signs
Why DeValls Bluff? marker is at the far right
Steele
DeValls Bluff
August 23, 1863.


“This is a splendid sight for a town, and if in any of the Northern states, in as fine a country with a railroad connecting it with the interior and the best river for navigation in the United States of its size running past it, would have been a city of 25,000 inhabitants.”
Capt. Edward Redington
28th Wisconsin Inf.
Regiment
August 20, 1863

 
Location. 34° 47.057′ N, 91° 27.524′ W. Marker is in DeValls Bluff, Arkansas, in Prairie County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (State Highway 33) and Prairie Avenue, on the right when traveling south on Main Street. Touch 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. DeValls Bluff Under Fire (a few steps from this marker); War on the White River (a few steps from this marker); DeValls Bluff in the Civil War (a few steps from this marker); Common Ground for Many Soldiers (a few steps from this marker); DeValls Bluff: A Key Union Base (a few steps from this marker); Memphis and Little Rock Railroad
Rhodes Park in DeValls Bluff image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 30, 2016
3. Rhodes Park in DeValls Bluff
The park has five interpretive signs and a Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission marker on DeValls Bluff's role in the Civil War
(about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named The Memphis and Little Rock Railroad (about 700 feet away); DeValls Bluff: A Major Union Riverport (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in DeValls Bluff.
 
More about this marker. The marker is one of five Civil War interpretive signs in Rhodes Park; there are two other Civil War interpretive signs in DeValls Bluff.

The marker includes a DeValls Bluff Riverport illustration from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper (Courtesy Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Little Rock) and a historic map of DeValls Bluff and Fortifications.
 
Also see . . .  DeValls Bluff (Prairie County). From The Arkansas Encyclopedia of History & Culture. Includes information on De Valls Bluff’s role in the Civil War. (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 CivilWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 10, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 10, 2016, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 138 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 10, 2016, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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