Confederate General (and future Missouri governor) John S. Marmaduke led the cavalry attack, Major General (and former Missouri governor) Sterling Price led the infantry attack. Brig. General James Fagan and current Arkansas Governor Harris Flanagin were additional Confederate military leaders. General Holmes had said to “attack at daylight.” General Price thought this meant attack at sunrise. General Fagan and General Marmaduke interpreted this as attack at first light, almost an hour after General Price had commenced his assault. Poor coordination and good Federal defenses doomed the attack.
The 36th Iowa celebrated their victory by collecting and burying rebel corpses. Vicksburg also surrendered to General Grant on July 4. At the same time, the Union achieved a great victory at Gettysburg, Penn. The Battle of Helena was certainly not the biggest battle of the day, yet was quite important in helping to achieve control of the Mississippi Union. These victories ended Confederate threats to federal operations along the Mississippi River and cut off regular lines of communication and supply between rebel forces, essentially splitting the Confederacy in half for the remainder of the war.
Following the Battle of Helena, the 36th Iowa Appanoose County men became part of the 7th Corps under Major General Frederick Steele and went into garrison duty at the federal supply base at DuVall’s Bluff, Ark. on the White River. In July and August, the regiment went on a guard assignment to Pine Bluff, Ark.
More to come later.