Battle of Poison Spring Facts

April 18, 1864

Key facts about the Battle of Poison Spring.

John S. Marmaduke Portrait

Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke’s cavalry ambushed and attacked a Union wagon train at the Battle of Poison Spring during the Camden Expedition in southwestern Arkansas in 1864. After the conflict, Confederate soldiers shot, bayoneted, and scalped the defenseless wounded and captive black soldiers of the 1st Kansas (Colored) Infantry Regiment. [Wikimedia Commons]



  • April 18, 1864


  • Quachita County, Arkansas


Principal Union Commander:

  • Colonel James M. Wilson

Principal Confederate Commander:

  • Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke
  • Brigadier General Samuel B. Maxey

Union Forces Engaged:

  • Williams’ wagon train detachment
  • 1st Kansas (Colored) Infantry Regiment

Confederate Forces Engaged:

  • Marmaduke’s Cavalry Brigade
  • Maxey’s Cavalry Brigade

Estimated Union Losses:

  • 300+ (killed, wounded, or captured)

Estimated Confederate Losses:

  • 114 (killed, wounded, and missing).


  • Confederate Victory

Significant Event:

  • After the Battle of Poison Spring, Confederate soldiers mercilessly shot, bayoneted, and scalped defenseless wounded and captive black soldiers serving with the 1st Kansas (Colored) Infantry Division.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Battle of Poison Spring Facts
  • Date April 18, 1864
  • Author
  • Keywords poison spring, camden expedition, john marmaduke, 1st kansas (colored) infantry regiment,
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date June 1, 2023
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 15, 2022

Battle of Poison Spring Facts is Part of the Following on AHC