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

"We are well fortified"

 

—Battle of Helena —

 
<i>"We are well fortified"</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
1. "We are well fortified" Marker
Inscription. Battery C sat directly above Helena and was the key to the city's defenses. The small earthen battery manned by the 33rd Missouri held two artillery pieces. A series of infantry trenches in front of the battery defended the approach. Union engineers ordered all of the trees cut down to give the artillery and infantry a clear field of fire. They placed the felled trees in front of the trenches to slow attackers.

Preparing for a Confederate Attack
As the weather grew hot and humid in April 1863, it became clear that the Confederates meant to attack Helena. Fort Curtis, completed the previous fall, left the high ground west of Helena unprotected and the city vulnerable to attack. Under orders from General Benjamin Prentiss, General Frederick Salomon began work on four batteries on the ridge west of town. Most of the work fell to the newly created United States Colored Troops.

Four Strong Batteries Defended Helena
When finished in June, the new Union defenses on Crowley's Ridge covered the approaches to the city from Little Rock to the west, the Confederate base of operations in Arkansas. Each of the four batteries was armed with two or more guns and protected by infantry trenches and felled trees. Their positions allowed each battery to cover
<i>"We are well fortified"</i> Marker and battery. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
2. "We are well fortified" Marker and battery.
the others with artillery fire in case of attack, an advantage that would prove critical.

The batteries were completed none too soon. Just days later, on July 4, 1863, the Confederates attacked Helena.

[Inset comment]
If the Rebels should ever come here they would find a warm place for them. We have not many troops but we are well fortified.
    Edmund Holt, Co. F, 28th Wisconsin
 
Location. 34° 31.554′ 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. 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. A Short Lived Confederate Victory (a few steps from this marker); A Cemetery Becomes a Battleground (a few steps from this marker); The Confederates Take Battery C (a few steps from this marker); Battle of Helena (a few steps from this marker); Battery C Revealed (a few steps from this marker); The 33rd Missouri Spikes the Guns (within shouting distance
Marker can be seen in foreground on left. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
3. Marker can be seen in foreground on left.
of this marker); The Avenging Fire of the Gunboat (within shouting distance of this marker); A Terrific Fire From Graveyard Hill (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Helena.
 
Categories. African AmericansWar, 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 53 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 4, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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