The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and the Jackson County Historical Society will dedicate a marker commemorating the 1862 shelling of Jacksonport, according to Betsy Watson, president of the historical society.

 

The dedication will be held on Sunday, June 2, the actual 151st anniversary of the shelling, at Jacksonport State Park at 4:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend this dedication. On June 2, 1862, Capt. Joseph Fry of the Confederate Navy, arrived at Jacksonport aboard his ship, the “Maurepas.”

He piloted the boat up the White River from Grand Glaze to capture or destroy Union supplies. By the time he reached his destination, most of the occupying Ninth Illinois Cavalry had left the town in anticipation of an invasion by Southern forces. Fry fired shells both at Jacksonport and west of town where the enemy had relocated. The Ninth Illinois did not fire back so as not to injure civilians in the town. Fry’s men then destroyed large amounts of cotton and sugar which were stored at Jacksonport.

 

The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission hopes eventually to have historical markers placed in each of Arkansas’ 75 counties. There currently are 63 markers approved. Through the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Historical Marker program, which received initial funding from the National Park Service’s Preserve America program, the ACWSC will contribute up to $1,100 toward the creation of historical markers. Commission historians will work with the local sponsors to ensure that all of the information on the markers is accurate.

 

For more information about this event, contact Mark Ballard at Jacksonport State Park, (870) 523-2143, or email him at mark.ballard@arkansas.gov.

 

The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission is housed within the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. For more information on sesquicentennial plans, visit www.arkansascivilwar150.com or e-mail acwsc@arkansasheritage.org.