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[135] when that hill was captured enter the town and act against the enemy as circumstances might indicate. The attack was to be made at daylight on the following morning. All the preceding day steamboats had been arriving at Helena with reinforcements for the Federals, a large part of which did not leave the boats.

The different columns promptly advanced, at the time designated, to the attack. General Price assaulted the fort on Graveyard hill, and after a stubborn fight captured it and turned its guns on the main fort in the center of the town. He led Parsons' brigade in person, but not being supported by the other columns failed to take it and was eventually forced to retire. Fagan assaulted the fort on Hindman hill, but after a hard fight was driven back. Marmaduke's route led along the crest of a ridge, exposed to the enemy's artillery and musketry fire, on the side toward the river. Walker's orders were to keep this flank clear, but he did not advance until nine o'clock, and then, after firing two volleys at the enemy at long range, retired and did not make his appearance again during the fight. Marmaduke's left and rear were thus exposed, and he had to hold half his troops back to prevent being isolated and cut off. Shelby's brigade in front, however, assaulted the fort on Reiter hill, but was not strong enough to take it. At eleven o'clock General Holmes ordered the troops to withdraw, which they did in good order, and were not pressed by the enemy. The attack was a foredoomed failure. The enemy knew it would be made a month in advance, and had twice as large a force there as was necessary to repel it. In withdrawing from the town General Price's division suffered severely, particularly Colonel Lewis' regiment. Colonel Shelby's wrist was shattered by a rifle ball, making a painful and dangerous wound, and Maj. Robert Smith of Marmaduke's staff was killed, as was also Capt. John Clark of his escort company.

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John Sappington Marmaduke (3)
Joseph O. Shelby (2)
Sterling Price (2)
John G. Walker (1)
Robert Smith (1)
Mosby Monroe Parsons (1)
Lewis (1)
T. H. Holmes (1)
Fagan (1)
John Clark (1)
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