War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0393 Chapter XXXIV. ATTACK ON HELENA, ARK.

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Hayden's battery in front of the ravine, near the nunnery, together with five companies of the Thirty-fifth Missouri Infantry, while I opened upon them Fort Curtis. The enemy, checked in their advance and subjected to a murderous fire from the fort and the gunboat Tyler, were either killed or taken prisoners. Soon afterward, Battery C was retaken, together with the guns. General Holmes commanded here in person.

On the left of our line, Colonel McLean commanding, the enemy was prevented from holding their battery in position by our Parrott guns on the levee, and the enemy refused to charge in face of our guns and gunboat. The right of our line, commanded by Colonel [S. a.] Rice, and the extreme right, commanded by Colonel [Powell] Clayton, held their ground, against heavy forces and artillery, without losing an inch.

At 10.30 a. m., after a continuous and desperate fight of seven and a half hours, the enemy fell back to come no more, leaving their dead and wounded on the battle-field.

We have taken 800 prisoners, amongst whom are many field and line officers, besides about 500 wounded; but the horses near the line of the retreating enemy are reported to be filled with them. The number dead and buried on the battle-field will be near 400. I estimate their loss at 3,000 in killed, wounded, and prisoners. We have taken two colors and a large quantity of arms. Our loss will appear on the schedule attached.*

Where every one fought so nobly and well, it would be injustice to mention some for meritorious conduct. The accompanying reports of the brigade, regimental, and battery commanders, to which I respectfully refer, will show whose good fortune it was to be in a position where they could do more service than others. I further attach a map, showing our first positional and fortifications.+

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major General B. M. PRENTISS,

Commanding District of Eastern Arkansas.


*Embodied in statement on pp. 390, 391.


+See p. 394.