Saturday, September 6, 2008
Battle of Poison Spring pages now online!
One of the bloodiest and most startling events of the Civil War's Red River Campaign was the Battle of Poison Spring, Arkansas.
Confederate forces under Generals Samuel B. Maxey and John Marmaduke attacked a massive Union supply train at Poison Spring, about ten miles west of Camden, Arkansas, on April 18, 1864. By the time the battle was over, more than 200 Union soldiers were dead or missing and 170 wagons and 1,200 mules had been seized by the Confederates.
There were allegations that black Union soldiers were murdered following the battle, primarily by Confederate soldiers from the Choctaw Nation. The Choctaw warriors were irate at the Federals over damage done to their homes and families by these same Union troops over the previous year. Hundreds of Choctaw families had been left homeless by Union operations in the Indian Territory of present-day Oklahoma, and legend holds that the warriors exacted their revenge when Federal troops broke and retreated at Poison Spring.
The Battle of Poison Spring is memorialized today by Poison Spring State Park in Arkansas. If you would like to learn more about this historic Civil War battle west of the Mississippi, please visit our new Poison Spring pages at www.exploresouthernhistory.com/poisonspring.