The Confederates Take Battery C

The Confederates Take Battery C (HM21EX)

Location: Helena-West Helena, AR 72342 Phillips County
Country: United States of America
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N 34° 31.541', W 90° 35.807'

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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
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
HM NumberHM21EX
Year Placed2013
Placed ByArkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 4th, 2017 at 4:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 720578 N 3823068
Decimal Degrees34.52568333, -90.59678333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 31.541', W 90° 35.807'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 31' 32.46" N, 90° 35' 48.42" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)870
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1201-1299 Yorkshire Dr, 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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