Civil War Wiki
Battle of Poison Spring
Part of American Civil War
Date April 18, 1864
Location Ouachita County, Arkansas
Result Confederate victory
United States United States (Union) Confederate States of America CSA (Confederacy)
Col. James M. Williams John S. Marmaduke
Samuel B. Maxey
Brigade (1,100 men) Marmaduke’s and Maxey’s Divisions
Casualties and losses
301 114

The Battle of Poison Spring was fought during the American Civil War on April 18, 1864, in Ouachita County, Arkansas as part of the Camden Expedition.

Opposing forces[]

Dwindling supplies for his army at Camden forced Maj. Gen. Frederick Steele to send out a foraging party to gather corn that the Confederates had stored about twenty miles up the Prairie D’Ane-Camden Road on White Oak Creek. The party loaded the corn into wagons, and on April 18, Col. James M. Williams started his return to Camden. Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke’s and Brig. Gen. Samuel B. Maxey’s Confederate forces arrived at Lee Plantation, about fifteen miles from Camden, where they engaged Williams.


The Confederates eventually attacked Williams in the front and rear, forcing him to retreat north into a marsh where his men regrouped and then fell back to Camden. The Union lost 198 wagons and all the corn. Estimated casualties were 301 for Williams and 114 for the Confederates. Many men of the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry did not make it back, due to revenge killings by Confederates from the border regions and scalpings by Native Americans in Confederate service whose homes in the Indian Territory had been raided.

The site is commemorated as the Poison Spring State Park.


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