Holding the Little Rock Road

Holding the Little Rock Road (HM21DN)

Location: Helena-West Helena, AR 72342 Phillips County
Country: United States of America
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N 34° 30.787', W 90° 35.57'

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Fortifying Helena

Soon after the Union army occupied Helena in July 1862, preparations
began for a Confederate attack. The army built four earthworks on
Crowley's Ridge. Fort Curtis sat below the ridge, in town. Barricades
protected the roads coming into town from the north and south. The Lower
Little Rock Road, now Biscoe Street, entered Helena from the south. To
protect this end of town, the army constructed an earthwork near where
you now stand. A small section of that earthwork is represented here.

A Strategic Position

The original earthwork began at the levee next to
the Mississippi River and ran west to the Lower
Little Rock Road. The earthwork straddled the
road and stretched almost to the foot of Crowley's
Ridge, ending below Battery D. The land was flat
and low, similar to what it is today. A swamp in
front of the earthwork helped protect the position
from an infantry assault.

Minos Miller, an officer with the 2nd Arkansas of
African Descent, described the defenses: "[T]here
is a breastwork thrown up across the bottoms and
about twenty yards in front of the breastwork is
cavalry pits."

This was the end of the line. Had the Confederates
pushed through here when they attacked Helena
on July 4, 1863, they
might have been able to flank
the batteries and take the city.

Photo caption:
The 2nd Arkansas of African Descent, 35th Missouri Infantry, and the 1st Missouri Battery defended this earthwork during the Battle of Helena on July 4, 1863.
HM NumberHM21DN
Year Placed2013
Placed ByArkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 3rd, 2017 at 4:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 720974 N 3821682
Decimal Degrees34.51311667, -90.59283333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 30.787', W 90° 35.57'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 30' 47.22" N, 90° 35' 34.2" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)870
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 553-575 Straub, Helena-West Helena AR 72342, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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