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Marks' Mills Battlefield Site

Highway 8 & 97

Cleveland County, Arkansas

N33.46.866 W092.15.399

National Register of Historic Places -  #70000119


After getting in the neighborhood of the supply train, Gen. Shelby was ordered on the road leading to Mount Elba to intercept the train and attack on the front. Cabell's Brigade moved up to the road leading direct to Marks' Mills. As they moved down the Marks' Mills road the enemies pickets were soon encountered. The thundering of the on-coming train was distinctly heard - THE BATTLE HAD BEGUN!

The driver of the first wagon of the Union Train was killed near this spot.

Placed here by Edgar & sue (Marks) Colvin - October 2001.

After getting in the neighborhood of the surly train, Gen. Shelby was ordered on the road leading to Mount Elba, to intercept the train and attack on the front.

Cabell's Brigade moved up to the road leading direct to Marks' Mills. As they moved down the Marks' Mill Road, the enemies pickets were soon encountered. The thundering of the on-coming train was distinctly heard.


The driver of the first wagon of the Union train was killed near this spot.

"La and Ar History" BY Evans P-257. - Edgar Colvin, June 24, 1996. 

A look alike Limber
Built by Edgar Colvin of Pine Bluff
Used to pull cannon and carry munitions and powder. Originals were wood & copper to prevent sparks.

Two men of gun crew usually rode on limber. - Colvin, May 7, 1996

A Look Alike 1857 Smoothbore
Napoleon Cannon (all metal)
Built by Edgar Colvin of Pine Bluff
Artillery used during battle.

Eight cannons were used by the south. The common model was the 1857 modified version of the smoothbore Napoleon in both the 6 and 12 pounds. (Use the solid shot, exploding shell and spherical case shot.)

The north had four James rifled cannons. (used both solid shot and shell type.)

The relics found on the battlefield included both 6 and 12 pounders of solid shot, case shot, exploding shells, and canister type. (Lead and iron)

A 12 pdr. Napoleon with 2.5 pounds powder charge and at 5 degrees elevation would shot solid shot 1680 yards. - Edgar Colvin, May 3, 1996.

 Marks' Mills Battlefield

Order of Battle
Battle of Marks Mills
April 25, 1864

Union Forces
Commander of the escort to the wagon train: Lt. Col. Francis Drake
43rd Indiana Infantry: Major W.W. Norris
36th Iowa Infantry: A.H. Hamilton
77th Ohio Infantry: Captain A.J. McCormick
Battery E, 2nd Missouri Light Artillery (4 guns): Lt. Charles Peetz
Detachment, 1st Indiana Cavalry: & Det. 7th Mo. Cavalry; Major M. McCauley
Detachment, 7th Mo. Cavalry & Det. 5th Mo. Cavalry Major H.P. Spellman
1st Iowa Cavalry: Lt. Col. J.W. Caldwell

Confederate Forces
Brig. Gen. James F. Fagan in command of the Confederate Forces
Cabell's Provisional Division: Brig. Gen. William L. Cabell
Cabell's Brigade: General Cabell
1st Arkansas Cavalry: Colonel J.C. Monroe
2nd Arkansas Cavalry: Col. T.J. Morgan
4th Arkansas Cavalry: Col. A. Gordon
7th Arkansas Cavalry: Col. J.F. Hill

Harrell's Battalion Arkansas State Troops: Lt. Col.J.M. Harrell
Gunters Arkansas Cavalry Battalion: Lt. Col. T.M. Gunter
Hugheys Arkansas Battery (4 guns): Captain W.M. Hughey
Dockery's Brigade: General Dockery
12th Arkansas Mounted Infantry Battalion
18th, 19th, & 20th Arkansas Mounted Infantry
Wright's Brigade: Col. John Wright (Shelby's Division)
2nd Arkansas Cavalry: Capt. O.B. Tebbs
Crawford's Arkansas Cavalry Regiment
Poe's Arkansas Cavalry Battalion: Major J.E. Poe
M. Murtrey's Arkansas Cavalry Battalion: Major E.L. McMurtrey
Shelby's Provisional Division: Brig. Gen. Joseph O. Shelby
Shank's Brigade: Col. David Shanks
1st Missouri Cavalry Battalion: Major B. Elliott
5th Missouri Cavalry: Col. B.F. Gordon
11th Missouri Cavalry: Col. M.V. Smith
12th Missouri Cavalry Regiment: Col. D.C. Hunter
Collin's Missouri Battery (4 guns): Captain R.A. Collins

- Edgar Colvin, June 17, 1996

Site of Union Defeat Made Historic Landmark
(Reprinted from the Pine Bluff Commercial, April 24, 1994)
Family Ties, Vol. X, #1, May 1994

A disastrous Civil War expedition for the Union Army in South Arkansas
has become a National Historic Landmark.

