During the Battle of Helena on July 4, 1863, constant fire from Union cavalry and artillery near the levee helped stall the Confederate advance on Battery A.
The Union Troops at the Levee
Union Colonel Powell Clayton's 5th Kansas and
1st Indiana cavalry, aided by the 3rd Iowa Battery
and two small guns manned by the Indiana
cavalry, harassed Confederate General John S.
Marmaduke's left flank all morning. Marmaduke
finally ordered General L. Marshall Walker to
clear the Federals from the levee.
The Confederates Deploy
Walker sent several hundred men of the 5th
Arkansas Cavalry, Dobbins' Arkansas Cavalry,
and a four-gun battery of artillery into action
against the Union line. The Confederates forced
their way across the Union obstructions and
deployed on the floodplain.
General Walker Retreats
Clayton's forces proved very stubborn foes.
Walker reported, "I had hard fighting on my left
flank, and when my right became exposed I
commenced to get loose from the enemy and
retired." The Confederates failed. Walker
retreated with the rest of Marmaduke's Division.
"The rebel guns were posted above us near the river wall, and
between them and us was a slough or bayou; across this the
rebel sharp-shooters had waded and were posted behind
everything that could afford them shelter, and they disputed
every inch of ground with sullen pertinacity."
Captain William F. Crietz, Co. A, 5th Kansas Cavalry