Remnant of a Historic Town
This cistern is among the few
visible remains of the town of
Arkansas Post.
Civil War at Arkansas Post
Arkansas Post was the scene
of a major battle in 1863
involving nearly 40,000 men. - Arkansas Post National Memorial - Arkansas Post National Memorial
Arkansas Post National Memorial - Gillett, Arkansas
Arkansas Post National Memorial
Historic Arkansas Post was the site of
the last battle of the American Revolution
The Last Battle of the Revolution
Located in the Delta region about one hour
southeast of Pine Bluff, Arkansas Post
National Memorial is one of the most historic
sites in North America.

The national memorial preserves and
interprets the remnants of Arkansas Post, a
settlement established on the banks of the
Arkansas River by the French in 1686. Over
time, a series of forts, villages and towns
would exist in the vicinity.

During its early years, the "Post" was much
more important as a trading establishment
an base for French fur traders than it was as
a military post. Even so, soldiers were based
at the site and fortifications were built and
rebuilt as they deteriorated due to the

Spain gained control of the region from
France at the end of the French and Indian
War and Arkansas Post was a Spanish
possession during the American Revolution.
Since the Spanish were allied with the
American revolutionaries, Arkansas Post
became the target of British intrigue.

On April 17, 1783, the last battle of the
American Revolution was fought here when a
force of roughly 100 British-allied white and
Native American volunteers attacked the
Spanish garrison of Fort Carlos III at
Arkansas Post. Remembered today as
"Colbert's Raid," the battle ended in a
Spanish victory thanks to a bold defense
waged by the soldiers holding the fort.

The last known casualties of the American
Revolution were sustained at the Battle of
Arkansas Post.

In 1803, Arkansas and the rest of the
Louisiana Purchase became part of the
United States. American troops occupied
Arkansas Post in January of 1804.

When Arkansas became a Territory in 1819,
Arkansas Post was selected as the first
territorial capital. The territorial legislature
met here in 1819 and 1820, prompting a
wave of growth and speculation for the
community. On November 20, 1819, a
printing press at Arkansas Post turned out
the first issue of the
Arkansas Gazette, the
first newspaper in Arkansas and the
fore-runner of today's

In 1821 the territorial capital was moved to
Little Rock, but Arkansas Post lived on as an
important trading community and port for
cotton shipping. The area surrounding the
post was a vast agricultural district and
thousands of bales of cotton left Arkansas
Post via steamboat during the decades
before the Civil War.
Arkansas Post became a major Confederate
post during the Civil War. Fort Hindman, a
bastioned earthwork was built on the bluff
and lines of rifle pits stretched across the
peninsula. Confederates used Arkansas
Post as a base for raids on Union shipping
on the Mississippi River.

On January 10-11, 1863, Fort Hindman and
Arkansas Post were attacked by 32,000
Federal soldiers and a flotilla of Union
warships. While the ironclads and gunboats
bombarded Fort Hindman, the Union infantry
moved against the Confederate rifle pits.

The artillery of Fort Hindman was silenced in
a two day bombardment by the Union navy
and the outnumbered Confederate infantry
finally surrendered after two days of defiance
against overwhelming odds. The Federals
lost 134 killed, 898 wounded and 29
missing. The Confederates lost 60 killed, 80
wounded and 4,800 captured.

Arkansas Post is now a national memorial.
The park officers a visitor center, ruins of the
American town, exhibits on the history of the
site and a spectacular natural setting.

The park is open daily and can be accessed
from U.S. 165 between the towns of Dumas
and Gillett. Be careful not to confuse the
national memorial with the nearby Arkansas
Post State Museum, also worth a visit.
Nature at Arkansas Post
The park's trails give visitors a
chance to explore the unique
plants of the Delta.
Last Battle of the Revolution
A British attack in 1783 was
the last known battle of the
American Revolution.
Fur Trading Exhibit
This exhibit in the visitor
center tells the story of the
early French fur trade at
Arkansas Post.
Copyright 2010 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
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