The Helena Artillery was organized at Helena, Phillips County, Arkansas, on April 27, 1861, and enrolled in State service for three months on April 29. Captain A. W. Clarkson was the first commander of the battery, which was initially composed primarily of Phillips County men.
On July 6, 1861, the battery was mustered into Confederate service for twelve months (later extended for the duration of the war) at Memphis, Tennessee. A number of men declined to enter Confederate service, and were discharged on July 23, 1861, at Pitman’s Ferry, Arkansas.
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