John W. Davidson
Davidson led six thousand cavalrymen and sixteen artillery pieces in the Battle of Brownsville on August 25, 1863. The battle took place about seven weeks after the Union victory at the Battle of Helena. The march on Brownsville began around July 31 when U.S. Major-General Ulysses S. Grant ordered Federal troops to begin moving towards Clarendon and then DeValls Bluff. At Brownsville 1,300 Confederate cavalrymen under the command of Brigadier-General John Sappington Marmaduke guarded the approach to Little Rock. The two forces met on the morning of August 25th. The Confederates fell back about six miles during the battle.
Little Rock was captured in September 1863 by fourteen thousand federal troops under the command of Major General Frederick Steele. C.S.A. Major General Sterling Price attempted to defend the city with eight thousand men and miscellaneous cavalry. Steele bypassed this installations by crossing the Arkansas River on a pontoon bridge erected at Terry's Ferry.
The Battle of Bayou Fourche took place on September 10, 1863. The battle again pitted Marmaduke against Davidson. The battle was fought at the mouth of the Fourche Creek where it discharges into the Arkansas River east of Little Rock. Davidson's troops crossed the Arkansas River to the Fourche Creek bayou and, with the help of an artillery barrage, drove the Confederates back into the city. "Every advantageous foot of ground from this point onward was warmly contested by them," Davidson later reported, "my cavalry dismounting and taking it afoot in the timber and cornfields." The Confederate stand at Fourche Bayou gave Price time to evacuate all of his troops from the city by 5 PM. The capitol surrendered to Steele at 7 PM.
Total casualties among the Confederates in this campaign, called the Battle of Little Rock by the South and the Battle of Bayou Fourche by the North, numbered about sixty-four men. The tally on the Union side was eighteen killed, one hundred and eighteen wounded, and one missing.