Jenkins' Ferry State Park
Jenkins' Ferry Battleground
|Location||Grant County, Arkansas|
|Nearest city||Leola, Arkansas|
|Area||26.35 acres (10.66 ha)|
|NRHP Reference #||70000120|
|Added to NRHP||January 21, 1970|
|Designated NHL||April 19, 1994|
Jenkins Ferry State Park is a roadside state park in southwestern Grant County, Arkansas. The park encompasses a small portion of the battleground of the Battle of Jenkins' Ferry, fought on April 30, 1864 during the American Civil War. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, and, with other sites, is part of the Camden Expedition Sites National Historic Landmark designated in 1994, a National Historic Landmark District.
Description and history
Jenkins Ferry State Park is located on the west side of Arkansas Highway 46, southwest of Sheridan and about 9 miles (14 km) northeast of Leola. The park is set in a bend of the Saline River, which generally flows northwest to southeast, meandering southwest at this point. The park has picnic tables and fire pits, and a basic comfort station, as well as interpretive signs explaining the area's historical significance. The park includes a portion of the original road between Little Rock and Camden, as well as the eastern end of the Jenkins' Ferry crossing.
The 1864 Camden Expedition was part of a two-pronged strategy by the Union Army to drive Confederate resistance out of southwestern Arkansas and northern Louisiana, and pentetrated into Confederate Texas. Union Major General Frederick Steele led a Union force from Little Rock on March 23, 1864, with the objective of joining forces with Major General Nathaniel Prentice Banks at Shreveport, Louisiana. Confederate forces in Arkansas were directed from Washington, where the Confederate government of the state relocated after the fall of Little Rock. General Steele's advance was blunted at the Battle of Prairie D'Ane, and he occupied Camden while he arranged resupply for his starving forces. Resupply efforts were thwarted by the Confederates in the Battle of Poison Spring (April 18) and the Battle of Marks' Mills (April 25).
With no hope of gaining the expedition's objective, Steele withdrew from Camden on April 26, marching up the road (now roughly Highway 46) toward Little Rock. Confederate forces quickly reclaimed the city, and set out in pursuit, hoping to cut off the Union forces before they reached the Saline River. Because of flooding and muddy conditions, the Union forces were able to move only a portion of their artillery and supply wagons across the river at Jenkins' Ferry before the Confederate's arrived there in April 29. Many wagons and supplies were burned, stuck in the muddy road between what is now Leola and the ferry. In the bloody Battle of Jenkins' Ferry, fought on the morning of April 30, the Confederates were unable to prevent the Union withdrawal across the river. Both sides suffered heavy casualties, due to the relatively narrow battlefield which mainly lined the road on the south side of the ferry.
- List of Arkansas state parks
- List of National Historic Landmarks in Arkansas
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Grant County, Arkansas
- National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "Camden Expedition Sites". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-26. Archived from the original on 2007-03-01.
- Edward C. Bearss; James H. Charleton (November 29, 1993). "Camden Expedition Sites" (pdf). National Historic Landmark Nomination. National Park Service.
- "Camden Expedition Sites--Accompanying 62 photos, from 1992-1993: Old U.S. Arsenal (6 photos), Confederate State Capitol (5 photos), Prairie de Ann Battlefield (7 photos), Jenkins' Ferry Battlefield (4 photos), Marks' Mills Battlefield (10 photos), Fort Southerland (5 photos), Poison Spring Battlefield (7 photos), Fort Lookout (9 photos), Elkin's Ferry Battlefield (9 photos)." (pdf). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination. National Park Service. 1993-11-29.
- "NRHP nomination for Jenkins' Ferry State Park" (PDF). Arkansas Preservation. Retrieved 2015-11-20.