War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0387 Chapter XXXIV. ATTACK ON HELENA, ARK.

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I will forward a more detailed report as soon as particulars can be received from the various parts of the command. You can rely upon my sparing no exertions or precautions to hold this point.

I am, general, your most obedient servant,

B. M. PRENTISS,

Major-General.

Major General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Department of the Tennessee.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EASTERN ARKANSAS,

Helena, Ark., July 6, 1863-8 p. m.

GENERAL: I had the honor to forward yesterday a preliminary report of the result of the attack on this place by the enemy's force, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Holmes, assisted by Generals Price, Marmaduke, Parsons and others.

I have the honor to report now that the enemy has not renewed the attack, and that our victory is complete and final. Our list of prisoners already exceeds 1,100, and among them are several field and line officers.

The enemy succeeded in taking away some of his killed and wounded, but we have already buried nearly 300 of his killed, and have captured more than that number of his severely wounded.

Our own loss in killed, wounded, and missing will not exceed 250.

I sent out a small reconnoitering party to-day, which came up with a small party of the enemy's rear guard some 6 miles out. This party reports the enemy as admitting to the inhabitants along the line of his retreat that he had met with a severe repulse. His wounded are found in whatever direction we search. The party to-day paroled over 100 at one place. The enemy is evidently very much demoralized, and I much regret that the number and condition of my small force will not warrant a pursuit.

I will forward a detailed report as soon as reports are received from subordinate commanders.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. M. PRENTISS,

Major-General.

Major General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Department of Tennessee.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EASTERN ARKANSAS,

Helena, Ark., July 9, 1863.

COLONEL: I have the honor to forward the following detailed report of the battle of Helena:

In addition to the vague rumors that have been floating in the public press for several weeks past, I had been informed by trusty scouts that the enemy was collecting his forces with the evident intention of making a demonstration at some point on this side of the river. Conceiving that Helena might be attacked sooner or later, I omitted no precaution and spared no labor to add to and strengthen its defenses. To this end I caused rifle-pits to be dug, substantial breastworks to be thrown up, and four outlying batteries to be erected in commanding positions on the bluffs west of the town, and designated respectively from right to left (north and south) by the letters A, B, C, and D.