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After the last of the rebels had disappeared, it being night, pickets were placed, scouts sent out, and every preparation made to be ready in the event of a return of the rebels. It was rightly supposed that, having felt their strength, and knowing that our men were without guns and in small force, the enemy would not long delay a second attempt to occupy Milliken's Bend. But this was the end of the attack for that day. A steamer from below chanced to come in sight just at dark, going to Helena. She was hailed, informed of the attack, and sent back for aid of some kind. Just at the break of day, the dark sides, huge wheel-houses, and yawning ports of the gunboat Choctaw were discerned by the guard. Here was help, indeed. With such support the garrison could never be taken without immense loss to the captors. The Choctaw took her position with reference to the point from which the rebels must necessarily attack, and remained until sunrise, awaiting in ominous silence the expect
n's; and thence by a cross road and Baldwin's Ferry road to Four-Mile Creek, arriving there about sunset, and resting there for the night, four miles from Vicksburgh. Several prisoners and wagons were captured during the march. General Osterhaus resumed command of the Ninth division on the west bank of the Big Black, and General Lee was assigned the command of the First brigade of that division, during the absence of General Garrard, who had been ordered to report to General Prentiss, at Helena. Early on the morning of the nineteenth, accompanied by my staff, I made a personal reconnoissance to the brow of a long hill overlooking a creek two miles from Vicksburgh. This hill runs north and south, and conforms very much to the line of Vicksburgh's defences, in plain view, on a similar range, a mile west. The creek is, called Two-Mile Creek, because it is only two miles from Vicksburgh. Colonel Mudd came very near being shot by one of the enemy's pickets during the reconnoissance.
orce by the rebels, under Holmes and Price, at Helena yesterday. He estimated the force at fifteen Colonel Benton's official report. Helena, Arkansas, July 6, 1863. Editor Nonlpareil: Councinty-Ninth regiment Iowa volunteer infantry, Helena, Ark., July 6, 1863. Colonel: I have the honorport. headquarters First Indiana cavalry, Helena, July 6, 1863. M. W. Benjamin, A. A. A. G., Hof the part the regiment took in the attack on Helena on the fourth of July, 1863. A little befornclose you a full report of the late affair at Helena, where the gunboat Tyler saved the day, and enashington. U. S. Iron-clad ram Eastport, Helena, Arkansas, July 8, 1863. A. R. Admiral David D. Phe hills in the rear, which commanded not only Helena itself, but also all the other defensive works headquarters District of eastern Arkansas, Helena, Ark., July 9, 1863. Admiral: I take pleasure adron. St. Louis Democrat account. Helena, Ark., July 12, 1863. At last we have been att[3 more...]
ligently closing the other end, and in this way succeeded in gaining time to strongly fortify Greenwood, below the junction of the Tallahatchie and Yallobusha. The advance of the expedition, consisting of one division of McClernand's corps, from Helena, commanded by Brigadier-General L. F. Ross, and the Twelfth and Seventeenth regiments Missouri infantry, from Sherman's corps, as sharp-shooters on the gunboats, succeeded in reaching Coldwater on the second day of March, after much difficulty, all in reserve. June 5.--The weather is very warm. The bombardment with artillery is heavy; both land and water-batteries are engaged; the mortar-boats are reported to have been moved from the front of the city. Rumor says that Price occupies Helena, but not credited. June 6.--Day warm; firing moderate all day; the enemy can be seen moving to the left. We hear that Loring engaged them at Black River. June 7.--Very warm; we hear the engagement of the upper fleet; supposed to be at Mill
officers who have participated in the events trans-piring here. When I took command of this squadron, this river was virtually closed against our steamers from Helena to Vicksburgh. It was only necessary to impress the officers and men with the importance of opening communication with New-Orleans, and every one, with few excepnant J. Gandy, commanding Queen City. There are others who deserve commendation, but these seem to me the most prominent. The action of the fourth of July, at Helena, wherein the Tyler participated so largely, has already been reported to the Department. There is no doubt left in the minds of any but that the Tyler saved HeleHelena, for though General Prentiss fought with a skill and daring not excelled in this war, his little force of three thousand five hundred men were fast being overpowered by the enemy with eighteen thousand men, when the Tyler took a position and changed the fortunes of the day. I must not omit to mention Acting Volunteer Lieuten
Doc. 111.-the battle of Helena. see Doos. Page 185, ante. Report of Lieutenant-Colonel Heath. headquarters Thirty-Third Missouri volunteers, Helena, Ark, July 6, 1863. Colonel: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Thirty-third Missouri volunteers in the action of the fourth inst. Companies D and F manned the heavy guns in Fort Curtis; company A the guns in battery A; company C the guns in battery B; company E the guns in battery C, supported by company H, acting as sharp-shooters; company B the guns in battery D, supported by companies G, I, and K, acting as sharp-shooters. The first assault of the enemy in force was made at four o'clock A. M. upon batteries A, C, and D simultaneously. In front of batteries A and D they were handsomely checked before any advantage had been gained, but the entire Missouri brigade of Parsons (said to have been personally directed by Major-General Sterling Price) charging furiously upon battery C,
an open plain, where alone it had heretofore been considered effective, while an impassable river destroyed the most remote possibility of receiving the support of infantry, even in the most desperate emergency. There may be those who cannot see why Steele, instead of moving to an assault of the rebel position with an inferior force, under such marked disadvantages, did not remain in his position at Brownsville until properly reenforced. To such I would say, that when General Steele left Helena on the fifteenth of August, he did not have in his command a single sick man. When he left Duvall's Bluffs on the first of September, he left one thousand four hundred sick behind him, and a week later he left seven hundred more behind him, in advancing from Brownsville, besides a large number taken in moving by Davidson's cavalry. At this rate General Steele would soon have no army at all, and been driven ingloriously from the State by the foe he came to vanquish. Steele had loudly called
ve to raise the siege, nor did success attend any of the attempts from within to break the skilfully drawn lines of General Grant. On the fourth of July, General Pemberton laid down his arms and surrendered the post, with thirty thousand men, two hundred pieces of artillery, seventy thousand small arms, and ammunition sufficient for a six years defence. This capture was as remarkable as the famous one made by Napoleon at Ulm. On the same day an insurgent attack upon General Prentiss, at Helena, situated on the west bank of the Mississippi, in the State of Arkansas, was repulsed with the loss of many prisoners on the part of the assailants. As if the anniversary so identified with the nation's hopes was appointed to be peculiarly eventful, Lee, who had again entered Maryland, and, passing through that State, had approached the Susquehanna, threatening Harrisburgh, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, fell back, after pitched battles continued for three days at Gettysburgh, and
army under my command: On the twenty-first of July I arrived at Helena, and pursuant to instructions from Major-General Grant, reported byle Rock. General Hurlbut placed under my command all the troops at Helena, and the cavalry division under Brigadier-General Davidson, then operating in Arkansas. The garrison at Helena had been reenforced by two brigades of Kimball's division, which had just arrived from Snyder's Bluences of the Yazoo country. The proportion of sick and wounded Helena troops was also very large. Three regiments were designated to remain at Helena, and these, with the sick and convalescent, were to constitute the garrison of that place. The troops designated for the expedire no officers of the Quartermaster's and Subsistence Department at Helena, except Captain Allen, A. C. S., and Captain Noble, A. Q. M., who wations of this army from the time that I commenced organizing it at Helena, have occupied exactly forty days. Our entire loss in killed, wo