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

Fort Curtis, 1862-1867

 
 
Fort Curtis, 1862-1867 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
1. Fort Curtis, 1862-1867 Marker
Inscription. The Confederates tested Fort Curtis once, during the Battle of Helena on July 4, 1863.The battle ended in a decided Union victory. For the rest of the war, Fort Curtis stood over Helena, a symbol of the power of the Union army.

The Battle of Helena
Fort Curtis signaled the beginning of the Battle of Helena and was the last line of defense for the Union army. In the predawn hours of Independence Day, a single gun at Fort Curtis fired-the signal for soldiers to take their battle stations. The 33rd Missouri Infantry who had been trained to operate artillery, manned the guns. After taking Battery C, the Confederates attacked Fort Curtis but they could not take it.

The End of Fort Curtis
The Civil War ended in April 1865. A few months later, the army removed the huge guns from Fort Curtis and shipped them out of Arkansas. The last inspection in 1866 found the fort in good repair, but its usefulness had past. When the Union army left Helena in 1867, it was abandoned. The fort was eventually leveled; its walls used as fill perhaps. The First Baptist Church three blocks north of here now stands near where Fort Curtis once stood.

[Photo captions]
Top right: The United States flag in the background stands in the middle
Fort Curtis, 1862-1867 Marker (third from left). image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
2. Fort Curtis, 1862-1867 Marker (third from left).
of Fort Curtis. The fort's walls are visible behind St. John's Episcopal Church.
Middle left: General Samuel Curtis, the first Union commander of Helena, for whom Fort Curtis was named.
Right bottom: This picture of the interior of Fort Curtis is the only photograph of the fort known to exist.

 
Erected 2013 by Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.
 
Location. 34° 31.55′ N, 90° 35.507′ W. Marker is in Helena, Arkansas, in Phillips County. Marker is on York Street east of Beech Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Located near entrance to Fort Curtis. Marker is at or near this postal address: 701 York Street, Helena AR 72342, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The New Fort Curtis (here, next to this marker); Who Built Fort Curtis (here, next to this marker); Defending Helena (here, next to this marker); U.S.C.T. in Helena (within shouting distance of this marker); Life Under Union Occupation (within shouting distance of this marker); The Battle of Helena (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Confederates Attack Fort Curtis (approx. 0.2 miles away); Russwurm Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Helena.
 
More about this marker.
Reverse of marker, on right. Entrance gate to Fort Curtis is in background. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
3. Reverse of marker, on right. Entrance gate to Fort Curtis is in background.
An Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial site and a part of the Arkansas Civil War Discovery Trail.
 
Also see . . .  Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture - Fort Curtis. (Submitted on September 6, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US Civil
 
Fort Curtis sign on east side. (3 blocks south of original location). image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 26, 2017
4. Fort Curtis sign on east side. (3 blocks south of original location).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 6, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 6, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 58 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 6, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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