Battle of Backbone Mountain

The Camp White Sulphur Springs Confederate Cemetery is an American Civil War cemetery in Arkansas. It is located northeast of the village of Sulphur Springs, also known as White Sulphur Springs, in Jefferson County.


The American Civil War started in April 1861 and White Sulphur Springs became a staging and training area for troops who came into Pine Bluff to be organized into units. In late July 1861, the 9th Arkansas Infantry Regiment was organized and trained at White Sulphur Springs and remained there for about a month before being shipped out to Tennessee. A few months later the Fagan's Guard, which later became the 2nd Arkansas Infantry Battalion, camped and trained near the springs before going on to Virginia.

By the spring of 1862, the war had reached Arkansas and the Battle of Pea Ridge, in the north part of the state, was fought. It had become evident that the Union Army had come to stay and would attempt to take the state by marching on Little Rock. However, most of the Confederate Army was ordered to leave the state and go across the Mississippi River to help defend against the Union invasion of Mississippi. This left Arkansas almost totally defenseless. Protests were made to the Confederate government, and the governor of the state started raising another army. He had troops from Texas, who were passing through the state going east to the war, stopped and many of them were sent to White Sulphur Springs for their training and to be used in Arkansas. The Confederate Hospital was moved to White Sulphur Springs from Pine Bluff, and was set up in the Poole Hotel, the Female High School and the Methodist Church.[2]

Troops that arrived at White Sulphur Springs from Texas and Oklahoma brought a measles epidemic with them and many of them died from the disease before even seeing a battlefield. Those who died were either buried in the Camp White Sulphur Springs Confederate Cemetery, which was near the Poole Hotel hospital, or where their camps were located throughout the community.

Camp White Sulphur Springs became a Confederate military base of operation for the defense of the Lower Arkansas and White Rivers, located nine miles southwest of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, which contained several encampments of instruction and organization of new recruits. These Camps, such as Camp Lee, Camp R. G. Shaver's, Camp Holmes, and other smaller camps were all located within one mile of the community of present-day Sulphur Springs in Jefferson County, Arkansas, which served as a Headquarters, Commissary, and Hospital facility for these operations.[3]

It was used as a campground by a number of Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana units between late 1861 and early 1863. Many soldiers died of disease and were buried in this cemetery. Units known to have camped at the site include the 19th, 24th, 28th and 33rd Arkansas Infantry and Hart's Arkansas Battery, Nutt's and Denson's Louisiana Cavalry Companies, the 6th and 17th Texas Infantry and the 24th and 25th Texas Cavalry, Dismounted.[4]

See also


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ Camp White Sulphur Springs Confederate Cemetery, Sulphur Springs, Jefferson County, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program.Accessed 20 March 2013, Archived December 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Camp White Sulphur Springs Confederate Cemetery, Sulphur Springs, Arkansas, 1862–1863, Accessed 20 March 2013,
  4. ^ "Camp White Sulphur Springs Confederate Cemetery", The Official Site of Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism, Accessed 20 March 2013,[permanent dead link]

External links