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"Grant's crown of immortality was won, and the jewel that shone most brightly in it was set
Major S. H. M. Byers, Fifth Iowa Infantry
"THE HILL OF DEATH" read by Edwin C. Bearss, Historian Emeritus, National Park Service
Lt. M.C. Leak
October 22, 1925 — October 7, 2006
Diary of Wesley Olin Connor
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.
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.
The New Mississippian,
The Blue and the Gray Re-union at Vicksburg last week was taken advantage of
to celebrate the battle of Champion Hill, by a grand barbecue and picnic on
Thursday last [May 29].
We are ruined already and I feel now that if I can only keep what I have saved I will be satisfied. And, when this war is over, if ever in my day, if you are spared to me we can begin again….it is a thought that I dare not think upon – that of being homeless and widowed, my children orphans of this terrible cruel war. Yet the thought will present itself and then I am unfit for anything. I could endure hardships and privations provided you were spared to me.
Touching and Thrilling Scene When the Venerable President of the Confederacy Laid the Cornerstone at the Women’s Monument
When the good King Cyrus made it possible for the people of Israel to go back home after long captivity there was great rejoicing, and on arrival immediate effort was put forth to get the temple rebuilt. As the time came around to begin work there was jubilation and shouting, but above the noise of the glad throng came the sound of weeping and the cry of many in sorrow. The old men were grieved for the magnificence of the former temple, for the time that once was in the glory of Israel.
Today, when the throngs that had gathered from the country around surged up the steps of the Capitol to greet and honor the President of all the people, a good man and a strong man and the shouts of the populace arose in cheers for the head of the nation, many a grizzled countenance wore a look of sorrow and down numberless furrowed cheeks ran the salty tears. They recalled the day when they gathered to welcome the man who had stood at the head of the Confederacy, when after the failure of the Lost Cause had gone by twenty odd years, Jefferson Davis, sick and feeble, left his comfortable Mississippi home to lay the cornerstone of the monument built by the efforts of the good women of the South in memory of the noble men who sacrificed life and fortune on the altar of the Southern Confederacy.
By Bertha Lewis
A Memorial Poem Read at the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Champion Hill
For almost half a century, Bertha Lewis has felt the ghost of the soldiers who fought on the land she calls home. Home for Bertha is Champion Hill where Blue met Gray on May 16, 1863, in a pivotal battle that turned the tide for the Union Army. Her poem “I Was There: The Battle of Champion Hill” was written for the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Champion Hill. Bertha's desire was to honor those who fought and died and their ancestors who received honorary medallions in their memory.
Ed Shelnut, actor and performer, read “I Was There: The Battle of Champion Hill” at the Sesquicentennial event. Ed is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London and a former member of the Screen Actors Guild. He has appeared in three feature films and numerous radio & TV shows. Ed is presently an instructor at the Mississippi School for the Blind.
By Bertha Lewis
A Memorial Poem
Battle of Champion Hill
May 18, 2013
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
$50 per person (minimum of 2) Call 601-316-4894
The Rebel Sister of
By Rebecca B. Drake & Sue B. Moore
Darwina's Diary: A
View of Champion Hill ~ 1865
The Civil War Letters of Sid and Matilda Champion
Copyright (c) James and Rebecca Drake