Union Maj. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis moved on Helena, Arkansas, in search of supplies to replace those that had been promised but never delivered by the Navy. The Confederates under Maj. Gen. Albert Rust attempted to prevent this change of supply base by continually skirmishing with the Union troops. The Confederates made a stand at the Cache River on July 7.
As Col. C.L. Harris moved forward with elements of the 11th Wisconsin, 33rd Illinois, and the 1st Indiana Cavalry, moved forward, he blundered into an ambuscade. The fighting became more general, and the Confederates, with a frontal attack, forced the Union to retreat about a quarter of a mile. The next Confederate attack, however, was stopped.
With reinforcements, the Federals pursued the retreating Confederates and turned the retreat into a rout as the day progressed. Curtis was able change his supply base, but Maj. Gen. Albert Rust, despite suffering defeat at Hill's Plantation, remained between Curtis and Little Rock, his objective.