The Camden Expedition National Historic Landmark includes nine site
along a route from Little Rock to near Hope, to Camden and back to
Little Rock.

"It's the first time we've tied a campaign all together," Edwin C.
Bearss, the National Park Service's chief historian, said at Friday's
announcement outside the Arkansas Museum of Science and History at
Little Rock's MacArthur Park.

"Individually, this is not Gettysburg," Bears said. "Collectively,
this was the only major disaster the Union ran into in 1864."

The museum, once the U.S. Arsenal building and the expedition's
starting point, is included in the designation.

Other sites are: Elkin's Ferry Battleground, north of Prescott; Prairie D'Ane Battlefield, in and west of Prescott; the Confederate State Capitol at Old Washington State Park; Fort Southerland at Camden; Fort Lookout at Camden, Poison Spring Battlefield, northwest of Camden; Marks' Mills Battlefield, east of Fordyce, and Jenkin's Ferry Battlefield, southwest of Sheridan.

During the Camden Expedition ,also known as the Red River Campaign, the Union Army led by Maj. Gen. Frederick Steele tried to invade Texas from March 23 - May 3, 1864. Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks, coming from Louisiana, planned to join Steele at the Red River in southwest Arkansas.

A successful campaign would have placed reconstruction governments in Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana to help President Lincoln's re-election bid that fall and secure a new cotton supply for Northern textile factories.

But the Confederate Army - under Gens. Kirby Smith, Sterling Price, Samuel B. Maxey, and John S. Marmaduke - turned the Union Army away short of the Red River and the Confederate capital at Old Washington. The Union turned east into Camden and then back to Little Rock in a series of skirmishes that cost the Union 2750 casualties, 635 wagons, 2,500 horses and mules, and countless amounts of supplies. 

Reminiscences of Long Ago by Mary A.E. Pickett, the eldest daughter of
J.H. Marks and his wife, Martha Jane Thornton Marks. She related the
following story concerning the Battle of Marks' Mills, April 25,

Times were growing serious. Colonel McMurtrey had arrived and said
the Feds not only had Pine Bluff, but also Little Rock and Camden,
too. He reported that our troops were some where in Louisiana and
that he must leave the next morning. Uncle Evans went with him and we
heard no more from them for many days, in fact, not until the night
before the Battle of Marks' Mills. General Steel who was commanding
the Federal Troops, had decided to evacuate Camden. Sending part of
his men up the road toward Little Rock he started the rest under
General Drake to Pine Bluff.

During the night, the Federal pickets, who had been stationed at Mount
Elba, had been exchanged for other troops and sent on down the road to
meet the command. Instead, they stopped at Grandmother Marks' home.
They plundered her house looking for money and other valuables, which
they could take with them....Soon a rumbling sound was heard. When
they looked outside, they saw General Shelby's men advancing rapidly.
They wore blue coats like the Feds, so naturally, we thought they were
Yankee soldiers. As the Confederate flag was raised, we began to clap
our hands.

When the enemy troops heard the noise, they left in a hurry. Our
troops stopped them but they would not surrender. One soldier was
shot near the house and the other one down by the road. By that time,
Uncle Evan had reached the gate but we didn't recognize him until he
spoke. He told us to get into the house and close all the doors and
windows because there would be a battle and we might be killed.

Grandmother, hardly realizing what she was saying...asked Uncle Evan
to remain with them. He refused and laughingly said, his told his
mother that he wouldn't miss it for anything and assured her that they
would win. Soon he told us goodbye and left. A few minutes later we
hear gunshots. Cannons jarred the earth. The fighting was terrible
but last only a short time (about 5 hours).

The Federals found General Cabell in front of them and Generals Fagan
and Shelby close behind them. They were completely surrounded; so they surrendered army, guns, cannon, wagons, mules, horses, and everything. Several hundred Feds were killed and wounded with only a few Confederates casualties and approximately one hundred wounded.

Uncle Evan had some of the wounded Yankee soldiers carried from the battlefield into his mother's house. She took care of them until they were well and strong enough to be paroled and sent to their homes. We never saw them again but I still hear from them. They have never forgotten us and try to show in every way their gratitude for the care and protection we gave them. Some of the soldiers killed during the battle were buried in the Marks' Cemetery. - Family Ties, Vol. X #1. 

Honor Roll
Battle of Marks' Mills
April 25, 1864

"If ye break faith with us who die, we shall have died in vain."

Mark Davis, Robert Morehead, Doyle Taylor, Jimmy Boney, Anita Knowles, Orr Kelly, Gordon Langford, Robert Moreland

Placed here by Edgar and Sue (Marks) Colvin, July 20, 2003
We thank the Oliver and Lena Anthony family for the use of this land.

