Arkansas in the Civil War: A Military Atlas out June 10, 2016! Just in time for Father’s Day!
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The six small flags represented above are locations of Confederate encampments near the Battle of Jenkins' Ferry battlefield located in current-day Grant County south of Sheridan. Notice the lightning bolt that represents a military engagement.

The six small flags represented above are locations of Confederate encampments near the Battle of Jenkins’ Ferry battlefield located in current-day Grant County south of Sheridan. Notice the lightning bolt that represents a military engagement.

Despite the need for edible food and potable water, one can only assume the widespread devastated and bare landscape following several years of foraging in south Arkansas. Post war south Arkansas was a desolate place bereft of valuable crops and livestock. Of the nearly 800 military actions that occurred throughout the Civil War in Arkansas, only four appear on the original map from which this atlas was created. The four battles range in dates from 18 April 1864 to 6 June 1864. The four battles listed on the original were also added to this atlas. The first battle listed was Poison Spring. Labeled on the map as Poison Spring 18 Apl. 1864, this battle located in grid J5 was one of the several battles included in the Camden Expedition of the Red River Campaign. This specific military action occurred in Ouachita County near Camden as Federal soldiers in the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry and their wagon train was attacked by Confederate forces resulting in 301 Union casualties and 114 Confederate casualties.

Shortly after the Union wagon train was attacked during a forage expedition at Poison Spring, another wagon train was attacked one week later on April 25 at Marks’ Mill. Located in present day Cleveland County, the battle is represented on grid J7. It was the destruction of the Federal wagon train at Marks’ Mill that led to the complete abandonment of the Red River Campaign in Arkansas and was the catalyst for the immediate retreat of the Union army back to Little Rock.

It was during the hasty retreat from Camden to Little Rock that the Federal army became trapped between the Saline River and Camden, resulting in a bloody battle in the Saline River bottoms south of present-day Sheridan at a crossing on the river at Jenkins’ Ferry. It was this final battle in the Camden Expedition that left south Arkansas firmly in the hands of Confederate forces. The fourth battle noted on the original engineer map took place in the far eastern section of the state near present-day Lake Village in the Arkansas Delta. Also known as the Battle of Ditch Bayou, Furlough, and Fish Bayou, this battle was not dated on the original map.

It was here that a skirmish erupted on June 5 and 6, 1864 in Chicot County as seen on grid L10. The Union victory allowed Federal soldiers in securing Lake Village nearby.