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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



Letters of Pvt. John W. Hiatt
  28th Iowa Infantry

Struggle at Champion Hill
  Cpl Mitchell, 16th Ohio Battery

Confederate Troop Train Wreck
  Sue Burns Moore

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

Vignettes of Champion Hill

Margie's Scrapbook

Salvaging the Charm, Dot
& Paul Jones


Letters of Pvt. John W. Hiatt
Company F, 28nd Iowa Infantry

The Hiatt Family were Quakers and lived in Indiana. John and Martha (Gray) were married and moved in a covered wagon to Iowa when the oldest little girl, Amanda, was a baby. They bought a farm near the Iowa River at Helena and built a home there. John was a wagon-maker. Martha and John had three little girls, Amanda, Nettie(Alnetta), and Josephine.

John was 32 years old when, in 1862, he volunteered for the Tama County, Iowa, 28th Regiment Corps F. His youngest daughter, Mary, was 11 months old at the time. He was wounded May 16, 1863, at the battle of Champion Hill, south of Vicksburg, Mississippi. His letter on page 102 was written as he lay dying in the field hospital. John Hiatt died of his wounds on June 7, 1863.

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Sarah Anne Dorsey’s Final Quest
Defending a President’s Honor

Sarah Anne Ellis Dorsey, a childless, wealthy widow, was one of the most intelligent, and well-educated women that the South ever produced. Though not a beautiful woman, she was charming, capable, and held her own in any conversation.  Born into the wealthy planter society of Louisiana and Mississippi, Sarah Anne spoke five languages fluently, and wrote scientific papers, historical fiction and a biography of a famous Southern general. She knew and corresponded with many of the greatest thinkers and authors of the day across the world. Author Bertram Wyatt-Davis dubbed her “a woman of uncommon mind.”

In late 1876, Sarah Anne learned that President Jefferson Davis, a lifelong friend, was virtually destitute, having been ruined financially by his years of imprisonment after the war. She offered her beautiful beach home, Beauvoir, near Biloxi, to him as a home and a sanctuary in which to write his memoirs. He accepted. Not only did she help guide and edit his work, but also, when Sarah realized that she was dying of breast cancer in early 1878, she changed her will, writing out her relatives and naming Jefferson Davis as the beneficiary of Beauvoir and all her substantial estate. She wrote, “I do not intend to share in the ingratitude of my country toward the man who is in my eyes the highest and noblest in existence."

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Legendary Civil War Historian
Ed Bearss, Passed Away at 97

On September 15th, 2020, Ed Bearss, Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service, passed away at the age of 97. Ed and his wife, Margie, were friends of Champion Hill. In earlier years, they walked and mapped every foot of the pivotal battlefield. Ed was a friend to the many thousands that followed him on his tours of the National Parks and battlefields. The Civil War Preservation Trust dedicated a monument to him on the Champion Hill Battlefield to honor his achievements. on Champion Hill. Ed will always be remembered as the “Pied-Piper” of America’s Civil War history.

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Champion Heritage Foundation to Close

By Rebecca Blackwell Drake

CHAMPION HERITAGE FOUNDATION TO CLOSE: For the past 20 years, Sid Champion and Jim and Rebecca Drake, have spearheaded the Champion Heritage Foundation’s bi-yearly events held on the Champion Hill battlefield east of Vicksburg. Since 2005, the foundation has placed 9 historic markers on the Champion’s portion of the battlefield and, the last one (#10 “The Burial Trenches”) is in the making. The foundation’s two decades-long passion for battlefield interpretation & preservation have, without doubt, been fulfilling – especially in terms of research.

The Champion Foundation was established in 2005 by a handful of volunteers. The first event featured the dedication of “My Dear Wife, Letters to Matilda—The Civil War Letters of Sid and Matilda Champion,” edited by Rebecca Drake and Margie Bearss, famous Civil war historian and wife of Edwin C. Bearss. Approximately 75 people attended the premiere event.

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VNMP Acquires Champion Hill Battlefield Property

By Rebecca Blackwell Drake

    On July 2, a crowd gathered on the grounds of Champion Hill Missionary Baptist Church for an official announcement regarding the newly acquired battlefield acreage at Champion Hill. The Mississippi Department of Archives and History was proud to make public the transfer of 800 acres of Champion Hill battlefield property to the Vicksburg National Military Park. The 800 acres includes land along the historic Old Jackson Road in the heart of the battlefield. The land transfer is the largest expansion of the VNMP since it was established in 1899.
    Plans are in the making for the Vicksburg National Military Park to develop the battlefields at Champion Hill and Raymond. Both would be an extension of the VNMP.

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Monument Unveiled
Honoring Edwin C. Bearss

    On May 3, 2019, a large crowd of friends and Civil War enthusiasts, including a tour group with the American Battlefield Trust, gathered at the crossroads on the Champion Hill battlefield for the unveiling of a large monument honoring Edwin C. Bearss. Ed holds the reputation as being the nation’s leading Civil War historian who, in earlier years, began the mission of preserving the Champion Hill Battlefield located 25 miles east of Vicksburg.

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Cockrell's Counter Attack

Historic Marker Placed

     The new historic marker, “Cockrell’s Counterattack” has been placed on the Old Jackson Road between the Cross-roads and the Hill of Death. To date the Champion Heritage Foundation has placed ten historic markers on the battlefield.

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 Bowen's Counter Attack

Historic Marker Placed

     The new historic marker, “Bowen’s Counterattack” has been permanently placed at the Crossroads within sight of the 2013 marker, “The Fight for the Crossroads.” To date the Champion Heritage Foundation has placed nine historic markers on the battlefield.

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Champion Hill Tours
With Sid Champion V

  • The Cross Roads
  • Old Jackson Road
  • The Hill of Death
  • Original House Site
  • Midway Station
  • Family Cemetery & Memorabilia
  • Bearss Memorial
  • $100 per person (minimum of 2)
      Call 601-316-4894

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    "The Hill of Death"
    Historic Marker

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

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    I Was There: The Battle of Champion Hill

    By Bertha Lewis

    A Memorial Poem

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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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    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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    The Diary of Elizabeth Meade Ingraham

    The Rebel Sister of
    General George Meade

    By Rebecca B. Drake & Sue B. Moore

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    Copyright (c) 2019 James and Rebecca Drake