Battle of Helena: 160th Anniversary Reenactment

Featured Image 160th Anniversary for the Battle of Helena
Battle of Helena: 160th Anniversary Reenactment
Event Hosted By
Delta Cultural Center
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Apr 14, 09:00AM
Apr 16, 03:00PM
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Delta Cultural Center 141 Cherry Street Helena, Arkansas 72342
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Event Contact

Richard Spilman

Education Coordinator

Join the Delta Cultural Center as we host the 160th Anniversary Reenactment of the Battle for Helena on April 15 and 16, 2023. This two-day event will be preceded by an educational program for regional schools to learn about the military history of Helena on April 14.  It will be spread out along downtown Helena and the river park, as hundreds of reenactors make their way to Phillips County for this special event. 

The Battle of Helena, which was fought on July 4, 1863, was one of the largest and most important events in Arkansas during the American Civil War. Confederate forces led by Lieutenant-General Theophilus Holmes and Major-General Sterling Price attacked Federal forces commanded by Major-General Benjamin Prentiss and Brigadier-General Frederick Salomon. Helena had been under Union control since mid-1862 and the city had become an important base of operations for Eastern Arkansas and Western Mississippi. Southerners needed to relieve the Confederate army at Vicksburg and authorities urged Holmes to attack Helena throughout the siege. He was able to amass an army of nearly eight thousand men, composed of infantry and cavalry. The Federal garrison at Helena consisted of four thousand men, but the city was protected by Fort Curtis, batteries along Crowley's Ridge and the U.S.S. Tyler on the Mississippi River.  After four hours of vicious fighting, General Holmes withdrew in defeat, losing over 1,600 men as casualties. The victorious Federal army, with casualty figures under 250 men, had held Helena. To add insult to injury, the Vicksburg garrison surrendered to General U.S. Grant. 

Battle of Helena 160th Anniversary Program

April 14, 2023 
                       Registration at the Depot Museum Delta Eagle Room | 8 am - midnight
                       Civil War School Days Event at Cherry Street Pavilion | 9 am - 12 pm

April 15, 2023 
                        Registration at the Depot Museum Delta Eagle Room | 8 am - 10 am
                        Camps open for visitors | 9 am - 5 pm
                        Curt Fields as U.S. Grant at the Miller Annex | 9:30 am - 10:30 pm
                        Lena Fields as Julia Grant at the Pillow-Thompson | 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
                        Battle of Helena Introduction by the DCC | 1:30 pm - 2 pm
                        Battle of Helena Reenactment at the River Park | 2 pm - 3 pm
                        Bobby Horton at the Cherry Street Pavilion | 7 pm until 

April 16, 2023
                       Battle of Helena Reenactment at the River Park
                       Assault on Battery D 
                       Battle of the Future Governors at Batteries A and B | 1 pm - 2 pm
Please follow our social media and website for further information on participating in this event or being a spectator. We look forward to seeing you in Helena. Special guests at the event will be world famous musician Bobby Horton and Dr. E.C. Fields, who will be portraying U.S. Grant. The above program is subject to change due to weather or other unforeseen events. For more information, contact the DCC Education Coordinator Richard Spilman at 870-338-4350 or [email protected]

All participants involved including reenactors, sutlers, etc. need to contact DCC Education Coordinator Richard Spilman or the Delta Cultural Center at [email protected] 

Civil War Re-enactment Registration Form (1) - Copy

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