Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Marker Program

Jenkins Ferry/Pontoon Bridge

 

City: Leola vic.

County: Grant

Location: Jenkins Ferry Battelefield State Park, Highway 46 at Saline River

Sponsor: Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, Friends of Jenkins Ferry Battlefield, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, Arkansas Humanities Council/Department of Arkansas Heritage, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program

GEO Coordinates

UTM-X: 541622
UTM-Y: 3785775
UTM Zone: 15

Latitude: 34.212294
Longitude: -92.548146

Marker Text

Jenkins Ferry

In 1846, Thomas Jenkins paid the Saline County clerk $1 to register to “keep a ferry” and charge travelers to cross the Saline near the mouth of Cox’s Creek when the river was at flood stage. Gen. Frederick Steele’s Union army came to Jenkins Ferry while retreating to Little Rock from Camden and began crossing on April 29, 1864. Steele conferred with the commanders of his rear guard, Gens. Rice and Salomon, in the Jenkins’ family cabin in the early hours of April 30 to plan the day’s battle. Steele’s men crossed after fending off a Confederate attack.

No. 113

Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission

Friends of Jenkins Ferry Battlefield

Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Arkansas Humanities Council/Department of Arkansas Heritage

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program

2015

Pontoon Bridge

The Union army used an India rubber pontoon bridge to cross the swollen Saline River on April 29-30, 1864. The bridge, transported in 34 wagons, was inflated with bellows. Each pontoon was 19 feet long and they were attached in groups of three. Gen. Frederick Steele’s army began crossing on the 29th and the last of his troops were over by 2 p.m. on the 30th. With the animals used to haul the bridge nearing exhaustion, Steele ordered it destroyed. Union engineers pierced the pontoons with bayonets and axes, then burned them along with their wagons.

No. 113

Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission

Friends of Jenkins Ferry Battlefield

Arkansas Humanities Council/Department of Arkansas Heritage

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program

2015

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