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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
at Champion Hill
October 22, 1925 — October 7, 2006
Salvaging the Charm, Dot
By Sue Burns Moore
RECORDS OF EVENTS AND MUSTER ROLL OF
Company Report for Oct. 27, 1862 to June 12, 1863, shows station of company, Camp on Bogue Phalia, Bolivar Co., Miss. Record of Events: “On Friday the 20th day of February lost a small portion of the Company under command of Capt. Herndon, had a skirmish with a small party of Federal troops at the house of Col. F. A. Montgomery, near the Mississippi River in Bolivar County. After skirmishing for about one hour the federals reinforced by several companies from their boats, lying about one mile below; when Capt. H. with his command, fell back in good order. No one was hurt on our side. Federal loss one man killed & two wounded.”
A Terrible Day Which Cost the Confederacy Vicksburg
By P. MITCHELL
PART 3 Last of the Series
The enemy pressing nearer and nearer, seemed to be now concentrating rapidly toward our position. At the same time. The broken fragments of our skirmish line hurrying from the front gathered about us as if feeling intuitively that we needed their presence to defend us from the coming assault. And, we of the artillery keyed up to the highest resolve and greatest effort by the magnetic influence of our General, who was standing close by, worked our guns silently but with forcible quickness.
THE ORCHESTRA OF DEATH
Suddenly from the woods on the opposite side of the little glade, not 80 yards, away there burst into full view the rebel battle line. This was our opportunity, and, with guns double-shotted we poured round after round of canister into their ranks. At the same time the infantry to the right and to the left and the rebels at the front added their firing to the thundering peal on peal from our guns that shook the very earth. The din and horrid uproar became terrific and the sulphurous smoke drifting slowly through the shadowy trees or hanging low in the soft hazy summer air added to the weird grimness of the contest. There seemed no cessation, no interval in the firing, no break in the mighty volume of terrible noises no advance or receding of the stubborn opposing forces.
The Battle of Champion Hill
May 16, 2015
Alexander W. Geddes
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
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.
By Bertha Lewis
A Memorial Poem
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
$100 per person (minimum of 2)
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) 2016 James and Rebecca Drake