When Union Gen. J. B. McPherson's XVII Corps reached Grindstone Ford, 2 miles south of here at dusk on May 2, 1863, the troops found the bridge across Big Bayou Pierre burning. Col. J. H. Wilson and a detachment put out the fire. During the night the Federals repaired the bridge.
Col. A. E. Reynolds' Mississippians reached Willow Springs during the night, took position on the bluffs overlooking the bottom, and waited for the Yankees to cross the river. Gen. J. A. Logan's division spearheaded the Union advance on May 3. Confederate artillery opened as the bluecoats scaled the escarpment, forcing Logan to halt and deploy. Seeing he was terribly outnumbered Reynolds pulled back and set up a roadblock at Ingraham's plantation ½ mile northeast of here, where he was reinforced. Pushing on, the Federals, after a spirited clash, drove the Rebels from Ingraham's and back toward Hankinson's Ferry.
While Gen. U.S. Grant regrouped his army and waited for Gen. W. T. Sherman's arrival, troops of McClernand's XIII Corps camped here from May 3 to 7. Union foragers visited the neighboring plantation, seizing food and supplies.