Helena Arkansas civil war battle
The battle of Helena Arkansas is considered by many as a part of the Vicksburg Campaign; however, its development was closely in relation to the trade along the Mississippi river (Campi, 2008). Troops under the control of the Maj. Gen. Samuel Curtis had occupied the Helena region in 1862. In the year 1863, the General Prentiss received promotion to a position of the Maj. Gen and was in charge of the Eastern Arkansas, which its headquarters were in Helena. Prentiss established regions referred to as “batteries” (Christ, 2010).
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Hill’s capture and the outer fortifications by Price and Fagan, respectively, should have turned the tide for the Confederates, but a series of confusing orders from Holmes made them fail to press home the advantage they had. Indecision and poor decision-making led to a failure to take Helena and instead a rally from the remaining defending Union army led to the capitulation of Holmes and the Confederates. The only option he had left was w general retreat and withdrawal from Helena.
The result was a casualty list of 239 Union men and 1,614 confederates. That was a heavy toll for the confederates despite all the problems bedeviling the federalists in Helena. Their depleted numbers, disease and poor living conditions should have swung the battle in favor of the Confederates, but they failed to capitalize when they had the upper hand.
Campi, J. (2008). Civil War sites : the official guide to the Civil War discovery trail. Guilford, Conn: Globe Pequot Press.
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