The Death of Brigadier
General Lloyd Tilghman
J. G. Spencer
Cowan's Battery, First
Mississippi Light Artillery
Vicksburg, Mississippi, November 25th, 1907, I have this day marked the
place where General Lloyd Tilghman was killed in the battle of Champion
Hill, May 16th, 1863, by driving an iron pipe into the ground. Said pipe was
driven on the ridge first west of the one on which the old Coker House
stands and about fifty feet north of the center line of the Raymond Road. I
know that the location made is accurate for the following reasons, namely:
At the time of the battle I was a private in Capt. Cowan's batter (G, First
Mississippi Light Artillery). During the forenoon of the day of the battle,
my battery had been in position on the Coker House ridge, but not engaged.
About 2 or 2:30 o'clock in the afternoon it was ordered to fall back to the
next ridge to the west, the first section went into position on the north
side of the road. In taking the new position we were under fire of the Union
Sharpshooters and by the time our guns were placed, a Union Battery went
into position on the Coker House ridge. General Tilghman went to the north
side of the road, probably not more than one hundred feet from the gun that
stood first on the north of the road, and first to the left of my gun. I saw
him when he fell mortally wounded by a shot from one of the enemy's guns,
immediately after he had sighted the said gun of my battery that stood first
north of the road and first at the left of my gun.
As heretofore stated, I was probably not more
than one hundred feet from the General at the time, and today I had no
difficulty in locating the place where he was mortally wounded. The pipe
that marks the place where the General fell was driven by me in the presence
and with the concurrence of Mr. Sid Thomas, Mr. Z. Wardlaw, Capt. W. T.
Ratliff and Capt. William T. Rigby. Mr. Wardlaw said to us while on the
ground together that the statement made in his letter of October 23, 1907 to
Capt. Ratliff was from common report and not from personal knowledge.
Signed by me in triplicate in the office of
the Park Commission this 25th day of November, 1907.
J. G. Spencer
Vicksburg National Military Park
Photograph taken at the
dedication of the Lloyd Tilghman Monument on May 18, 1909. Pictured
left to right: the two men on the far left are thought to be Sid
Thomas and W. M. Robb from Edwards; florist (woman), from Vicksburg;
Ike Caston (colored man standing behind the florist), property
owner; Tilghman brothers lawyer and banker from New York standing
behind Tilghman who is kneeling to the left of the stone; Oswald
Tilghman, nephew of the general, standing to the right of the stone;
William Rigby, superintendent of the Vicksburg National Military
Park; the other Tilghman brother kneeling; Captain William T.
Ratliff, third from right; J. W. Ratliff, second from right; and
Henry Howard Kitson, famous sculptor from Boston, on the end.
Mississippi Department of Archives and History
Historical sources: Confederate Veteran,
Sept. 1910, and a 1907 document presented to the Jackson Civil War
Roundtable by Mrs. Louise Gervin Windham, whose family purchased the
property in 1932. Author, J. G. Spencer, was a private with Cowan's Battery,
First Mississippi Light Artillery, in the Battle of Champion Hill. Most
likely Spencer was one of the men in the 1907 dedication photograph but he
was not identified at the time. Ownership of the Coker House is presently
being transferred from the Jackson Civil War Roundtable to the Mississippi
Dept. of Archives and History. The historic property was donated to the
Jackson Roundtable in 1985 by Cal-Maine Foods, Fred Adams, president.