White Oak Lake State Park


April 14, 1864. Skirmish at White Oak Creek near the White Oak Lake State Park.

The Route

▷ We previously reached the Arkansas 299/387 junction, just south of Arkansas 24 in Bluff City, which is our starting point.
▷ Arkansas 299 at Arkansas 387, Bluff City ARTurn left (southeastward) at the Y onto Arkansas 387 toward White Oak Lake State Park and Poison Spring State Park. Drive 2.3 miles.
▷ White Oak State Park Visitor Center, Nevada County ARContinue another 2.7 miles along 387 to pass between the two lakes.
▷ Upper White Oak Lake Boat Ramp, Ouachita County ARArrive at the boat ramp for Upper White Oak Lake (on the left, north side).

▷ This brings us to the next point of interest, Poison Spring.

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This brings us to the next point of interest, Poison Spring.

Skirmish at White Oak Creek

The Skirmish at White Oak Creek took place on April 14, 1864, after the conclusion of the Battle of Prairie D'Ane on April 12th and the rearguard action at Moscow on April 13th and before the Union Army entered Camden on the afternoon of April 15th. Gen. E. A. Carr, whose cavalry unit provided the vanguard of Gen. Steele's army, camped for the night at White Oak Creek near the Washington Road. He sent out 500 troops to monitor nearby roads and crossroads in the vicinity. Some of Carr's troops blocked the Washington Road and soon encountered 200 Confederates. Fighting broke out. Three Union soldiers were wounded. A Confederate soldier was killed and two were captured with one wounded. The prisoner reported that Confederate units were moving in the area as did a local citizen whom the Federal troops questioned. Believing that large enemy forces were in the area, Carr remained at his camp for the night and moved toward Camden with Gen. Samuel Rice early the next morning expecting to encounter these forces.

White Oak Lake State Park Sign

White Oak Lake State Park Sign

In 1937 the federal government acquired land now under the lake to serve as a resettlement colony for destitute farm families impoverished by the Great Depression. In 1957, the State of Arkansas bought the property, and Arkansas Game and Fish dammed White Oak Creek to form White Oak Lake in 1961. Lands along the lake shoreline became White Oak Lake State Park in 1967.
White Oak Lake State Park is in Ouachita and Nevada Counties. Built in 1961, the two lakes in the park cover 2,776 acres and are scenic. The park offers opportunities for boating, fishing. RV and tent camping, hiking and biking on developed trails, picnicking, photography, birdwatching and observing other wildlife. The Visitor Center also serves as an interpretive center for Poison Spring Battleground State Park, an important Civil War site associated with the Camden Expedition. The Poison Spring park (Often stated in the plural form Poison Springs, the correct name is singular, Poison Spring.) is maintained and managed by the staff of White Oak Lake State SP and is about eight miles from the White Oak Lake Visitor Center.
Photo by Peggy Lloyd

White Oak Lake from Highway 387

White Oak Lake from Highway 387

Highway 387 is scenic as it winds around the lake and then climbs to higher ground in the piney woods of the Western Gulf Coastal Plain in southern Arkansas.
Photo by Peggy Lloyd

Up Next

This brings us to the next point of interest, Poison Spring.

More Information

Here is a web page with more information:
Encyclopedia of Arkansas