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The Arkansas Indians (the down stream people), a branch of the Quapaw tribe, lived in Desha County. Their presence was first recorded by Marquette and Joliet, French explorers, in 1673. They were known as les Beaux Hommes. La Salle while among the…
Watson became the county seat of Desha County after Napoleon was abandoned to the Mississippi River. Lewis W. Watson donated the land and built the courthouse near this site. The county seat was moved to Arkansas City in 1880. Watson remained the …
This important river port, county seat of Desha County from 1838 to 1874, was located 24 miles east at the junction of the Arkansas River with the Mississippi. The town was finally abandoned after most of it washed into the Mississippi River.
In mid-February 1863, Confederate troops at Cypress Bend fired on Union transports on the Mississippi River. On Feb. 19, a force of Union cavalry and mule-mounted infantry set out in pursuit. The Union troops drove off enemy pickets before encount…