[Inclosure Numbers 4.] LITTLE ROCK, ARK., July 7, 1863.
(Received July 8.)
Lieutenant General E. KIRBY SMITH, Shreveport:
General Holmes reports that he attacked Helena at daylight on the 4th instant, and was repulsed with a heavy loss.
W. B. BLAIR,
HEADQUARTERS TRANS-MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT,
Shreveport, La., November 14, 1863.
GENERAL: Inclosed herewith I have the honor to forward, for the information of the War Department, reports of the battle of Helena, together with a map of the town and vicinity.*
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.
DECEMBER 19, 1863.
Respectfully submitted to the President. The attack on Helena, in my opinion, formed from these reports, should have been successful, but failed, not through want of gallantry in the men, but from defective discipline after success, and bad handling by some of the general officers. I fear, too, the report indicates some want of confidence and good understanding between some of the superior officers.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
Numbers 14. Report of Lieutenant General Theophilus H. Holmes, C. S. Army, commanding District of Arkansas.
LITTLE ROCK, ARK., August 14, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit to the lieutenant-general commanding the following report of the attack made by me upon Helena on July 4, 1863:
In the month of June, 15862, the Federal forces under General Curtis, from the attempted invasion of Arkansas, betook themselves to the city of Helena and there fortified. Since that time it has been constantly and heavily garrisoned by Federal troops. The possession of this place has been of immense advantage to the enemy. From it they have threatened at all times an invasion of Arkansas, thereby rendering it necessary that troops should be held in position to repel such invasion. From it they have controlled the trade and sentiments of a large and important
*Map omitted, in view of that on p. 394.