Searcy Landing in the Civil War
Searcy Landing was a steamboat stop with cotton warehouses before the war. On May 9, 1862, Col. P.J. Osterhaus's 3rd Division of the Union Army of the Southwest built a bridge across the Little Red River, camping here as they threatened Little Rock. Union forces stayed several weeks, battling with Confederates before retreating to Batesville, then marching to Helena. In August 1863 the U.S.S. Cricket captured the steamboats Kaskaskia and Tom Sugg at Searcy Landing and destroyed Gen. John S. Marmaduke's pontoon bridge that crossed the river here.
Guerrilla War on the Little Red
As the Civil War in Arkansas degenerated into guerrilla warfare in 1864, U.S. troops from Batesville and Little Rock often came to Searcy Landing hunting bands of cavalry operating in the Little Red River valley. In August, Union Gen. J.R. West led 3,094 men in search of Col. T.H. McCray's 2,000 Confederate cavalry in the valley, chasing them north and east of the landing, then returning to Little Rock. Searcy Landing stayed a steamboat dock and river crossing for around 50 years after the war ended until the first bridge was built in 1911.