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Okolona

Ouachitas Region
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Okolona is in Clark County. The town was the site of influential battles such as the Battle of Elkin’s Ferry during the Civil War. Part of the Red River Campaign, the Camden Expedition tracks Union movements during a failed Federal military campaign in March 1864.

Union General Frederick Steele marched his men from Little Rock intent on connecting with another Federal army in Shreveport, LA, then conquering the cotton-rich Red River Valley of Texas. In Arkadelphia, Steele was joined by a second Union force out of Fort Smith, then marched south. They skirmished with Rebels at Okolona before crossing the Little Missouri River at Elkin’s Ferry.

After several days of skirmishing at Prairie D’ Ane (now Prescott), Steele’s famished troops broke off their advance and occupied Camden. Soon after Confederate troops ambushed a foraging party at Poison Spring. And another at Marks’ Mills. Steele became unable to supply his army and decided to fall back to Little Rock. After a battle at Jenkins’ Ferry (the last battle of the campaign) his troops made it back to their home base.