Champion Hill

Wilbur Crummer
45th Illinois Infantry

William Crummer was a native a Galena, Illinois, and an Union enlisted man during the Civil War.
In 1915, he published his book, With Grant at Donelson, Shiloh and Vicksburg.

"…….All around us lay the dead and dying, amid the groans and cries of the wounded. Our surgeons came up quickly, and, taking possession of a farmhouse, converted it into a hospital, and we began to carry ours and the enemy's wounded to the surgeons. There they lay, the blue and the gray intermingled; the same rich, young American blood flowing out in little rivulets of crimson; each thinking he was in the right………The blue and the gray took their turn before the surgeon's knife…….with no anesthetic to soothe the agony, but, gritting their teeth, they bore the pain of the knife and saw, while arms and legs were being severed from their bodies. There was just one case that was no exception……..He was a fine looking officer and colonel of some Louisiana regiment of the Confederate army. He had been shot through the leg and was making a great ado about it. Dr. Kittoe, of our regiment, examined it and said it must be amputated; the poor fellow cried and howled: "Oh I never can go home to my wife on one leg……." "Well," said the gruff old surgeon, "that, or not go home at all," The colonel final said yes, and in a few minutes he was in a condition (if he got well) to wear a wooden leg when he went home."


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