Ditch Bayou Interpretive Markers
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The Battle at Ditch Bayou
As the Union troops advance, the cannon thunder with grape and canister. The seasoned troops close the gaps in their line and keep coming. They pour volley after volley toward your position. However, most of the Confederate troops are hidden in trees while the Union soldiers are caught in the open.
The battle rages for six hours. The mile long Federal line reaches the edge of the bayou. They have suffered high casualties, 132 killed, wounded, or missing. Federal losses would be higher had the black powder smoke not created a protective fog.
Finally ammunition dwindling, the Confederates make an orderly withdrawal and march past Lake Village. They have only four killed and 33 wounded. The Union troops bury their 33 dead on the battlefield and carry their wounded into town. Some of the seriously wounded men suffer for months until they die in a hospital.
This was the largest battle to occur in Chicot County and the last significant battle on Arkansas soil.
The Casualties at Ditch Bayou June 6, 1864
Muddy conditions caused the Northern infantry to attack across an open field without artillery support. After crossing the field under heavy fire, they discovered that they were trapped in the open field and were separated from the Confederates by Ditch Bayou. Union losses were 33 killed, 98 wounded, and one missing. Notice that their heaviest casualties were directly opposite the Confederate artillery.
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