April 25, 1864. Brig. Gen. James Fagan attacked a Union column at Marks' Mills, inflicting 1,500 casualties - mostly as prisoners of war.
▷ We previously ended at Fort Southerland Park in Camden at US 79, which is our starting point.
▷ Bradley Ferry Rd at U.S. 79, Camden ARTake US 79 for 30.1 miles, traveling over the Ouachita River, through northeast Ouachita county and northern Calhoun County and southeastern Dallas County to Fordyce.
▷ US 79 at Arkansas 8/N Edgar Street, Fordyce ARTurn right onto Arkansas 8/North Edgar Street for 0.9 mile.
▷ N Edgar Street at W 4th Street, Fordyce ARTurn left (east) onto 4th Street/US 79B for 0.65 mile (there's a left curve).
▷ Arkansas 8 /W 4th Street at N Main Street, Fordyce ARIf you like, turn right (south) on North Main Street to visit points of interest in the 200 block of North Main Street. Restaurants, fast food, gas, shopping and some motel accommodations, if desired, are available along US 79, Arkansas 8 and in downtown Fordyce. Return to East 4th Street turning right (eastward).
▷ N Main Street at E 4th Street, Fordyce ARFollow Arkansas 8 (which includes 4th Street, U.S. 79B, and Morton Street) for 9.6 miles.
▷ Marks' Mill Battleground State Park, Arkansas 8 at Arkansas 97 79, Cleveland County ARMarks' Mills Battleground State Park is at the junction of Arkansas 8 and Arkansas 97 in Cleveland County. Turn left (northward) onto Arkansas 97 for 0.9 mile.
▷ Arkansas 97 at Marks' Cemetery Road, Cleveland County ARTurn right (eastward) onto Marks' Cemetery Road. Continue on the Marks' Cemetery Road 0.9 mile.
▷ Marks' Cemetery Road at Old Camden Road, Cleveland County ARTurn right (southward) on the Old Camden Road, turn right (southward) and travel about 0.8 mile (the road makes a sharp left to the east around 1/2 mile).
▷ Marks' Cemetery, Cleveland County ARAt the Marks' Cemetery, return the 0.7 mile to the Marks' Cemetery Road.
▷ Old Camden Road at Marks' Cemetery Road, Cleveland County ARTurn right (eastward) for less than 500 feet.
▷ Marks' Cemetery Road at McAllister Road, Cleveland County ARVeer left (northward) at the fork to stay on the Marks' Cemetery Road for 2.4 miles (winding northeastward).
▷ Marks' Cemetery Road at Arkansas 179, Cleveland County ARThis brings us to Hebron Methodist Church located on the east side of Arkansas 189.
▷ This brings us to the next point of interest, Mt. Elba.
Fordyce did not exist at the time of the Civil War. A railroad town on what came to be known as the Cotton Belt line, Fordyce was established in 1882 and incorporated on April 8, 1884. Named for Samuel W. Fordyce (1840-1919), a prominent businessman involved in building railroads, Fordyce became a center for the timber industry in the region, and it has been the county seat of Dallas County since 1908. The 1911 Dallas County Courthouse is located on the 300 block of North Oak between West Fourth and West Third Streets.
Road to Marks' Mills Marker
Battle of Marks' Mills Marker
Other Places in Fordyce
Civil War markers in the small public park at 214 North Main St. give details on the Camden Expedition and the disastrous battle at nearby Marks' Mills. The Union wagon train attempting to return to Pine Bluff via Mt. Elba for supplies for General Steele in Camden passed near the site of present-day Fordyce before it was ambushed by Confederate General James Fagan and his troops at Marks' Mills in what is now Cleveland County. The Dallas County Museum is located at 221 North Main and has a great variety of exhibits. It is open Tues.-Fri. from 10 to 4 and Sat. from 10 to 12. The Dallas County Sports Museum/Bill Mays Annex is at 200 North Main and is open upon request. It features teams and sports figures from the region. Most notable is Paul "Bear" Bryant (1913-1983) who learned to play football at Fordyce High School and went on to become the iconic coach of the University of Alabama football team.
Marks' Mills Battleground State Park
The Union Wagon Train Leaves Camden
Witnesses to War
The Battle at Marks' Mills
Battle of Marks' Mills Marker
Marks Family Experience Marker
This brings us to the next point of interest, Mt. Elba.