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[321] and McRae, numbering 3,095, was directed to assault and carry Graveyard hill (Battery C); and he did it, under a tempest of grape, canister, and musketry, repelling its defenders and capturing some of their guns. But he found them shotwedged or divested of frictionprimers, so as to be useless; while his own, necessarily left behind in the charge, were now brought up with difficulty; meantime, our batteries on either hand were playing upon his exposed infantry, who were falling rapidly and uselessly. To escape this fire, hundreds of them pushed forward, without orders or organization — a mere mob — and, being wholly unsupported, were plowed through and through by shot and shell from front and flanks, until the survivors, unable even to flee, were obliged to surrender; few of them escaping. Of his 3,095 men, Price reports a total loss this day of 1,111, or more than a third: 105 killed, 504 wounded, 502 missing.

Fagan had a smaller force — only four infantry regiments — yet was assigned what proved the harder task: to assault and carry the fort on Hindman's hill (Battery D). Leaving his artillery where he first encountered obstructions, he rushed his men up ravines and precipices, over abatis, driving our sharp-shooters out of their rifle-pits, under a heavy, constant, and deadly fire, till no obstacle remained between them and the fort they were ordered to take, just as they were relieved of a heavy enfilading fire by Price's capture of our works on Graveyard hill. This fort, Fagan now attempted to carry by assault; but the utmost efforts of his men, stimulated by the frantic entreaties of their officers, only sufficed to pile the ground with their bleeding bodies. One Arkansas regiment, in attempting to force its way into the fort, lost its Colonel, Lt.-Colonel, and over 100 men, taken prisoners. The remainder were driven back to the last line of riflepits, whence Fagan sent for assistance — in vain. Meantime, the guns of the fort kept busily at work; fatigue, thirst, and heat — for the day proved intensely warm — told upon the thinned ranks of the Rebels; yet they held their ground until, at 11 A. M., orders came from Holmes for a general retreat, which were willingly obeyed.

Marmaduke — who had 1,750 men — was ordered to take the fort on Righton hill, on the north, in which he failed; being exposed to a heavy flanking fire from artillery and musketry sheltered behind the levee. He lays the blame of his failure on Walker, who, with a cavalry brigade, was still farther to the north, and who (Marmaduke says) kept about half a mile back — an assertion countenanced by undisputed facts. Very likely, his knowledge that to advance was sheer foolhardiness kept him back. His loss was trifling; that of Marmaduke but 67.

Holmes, in his report, frankly admits his defeat, and makes his loss 173 killed, 687 wounded, 776 missing; total, 1,636--over 20 per cent. of his force. Prentiss makes our prisoners 1,100, and says he buried nearly 300 Rebels; while our loss was less than 250 in all. There was no pursuit by our still inferior force, and no capture of guns; but Helena was thenceforth free from Rebel molestation.

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