Arkansas in the Civil War: A Military Atlas out June 10, 2016! Just in time for Father’s Day!
Get yours on Amazon.com or right here on Arkansastoothpick.com

1864 Confederate Engineer Map of Arkansas

1864 Confederate Engineer Map of Arkansas

As is the case in most wars, ground is gained and lost as a sort of ebb and flow between enemies; lines are drawn where weakened forces pool their resources in order to make that one final stand against an overwhelming foe. This was the situation Confederate forces in south Arkansas faced by 1864, the year this engineer’s map was created. With less than a year left in a hopeless struggle against inevitability, Confederate forces were concentrated in southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana to defend against an eventual simultaneous march on Shreveport by Union General Nathaniel Banks from a southerly approach (New Orleans), and by Union General Frederick Steele from a northerly approach (Little Rock) concurrently.

As fate would dictate, however, the Union campaign was a complete military disaster, which resulted in the retreat of Federal forces and the eventual abandonment of the operation. Throughout the blunderous operation, the Confederates took every advantage in defending Arkansas’ new vagabond capitol in Washington situated in the southwest part of the state. The Confederates were also able to keep secure the cotton in the southern part of Arkansas and in Texas. The loss of either Washington, cotton, or Texas would have proven disastrous to the rebellious state and the Trans-Mississippi generally. This atlas is based on the original engineer’s map used by military officers in the planning of military operations roughly south of the Louisiana Purchase baseline spanning most of south Arkansas. This is by no means an exhaustive resource that shows every topographical phenomenon throughout the state, nor is it meant to be a completely accurate and complete representation of the state. In short it was an operational military map that was being used to plan troop movements of Confederate forces in South Arkansas, perhaps into Texas, by 1865. This theory is based on the extreme detail along the Red River valley in south Arkansas as if a military operation westward were planned. Unfortunately only 29 per cent of the state was reconnoitered by the Confederate engineers that created the original map.