Battle of Champion Hill, a Virtual Tour: Union Approach


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         nion General Ulysses S. Grant's approach to Champion Hill began after he received word of Confederate General Pemberton's movements early on the morning of the 16th.  Two Mississippi railroad employees had informed Grant early that morning that Pemberton's army had crossed the Big Black and was now in the vicinity of Edwards and appeared to be moving eastward.  Even though the information came from a most unlikely and maybe unreliable source, Grant wasted no time in preparing his army to move westward.  The decision would prove to be critical.  The massive Army of the Tennessee set out in search of Pemberton's army along three main routes.  The southernmost force consisting of the divisions of A.J. Smith and Francis Blair proceeded along the Raymond Road.  Two divisions commanded by Peter J. Osterhaus and Eugene A. Carr moved along the winding Middle Road.  These two forces on the Raymond and Middle Roads were tactically under the command of John A. McClernand.  The final unit in Grant's drive to meet Pemberton was a much larger force under James B. McPherson which proceeded down the Jackson Road to the north.  It would be McPherson's troops that would see most of the fighting that day.  By six that morning all three were underway.


Union Approach, May 16


View looking east, toward the Union advance on the Raymond Road. The bridge in the picture is the Raymond Road crossing of Turkey Creek. Later, the Federal advance guard would be fired on near this creek by Confederate pickets
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Another view of the Raymond Road crossing of Turkey Creek, looking east. This picture was taken several yards west of camera position in previous photo


This picture is looking west down the Middle Road. Today, the Billy Fields road follows the path of the wartime Middle Road, although the eastern-most portion of what was the Middle Road is now called the Houston Road. McClernand's divisions led by Peter J. Osterhaus and Eugene A. Carr took this road on their way to Champion Hill   Locate on Map


This photograph shows the terrain that Osterhaus and Carr had to maneuver through on the Middle Road. Near here, Federal advanced troops were fired upon by Confederate sharpshooters. The view is looking east toward the Union approach   Locate on Map

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