"It Was a Hard Little Fight"

"It Was a Hard Little Fight" (HM272L)

Location: Augusta, AR 72006 Woodruff County
Country: United States of America
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N 35° 20.885', W 91° 19.346'

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The Battle of Fitzhugh's Woods, April 1st, 1864

As Maj. Gen. Frederick Steele's Union army marched into southwest Arkansas in the spring of 1864, Col. C.C. Andrews was ordered to lead an expedition to Woodruff County. The column's orders were to keep Brig. Gen. Dandridge McRae from recruiting Confederate forces in the region and from attacking the strategically important Memphis to Little Rock Railroad.

Andrews, with 186 men of the Third Minnesota Infantry Regiment and 45 troopers of the Eighth Missouri Cavalry, boarded the steamer Dove and traveled up the White River, arriving at Augusta on April 1. They marched north and nearly captured McRae, who escaped on horseback. The Yankees continued until they were twelve miles past Augusta, then turned back.

When the Union column reached Fitzhugh's Plantation northwest of where you are standing, they were charged by Rebel cavalrymen. Turning that attack back, the Federals hurried to Fitzhugh's Woods, where a combined Confederate force of 595 men hit them from three sides. Both sides traded fire for nearly three hours before Andrews crossed a bayou to the south and marched back to Augusta. McRae's troops, nearly out of ammunition, were unable to pursue.

The Third Minnesota suffered seven killed, sixteen wounded and four left wounded on the battlefield, while the Eighth Missouri Cavalry lost one man killed

and one missing. Confederate forces lost twenty to twenty-five killed or mortally wounded and another sixty to seventy-five wounded.

"I directed Rutherford to take such part of my force as were armed with pistols, mount his men, and charge the Federals, who were then retreating, but... he was unable to accomplish anything, being entirely out of ammunition.".
-Brig. Gen. Dandridge McRae

'The pith of this short story is the fact that the Third Minnesota in the Battle of Fitzhugh's Woods charged and successfully repulsed - why should I not say defeated - three times its own number."
-Col. Christopher Columbus Andrews
HM NumberHM272L
Placed ByThe Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, April 20th, 2018 at 7:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 652436 N 3912936
Decimal Degrees35.34808333, -91.32243333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 20.885', W 91° 19.346'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 20' 53.1" N, 91° 19' 20.76" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)870
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 5299 AR-33, Augusta AR 72006, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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