April 17, 1863

The initial incident in the Civil War battle known as the Action at Fayetteville (Washington County) took place near West Fork before the actual battle, when Lieutenant James A. Ferguson and his men from Carroll’s Arkansas Cavalry discovered a party in a farmhouse and quickly captured nine Union bluecoats who were in attendance. Indecisive action in the encounter at Fayetteville on April 18 symbolized the Civil War in Arkansas as well as any other event in the state. Although Confederate forces failed to achieve their goal of driving Union troops from northwest Arkansas, Federal troops withdrew a few days later with losses about even on each side.

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