The Battle of the Bees - Okolona, Arkansas

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Stiles/Akin

Sergeant Major
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Location
Atlanta, Georgia
The Northern Aggression - April 3, 1864.

The Battle of the Bees - Okolona, Arkansas...

There is a historical marker about a mile north of Okolona, Arkansas which tells of a military engagement during the Civil War that pitted three combatants – Union and Confederate soldiers - AND - a swarm of angry honeybees. The marker reads:...

“Near this site, on April 3, 1864, General Joseph Shelby caught up with Samuel Rice’s Union Troops. They engaged in a skirmish in a pecan orchard during a severe thunderstorm with high winds and hail.

Several beehives were overturned. The insects first attacked the Confederates and then turned their attention to the Union Army. Both armies left the battlefield to their stinging tormentors.”

Maybe the wind overturned the beehives, or possibly the horses and wagons did the trick. Whatever happened, the bees turned their attention from the gray-and-butternut uniforms of the Confederates to pursue the blue-clad Union Troops. Insects tend to attack darker-colored objects.

The outcome of the skirmish might seem laughable today, but not to those brave soldiers on the battlefield in 1864. Enemy bullets can be tolerated, but not the stings of the Southern bees .

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mofederal

Captain
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Location
Southeast Missouri
Now that is a story I really enjoyed. I had heard of it somewhere before, probably in some old book about Missouri Confederates in the rare book room at my college library. You definitely don't mess with mad bees of any kind anywhere. Thanks for the thread. Very enjoyable.
 
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