Poison Spring

Col. James M. Williams, USA

Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke and Brig. Gen. Samuel Bell Maxey, CSA

The Union had an infantry brigade against two small cavalry divisions.

US losses were about 300, Confederate losses just over 100.

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. Many men of the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry didn't make it back, thanks to revenge killings by Confederates from the border regions and also scalpings by Native Americans in Confederate service whose homes in the Indian Territory had been raided.

Location: 
Ouachita County, Arkansas, United States
Outcome: 
Confederate victory
Campaign: 
Camden Expedition of the Red River Campaign
Start Date: 
Monday, April 18, 1864
Start Year: 
1864
End Date: 
Monday, April 18, 1864
End Year: 
1864
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