Battle of Champion Hill, a Virtual Tour: Dusk


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         fter the battle of Champion Hill, the Federal army pursued the Confederates only as far as Edwards, and most of them would bivouac there the night of May 16. However, some troops were left behind to gather weapons, ammunition, and other supplies from the battlefield as well as care for the wounded and bury the dead. Part of this job fell to troops from McGinnis' brigade. Hospitals were set up at several of the plantation houses located on the battlefield where surgeons performed their duty well into the night. As for the dead, Union and Confederates were buried in separate pits near the center of the battlefield. In the year following the war, many of the Federal dead were disinterred and reburied in the national cemetery at Vicksburg, where they still remain, mostly as unknowns. There is some debate as to what happened to the Confederates who died that day. Many of them most likely still remain in their earthen tombs on Champion Hill.


Dusk, May 16


This picture shows one of the identifiable burial pits at Champion Hill.  It is located about 150 yards southwest of the crest.  It is not known what troops were buried here nor if they have been disinterred. The right edge of the burial pit can be made out near the right-center of the photograph where the leaves contrast with the green brush


This is most likely the site of another burial pit, this time about 300 yards out on the ridge from the crest of Champion Hill.  The earth appears sunken in the middle of the photograph and the pit is running into the picture. The view is looking southeast toward the crest


The Coker House on the Champion Hill battlefield.  The Coker House is one of the few surviving landmarks of the battle.  After the battle, this house was one of the ones used as a field hospital for injured and dying soldiers.  As living proof of the battle, there remains to this day bullet holes in the front and cannonball holes on its west side. The house has deteriorated severely in recent years, but is scheduled for renovation, hopefully in the near future
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This cistern is all that remains of the Isaac Roberts house that was a centerpiece of the battle of Champion Hill.  It first served as Pemberton's headquarters and after the battle was used as a hospital.  It is argued that Grant slept on the porch of this house later in the evening of May 16. The Roberts house stood until the early 1990s when it eventually collapsed. Look closely at the top layer of bricks and find the grooves made by the ropes from years of people retrieving water from this well   Locate on Map
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