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James G. Patton (search for this): chapter 26
ommand the city and approaches, ravines, opening toward the river, and raked by the guns of Fort Curtis, (which is lower than all the ridges, and centrally located,) being between these ridges. Before the departure of General Gorman, Fort Curtis was readily commanded from all the ridges about the city. Generals Ross and Salomon conceived the plan of placing strong batteries upon these hills as an advanced line, and connecting each battery by rifle-pits. This plan was executed by Lieutenant James G. Patton, of the Thirty-third Missouri, and results have demonstrated the correctness of his judgment, and the wisdom of the general plan. Making the city our base, battery A is upon our right running on next to B, C, and D, (which is on the left.) Between the ridges (above and below the town) and the river there is low, flat ground, protected by rifle and cavalrypits, and flanking batteries of ten-pounder Parrotts, and six and twelve-pounder brass pieces. The enemy are in force on the
mmanding. headquarters District East-Arkansas, Helena, July 4, three A. M. To Major-General S. A. Hurlbut, Commanding Fifteenth Army Corps: General: We have been hard pressed since daylight by the combined forces of Price, Holmes, Marmaduke, Parsons, Carter, Dobbins, and others. Thus far we have held our own, and have captured several hundred prisoners, whom I send to you by Major Wright, of the Twenty-fourth Iowa, on board the steamer Tycoon. The enemy are now evidently preparing for atilities for that time. When the fog raised, the force in front of battery D appeared to have been weakened; while crossing low ridges between that and battery C, appeared a brigade of three distinct regiments. When discovered, this brigade (Parsons's) was entirely concealed from the range of guns of C, but exposed to that of D, which accordingly opened upon them with shell from both guns, frequently breaking the column, but only to see it closed again and pressing forward. The first line
atteries were opened upon our centre, as they failed, on account of ravines, to obtain favorable positions. Their infantry was relied upon for this work. Lieutenant-General Holmes personally directed the attack upon battery D, which was made by Fagan's Arkansas brigade, while Major-General Price directed that upon battery C. At half-past 4 A.., a regiment moved from cover to attack D, advancing in four ranks upon a bridge perpendicular to the line of that work and flanked by the guns of C,.w war. Not less than three hundred killed and wounded, besides nearly four hundred prisoners, were left by the enemy in the vicinity of this battery. Shortly after the attack was commenced upon battery C, a second and similar one was made by Fagan's brigade in strong force upon battery D. As at the first battery, only a portion of the brigade succeeded in passing through our lines. The remainder were driven back by a murderous fire from the guns of the work, and also from our sharp-shoot
William Stark (search for this): chapter 26
d we fell back and resumed our former position. The men were now much exhausted from charging over the hills and back. The sun was shining out intensely hot, and I ordered the regiment to the foot of the hill, under the trees around headquarters, (the fighting was now over, with the exception of some occasional shots)--after being engaged for five hours under a continued and severe fire. My killed, wounded, and missing number as follow: Killed — A. Brokan, company A, shot in head; William Stark, company H, shot in breast. Wounded mortally — Robert Smith, company D, shot in abdomen; James Carter, company F, shot in the breast. Wounded severely — Frank Bennett, company F, shot in knee; Thomas Adams, company F, right arm shot off; Frederick Lewis, company F, shot through hand and wrist; Geo. Barter, company H, right thumb shot off. Wounded slightly-John Carter, company B, in head; James H. Campbell, in leg. Missing — Benjamin Happy, company M. The officers and men all conduc
d have taken one of their guns, but prudence dictated that we should not risk an ambuscade for the sake of getting possession of a gun which was no longer doing us any harm. The respective companies were disposed of as follows: Deployed as skirmishers, A, B, C, E, F, G, H, and K. Held as a reserve, D and I. The following officers were in the engagement: Lieutenant-Colonel Patterson, Major Shoemaker, and Adjutant Lyman; Captain Gardner and Second Lieutenant Kirkpatrick, of company A; Captain Andrews and Second Lieutenant Sheldon, of company B; Captain Bacon, First Lieutenant Hedge, and Second Lieutenant Stocker, of company C; First Lieutenant Stewart and Second Lieutenant Munn, of company D; First Lieutenant Mitchell and Second Lieutenant Ellifritz, of company E; First Lieutenant Turner, of company F; First Lieutenant Johnston and Second Lieutenant McFarland, of company G; Captain Myers and Second Lieutenant Elliott, of company H; First Lieutenant Lenon and Second Lieutenant Muxley
July 9th, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 26
sand 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 sp
July 12th, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 26
would be more worthily bestowed than in the case of Commander Pritchett, and it will afford me much pleasure to learn that his services have received a proper reward, I write this communication, sir, quite unsolicited and without the knowledge of Commander Pritchett. I have the honor to be, sir, with much respect, your obedient servant. B. M. Prentiss, Major-General, To David D. Porter, Rear-Admiral, Commanding Mississippi Squadron. St. Louis Democrat account. Helena, Ark., July 12, 1863. At last we have been attacked by Missouri's favorite general, under the direction of the laggard Holmes. At four o'clock A. M., on the fourth day of July, the siege-gun, which was to give the signal of attack, belched forth its startling alarm to the little garrison, and immediately infantry, cavalry, and artillery were in motion to take up the various positions assigned them. For two nights we had been under arms at two o'clock A. M., and it was but a few moments' work to place al
July 11th, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 26
s 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
August 1st, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 26
ver they will renew the attack at an early moment, and that they are now massing their troops for that purpose. My force is inferior to the rebels. With the aid I expect from you and the gunboats, the rebel army may be severely beaten. The Tyler has been to-day a valuable auxiliary. I remain, General, Your obedient servant, B. M. Prentiss, Major-General. Colonel Benton's official report. Helena, Arkansas, July 6, 1863. Editor Nonlpareil: Council Bluffs (Iowa) Nonpareil, August 1, 1863. I send you herewith, for publication a copy of my official report of the part taken by the Twenty-ninth Iowa infantry, in their engagement of the fourth instant, at this place. I would also request that all the papers in our portion of the State, copy for the information of our friends. I feel proud of the conduct of the Twenty-ninth. They came up to the work promptly and coolly, and stuck to it with unyielding fidelity. The enemy came upon us with a rush and a shout, followed
icial report of the part taken by the Twenty-ninth Iowa infantry, in their engagement of the fourth instant, at this place. I would also request that all the papers in our portion of the State, copy el: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken in the engagement of the fourth instant, by my regiment. My men were drawn up in line of battle at daylight, in obedience to a stans and obligations of the soldier, the importance of which was so forcibly illustrated on the fourth instant. My regiment was promptly supported by the Thirty-sixth Iowa infantry, commanded by Col. ted 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 atttimony 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
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