"We are well fortified"

"We are well fortified" (HM21EY)

Location: Helena-West Helena, AR 72342 Phillips County
Country: United States of America
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N 34° 31.554', W 90° 35.807'

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—Battle of Helena —

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
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
HM NumberHM21EY
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 3823092
Decimal Degrees34.52590000, -90.59678333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 31.554', W 90° 35.807'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 31' 33.24" 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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