Welcome to the Battle of Champion Hill, a Virtual Tour
Back to Vicksburg Campaign Photo Album: Yazoo Pass to Siege of Vicksgburg
Battle of Champion Hill: Dawn, May 16
Battle of Champion Hill: Union Approach
Battle of Champion Hill: First Contact
Battle of Champion Hill: Deployment
Battle of Champion Hill: The Union Assault
Battle of Champion Hill: The Confederate Counterassault
Battle of Champion Hill: Confederate Retreat and Union Pursuit
Battle of Champion Hill: Dusk, May 16
Historical Markers on the Battlefield
All About the Battle of Champion Hill, a Virtual Tour
Battle of Champion Hill: Surviving Structures and Landmarks
Battle of Champion Hill Panoramas
Champion Graves
146th Battle of Champion Hill Anniversary Event
Battle of Champion Hill Maps

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Champion Hill 148th Anniversary Event
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          s the sun set on the evening of May 15, 1863 the campaign for Vicksburg was about to enter its most decisive phase, for both the Union and Confederate forces.  In the preceding weeks, the Union army had achieved almost superhuman feats.  In late April, Major General Ulysses S. Grant had shifted his entire army across the Mississippi River below Vicksburg.  Once ashore at Bruinsburg, Grant fanned out across the fertile Mississippi landscape waiting for the Confederate ambush.
           The first blow came inland at Port Gibson on April 29, where he encountered an undersized Confederate force headed by General John S. Bowen.  During the battle, rough terrain and tenacious defense allowed the Confederates to hold on throughout the day, but Bowen had to pull back. The retrograde movement left Port Gibson in Union hands and the river defenses nearby at Grand Gulf untenable.
          Afterwards, Grant's campaign continued unabated through the Mississippi interior toward Raymond and ultimately the state capital at Jackson.  While still pushing to the northeast, Grant constantly feinted toward the Big Black River, the only natural barrier between his army and Vicksburg, in an attempt to keep the Confederates guessing as to his next move.  In the meantime, Grant divided his army, sending one force under General James B. McPherson on to Raymond and the other under General John A. McClernand to keep a watch on any Confederate movement from Vicksburg.  On May 12, McPherson's corps attacked a skeleton Confederate force led by General John Gregg along the banks of Fourteen Mile Creek.  Again, as at Port Gibson, outnumbered Southern troops could not hold against a more sizable Federal army.  Gregg was forced to fall back to the safety of the makeshift earthworks around Jackson.
          Meanwhile, Confederate Lt. General John C. Pemberton was utterly confused as to what Grant's next move would be and what his own should be.  Conflicting orders emanating from both President Davis and newly arrived departmental commander Joseph E. Johnston kept Pemberton stagnant.  With Grant well into the Mississippi interior, Pemberton eventually moved cautiously out of his Vicksburg defenses in a vain attempt to attack the Federal supply line stretching from the Mississippi River to Raymond, which Grant had already broken.
          While Pemberton was easing around to the west of the Union activity, Grant pressed on to the state capital on two fronts, Sherman from the south and McPherson from the west. In a downpour on May 14, the Federals captured Jackson rather easily while Johnston and his small Confederate force retreated northward toward Canton.  While in Jackson, Grant received word that Pemberton had moved out of Vicksburg and was in the Edwards area.  He immediately ordered McPherson's and McClernand's corps westward to confront Pemberton's now mobile army, leaving Sherman behind to reduce Jackson as a Confederate war machine.
          By the morning of May 15, Grant was pushing towards Edwards and Pemberton was deciding which course to pursue.  He eventually decided to turn to the north and rendezvous with Johnston in Clinton, which was actually by this time occupied by McPherson.  He settled his fatigued army along a four mile stretch of the Raymond, Ratliff, and Jackson Roads east of Edwards.  Coincidentally, Grant had moved successfully to the Bolton area where he made camp for the night.  Confederate pickets along the Raymond Road could see the glow from the campfires of the advanced Federal patrols as the armies slept just miles apart.  The next day would be the battle that would decide the fate of Vicksburg.

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Champion Hill Contributors
    Brian Risher
    Bruce Schulze
    Micah Schulze
    Garrett Schulze
    Don Sides
    Loren Drummond
    Jody Gore
    Paul Gore
    Mike O'Neal
    Jeff Giambrone
    Richard Edling
    Don Worth
Coker House
Champion Hill
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Champion Hill 1905
Champion Hill Photos
May 2011
March 2010
May 2009
March 2009
March 2008
March 2007
March 2005

March 2004
March 2003
Champion Hill area map
Area Map
Champion Hill
Panoramas
Battle of Champion Hill: Photos of the leaders
The Leaders
Order of Battle
BattleofChampionHill.org
Battle of Champion Hill: Vicksburg National Military Park
Home Page about my career with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol
 

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