Adams, David
Alembaugh, Joseph
Baggs, John C.
Balderson, James B.
Balding, Nathan H.
Baldwin, Melanethon
Bannister, Wesley
Barber, Henry
Barker, William I.
Bay, Davidson P.
Belles, Isaac
Belles, Isaac N.
Bennett, Benjamin
Bennett, William
Bird, M.A. (Lt.)
Bishop, George M.
Blazer, Frederick
Boone, Valentine
Boston, Andrew J. (2nd Lt.)
Boucher, Enoch
Bowen, Smith
Boyer, Peter
Brayman, Andrew J.
Breon, Jacob
Breon, John
Brott, George W.
Brown, Abraham
Brown, William
Burns, James
Butler, Moses R.
Calvert, John J.
Campbell, Samuel W.
Carter, Benjamin
Castle, Thomas I.
Catron, George
Coffman, Nathan
Collins, Albert F.
Collins, Albert F.
Connor, John
Connor, John
Creighton, Henry W. (Cpl)
Cummings, Eli
Curtis, Joel
Custer, Banion O.
Davis, Hamilton F.
Davis, Laureth
Davis, Parker
Day, James
Dean, Jesse G. (Cpl.)
Dean, William H.
Decker, Jacob D.
Denton, G.W. (Sgt. Major)
Devore, John
Diggs, James E.
Dodge, Henry (2nd Sgt.)
Doran, Joseph
Downs, John H.
Dressler, Charles H.
Dunn, Robert A.
Dykes, John T.
Eagler, John G.
Emmey, Unknown
Ervin, Archibald S.
Farnsworth, J.W.
Findley, George
Fitch, Stephen
Flowers, Franklin D.
Fox, George W.
Furnish, John
Gerth, John
Gibson, George W.
Gilbert, John
Gilliam, H.M.
Gilliam, Robert C. (1st Lt.)
Gillmann, Albert
Glover, Fredrick
Gridlebaugh, M.
Grim, Armstrong
Grubb, Jacob A. ((5th Sgt.)
Gushwa, David
Hale, Henry C.
Hale, Thomas B.
Hall, Henry J.
Hall, Manesseh M.
Handlin, Rufus O.
Hardesty, Uriah
Harney, M.W.
Harper, D.
Harris, John H. (Sgt.)
Harris, W.H.
Harshbarger, John
Hendrix, John H. (Sgt)
Hilton, James W.
Hockett, Enos
Holt, James
Hopper, W.R. (Sgt)
Horn, James A. (Lt.)
Hummel, Nathan
Hunt, Unknown
Hutzell, Peter
Jacob, D.M.
Jones, Jasper
Kassimen, Jacob
Kent, Amos W.
Kent, Daniel
Kigar, Joseph
Kirby, Newton
Kirkpatrick, Daniel W.
Kitterman, Francis M.
Kline, Henry W.
Kritzer, John
Ladd, Charles L.
Lane, Joseph (Capt.)
Lesley, A.J.
Leslie, Joseph
Levy, William
Lewis, J.L. (Lt)
Lewis, Leaton
Lillard, Thomas L.
Lindsay, George
Lindsey, James
Livingston, James
Long, Joseph K.
Lyman, Abner W.
Lyman, Horace M.
Lyons, W.S.
Main, Charles B.
Martin, Robert
Martin, William F.
Mattox, William H.
May, John W.
McCoy, Mathias
McKissick, William E.
McKowan, Henry
McSweeny, Peter
Mefford, Sylvester
Mehl, George (Cpl.)
Miller, Allen W. (Capt.)
Miller, James A.
Miller, John
Miller, John
Mitchell, Elias
Morris, James W.
Mount, Thomas F.
Murphy, James A.
Murphy, James A. (Teamster)
Myers, Lewis Jr. (5th Cpl.)
Neal, J.W. (Cpl.)
Needham, John W.
Nicely, George W. (4th Cpl)
Nichols, Elijah
Oaks, Samuel C. (Teamster)
Obreon, Enoch
Ogle, Luther R.
O'Nealy, Pat
O'Neill, James McCarney (Lt. Col)
Padgett, Jeremiah
Parvin, William H. (Cpl)
Patrick, J.
Patrick, Thomas W.
Pearson, Barnabus
Pepper, Daniel H.
Perigo, Wesley
Peters, Philip
Pettus, Allen T. (Lt. Col)
Peugh, Samuel E.
Pike, Jordan
Pirtle, R. Sanford
Pirtle, William
Pollick, Josiah
Porter, Thomas B.
Pullum, William J.
Quindly, A.J. (Lt. Adj.)
Richards, John E.
Richardson, Edward L.
Richmond, Byron
Riddle, Alexander
Riddle, Martin V.B.
Riland, Richard
Robb, Thomas G. (4th Sgt)
Rodocker, Christian
Rollins, James
Rose, Greenberry
Rose, John M.
Royers, Robert
Ryckman, James H.
Scott, Simpson S.
Sharks, Francis M.
Shearer, Peter
Shearer, Peter (Cpl)
Shepherd, Daniel
Simms, Rodney
Sisley, John
Slauterbeck, Jesse H.
Slauterbeck, Joseph
Southard, Ferdinand
Spears, A.J.
Spurlock, Marcus L.
Stacer, P.
Stacy, Darius
Stadler, John W.
Stadter, John W.
Stansberry, John A.
Stimson, William
Strickland, W.
Stuber, Peter
Tacker, John H. (Cpl)
Taylor, Asa J.
Taylor, James W. (3rd Cpl)_
Taylor, Reuben
Thomas, Cyrenius
Thomas, Granville E.
Thompson, Miles W.
Tollman, Chandler
Townsend, Mandeville G. (Capt)
Van Fleet, John
Wade, Erza (3rd Cpl.)
Walensley, V.B. Martin
Walker, Smith V.
Wallace, David M.
Wallace, George R.
Wallace, James C.
Ward, George E.
Watkins, Francis M.
Waugh, Abraham P.
Webber, Henry
West, Simon
West, William
Wiggins, George W.
Williams, James F. (Sgt.)
Wren, Edward

