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[139] without doing injustice to the rest. To Major Brewer, however, I am particularly indebted for the valuable aid and assistance he rendered me in carrying out the different orders I received, and for his coolness and bravery. Lieutenant Kelso, Commissary, deserves notice for his timely aid in furnishing food and water to the men while they were engaged. Lieutenant Craig, Quartermaster, also did his whole duty in his department, and B. J. Kilpatrick, Ordnance Sergeant, was always on hand with ammunition for the regiment and battery. Many of the men fired over one hundred rounds.

Yours, etc.,

Thos. N. Pase, Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding First Indiana Cavalry.

Naval reports.

United States Mississippi Squadron, flag-ship Black Hawk, off Vicksburgh, July 11, 1863.
sir: I have the honor to inclose you a full report of the late affair at Helena, where the gunboat Tyler saved the day, and enabled our little band of soldiers to capture a number of the enemy.

I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

David D. Porter, A. R. Admiral Commanding Mississippi Squadron. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

U. S. Iron-clad ram Eastport, Helena, Arkansas, July 8, 1863.
A. R. Admiral David D. Porter, U. S. Navy, Commanding Mississippi Squadron:
sir: General Holmes, with a reported force of eighteen thousand rebels, attacked this place at daylight on the morning of the fourth instant, and was repulsed, after a hard contested fight of several hours' duration.

The enemy attacked the centre of the defences and carried the rifle-pits, and a battery upon the crest of the hills in the rear, which commanded not only Helena itself, but also all the other defensive works, including Fort Curtis. After possessing himself of that position, he pushed large forces down the slope of the ridge into the gorges, and his sharp-shooters began the work of driving the artillerists from the guns in the main fort. Rebel guns, both above and below the town, had been planted upon commanding positions, and opened fire upon the lines of defensive works across the river-bottom, about one thousand yards in width, and his troops were in force near them to secure the advantages the capture of the works upon the hills would offer for closing upon the town from both directions along the river-bottom. The Tyler had been covering the approach by the old town road; but Captain Pritchett discovered the enemy pressing down the hill-side after the capture of the battery in the centre, and took up such a position that, while his broadside guns poured a destructive fire upon the slopes and enfiladed the ravines, his stern guns effectually silenced the rebel battery below, and his bow guns played simultaneously upon the upper one. The slaughter of the enemy at this time was terrible, and all unite in describing the horrors of that hillside and the ravines after the battle as baffling description, the killed being literally torn to pieces by shell, and the avenging fire of the gunboat pursued the enemy two or three miles to his reserve forces, creating a panic there which added not a little to the end of victory.

The enemy's loss is very heavy. Our forces have buried three hundred and eighty of his killed, and many places have been found where he had himself buried his dead. His wounded number one thousand one hundred, and the prisoners also are one thousand one hundred. Our cavalry forces are hourly discovering dead and wounded in the surrounding country, and are bringing in stragglers and deserters. Boats passing up the river for two days after the battle were continually hailed by deserters from the rebel ranks wishing to get on board to escape.

An examination of the field and the reports I hear convince me that the Tyler contributed greatly to the defeat of the enemy, and the terrible slaughter in his ranks is largely hers. It is due to Captain Pritchett to add that he took up an admirable position, and used his battery in a manner alike creditable to himself and to his officers and men.

First at Belmont, then at Pittsburgh Landing, and now here, the Tyler has been of inestimable value, and has saved the fortunes of the day. The garrison, numbering but three thousand three hundred men, with lines entirely too extensive for such a force, evidently fought with a courage and determination without superior example in this war.

Our loss in killed and wounded is about one hundred and eighty.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. L. Phelps, Lieutenant Commander Commanding Second Division, Mississippi Squadron. To Acting Rear-Admiral David D. Porter, Commanding Mississippi Squadron.

headquarters District of eastern Arkansas, Helena, Ark., July 9, 1863.
Admiral: I take pleasure in transmitting to you my testimony concerning the valuable assistance rendered me during the battle at this place on the fourth instant, by Lieutenant Commander James M. Pritchett, of the gunboat Tyler. I assure you, sir, that he not only acquitted himself with honor and distinction during the engagement proper, but, with a zeal and patience as rare as they are commendable, when informed of the probabilities of an attack on this place, he lost no time and spared no labor to make himself thoroughly acquainted with the topography of the surrounding country. And I attribute not a little of our success in the late battle to his full knowledge of the situation, and his skill in adapting the means within his command to the end to be obtained. Nor can I refrain from mentioning that after the engagement, and while we were expecting a renewal of the attack, Commander Pritchett, commanding a division of your fleet, was unusually efficient in procuring timely reenforcements.

Permit me to add, sir, that I can conceive of

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