You are facing Battery A, which stood on Rightor Hill, a high spot on Crowley's Ridge. Defended by the 29th and 36th Iowa and the 33rd Missouri, it anchored the north end of the Union line, approximately one and one-quarter mile northeast of here.
The Confederate Assault on Battery A Stalls
You are standing on Crowley's Ridge, the series of hills that
surrounds old downtown Helena. To capture the city, the
Confederates had to go over or around the ridge. Battery A
covered both Sterling Road, which came in from the north,
and Old St. Francis Road, less than a mile to the west.
The Confederates attacked Battery A several
hours before attacking Battery C. The assault
began under cover of an early morning fog.
The Iowa soldiers north of the battery clearly
heard the Confederate soldiers cursing as they
clambered over the felled trees in front of
Battery A. When the fog lifted and the
Confederates came into view, the gunners of
33rd Missouri Infantry (U.S.) unleashed a
volley of shot and shell. The Confederates
stalled, unable to move forward or around the
battery. By noon they were withdrawing from
their position in front of Battery A.
Battery A's Force Defends Fort Curtis
By the time the Confederates retreated from Battery A, another
force was attacking Battery C. Batteries B and D
assisted the Union defenders here with artillery fire, but Battery A
was too far away for its guns to be effective.
Anticipating a Confederate assault, General Frederick Salomon
moved troops and artillery from Battery A to Fort Curtis. When
the Confederates attacked the fort from Battery C, the men and
artillery from Battery A were ready. The attack failed miserably,
the Confederates suffering heavy losses. Soon afterward, they
retreated from the battlefield.
They advanced steadily and briskly while six heavy guns
from our fort and also several companies of infantry that
had been driven in from the outer works were mowing
them down by platoons.
Sgt. Henry S. Carroll, 33rd Missouri (U.S., describing
the repulse of the Confederate attack on Fort Curtis
Private Andrew Brayman, 36 Iowa
Several companies of the 36th helped defend Battery A and Fort Curtis. Brayman was killed in action at Marks' Mill in April 1864.