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
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
THE BATTLE HAD BEGUN!
The driver of the first wagon of the Union train was killed near
"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
The north had four James rifled cannons. (used both solid shot and
The relics found on the battlefield included both 6 and 12 pounders
of solid shot, case shot, exploding shells, and canister type. (Lead
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,
Order of Battle
Battle of Marks Mills
April 25, 1864
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.
Detachment, 7th Mo. Cavalry & Det. 5th Mo. Cavalry Major H.P.
1st Iowa Cavalry: Lt. Col. J.W. Caldwell
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
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
"It's the first time we've tied a campaign all together," Edwin C.
Bearss, the National Park Service's chief historian, said at
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
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
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
Elba, had been exchanged for other troops and sent on down the road
meet the command. Instead, they stopped at Grandmother Marks' home.
They plundered her house looking for money and other valuables,
they could take with them....Soon a rumbling sound was heard. When
they looked outside, they saw General Shelby's men advancing
They wore blue coats like the Feds, so naturally, we thought they
Yankee soldiers. As the Confederate flag was raised, we began to
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
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
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
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.
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
Baggs, John C.
Balderson, James B.
Balding, Nathan H.
Barker, William I.
Bay, Davidson P.
Belles, Isaac N.
Bird, M.A. (Lt.)
Bishop, George M.
Boston, Andrew J. (2nd Lt.)
Brayman, Andrew J.
Brott, George W.
Butler, Moses R.
Calvert, John J.
Campbell, Samuel W.
Castle, Thomas I.
Collins, Albert F.
Collins, Albert F.
Creighton, Henry W. (Cpl)
Custer, Banion O.
Davis, Hamilton F.
Dean, Jesse G. (Cpl.)
Dean, William H.
Decker, Jacob D.
Denton, G.W. (Sgt. Major)
Diggs, James E.
Dodge, Henry (2nd Sgt.)
Downs, John H.
Dressler, Charles H.
Dunn, Robert A.
Dykes, John T.
Eagler, John G.
Ervin, Archibald S.
Flowers, Franklin D.
Fox, George W.
Gibson, George W.
Gilliam, Robert C. (1st Lt.)
Grubb, Jacob A. ((5th Sgt.)
Hale, Henry C.
Hale, Thomas B.
Hall, Henry J.
Hall, Manesseh M.
Handlin, Rufus O.
Harris, John H. (Sgt.)
Hendrix, John H. (Sgt)
Hilton, James W.
Hopper, W.R. (Sgt)
Horn, James A. (Lt.)
Kent, Amos W.
Kirkpatrick, Daniel W.
Kitterman, Francis M.
Kline, Henry W.
Ladd, Charles L.
Lane, Joseph (Capt.)
Lewis, J.L. (Lt)
Lillard, Thomas L.
Long, Joseph K.
Lyman, Abner W.
Lyman, Horace M.
Main, Charles B.
Martin, William F.
Mattox, William H.
May, John W.
McKissick, William E.
Mehl, George (Cpl.)
Miller, Allen W. (Capt.)
Miller, James A.
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)
Oaks, Samuel C. (Teamster)
Ogle, Luther R.
O'Neill, James McCarney (Lt. Col)
Parvin, William H. (Cpl)
Patrick, Thomas W.
Pepper, Daniel H.
Pettus, Allen T. (Lt. Col)
Peugh, Samuel E.
Pirtle, R. Sanford
Porter, Thomas B.
Pullum, William J.
Quindly, A.J. (Lt. Adj.)
Richards, John E.
Richardson, Edward L.
Riddle, Martin V.B.
Robb, Thomas G. (4th Sgt)
Rose, John M.
Ryckman, James H.
Scott, Simpson S.
Sharks, Francis M.
Shearer, Peter (Cpl)
Slauterbeck, Jesse H.
Spurlock, Marcus L.
Stadler, John W.
Stadter, John W.
Stansberry, John A.
Tacker, John H. (Cpl)
Taylor, Asa J.
Taylor, James W. (3rd Cpl)_
Thomas, Granville E.
Thompson, Miles W.
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.
Wiggins, George W.
Williams, James F. (Sgt.)
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
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
Barton Building Mtl.
Family of Oliver & Lena Anthony
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