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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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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


     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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Lt. S. E. M. Underhill
Aide-de-camp to
Brigadier General Stephen D. Lee

Letter to His Mother

From the Guernsey Times (Cambridge, Ohio),
August 20, 1863

Courtesy of Dan Masters

     This extraordinary letter, written by former English army officer Stephen E.M. Underhill to his mother in Coldstream, Scotland in the waning days of the siege of Vicksburg, gives a lengthy account of Underhill's experiences during the Vicksburg campaign while serving as an aide-de-camp to Brigadier General Stephen D. Lee. The 21-year-old Underhill resigned his commission in the British army and entered the Confederacy through the blockade at Charleston, South Carolina in January 1863, journeyed to Mississippi and gained an appointment to Lee's staff. Underhill gained favorable notice from Lee for his "gallantry and efficient service" during the campaign and following his parole at Vicksburg, he was commissioned as a first lieutenant of cavalry and eventually became colonel of the 65th Alabama Infantry.

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Lt. S. E. M. Underhill

Reports on Champion Hill Battle
& Vicksburg Siege

By Sue Burns Moore

In her beautiful Vicksburg home located in the heart of the town, next door to Confederate General Pemberton’s Headquarters in the Willis-Cowan House, Mrs. Emma Balfour, wife of Dr. William T. Balfour, began her diary on Saturday, May 16, 1863, the day of the Battle of Champion Hill, with the words, “All has been uncertainty and suspense.”

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Death of General Lloyd Tilghman: The Legend of the “Blood-Leaved Peach”

By Sue Burns Moore

Photo - Digital Public Library of America        

On a warm spring day, May 16, 1863, Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman’s artillery, composed of the six guns of Capt. James J. Cowan's Company G, First Mississippi Light Artillery, and two guns of Culbertson’s Company C, Fourteenth Mississippi Artillery Battalion, held the critical burden of defending the only escape route to Vicksburg open to Pemberton’s badly outnumbered Confederates --- the ford at Baker’s Creek. Tilghman held a strong position, but the Federals pounded the Mississippians relentlessly with shot and shell from their position at the Coker house as the great Battle of Champion Hill raged on.

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Captain William A. Montgomery’s Company of Mississippi Scouts

By Sue Burns Moore



     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.”


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Capt. Alexander W. Geddes
Co. A, 118th Illinois Vol. Infantry

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.


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Information provided by Allan M. Geddes,

great-nephew, Mediapolis, IA.


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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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
  • $100 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) 2016 James and Rebecca Drake