Numbers 6. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Cyrus H. Mackey, Thirty-third Iowa Infantry.
HELENA, ARK., July 6, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Thirty-third Regiment Iowa Infantry in the battle at this post on the 4th instant:
On the morning of the 4th of July, in compliance with orders issued from brigade headquarters, I formed the regiment in line and marched them to Fort Curtis, arriving there at 2.30 a. m. Shortly after 3 o'clock firing commenced on the part of the picket line occupied by my regiment, it being to the right and left of the Little Rock road.; At 4 a. m. I received orders from Brigadier-General Salomon to move my regiment to the foot of the hill on the said road, and from that place to re-enforce Batteries C and D when attacked. I had no sooner arrived at this point with my regiment, when the enemy, in strong force, attacked Battery D. I immediately detached Companies B and G, under command of Major H. D. Gibson, to the assistance of this battery. Discovering at the same time that the enemy were making preparations to assault Battery C, I send forward Companies A and F to the support of this battery. Finding that the force I had sent to Battery D was not sufficient to cope with the enemy, I ordered Companies H, E, I, and K forward, and occupied the rifle-pits on the Little Rock road; at the same time ordered Company D into the rifle-pits on the left of Battery C. I then occupied the ravine between the batteries with Company C. The assault on Battery D lasted about thirty minutes, when the enemy was repulsed and driven back in confusion. By this time the position of the enemy was concealed by a heavy fog, which did not rise until 8 a. m. During the time the enemy sent forward heavy bodies of skirmishers and sharpshooters, and once attempted to charge the battery, but did not succeed in bringing their forces forward.
At 8 a. m. they charged Batteries D and C, bringing forward Generals Fagan's and Parsons' brigade. They succeeded in carrying Battery C, but not until they had many of their men and officers killed and wounded; but their superiority in numbers was so great that they completely overpowered our force at the battery. The three companies from my own regiment and two from the Thirty-third Missouri constituted the entire force at this battery. The men retired from the battery in the direction of Fort Curtis, about 250 yards. By this time we had completely routed the enemy in front of Battery D. They succeeded here only sufficiently to get possession of the extreme left of the rifle-pits. Our force at this battery consisted of six companies of my own regiment six of the Thirty-third Missouri, and two of the Forty-third Indiana. I now withdrew Companies I and K, and formed a new line with them, and Companies A, F, D, and C, to the rear of Battery C 250 yards, which succeeded completely in stopping any further progress of the enemy. Finding themselves repulsed at all points, they commenced to fall back to the timber. Things at this battery remained in this condition for some time. Many of them, instead of falling back to the timber, took refuge in the woods around the battery, and kept up a desultory fire therefrom. Finding that the enemy was not going to attempt anything more in this direction, I withdrew the two companies I had brought here, and returned to the Little Rock road, in from of Battery D; arriving there I ordered the whole force to charge forward on this road. The entire force advanced with a will that carried everything before them, and in ten minutes I had complete possession of the entire battle-ground on this road, and obtained sev-