War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0425 Chapter XXXIV. ATTACK ON HELENA, ARK.

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the steep acclivity is nearly gained, and the red line of rifle-pits looms up clearly amid the uncertain light and haze of dawn. With a shout of triumph they rushed toward it, and the enemy are driven pell-mell from one row of the rifle-pits to another.

Up to this time there had been no attack at any other point. Daybreak had come and gone, and still the guns of my brigade, and those of the enemy, were the only ones that interrupted the stillness of the morning. Owing to this, my brigade was exposed to a constant and galling enfilading fire from the works on Graveyard Hill. This exposure, combined with the close and constant fire in our front, was most trying to the men. Their numbers were being rapidly decimated, not only by the fire of the enemy, but be extreme exhaustion, occasioned by their scaling the steepest of hills, made almost impassable by quantities of timber cut down, which was of itself an almost insurmountable barrier to our advance. We reached and took possession of their fourth tier of rifle-pits. Now it was that the column commended by Major-General Price (Parsons's and McRae's brigades) charged the works on Graveyard Hill, gallantry driving the enemy before them, and taking possession of their fortifications and artillery. There remained yet one row of intrenchments between my brigade and the fort on Hindman's Hill. I ordered a charge. My men, though thoroughly exhausted and worn, answered with a shout and sprang forward most gallantry. This being the inner and last line of works between us and the enemy, of course was defended with great stubbornness. It was of no avail. My men sprang forward bravely and defiantly, and after a severe contest succeeded in driving out the enemy, who fled, crowding back into the frowning fort and under cover of its heavy guns.

The fort yet remains to be taken. Of all the many obstacles and threatening fortifications that opposed our advance that morn, there only remained the fort. All other obstacles, natural and artificial, had been overcome. Rugged and almost impassable ravines, the steepest and most broken hill-sides, abatis, and line after line of breastworks, had been passed and left behind. Before us there only remained the fort and the plain on which it was built. Notwithstanding the reduced condition of my command and the exhaustion of those yet remaining, I ordered a charge upon the fort. My colonels (King, Hawthorn, and Bell) did all in their power to encourage the men to the attack. The effort was made, but the prostrate condition of my command prevented success, and, after losing in the attempt several gallant officers and many brave men, I formed again in rear of the inner line of rifle-pits, while the guns of the fort continued to pour forth a furious fire.

It was now verging on 11 o'clock in the day. More than three hours before, the guns on Graveyard Hill had been taken by our friends, and there seemed no obstacle in the way of their victorious march. Eagerly did we look to see their column coming to our aid, and at first with the most undoubting hope and confidence, but less confidently as hour after hour wore an and still they made not their appearance. Time wore on, the pleasant morning deepened into the sultriest and hottest of days. The thinned ranks of my regiments became thinner and thinner each moment. The guns of the enemy (not more than 100 or 150 yards distant) were telling sadly against us, while the heat, the want of water, and the toil were no mean auxiliaries. Still, the brave men left stood manfully up to the discharge of their duty.

At this time written orders were received from Lieutenant-General Holmes, directing that I withdraw my troops for the field and fall