The Battle of Jenkins’ Ferry took place in Grant county, Arkansas on April 30, 1864 as Confederate forces attempted to Union General Frederick Steele’s forces retreated across the Saline River. While Confederates attacked several times, they could not stop Steele’s men from crossing the river with their supplies. Andrew F. Sperry, who served with the 33rd Iowa Infantry Regiment, described the battle after the war:
“The conflict was terrible to experience, but brief to tell. Seven mortal hours, with such fierce vigor and determination that the fire of musketry became one undistinguishable and unbroken roar. Charge after charge was made by the yelling rebels, only to be broken upon our line, or if possibly succeeding for a moment, to give way at last to a charge of still deeper and more deadly determination from our own brave men.”
Confederates “forgot…the valor of Steele’s soldiers,” as another Union veteran explained.
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