W.L. Cabell's Brigade
31 Killed, 62 Wounded in Hospital, 93 Missing
Thomas Dockery Cavalry Brigade
10 Killed, 40 Wounded in Hospital, 50 Missing

Marks' Mills Battlefield
On April 25, 1864 Confederate Cavalrymen destroyed a Union wagon train here. The defeat led Union troops to abandon Camden and retreat to Little Rock ending their participation in the Red River Campaign.

National Historic Landmark designated April 19, 1994.
National Register of Historic Places listed January 21, 1970
Placed here by Edgar and Sue Colvin, March 2005.

This monument was made possible by the generosity of the following:
Moon Monument co.
Glenn Railsback III
Tommy Tidwell
Barton Building Mtl.
W.R. Heagler
Tim Johnson
Jackie Bowlin
Margaret Rodgers
J.T. Rodgers
Joe Rawls
Terry Rowell
Jimmy Boney
Family of Oliver & Lena Anthony
Mark Christ

Edgar Colvin - April 4, 2005


We thank the following people for helping with this display: Joe & Jewel Wingard - Pine Bluff,
Joshua Langford - New Edinburg
Edward Sturgis - Kingsland
Jimmy Boney - New Edinburg
Marvin "Buddy" Hall - New Edinburg
Wiley Hall - New Edinburg
Marvin Jason Hall - New Edinburg
Jim Hurnsberger - Fordyce Thornton
O.R. Goldman - Pine Bluff

The monuments, markers, and trails have been built by Edgar & Sue (Marks) Colvin, to share our love of history & nature. We appreciate the help of the following people:
Ralph Baggett - Sheridan, Ar. (Historian)
Jimmy Boney - New Edinburg, Ar. (Historian)
Jim Hurnsburger - Fordyce, Ar. (Historian)
David Dunlap - Pine Bluff, Ar. (Engraving)
Don & Betty Robinson - Warren, Ar.
John T. & Lily Lain - Rison, Ar.
George W. Childs - Kingsland, Ar.
Jim & Marie Hodnett - Fordyce, Ar.
James Martindale - Fordyce, Ar.
Tim Marks - Camden, Ar.
Eric Marks - Camden, Ar.
Bobby Hickerson - Fordyce, Ar.
Floyd A. Brown - Whitehall, Ar.
Judy McNeil - Pine Bluff, Ar.
Helen Alease - Hot Springs, Ar.
Clyde & Lucy Marks - Pine Bluff, Ar.
Tom Marhenke - Little Rock, Ar.
Ed Jones - Monticello, Ar.
Randy Ashcraft - Star City, Ar.
Paul Hunter - Pine Bluff, Ar.
Perry Reynolds - White Hall, Ar.
Joe McNabb - Pine Bluff, Ar.
Mike Colvin - Hobbs, New Mexico
Lynn Marks - Hot Springs, Ar.
Wyona Marks Colvin - Hot Springs, Ar.
Mike Rankin - Pine Bluff, Ar.
Sandy Taliaferro - Pine Bluff, Ar.
Virginia Stein - Ann Arbor, Michigan
Pat Brown - Pine Bluff, Ar.
N.M. Wynn - Warren, Ar.

We thank the O.D. Cathy family & the Oliver Anthony Trust for use of the land.


 Marks' Mills Map

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