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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Helena in Phillips County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

The Confederates Take Battery C

 
 
The Confederates Take Battery C Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
1. The Confederates Take Battery C Marker
Inscription. Battery C, perched atop Graveyard Hill, commanded the city and the rugged landscape to the west. Confederate General Theophilus Holmes believed it was the gateway to Helena. He sent General Sterling Price's Infantry Division, his strongest force, to take it.

Price Finally Attacks
Even though he could hear fighting on both ends of the line, General Sterling Price waited to attack. By the time he began his assault, the fog shrouding the battlefield had lifted, leaving his infantry exposed. William Bull of the 3rd Missouri Field Battery wrote, "[S]hots of the enemy which was poured upon us from small arms and artillery from the time we appeared on the top of the hill.

Three Costly Assaults
Captain Thomas M. Gibson, 33rd Missouri, held Battery C with an artillery crew and a handful of infantry. The Confederates slammed into Gibson's defenders, yelling like demons and driving the Union defenders until they actually crossed bayonets. An artillery barrage from the surrounding batteries, the gunboat Tyler and Fort Curtis drove the Confederates back twice. The third try carried the hill. The jubilant Confederates yelled and waved flags; bedlam reigned on Battery C.

Errors Lead to Disaster
General Holmes
The Confederates Take Battery C Marker at Graveyard Hill. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
2. The Confederates Take Battery C Marker at Graveyard Hill.
ordered an attack on Battery D. In the chaos, he was misunderstood. A Confederate brigade on Battery C rushed down the hill and attacked Fort Curtis instead. Half of the brigade was lost in the streets of Helena. Holmes was forced to withdraw; his Confederate army retreating back down the Lower Little Rock Road.

[Inset quote]
"They succeeded in carrying Battery C, but not until they had many of their men and officers killed and wounded; but their superiority in numbers was so great that they completely overpowered our force at the battery." Lt. Col. Cyrus H. Mackey, 33rd lowa
 
Erected 2013 by Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.
 
Location. 34° 31.541′ N, 90° 35.807′ W. Marker is in Helena, Arkansas, in Phillips County. Marker can be reached from Yorkshire Drive 0.1 miles east of Audubon Drive when traveling east. Touch for map. Located at the Battery C site, Graveyard Hill. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1100 Yorkshire Drive, Helena AR 72342, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Battle of Helena (here, next to this marker); A Terrific Fire From Graveyard Hill (a few steps from this marker); "We are well fortified"
View of the top of Battery C. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
3. View of the top of Battery C.
(a few steps from this marker); A Short Lived Confederate Victory (within shouting distance of this marker); Battery C Revealed (within shouting distance of this marker); A Cemetery Becomes a Battleground (within shouting distance of this marker); The 33rd Missouri Spikes the Guns (within shouting distance of this marker); The Avenging Fire of the Gunboat (within shouting distance of this marker). 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. War, US Civil
 
 
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 54 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 4, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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