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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 5 3 Browse Search
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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Cairo, occupation of (search)
hat position, hoping thereby to control the navigation of the Mississippi to St. Louis, and of the Ohio to Cincinnati and beyond. They also hoped that the absolute control of the Mississippi below would cause the Northwestern States to join hands with the Confederates rather than lose these great trade advantages. The scheme was foiled. Governor Yates, under the direction of the Secretary of War, sent Illinois troops at an early day to take possession of and occupy Cairo. By the middle of May there were not less than 5,000 Union volunteers there, under the command of Gen. B. M. Prentiss, who occupied the extreme point of the peninsula, where they cast up fortifications and gave the post the name of Camp Defiance. Before the close of May it was considered impregnable against any force the Confederates might send. It soon became a post of great importance to the Union cause as the place where some of the land and naval expeditions in the valley of the Mississippi were fitted out.
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Helena, battle at. (search)
Helena, battle at. There was a sharp struggle between the National and Confederate troops at Helena, Ark., on the west side of the Mississippi, on July 4, 1863. Gen. B. M. Prentiss was in command there. The Confederates in that region were under the command of General Holmes, assisted by Generals Price, Marmaduke, Fagan, Parsons, McRae, and Walker, and were the remnants of shattered armies, about 8,000 strong in effective men. The post at Helena was strongly fortified. It had a garrison of 3,000 men, supported by the gunboat Tyler. Holmes was ignorant of the real strength of Prentiss, and made a bold attack upon the works. At three o'clock in the afternoon the Confederates were repulsed at all points, and withdrew with a loss, reported by Holmes, of 20 per cent. of the entire force, or 1,636 men. Prentiss lost 250 men. The Confederate loss must have been much greater than Holmes reported, for Prentiss buried 300 of their dead left behind, and captured 1,100 men.
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Prentiss, Benjamin Mayberry 1819- (search)
Prentiss, Benjamin Mayberry 1819- Military officer; born in Belleville, Va., Nov. 23, 1819; served as captain in the Mexican War, and in April, 1861, became colonel of the 7th Illinois Volunteers, in which State he resided since 1841. He was promoted brigadier-general of three-months' troops, and was placed in command at Cairo, then a position of great importance. In May, 1861, he was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers, and served in Missouri until April, 1862, when he joined General Grant, and fought in the battle of Shiloh, where he was taken prisoner. In November he was promoted major-general, and early in July, 1863, he defeated a Confederate force under Generals Holmes and Price, at Helena, Ark.
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Arkansas (search)
ccupy Helena......July 11, 1862 Battle of Prairie Grove. United States Gens. Francis J. Herron and James G. Blunt; Confederate Gen. Thomas C. Hindman. Confederates retire during the night with a loss of 1,317. Federal loss, 1,148......Dec. 7, 1862 Arkansas Post captured with 5,000 men by the United States forces under McClernand, Sherman, and Admiral Porter......Jan. 11, 1863 Confederate Gens. T. H. Holmes and Sterling Price, with about 8,000 men, attempt to retake Helena. Gen. B. M. Prentiss, with about 4,000 men, repulses them with heavy loss......July 4, 1863 Union forces occupy Little Rock......Sept. 10, 1863 Union State convention assembles to form a new constitution......Jan. 8, 1864 Dr. Isaac Murphy provisional governor; inaugurated......Jan. 22, 1864 Constitution ratified by vote of the people......March 14, 1864 [The legislature under this constitution is not recognized by Congress.] Arkansas and Mississippi formed into the 4th Military District