Ed. Porter Thompson, History of the First Kentucky Brigade (Cincinnati: Caxton Publishing House, 1868), 341.
And when Mr. [William H.] Seward authoritatively announced that the garrison should be withdrawn from Fort Sumter, [Helm] had not yet been able to conceive that any body of public officers could harbor a thought of self-stultification and a secret design upon the institutions of his section; and he was so confirmed in the belief that there would be no war that he went to Washington to see Mr. Lincoln, with a view of again entering the regular army, which he sincerely wished to do, having never been satisfied with his profession as a lawyer. The President gave him to understand that he should be commissioned in accordance with request, and he returned to Louisville, still under the impression that no hostile proceedings would be instituted against the Southern States. But the very first subsequent developments aroused suspicions in his mind as to the real intentions of the administration. In a short time it was rumored that a fleet had sailed to relieve Sumter—then the fall of that place, precipitated by the approach of the naval armament, was announced, and he no longer hesitated. He was no man to "halt between two opinions," and when the path of duty was clear, he entered it without hesitancy. "He embraced the Southern cause," says a friend, "with all the enthusiasm of his extremely ardent and enthusiastic nature." He went at once to Montgomery, and tendered his services to the Confederate Government.