War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0421 Chapter XXXIV. ATTACK ON HELENA, ARK.

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about 2 miles, the column diverged to the left along an obscure path for 2 miles farther, and then left this path to the left and followed up a rivulet until arriving within about 1 1/2 miles of Graveyard Hill. Day having not yet dawned, a halt was ordered to await sufficient light, during which time my command was ordered to load. I had previously thrown out well to the front as skirmishers Major Pindall's battalion of sharpshooters, to which command was attached Captain [C. N.] Biscoe's company of sharpshooters from McRae's brigade. Taking advantage of this half, I particularly instructed in person the commandants of regiments as to the plan of attack, and charged them that in the event any of their divisions should become disordered in carrying the works, that they should by promptly reformed, and, as the orders of my superiors extended only to the capture of Graveyard Hill, that no further movement should be made without orders. I deemed this precaution absolutely necessary, as it was impossible for either myself or staff to ride over the rough ground on which we moved, and consequently orders could not be transmitted with the usual rapidity.

At daylight the march was resumed, and in a short time we encountered the steep ridges and deep ravines, which rendered the movement very slow and fatiguing. At 5 a. m. Major Pindall encountered the enemy's pickets about half a mile from the fortifications. Sharp skirmishing ensued, and finally they were driven in. I ordered the column to form divisions at halt distance and move steadily forward in that order. The enemy now commenced throwing shell and grape upon the column, killing and wounding about 20 men, but no sings of disorder or fear were apparent. They moved steadily and firmly forward. By this time Pindall's sharpshooters had arrived within musket range of the enemy's works, and from behind stumps and logs and the branches of felled trees were delivering an effective fire upon the gunners of the enemy's artillery.

Upon arriving with 300 yards of the line of rifle-pits, I again halted the column, to allow rest and to enable Brigadier-General McRea to move up on my left and take the position as previously agreed upon between that officer and myself, for the purpose of making a combined assault upon the works. So soon as it was announced to me that he was in position, I ordered the "forward" at double-quick, to which officers and men responded with alacrity. Just at this moment a heavy fire was opened on my right flank from a rifle-pit distant about 150 yards; also the shell and grape from Fort Hindman was showered down upon the column. This was the critical moment. i watched with an anxious eye to see whether my battalions would falter or break under this flank attack, but they moved gallantry on, unheeding the murderous missiles now being hurled ont hem both from front and flank. Turning my attention to the front, the head of the two columns (McRae's and mine) were beyond the rifle-pits, and in an instant White's battle-flag, waving over the works, announced that Graveyard Hill was won. Thirty men of [C. B.] Tilgen's battery having been armed and sent forward with Colonel White's regiment, under command of Lieutenant [A. A.] Lesuer, for the purpose of working the enemy's guns upon their capture, this officer immediately took them in charge; but finding shot wedged in the bore, and the enemy having taken away the worms, he could not work them. He and his men resumed their muskets and fought as infantry throughout the battle. As previously ordered, the commandants of regiments proceeded to restore order in their commands wherever confusion had occurred. Just at this time the lieutenant-general commanding arrived upon the hill and gave orders directly