Reed’s Bridge Battlefield Preservation Society, City of Jacksonville work together to protect site

By Tommy Dupree

RBBPS President

 December 1, 2007, was the dedication date for five panels that are located between Trickey Lane and old Military Road in Jacksonville. 

One panel is about Jacob Gray, a Revolutionary War veteran, who was the earliest permanent settler in that area.  This panel was furnished by the D.A.R.  A second panel gives information about the Memphis to Little Rock Road whose construction started in the 1820s.  Panels number three and four cover Indian removal and the Trail of Tears when four of the five tribes relocated to the territory now known as Oklahoma during the 1830s.  Early troop movements preceding the action at Reed’s Bridge is shown on panel number five.  Attendance at the ceremony was quite good with 91 registered and eight or nine who failed to sign in.  Those attending included the Pulaski County Judge, Jacksonville Mayor, four Jacksonville aldermen, and representatives from several state agencies, Arkansas Humanities Council members, high school students, teachers, and business and professional people.

In January the Jacksonville City Council voted unanimously to fund $100,000 to match a $100,000 gift of cash and property donated by an individual to close a transaction of three pieces of property that are in the Reed’s Bridge battlefield core.  Also, on December 31, the City of Jacksonville funded $20,000 for two lots in the core area.  These lots appraised at and were purchased for $30,000 by Reed’s Bridge.

Plans for 2008 include a parking lot and walking trail in the southwest quarter of the park to be furnished by the Pulaski County Road and Bridge Department. Four new panels will also be put up. A matching grant for McGraw Cemetery is being submitted in April. Funds for the matching part of the grant are being provided by the Jacksonville Advertising and Promotion Commission. Money to print brochures on the Memphis to Little Rock Road, Indian Removal and Reed’s Bridge Battle on August 27, 1863, is also being provided by the Jacksonville A&P Commission.