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Arkansas State Parks

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USA Parks
Timberlands Region
Marks Mills State Park
Marks Mills State Park © Farther Along / CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Folk interpretation put up by regular folks and history buffs at the actual site of Marks Mill. Photo by Carl Carlson-Drexler.
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Ark Hwy 8
New Edinburg, Arkansas   71660
(lat:33.7808 lon:-92.2575) map location
Three Civil War battles took place in south central Arkansas in the spring of 1864 as part of the Union Armys Red River Campaign. The sites of these skirmishes Poison Springs, Marks Mills, and Jenkins Ferry and the 1836 Courthouse at Historic Washington State Park, which served as Arkansass Confederate capital, comprise the Red River Campaign National Historic Landmark.

On April 20, 1864, a 150-wagon supply train from Pine Bluff reached the Union soldiers. Upon learning that Confederate forces, now joined by General Edmund Kirby Smith's army from Louisiana, had crossed the Ouachita River downstream, Steele felt it safe to send the train, plus 60 additional wagons, in a northward direction back to Pine Bluff for more supplies. This time, though, he sent an escort force of more than 1,200 men, including 240 cavalry and six artillery pieces.

After this devastating blow, General Steele abandoned all intentions of marching to Shreveport on his way to capture Texas, and began to plan his retreat from Camden back to Little Rock. The only escape route he knew was Military Road that ran north through Princeton and Jenkins Ferry, the final section of the Red River Campaign. Marks' Mills Battleground State Park features interpretive exhibits and picnic sites.
History of the Area
Located in Cleveland County, Arkansas, the park commemorates a Civil War battle fought on April 25th, 1864. The Battle of Marks' Mills was part of Confederate General Sterling Price's Camden Expedition. Union forces were defeated by Confederates who captured their supply train and artillery pieces. In recognition of its historical significance, it became a state park in the early twentieth century.

The site features interpretive markers detailing key aspects from this eventful day during America's tumultuous past.

Marks Mills State Park is

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1. Start on US:167 S/US-63 S from Little Rock, Arkansas.
2. Continue for about 80 miles until you reach Fordyce, AR.
3. Take the exit towards Thornton Rd and turn right onto it.
4. Drive straight through Thornton town center to stay on this road which becomes Dallas County Road 131 after a while.
5. Follow Dallas Co Rd 131 for approximately seven miles till Marks Mills Battlefield State Park sign appears.

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Arkansas State Parks