ARKANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY,
Volume 19 (Spring 1960), p. 40
The Action at
Prairie De Ann
By J. H. ATKINSON*
Little Rock, Arkansas
THE STORY of the four days fighting on Prairie De Ann is a part of the
story of the expedition of the Union forces into Southern Arkansas in the
spring of 1864. This expedition was made up of two armies, one from Little
Rock, and one from Fort Smith. It lasted for a period of forty days and,
rckoning from Little Rock, covered a distance of about 275 miles. It included,
besides the fighting on Prairie De Ann, the battles of Okolona, Elkins'
Ferry, Poison Spring, Marks' Mills, and Jenkins' Ferry and almost continuous
skirmishing over much of the route (1).
- Prarie De Ann, a circular body of land embracing some twenty-five or
thirty square miles, lies in the northern part of Nevada County, a hundred
miles southwest of Little Rock. The forests that once surrounded it have
largely disappeared, and, except by local people, its name is now almost
forgotten. Located in the central section of the prairie is the city of
Prescott, a modern and progressive city, and the county seat, with a population
of approximately four thousand. On the outskirts of the city stands the
large Ozan Lumber Company plant employing the most modern and scientific
present-day techniques. The rest of the prairie, for the most part, is
taken up with farms, and with ranches stocked with white-faced cattle and
- * The author is a retired teacher of history. He taught at Little Rock
Junior College ( now Little Rock
- University) for thirty years. He is chairman of the Arkansas History
Commission, and is active in the Arkansas Historical Association.
- 1. This article is, for the most part, based upon reports given in
Series 1, Volume XXXIV, Part 1, of The
- War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the
Union and Confederate Armies (70 vols. in 128, Washington, 1880-1901).
All references cited in this volume will be designated, "O. R.."
The series, volume, and part numbers will not be indicated.