War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0389 Chapter XXXIV. ATTACK ON HELENA, ARK.

Search Civil War Official Records

ished, and learning somewhat of the strength of his forces from prisoners, I could but believe it was for the purpose of massing and attacking my left flank, which I considered the weakest point. The attack, was not resumed, however, and, summing up the enemy's loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners, I am no longer surprised. Skirmishing to cover a retreat was kept up until 2 p. m., at which hour all firing ceased.

In the order published to his troops on the 23rd of June ultimo, General Holmes says, "The invaders have been driven from every point in Arkansas save one-Helena. We go to retake it." I am happy to be able to say that the attempt to haul down the Stars and Stripes, on the 4th of July, was an ignominious failure. In short, sir, my whole command not only succeeded in repulsing the enemy's attack, and thus holding Helena, which, if I mistake not, is all that was expected of it, but, in addition, administered to the enemy as severe punishment as he ever received west of the Mississippi, and this, too, with a loss to itself so small as to seem almost miraculous, as will sufficiently appear from the following statistics:

My whole force numbered-

Infantry:

Commissioned officers........................................ 162

Enlisted men................................................. 2,966

Cavalry:

Commissioned officers........................................ 47

Enlisted men.................................................. 784

Artillery:

Commissioned officers......................................... 4

Enlisted men.................................................. 166

----Total........................................................ 4,129

The enemy's force, from the best information I can obtain from prisoners and deserters, consisted of eight brigades, formed out of thirty-seven regiments, and numbered, at a low estimate, in aggregate 15,000 men, and was commanded by one lieutenant-general [Holmes], one major-general (Price), and seven brigadier-generals.

My troops lost in-

Killed:

Commissioned officers......................................... 3

Enlisted men.................................................. 54

Wounded:

Commissioned officers........................................... 4

Enlisted men................................................... 123

Missing:

Enlisted men.................................................... 36

---Total*......................................................... 220

We have buried of the enemy's killed, at least................. 400

Of wounded and since dead...................................... 27

Paroled of his wounded......................................... 108

Sent North wounded............................................. 212

Remaining at Helena wounded................................... 7

Sent North as prisoners, in addition to wounded................ 727

Remaining in Helena............................................ 47

The enemy's surgeons admit a loss in wounded ranging from 1,200 to 1,500. His total loss, therefore, in killed, wounded, and prisoners,

---------------

*But see revised statement, pp. 391, 392.

---------------