The Champion Heritage Foundation
The Champion Heritage Foundation is pleased to announce that two new historic markers were erected on the Champion Hill Battlefield during the month of January 2016. The markers, produced by the Champion Foundation, are situated on Champion property where the 3rd Battery, Ohio Light Artillery, was stationed during the final hours of the highly contested battle on May 16, 1863.
The marker to the left features sketches made from this site by Theodore Davis, famous Civil War sketch artist who worked for Harper's Weekly Magazine. The sketches show the 3rd Battery, Ohio Light Artillery shelling the Confederate forces while the other depicts Grant with his staff "in a hurry" as DeGolyer's 8th Michigan Battery unlimbered their cannon. The 8th Michigan Battery later moved to the next ridge about 1/4 mile west.
The marker to the right is a 3-D graphical representation of the terrain and also shows the placement of the Union and Confederate regiments around 11:00 a.m. during the heat of the battle. The position of the regiments was discovered while overlaying old maps on the present day battlefield and a quote by Alvin P. Hovey, commander of the 12th Division who gave an interview in 1885 with the Indianapolis Journal. During the interview Hovey stated, "There were 28 pieces of artillery under my command and again being reinforced I placed those 28 pieces on a mound in a graveyard, and with shot, shell, and canister poured an enfilading fire into the advancing hosts."
The new markers were placed along the Champion Hill Road on the northern portion of the battlefield with a panorama view of the Hill of Death. Sid Champion, Jim Drake, M. C. McClenty and crew designed and constructed a pullover to facilitate tour buses as well as a parking place for those who wish to tour the area. The entire project was accomplished by the Champion Heritage Foundation with private funds and is not a part of the National Park Service.
Thanks to the Champion Heritage Foundation, seven historic markers have been placed on the Champion family’s private portion of the battlefield. Each marker denotes a site of historic interest. Four of the markers (medal post and sign) were produced by Sewah Studios. These markers include: The Champion Family Site; Hill of Death Fight for the Crossroads; and Midway Station. The remaining three markers: Site of the 3rd Battery, Ohio Light Artillery; Hovey's Graveyard; and 3-D Map of the Battlefield, produced by Hopewell Manufacturing. These waist-high markers feature laminated displays of pictures, artwork and maps.
Sid Champion, property owner and president of the Champion Heritage Foundation, is a certified battlefield tour guide and has established Battlefield Tours of Champion Hill that includes visiting all seven historic markers. Tours of Champion Hill, as seen on the home page of the website, are available at $100.00 per person. Call for group price.
What better way to tour the Champion Hill battlefield than with Sid J. Champion, the 5th generation Champion to inherit the property! Sid also provides comprehensive tours of the entire Vicksburg Campaign starting with Port Gibson and ending with Vicksburg. Call for more information.
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Copyright (c) James and Rebecca Drake, 2016. All Rights Reserved.