Mississippi Central Railroad Campaign Page6    

(December 5, 2006) Battle of Coffeeville, Union ground level 2
Another ground level shot, coming up to the Ravine, and just ahead, Ambush Hill. Even this close, they could not have seen the CS forces in the shadowed woods

(December 5, 2006) Battle of Coffeeville, The Ravine
Looking west to east. The Ravine Fletcher Pomeroy (7th Kansas) mentions. Fletcher must have been close to see it. Iíve walked that field a lot, and you have to be close to see it. Or, maybe someone described it to him later, maybe his brother Emerson, who was nearby when Hinsdale was shot near the Ravine. US troops were crossing here when Captain Alcide Bounchaud (Bone-Shaw) of the Louisiana Pointe Coupee four gun battery opened with, most likely, grape and canister


(December 5, 2006) Battle of Coffeeville, Hindsdale path
This is the area of the field that fits the description of the main position of the 7th Kansas Cavalry. Hinsdale was killed in this area, I believe. Look as close as you will, but the Ravine is not visible from ground level at this point. You have to almost be right on it to know itís there. Anyone who mentions the Ravine must have been close

(December 5, 2006) Battle of Coffeeville, Union blinded view 2
Shot taken a few feet from the Ravine, at the edge of Ambush Hill. Could you have seen the Rebel ambush waiting in the woods just 100 feet ahead? The US troops here were right up on it, and still couldnít see it. If the sun was indeed out on this day, this is what the US troops saw. Nothing but sun. This picture is very key in understanding why the Federal soldiers just walked right into it. Point blank. Until I knew the lighting, I could NOT understand how they could get THAT close to the ambush point and not see it. After pictures like this, and being out there on the anniversary with the sun as it is positioned on that day, at the time of the battle, now I know why. There is no place, from the Brow of the Rise, a quarter mile back, all the way to the Ravine that you can see inside the woods of Ambush Hill from 2 pm till after 3:30 pm on December 5, when the sun is out. Itís just not possible. And Iíve walked it all countless times, right into that winter sun, many more times than the soldiers who actually fought it did. ButÖgo to the Ravine and sit there a little longer around 3:30, let the sun sink just a little more, and the woods can be seen. It falls behind the trees, which shield it like a sun screen. However, no one knows just how tall the woods were on that day. They talk a lot about the woods, so I can only believe that there tree conditions were, at least somewhat, like they are today. The trees will shield the sun around 3:30 from the Ravine position. I watched that clearly yesterday. You canít imagine how much difference 30 minutes makes


(December 5, 2006) Battle of Coffeeville
A few minutes later, with the sun behind the trees, this is what you can see. Perfectly clear. The ambush woods that could not be seen at 2:30. Of course, this picture was taken around 3:30, when the battle had moved up the hill. I just attach it for a comparison of the lighting, depending on the position of the sun as the afternoon fades. Regardless, the whole battle was fought with the sun in the faces of the US forces, blinding them from the Rebels, and the Rebels had the US forces illuminated for easy shooting. Simple as that. Sounds harsh, but thatís the way it was, based on the information I have


(March 2003) Sterling Price's campsite after the Battle of Coffeeville

R/R Campaign Page1  Page2  Page3  Page4  Page5  Page6  Page7  Page8  Page9  Page10  Page11  Page12  Page13  Page14  Page15  Next

Return to Memphis-Duckport Canal     Return to Vicksburg Campaign, a Virtual Tour