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"Grant's crown of immortality was won, and the jewel that shone most brightly in it was set
there by the blood of the men of Champion Hills ...... Six thousand blue and gray-coated men were lying there in the woods, dead or wounded, when the last gun of Champion Hills was fired.

Major S. H. M. Byers, Fifth Iowa Infantry


Battle of Champion Hill


"The Hill of Death"
Historic Marker

"THE HILL OF DEATH" read by Edwin C. Bearss, Historian Emeritus, National Park Service

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Struggle at Champion Hill
  Cpl Mitchell, 16th Ohio Battery

In Memory of Janet Champion
Letter of Lt. M.C. Leak
  17th Louisiana Infantry

152nd Anniversary Event to
  Emulate 1890 Reunion
150th Anniversary Event
Diary of W.O. Connor
  Cherokee Artillery
Blue & Gray Reunion, 1890
Quotes by Matilda Champion
Memories of Other Days Recalled
  in Montgomery
Diary of Lt. W.R. Eddington
   97th Illinois Infantry
Letters of Sft. S.A. Rollins
   97th Illinois Infantry
Diary of Gen. Joseph Stockton
   72 Illinois Infantry
"I Was There," a Memorial Poem
   by Bertha Lewis
"Aunt Lula's" Headstone Set
  Rebecca B. Drake
Letters of Pvt. Ackless W. Geeslin
   22nd Iowa Infantry
Gen'l Bowen's Wife in Raymond
   Rebecca B. Drake

Janesville Daily Gazette
Memoir of Pvt. James Warren
  McPherson, 10th Iowa

Lieut. Col Leonidas Horney
  Killed at Champion Hill

Union Occupies Cook Plantation
  Rebecca Drake & Sue Moore
Diary of Pvt. Arthur McCullough
  Co. D, 81st Ill
Discovering Names & Faces of
  Civil War Soldiers

Fighting for Vicksburg
  B.F. Boring, 30th Ill.
Alvin P. Hovey Reminisces
  Rebecca B. Drake
"Three Years with Grant"
  Sylvanus Cadwallader
Memorial Dedicated at St Alban's
  Rebecca B. Drake
America History Tours Visits
  Champion Hill, Oct 2, 2009
Memoirs Historical and Personal
  Ephraim Anderson, 1st Missouri
2009 Anniversary Event
  Rebecca B. Drake
Tilghman Monument Dedication
  Rebecca B. Drake
Five Generations of Sid
, Rebecca B. Drake
The Long Road Home
  Pvt. Myron B. Loop
1864 Pywell Photograph
  Big Black River Station
Coker House to be Razed
  Rebecca B. Drake
Administering Last Rites
  Father John Bannon
Maltida Champion: "I was in
  the Cellar During the Fight"
Mary Dabney Ware:
 "Behind Enemy Lines"
Margie's 1960 Scrapbook:
  Charm, Dot & Paul Jones
Battle of Big Black River Bridge
  Rebecca Blackwell Drake
Champion Dedication
  Grady Howell. Jr.
Capt. Samuel Ridley: "Bravest of
   the Brave" by Rebecca Drake
Battle of Champion Hill:
  Killed and Wounded
The Battle of Baker's Creek
  W.T. Moore, Miss Light Artillery
Charles E. Comstock Diary,
  Co G, 34th Indiana
Gen. Cumming's Letter
  to Gen. Stephen D. Lee
Matilda Champion:
  "A Sorrow's Crown of Sorrow"

Vignettes of Champion Hill
  Margie Bearss
Champions of Champion Hill
  Rebecca B. Drake
Diary of William Montgomery:
  Confederate Scout
Will Montgomery: Scout
  Kay Cornelius
Brother Against Brother
  Rebecca B. Drake
History of the 78th Ohio
  Rev. Stevenson, Chaplain
Champion Hills
  Alonzo L. Brown, 4th Minnesota
Battle of Champion Hill
  G. B. McDonald, 30th Illinois
The Death of Gen John Bowen
  Rebecca B. Drake
Lt. William Drennan:
  Letters to His Wife
The Defense of Vicksburg
  Maj. Samuel Lockett
Letters of George B. Boomer
  Mary Boomer Stone
Vivid Experiences
  Pvt. A. H. Reynolds, 19th Ark.

Photography from Anniversary Events

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In Memoriam
Margie Riddle Bearss

October 22, 1925 — October 7, 2006


1862 Troop Train Wreck


By Sue Burns Moore



On New Year’s Eve in 1862 about three miles west of Edward’s Depot in Hinds County, Mississippi, at about 11 o’clock in the morning, Richard White, the engineer of the Southern Railroad line was traveling between Jackson and Vicksburg at a safe speed with his human cargo – four cars packed with Confederate soldiers going to the front. Many were veterans of the recent bloody battle at Corinth now headed to the trenches of Vicksburg to defend Vicksburg, that Mississippi River "key" which President Lincoln felt he must have in his pocket in order to defeat the South.

Suddenly, without warning, disaster struck and the train plunged off the track, according to a soldier’s letter, originally published in the Jackson Mississippian and later picked up by several New Orleans papers. The letter, written December 31, 1862, from Edwards Depot, Hinds County, Mississippi, was penned by Pvt. Charles A. Cone, age 29, of Company C of the 28th Mississippi Cavalry.


