The Battle of Bayou Fourche, sometimes called the Battle of Little Rock, was a battle in the American Civil War fought on September 10, 1863 east of the town of Little Rock, Arkansas. The battle was the culmination of a campaign launched by Maj. Gen. Fred Steele, on August 1, 1863 to capture Little Rock, Arkansas. The campaign includes engagements at Westport, on 14 August, Harrison's Landing, on 16 August, Brownsville on 25 August, the Reed's Bridge, on 27 August, and Ashely's Mills on 7 September 1863. After the Union army affected a river crossing east of Little Rock, effectively flanking the Confederate defenses north of the river, the Confederates staged a brief delaying action at Bayou Fourche to allow for evacuation of Little Rock. After the fall of Little Rock, Confederate forces retreated to Arkadelphia and Rockport, and established a new state capitol at Washington, in Hempstead County, Arkansas.
On September 10, 1863, Maj. Gen. Fred Steele, Army of Arkansas commander, sent Brig. Gen. John W. Davidson's cavalry division across the Arkansas River to move on Little Rock, while he took other troops to attack Confederates entrenched on the north side. In his thrust toward Little Rock, Davidson ran into Confederate troops at Bayou Fourche. Aided by Union artillery fire from the north side of the river, Davidson forced them out of their position and sent them fleeing back to Little Rock, which fell to Union troops that evening.
Bayou Fourche sealed Little Rock's fate. The fall of Little Rock further helped to contain the Confederate Trans-Mississippi theater, isolating it from the rest of the South.
^"Historic Washington State Park". Arkansas State Parks Guide, 2011. Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. p. 32. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
^National Park Service, American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP), Battle Summary
Report of Colonel John M. Glover, Third Missouri Cavalry. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate armies. Series 1, Volume 22, Page 501 (Part I). United States War Department, 1889, Government Printing Office. See Official Records of the American Civil War.
Sketch of Engagement. Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Plate 25, Map 3.