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"Battle of Helena, Arkansas" Topic

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American Civil War

356 hits since 7 Nov 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango0107 Nov 2018 12:31 p.m. PST

"Helena, Arkansas was one of the many towns along the line of the Mississippi occupied by Union forces during 1862. In the summer of 1863 Union occupation of Helena served two purposes. First, it helped to protect the supply line along the Mississippi to the troops besieging Vicksburg. Second, it provided a possible base for any attack on the state capitol, at Little Rock.

The Confederate commander west of the Mississippi was Edmund Kirby- Smith (since March 1863). He had replaced Lieutenant-General Theophilius H. Holmes, who had demoted to command the District of Arkansas. Together, they decided to launch an attack on the Federal garrison at Helena, partly to help relieve the pressure at Vicksburg, and partly to protect the Confederate position in Arkansas.

Their timing was good. The Union garrison at Helena had recently been reduced from 20,000 men to 4,000, under Major-General B. M. Prentiss, when most of the men had been transferred to Vicksburg. However, they did have a strong position. Helena was overlooked by a line of hills, on which they had built a series of forts (Fort Righter to the north, Graveyard Hill in the middle and Fort Hindman to the south). A single gunboat, the U.S.S. Tyler, protected them from the river…."
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Wonder to know if anyone have wargame this battle…


21eRegt07 Nov 2018 9:37 p.m. PST

Honestly never heard of it before today. Good to know.

mildbill08 Nov 2018 4:14 a.m. PST

Really not a very good option to wargame. Very well dug in union troops being assaulted over open ground by not enough confederate troops. The outcome will not be in doubt. I game mostly Trans Mississippi actions but this battle is a non starter.

Hector Blackwolf Inactive Member08 Nov 2018 11:19 a.m. PST

A great scale for a wargame, but attacking 4,000 troops entrenched on high ground with 7,000 could never accomplish anything but a pointless effusion of blood.

Tango0108 Nov 2018 11:32 a.m. PST



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