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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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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

In Memory


Janet Gunn Champion
November 1, 1965 - June 14, 2015

Softly the Leaves of Memory Fall,
Gently I Gather and Treasure Them All


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152nd Anniversary Event

The Battle of Champion Hill

May 16, 2015


A Photographic Journey

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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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Blue & Gray Reunion
Champion Hill, 1890

The New Mississippian,
(Jackson, Mississippi) June 4, 1890

     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]. 
     This historic battle-ground is situated on a lofty eminence one mile South of a point on the A. & V. R. R. about midway between Jackson and Vicksburg. The two regular trains from Jackson were loaded to the guards with passengers, and in the two excursion trains run out from Vicksburg the sign “standing room only,” was early displayed, while the wagon roads were lined with vehicles and dust.

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Quotes by Matilda Champion
Wife of Lt. Col. Sid S. Champion,
28th Mississippi Cavalry


May 30, 1863
From “Brae Mar”, Matilda’s parent’s plantation home in Madison County

     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.

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Memories of Other Days
Recalled at Montgomery


Touching and Thrilling Scene When the Venerable President of the Confederacy Laid the Cornerstone at the Women’s Monument


Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy

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.


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I Was There: The Battle of Champion Hill

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.


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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) James and Rebecca Drake