The Union Army Marches Into Helena

The Union Army Marches Into Helena (HM26X0)

Location: Helena-West Helena, AR 72342 Phillips County
Country: United States of America

N 34° 30.398', W 90° 35.929'

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Inscription

—A Part of the Civil War Discovery Trail —

On July 12, 1862, the Union army occupied Helena. Over two thousand fugitive slaves seeking the army's protection followed. For two days, the long line of soldiers and freedom seekers filed into Helena.

Curtis Marches toward Helena
Most of the Confederate army left Arkansas
following the Union victory at Pea Ridge in early
March 1862. Union General Samuel Curtis, then
in Missouri, planned to take Little Rock. Supply
problems forced him to alter those plans. He
decided to take his army to Helena, which was
easily supplied from Memphis.

Freedom Seekers Join the March
General Samuel Curtis's Army of the Southwest
marched across the "Wilds of Arkansas" for over
two months. As the army passed, thousands of
slaves seized the opportunity for freedom, fleeing
their homes to follow the Union army. One
Union soldier wrote, "On our march the Negroes
fairly swarmed around us, coming from every
mansion, log cabin and habitable place in the
whole region."

A Ragged Army Marches into Helena
Over 12,000 tired, dirty and hungry Union
soldiers marched into Helena. Mrs. Coombs
described them as "ragged dirty, half-starved
hordes-the worst looking set of ragamuffins."
More than two thousand Contraband slaves, no
doubt as tired and hungry as the soldiers,




followed them into the city.

The Union Army Settles In
Over the next few weeks, the army seized the
homes of Confederate sympathizers, turning
them into headquarters, offices and hospitals.
Soldiers, assisted by the former slaves, began
building fortifications. Regiments set up camps
along the Mississippi River. The Union army
was in Helena to stay.
Details
HM NumberHM26X0
Tags
Year Placed2018
Placed ByThe Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, April 16th, 2018 at 4:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 720442 N 3820950
Decimal Degrees34.50663333, -90.59881667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 30.398', W 90° 35.929'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 30' 23.88" N, 90° 35' 55.74" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)870
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 830 Biscoe St, 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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