The Battle of Pine Bluff phone audio tour highlights the role of former enslaved African Americans with Union defenses during the battle on October 25, 1863. Union soldiers began occupying Pine Bluff in September 1863, by the time of the battle a large number of African-American men, women, and children were associated with the contraband or freedmen's camp(s) in Pine Bluff. One personal account related to this situation was that of Boston Blackwell. Blackwell's slave narrative reveals that he and another young man "ran for two days" to make it to the "Yankee camp in Pine Bluff." Blackwell also proudly recounted his role in the Battle of Pine Bluff as one of 300 men who served in the skirmish. The battle was proclaimed a Union victory, and Pine Bluff continued as Union-occupied territory—serving as a place of freedom for an estimated 2,000 (Twentieth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry) freedmen by January 1864.
The approximately twelve-minute tour is available by mobile phone (501.203.3015; Stop # 16) and internet (www.arkansascivilwar150.com). On-site signage for the program is located in Pine Bluff, Arkansas near the site of the actual battle in downtown Pine Bluff, at the intersection of Barraque & Pine Streets.
The phone audio tour is part of an overall, statewide interpretive program that highlights other Civil War battles fought in Arkansas.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: 200 E. 8th Avenue, Pine Bluff, Jefferson, 71601
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Christ Mark
Location Type: Program
People/Organizations Associated with the site: Civil War,Contraband
Freedom Seekers: Boston Blackwell