Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Marker Program

Skirmishes at Okolona/Fighting at Elkins' Ferry

 

City: Okolona

County: Clark

Location: 308 Water Ave.

Sponsor: Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, Clark County Historical Association, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program

GEO Coordinates

UTM-X: 468813
UTM-Y: 3762392
UTM Zone: 15

Latitude: 34.001676
Longitude: -93.337718

Marker Text

Skirmishes at Okolona

Gen. Frederick Steele’s Union army left Little Rock on March 23, 1864, for a planned invasion of Texas, but it was April 2 before they faced organized Confederate attacks. Gen. Joseph Shelby attacked the Union wagon train at Terre Noire Creek on the 2nd, then hit Steele’s troops at Okolona the next day. Fighting raged for several hours amid a furious thunderstorm before Shelby broke away and fell back to Antoine. A post-war account by Shelby’s adjutant claims a Union shell hit a hive and it was bees, not gunfire, that drove the Confederates from the field.

No. 124

Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission

Clark County Historical Association

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program

2015

Fighting at Elkins’ Ferry

Union forces arrived at Elkins’ Ferry on the Little Missouri River late on April 2, 1864, sending cavalry across to establish a picket line. Gen. John Marmaduke’s Confederate cavalry skirmished with them on the 3rd, leading the Federals to send infantry and artillery reinforcements across the river. Marmaduke attacked in force with 1,600 horsemen on April 4 and drove the Federals back toward the river, but troops from Iowa and Wisconsin crossed the river to bolster the Union line. Marmaduke fell back toward defensive earthworks on Prairie D’Ane.

No. 124

Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission

Clark County Historical Association

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program

2015

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