War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0435 Chapter XXXIV. ATTACK ON HELENA, ARK.

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to the front. They were soon engaged. I moved Company C forward across the lagoon before mentioned, and, pushing the skirmishers to the front vigorously, ordered a charge. The enemy fled precipitately. We pursued him about 300 yards. Finding that he was rallying his men in his rifle-pits, which were situated to the left of the levee and near the river bank, I deployed my whole force then with me as skirmishers, posted them as best I could, and left them under command of Captain Portis, with instructions to hold the ground we had thus gained until he should receive others from me. I started tot he headquarters of brigadier-general commanding to get permission to use my whole regiment for the purpose of dislodging the enemy, or, failing in that, confining him to his rifle-pits and thus prevent him from annoying our left. Arriving there, I learned that our troops were withdrawing, and, by General Walker's direction, retired my command to the point where the mountain road, leading from the spring on the Sterling road to the Grant's Mill road, diverges from the Sterling road, and there disposed my force so as to cover the withdrawal of our troops. When the rear of Dobbin's regiment had passed, I moved back on the mountain road, as directed, and thence upon Grant's Mill road.

I inclose herewith a list of casualties.*

The officers and men engaged behaved in admirable style. Captains Portis and [L. D.] Bryant, commanding skirmishers, did their duty well. Lieutenant Barnes, who, with his 30 sharpshooters, was almost constantly engaged, here, as everywhere else that I have ever placed him, was prompt and faithful, and displayed great courage. Lieutenant [J. F.] Smith, adjutant of the regiment, brave to a fault, and seeking rather than avoiding danger, rendered much valuable service. And as were the officers, so were the private soldiers whom they led. Fearless of danger, each seemed intent solely on doing his duty well.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding.

Captain J. C. ALEXANDER, Asst. Adjt. General, Walker's Division, &c.

Numbers 25. Report of Colonel Archibald S. Dobbin, Arkansas Cavalry.

IN THE FIELD, July 5, 1863.

GENERAL: I respectfully submit the following report of the movement of my regiment on the 4th ultimo [instant]:

Accordingly to your order I moved my regiment and battery of four pieces on the evening of the 3rd from the Bouie farm, on the Little Rock road, 4 miles west of Helena, to the old Porter farm east of Crowley's Ridge, on the road leading from Helena to Sterling, a distance of about 15 miles, and remained at that place until 2 o'clock on the morning of the 4th; then moved down the road to a point where the mill road intersects the Sterling road, 1 1/2 miles north of Helena, where I dismounted 150 men, and sent them forward as skirmishers beyond the blockade to within three-quarters of a mile of Helena and a short distance above the levee leading out from the hills. I then dismounted 150 more men, and sent them forward to the same point, and extended the line of skirmishers from the hills to the Mississippi River. I then drew up the remainder


*Not found.