Poison Spring

Location: Ouachita County

Campaign: Camden Expedition (1864)

Date(s): April 18, 1864

Principal Commanders: Col. James M. Williams [US]; Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke and Brig. Gen. Samuel Bell Maxey [CS]

Forces Engaged: Brigade (1,100 men) [US]; Marmaduke’s and Maxey’s Divisions [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 415 total (US 301; CS 114)

Description: Dwindling supplies for his army at Camden forced Maj. Gen. Fred 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 Rebels 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.

Result(s): Confederate victory

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