You are standing in the vicinity of where Confederate forces camped on
Monday, September 7, 1863, when Union forces under Major General Frederick
Steele advancing from Brownsville engaged the brigade of Colonel Robert C.
Newton, C.S.A., driving his troops back to the river west of here toward Little
Rock, Colonel Archibald S. Dobbins, C.S.A. Arkansas Cavalry, reported the union
troops faked a crossing at Buck's Ford to the south of Terry's Ferry in order to
distract the defending Confederates from the actual crossing west of Ashley's
Mills near Terry's Ferry up the river.
"....I had collected information in regard to the road leading by Shallow
Ford and Ashley's Mills to the Arkansas, and the right of the enemy's works,
which determined me to take that route.....On the 7th, we reached the Arkansas
near Ashley's Mills....[where] Davidson's cavalry in advance had a sharp
skirmish with the enemy."
- Major General Frederick Steele, Union Army Commander.
"The enemy advanced in greatly superior force, and Colonel Newton crossed the
river about 8 miles below Little Rock....That night the enemy encamped at
Ashley's Mills and Terry's Ferry....From that time until the evening of the 9th,
there was continual skirmishing between my scouts and the enemy."
"On the evening of the 9th, the enemy moved down in considerable forced
cavalry and artillery to Buck's Ford, [and] built up campfires within sight of
the ford. About 10 o'clock on that night...the enemy were moving their
artillery to Terry's Ferry and were throwing out lumber as if they intended on
building a bridge at that place......I reported to Major General Price, that the
enemy were in front of me in heavy force of infantry, cavalry, and
artillery....and that he would be unable to prevent their crossing."
- Colonel Archibald S. Dobbins, Walker's Division Commander Arkansas