The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 22, In Two Parts. Part 1, Reports. Page: 424
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MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. [CaAIr. XXxIV.
Brooks with his regiment, one section of [C. B.] Etter's battery of light
artillery, commanded by Lieut. John C. Arnctt, and three colmpauies of
cavalry, commanded by Captain [W. B.] Denson, to move to the front in
support of the cavalry, then within 3 miles of the town of Helena.
About 11 o'clock at night with the three remaining regiments, com-
manded, respectively, by Colonels [J. P.] King, [A. T.] Hawthorn, and
[S. $.] Bell, and Blocher's battery of light artillery, commanded by Capt.
V. D. Blocher, I moved forward on the road toward Helena. On join-
ing Colonel Brooks where the old hill road leaves the Little Rock road,
I ordered him to advance at once with his command on the latter road,
to attract and engage the attention of the enemy south of town, and hold
his forces in the rifle-pits on the river. At the same time I or dered Colo-.
nel Hawthorn, whose regiment was in advance, to lead the brigade for-
ward on the hill road. This was promptly complied with, and the bri-
gade moved on without interruption until within 1 mile of the outer
works of the enemy. At this point the road was completely filled with
felled timber, the largest forest growth intermingling and overlapping
its whole length, while on either side precipitous and impassable ravines
were found running up even to the very intrenchments of the enemy.
It was utterly impossible to move my artillery or ammunition train
along this road. The obstacles were so great, indeed, that I was under
the necessity of directing every officer of my command to dismount and
proceed on foot-a dire necessity which subsequent events gave occa-
sion seriously to deplore. After crawling through the interstices of the
closely jutting limbs and boughs, and climbing over the thickly matted
timber for 1 mile, my line of skirmishers, who had been ordered by me
not to fire, came within sight of the enemy. I went to the front, and
could plainly see that the enemy was on the alert, and evidently expect-
ing and awaiting an attack. The order of the lieutenant-general com-
manding was to assault the fortifications with the several attacking col-
umns precisely at daylight on the morning of the 4th. Not having been
apprised of the obstructions in the road, I had made no arrangements
to remove them. The limited time to daylight would not allow of an
attempt even to take my artillery along. It was ordered to remain in
the road where the obstructions were first met with. To conform to
orders, it was necessary for me to move with the utmost celerity. Free-
ing myself of everything except my column of infantry, I pushed for-
ward with all the haste in my power. At daylight I reached and at-
tacked the enemy in his works. Colonel Hawthorn, being in advance,
was hurried rapidly into line on the right of the road which led directly
up to the fort on Hindman's Hill. He at once engaged the enemy, who
occupied their extreme or outer line of rifle-pits. Bell's regiment
emerged next from the confused mass of felled timber, and, coming up,
was also double-quicked into line on the left of the road, engaging, as
they came into position, the intrenched forces of the enemy over against
them. King's regiment brought up the rear. He rapidly threw his
men into position, and was ordered by me immediately to the support
of Colonel Hawthorn. My entire force was now engaged. The assault
upon the rifle-pits was made from both the right and left of the road.
Never did men behave with greater steadiness and gallantry than did
the troops of those three regiments. Over the heavy timber, the deep
gorges, and the precipitous banks they moved. Over opposite to them
ran the long line of fortifications, toward which they moved with eager,
anxious steps. Cowering behind their strong works, the enemy beheld
their advance with consternation. Still, on they moved, unhesitatingly,
amid the leaden rain and iron hail. The gorge is passed, the ascent of
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United States. War Department. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 22, In Two Parts. Part 1, Reports., book, 1888; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth154600/m1/427/?q=Blocher: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.