The Battle of Helena, the other battle on July 4, 1863

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Aug 25, 2012
Lieutenant General Theophilus Homes believed that if he could capture Helena Arkansas that he would sever Grant's supply lines to Vicksburg, Vicksburg would be relieved, the tables turn on Grant, and possibly even Grant's army destroyed. The capture of Helena would be an illustrious day for the Confedercy and turn Homes into a hero. The only thing that stood in General Homes' 7,645 man army was Major General Benjamin Prentiss smaller army of only 4,129 men. The battle did not go well for the Confederates, they failed to take Helena and suffered 1,614 casualties to 239 Union casualties. Lieutenant General Homes's shot at glory was dashed.

Even though General Homes had almost twice as many soldiers, did Homes have a real chance of capturing Helena? Was General Robert E. Lee correct in believing Homes to not being a great general? Holmes was promoted to Lieutenant General so Jefferson Davis must have had fah in him.
Last edited:
Sep 15, 2018
South Texas
I offhand don't know the details of the battle of Helena but he was old, slow and deaf.I don't think it was so much as faith but friendship that Davis had in Holmes. Something must have been poorly planned to have such a lopsided ratio in the casualty department.