Camden Expedition -- History Articles
- The Camden Expedition was the Arkansas phase of the Red River Campaign
in 1864. The Red River Campaign was devised to destroy Confederate forces
in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, with a coordinated advance from Louisiana
and Arkansas toward Shreveport. The advance of Union forces in Louisiana
was defeated at the Battle of Pleasant Hill. The Union advance into southern
Arkansas succeeded in taking Camden. But that victory was soon followed
by a retreat back to Little Rock. The articles below are arranged in more
or less in chronological order. Students wishing a complete view of the
Camden Expedition, as found in the pages of the Arkansas Historical
Quarterly, should begin, then, with the first article and read all
the rest in sequence. For an account of how the war affected civilian Arkansans
throughout the state, see Michael B. Dougan, "Life
in Confederate Arkansas," Arkansas Historical Quarterly
31 (Spring 1972): 15-35.
- 1. "From Paraclifta
to Marks' Mills: The Civil War Correspondence of Lieutenant Robert C. Gilliam,"
edited by James J. Hudson in Arkansas Historical Quarterly 17 (Autumn
- A collection of letters from Robert C. Gilliam to his
wife from October 1863 to May 1864. A planter from Paraclifta in Sevier
county, Gilliam served in a state militia unit of Confederate forces. His
letters reveal much about life in Confederate Arkansas as its soldiers
awaited the Union advance from Little Rock.
- 2. "The
Action at Prairie De Ann," by J. H. Atkinson in Arkansas Historical
- (Spring 1960): 40-50.
- A detailed account, with maps, of this battle of the
Camden Expedition that took place near the present-day
- city of Prescott, Arkansas.
- 3. "The
Battle of Poison Spring," by Ira Don Richards in Arkansas Historical
Quarterly 18 (Winter 1959): 338-49.
- An account, with maps, of an important battle in the
Camden expedition that was controversial because of the massacre of Black
Union troops by Confederate forces.
- 4. "A Bluecoat's
Account of the Camden Expedition," edited by Lonnie J. White in
Arkansas Historical Quarterly 24 (Spring 1965): 82-89.
- An unidentified Union officer published this piece in
a Kansas newspaper in 1866.
- 5. "Extracts from the
Memoirs of William Franklin Avera," edited by Henry Cathey in
Arkansas Historical Quarterly 22 (Summer 1963): 99-116.
- A Ouachita county soldier who served in the Fifth Arkansas
Artillery Company of the Confederacy, Avera in his memoirs covers not only
his participation in fighting against the Union's Camden Expedition but
also his role in Reconstruction politics after the war in that county and
his later business operations on the Ouachita River.
in Southern Arkansas: A Memoir by C. T. Anderson," edited by Roman
J. Zorn in Arkansas Historical Quarterly 8 (Autumn 1949): 240-44.
- A short account of this Hemstead county youth's service
at age 15 in a Confederate calvary unit opposing the Union advance into
- 7. "The
Camden Fortifications," by Willam L. Shea in Arkansas Historical
Quarterly 41 (Winter 1982): 318-26.
- An excellent article, with maps, on the efforts of Confederate
forces to fortify Camden against a Union advance. It points out that these
constructions often referred to, then and now, as forts were correctly
termed redoubts, a smaller type of strongpoint.
- 8. "The
Federal Occupation of Camden as Set Forth in the Diary of a Union Officer,"
Arkansas Historical Quarterly 9 (Autumn 1950): 214-19.
- Captain F. Heinemann from Wisconsin kept this diary during
the Union occupation of Camden.
- 9."The Engagement
at Marks' Mills," by Ira Don Richards in Arkansas Historical
Quarterly 19 (Spring 1960): 51-50.
- A detailed description, with map, of this defeat of Union
forces accompanying a wagon supply train going to get food and supplies
from Pine Bluff to permit continued occupatio of Camden.
- 10. "The Battle
of Marks Mill by Edward Atkinson" edited by J. H. Atkinson in
Arkansas Historical Quarterly 14 (Winter 1955): 381-84.
- Reminiscence of a Confederate soldier from Dallas county
serving in a calvary unit at Marks' Mills.
- 11. "The
Battle of Jenkins' Ferry," by Ira Don Richards in Arkansas
Historical Quarterly 20 (Spring 1961) : 3-16.
- A thorough account, with map, of the largest battle of
the Camden Expedition, fought as Union forces retreated from Camden to