April 2, 1864
The Skirmishes at Okolona began, during which Confederate cavalry under Joseph O. Shelby harassed the rear of Major General Frederick Steele’s Union army as it moved into southwest Arkansas during the Camden Expedition of 1864, marking the first serious resistance to Steele’s advance. In his postwar account of Shelby’s exploits during the war, Shelby and his Men, or The War in the West, John Newman Edwards, Shelby’s adjutant, offered an expanded account of the skirmish that occurred on April 3, in which he claims that a Federal artillery shell upset several beehives. Edwards claims that the enraged bees attacked the Confederate lines, leading Shelby to abandon the field to both insects and Federals. This account is almost certainly an embellishment.