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Helena in Phillips County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

The Confederates Attack Fort Curtis

 
 
The Confederates Attack Fort Curtis Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
1. The Confederates Attack Fort Curtis Marker
Inscription. "such a slaughter was never greater on any battlefield west of the Mississippi" Sgt. Henry S. Carroll, 33rd Missouri

A Strong Position
Fort Curtis sat on the brow of a low ridge above Helena, in the shadow of Crowley's Ridge. Fort Curtis mounted seven heavy guns and was the Union army's last line of defense. On the morning of July 4, 1863, fog shrouded the ridge, making it impossible for the fort's gunners to see their targets. When the fog lifted they tried to stem the hard- charging Confederates at Battery C. They failed and the Confederates took the battery.

General Salomon Prepares a Defense
General Frederick Salomon ordered Lt. Col. Thomas Pace's 1st Indiana Cavalry and the Dubuque Battery to Fort Curtis. Infantry summoned from the levee and fleeing soldiers from Battery C joined the cavalry. Watching the Confederates gather for the attack Sergeant Henry Carroll recalled, "They seemed to think they had gained the day but they were woefully mistaken.

The Confederate Attack Fails
The chaplain of the 28th Wisconsin saw the attack, later writing, "They charged down the hill toward the town in a very brave manner but were met by a most destructive fire of grape & canister as
The Confederates Attack Fort Curtis Marker (on right) & map (in middle). image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
2. The Confederates Attack Fort Curtis Marker (on right) & map (in middle).
well as by volley of musketry." Their officers urged the hard-hit Confederates forward, but it was futile. They fell back, fighting all the while. Finally the guns of Fort Curtis and the Union counterattacks were simply too much. Many Confederates were killed and wounded in the assault, hundreds more surrendered.

[Photo captions]
Top right: Above: The interior of Fort Curtis. Left: General Frederick C. Salomon, U.S.A.
Bottom left: Second Lieut. Orlo H. Lyon, 3rd Iowa Battery. The 3rd Iowa Battery manned the guns at Fort Curtis during the Battle of Helena.

 
Erected 2013 by Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.
 
Location. 34° 31.727′ N, 90° 35.479′ W. Marker is in Helena, Arkansas, in Phillips County. Marker is on Columbia Street south of Perry Street (Business U.S. 49), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Located on the east side of the Phillips County Library. Marker is at or near this postal address: 702 Porter Street, Helena AR 72342, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Battle of Helena (here, next to this marker); Russwurm Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Curtis
Map of the Battle of Helena. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
3. Map of the Battle of Helena.
(within shouting distance of this marker); What is the impact of stormwater on the Mississippi (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); What is a bottled hardwood forest? (about 300 feet away); William Patterson (about 300 feet away); The T-33 Shooting Star (approx. 0.2 miles away); The American Legion Hut (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Helena.
 
More about this marker. An Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial site and a part of the Arkansas Civil War Discovery Trail.
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia article on the Battle of Helena. (Submitted on September 4, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US Civil
 
View of marker looking south on Columbia Street. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
4. View of marker looking south on Columbia Street.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 4, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 4, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 65 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 4, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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