The Battle of Bayou Fourche (September 10, 1863), also known as the Battle of Little Rock, was the most decisive battle of the Little Rock Campaign.
The Battle of Bayou Forche was the culmination of a campaign launched by Major-General Frederick Steele on August 1, 1863 to capture Little Rock, Arkansas. The Little Rock Campaign included engagements at West Point, Harrison’s Landing, Brownsville, Reed’s Bridge, and Ashley’s Mills (or Ferry Landing).
On September 10, 1863, Steele sent Brigadier-General John Davidson’s division of United States Cavalry across the Arkansas River to advance on Little Rock while he moved against Confederate States forces entrenched on the north side of the river. In his thrust toward the state capitol, Davidson ran into Brigadier-General Marsh Walker’s division of cavalry, commanded by Colonel Archibald Dobbins, at Bayou Fourche. Aided by field artillery from the north side of the river, Davidson forced Dobbins out of his position and sent the defenders fleeing back to Little Rock, which fell to the U.S. Army that afternoon.
Major General Sterling Price, commanding at Little Rock, fell back to Arkadelphia on the 14th, and eventually re-established his command at Camp Bragg, Arkansas. Governor Harris Flanagin relocated the state capitol to Washington, Arkansas, where it remained for the rest of the war. The fall of Little Rock sealed Arkansas’ fate and helped to further demoralize Confederate citizens west of the Mississippi River, further isolating them from the rest of the South.