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The Struggle at Champion's Hill

A Terrible Day Which Cost the Confederacy Vicksburg


Corporal 16th Ohio Battery

The National Tribune, Thursday, August 10, 1899





I will return to the morning and the place where ready and waiting we saw Logan's gallant men hurry past file to the right and take position in the valley beyond In the meantime the infantry of my own division having pushed forward in battle line to the immediate front had crossed the fields and commenced skirmishing with the enemy at the edge of the woods beyond But before this we of the artillery tilting on our horses or standing at rest heard the commencement of the battle far to the left in the front of Smith's and Carr's Divisions.


That these divisions with Osterhaus and Blair although on good roads and in ca3y distance skirmished the day away and failed to advance until near night is a matter of history Gen. McClernand who commanded them was evidently overcautious and for this reason failed to push them forward as they should have been pushed. This failure of his to advance promptly as ordered and attack vigorously allowed the enemy in his front to mass toward their left. If I refer only briefly again or not at all to the left wing of our army it will be because as a truth it had little part in the terrific contest that fell with such fury on the right.

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A Photographic Journey


152nd Anniversary Event

The Battle of Champion Hill

May 16, 2015

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Capt. Alexander W. Geddes
Co. A, 118th Illinois Vol. Infantry

Alexander Geddes and his younger brother, Cyrus M. Geddes, enlisted in the Union Army after President Lincoln called for volunteers.

     During the May 16, 1863, Battle of Champion Hill the brothers fought in the Ninth Division (Brig. Gen. Peter Osterhaus), First Brigade (Col. John Fonda.) Two men from the 118th were killed that day - Capt. Alexander Geddes, age 33, and Lt. Thomas White.

After the battle, Pvt. Cyrus Geddes removed his brother’s saber then buried him on the battlefield. He then requested permission from Col. John Fonda to be allowed to send Alexander’s saber home to his father. Col Fonda denied the request and instead promoted Pvt. Cyrus Geddes to his deceased brother’s position as captain. Captain Cyrus Geddes wore his brother’s saber for the remaining years of the war. He was mustered out on October 1, 1865.


Information provided by Allan M. Geddes, great nephew, Mediapolis, IA.


Diary of Wesley Olin Connor
Cherokee Artillery, CSA
Cave Spring, Georgia


     Champion Hill, Saturday May 16. 11 o'clock, we were ordered into position on that portion of the line parallel with the railroad. Moved round and found General Stevenson's division hotly engaged. Some of the Alabama regiments had already given back, came into position in a field to the left of the division within six hundred yards of a Yankee battery of Napoleon guns. We fired fifteen or twenty rounds from each gun, but it was hot work. Shot, shell and shrapnel flew thick and fast around us. Here fell Hutchens, killed, and Lumpkin and Anthony mortally wounded.


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Lieut. M. C. Leak - "Recalling the Battle of Shiloh"

1862 Letter Written from Edwards Station

By Sue Burns Moore

     Lieut. Moses Capers Leak of the "Claiborne Invincibles," Co. H, 17th Louisiana Infantry wrote his older sister Sarah Leak Simmons of Cave Springs, Georgia, a detailed letter from camp at Edwards, Hinds County, Mississippi about his recent experience at the great battle of Shiloh, April 7-8, 1862. Leak first volunteered as a private May 18, 1861, at Camp Moore, LA, but when his year was up, he re-enlisted at Edwards on May 23, 1862, and was elected as first lieutenant of his company. That fall he was sent back to Claiborne Parish on a 25-day leave to obtain clothing for his men who would soon see action in the last week of December at Chickasaw Bluff as skirmishers led by Capt. Paul Hamilton of Gen. Stephen D. Lee’s staff.

     On May 1, 1863, outnumbered by Grant’s army four to one, they would fight in Baldwin Brigade in the Battle of Port Gibson, retiring to Vicksburg on May 3 to build breastworks and rifle pits. Within two weeks they were called out to Baker’s Creek and the decisive Battle of Champion Hill. However, arriving too late in the battle, they did not see action there. After camping for a time near the Big Black, they returned to Vicksburg where, by May 17, they went into the trenches for the long and terrible siege. Lieut. Leak was mortally wounded during the attack on Fort Hill, May 30 and died during the night of June 4.


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I Was There: The Battle of Champion Hill

By Bertha Lewis

A Memorial Poem

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Commemorative Medallions  

Sesquicentennial Event

Battle of Champion Hill

May 18, 2013

Medallion Honoring
The Soldiers Who Fought

Medallions are now available for purchase by the public.

Plain Medallions ~ $20

Medallions in presentation boxes or on plastic presentation stands ~ $25

Send a check payable to the Champion Heritage Foundation,

Rebecca B. Drake

P.O. Box 336

Raymond, MS 39154 

Champion Hill Tours
With Sid Champion V

  • The Cross Roads
  • Old Jackson Road
  • The Hill of Death
  • Original House Site & Historic Marker
  • Midway Station
  • Family Cemetery and Memorabilia
  • Margie Bearss Memorial
  • $50 per person (minimum of 2)  Call 601-316-4894

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    The Diary of Elizabeth Meade Ingraham

    The Rebel Sister of
    General George Meade

    By Rebecca B. Drake & Sue B. Moore

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    Collected Stories of the Vicksburg Campaign

    By Rebecca Drake and Margie Bearss

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    Darwina's Diary: A View of Champion Hill ~ 1865
    Edited By
    Rebecca Drake and Margie Bearss

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    My Dear Wife ~
    Letters to Matilda

    The Civil War Letters of Sid and Matilda Champion

    By Rebecca Drake and Margie Bearss

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    Copyright (c) 2015 James and Rebecca Drake