that my troops would have carried it, had it not been for the force on my left and rear, which occupied that position after daylight, and which could and should have been prevented from taking that position, and after they had gained the position, could have been driven from it by General Walker's brigade, which did not come to the support of my left till after seven o'clock A. M., and during the whole engagement his force was more than half a mile to my left and rear. I could see the force which engaged Walker's brigade, and at no time did it exceed five hundred; I think three hundred a big estimate. Walker's brigade not only did not prevent reinforcements from going to Fort Reiter, but the enemy, after sunrise, actually passed to my left, and half a mile to my rear, and held that position during the day. Very respectfully,
J. Marmaduke, Brigadier-General, commanding.
Report of General Walker.
Headquarters in the field, camp near Lick Creek, July 7, 1863.Major: I have the honor to submit the following report of the conduct of my cavalry brigade, in the battle before Helena, on the fourth instant: In obedience to General Orders No. 2, I moved my command towards Helena, on Sterling's road. Arriving at the blockade before daylight I dismounted and sent forward three companies, attempting to capture the enemy's pickets in that direction. At daylight, I sent forward three more companies dismounted, and commenced the work for removing obstacles in the blockade, for the passage of artillery. My advance soon became engaged with the enemy. Reinforcing my advance, and forwarding and bringing into action my artillery, I was continually engaged until nearly three o'clock P. M. I effectually complied with the part assigned me in the order of attack, by preventing the enemy from throwing troops to Reiter's Hill, which they were constantly trying to do, and made two strong efforts and were repulsed. I protected General Marmaduke's left flank. My command was engaged in front of his left. At about two o'clock, I was informed by General Marmaduke that he had already withdrawn his command. I had hard fighting to protect my left flank, and when my right became exposed I commenced getting loose from the enemy, and retired. I must speak in the highest terms of the officers and men of my command upon the occasion — no straggling in reaching the place assigned them, although accompanied by apparent insurmountable difficulties, resisted successfully the enemy, and twice drove him away handsomely. I send herewith reports of Colonels Dobbins and Newton. I am, Major, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
L. M. Walker, Brigadier-General.
Report of Colonel Dobbins.
in the field, July 5, 1863.General: I respectfully submit the following report of the movements of my regiment on the fourth instant: According to your order, I moved my regiment and battery of four pieces, on the evening of the third, from the Bowie Farm, on the Little Rock road, four miles west of Helena, to the old Porter Farm, east .of Crawley's Bridge, on the road leading from Helena to Sterling, a distance of about fifteen miles, and remained at that place until two o'clock on the morning of the fourth, then moved down the road to a point where the mill road intersects the Sterling road, one and a half miles north of Helena, where I dismounted one hundred and fifty 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 one hundred and fifty 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 of the regiment in line of battle north of the blockade, about four hundred yards in the rear of the line of skirmishers, and there waited to learn the result of the attack made by General Marmaduke upon the battery and fortifications of Reiter's Hill, and, not learning anything definite, and discovering the enemy moving up between the levee and Mississippi river, I moved my battery forward according to your order, and commenced firing on the enemy advancing, and also the enemy's batteries playing upon General Marmaduke's command and my front. I then advanced, causing the enemy to fall back, moving their batteries some six hundred yards further down the levee. About two hours after the enemy again advanced with artillery, and in much larger force than at first. I again opened fire on them with my battery and small arms, and, with the assistance of a portion of Colonel Newton's regiment, again caused them to fall back and move their battery still further down the levee; after which skirmishing was kept up until some three hours after the firing had ceased along our entire line, at which time I received your order to fall back slowly on the Grant Mill road, which I succeeded in doing without losing any men after I left the battle-field. The loss in my regiment in the engagement was four killed and eight wounded--one mortally, two seriously, and five slightly. For particulars I refer you to Dr. Dunn, surgeon of my regiment. The officers and men of my regiment and battery deserve great credit for gallantry and courage displayed on that day. Very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
arch. S. Dobbins, Colonel, commanding Regiment Cavalry.