Visiting The Hill of Death
by Margie Riddle Bearss
Years later, after I met and married Ed Bearss who at the time was the historian at the Vicksburg National Military Park, we visited Champion Hill where Ed was checking out the battlefield sites and drawing maps. The upper section of the crossroads had been opened and was passable from the site of the Champion house to the crossroads. I was amazed at how near the crest of Champion Hill was to the crossroads and to the upper section of the old Jackson Road. That stretch of road has now been closed for years. As Ed and I climbed the side of the hill, I began to feel uneasy and apprehensive. Too many men had died in the various charges on this hill. It was a solemn place of death. As I reached the top, my hair stood out from the back of my neck and my arms broke out in chill bumps. I could almost feel the menace of the Yankee charge breaking across the field. I have never since felt such unease and apprehension on the hill.
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