May -- July 2013
As the war wore on, the state of Arkansas continued to play a role in Grant’s campaign to capture Vicksburg. On July 4, Major Gen. Benjamin (Union) and Lieutenant Gen. Theophilus H.Holmes (Confederate) commanded their respective troops in what the Encyclopedia of Arkansas describes as “… for the size of the forces engaged (nearly 12,000),as desperate a fight as any in the Civil War, with repeated assaults on heavily fortified positions similar to the fighting that was to be seen in 1864 in Gen.Grant’s Virginia overland campaign and Gen. Sherman’s Atlanta campaign.”
The historic port town of Helena commemorates this encounter from May through July with lectures, reenactments and unveilings of new Civil War interpretive sites throughout the community. Some of these include the recreation of Fort Curtis (pictured here), and the opening of historic Estevan Hall as a welcome center. Additional information and updates can be found on http://civilwarhelena.com/.