Champion Hill, MS
Champion Hill by Theodore R. Davis Courtesy of Wikipedia]
May 16, 1863
Please click on link below for map.
Champion Hill, Hinds, Mississippi, United States
Grantís Operations against Vicksburg
Following the Union occupation of Jackson, Mississippi,
both Confederate and Federal forces made plans for future operations.
Joseph E. Johnston retreated, with most of his army, up the Canton Road,
but he ordered Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton, commanding about 23,000 men,
to leave Edwards Station and attack the Federals at Clinton.
and his generals felt that Johnstonís
plan was dangerous and decided instead
to attack the Union supply trains moving from Grand Gulf to Raymond.
May 16, though, Pemberton received another order from Johnston repeating
his former directions.
Pemberton had already started after the supply trains
and was on the Raymond-Edwards Road with his rear at the crossroads one-third
mile south of the crest of Champion Hill.
Thus, when he ordered a countermarch,
his rear, including his many supply wagons, became the advance of his force.
Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton
Army of the Tennessee (three corps)
Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana
On May 16, 1863, about 7:00 am, the Union forces engaged the Confederates
and the Battle of Champion Hill began.
Pembertonís force drew up into a
defensive line along a crest of a ridge overlooking Jackson Creek.
was unaware that one Union column was moving along the Jackson Road against
his unprotected left flank.
For protection, Pemberton posted
Stephen D. Lee's men atop Champion Hill where they could watch for the
reported Union column moving to the crossroads.
Lee spotted the Union troops and
they soon saw him.
If this force was not stopped, it would cut the Confederates off from their
Pemberton received warning of the
Union movement and sent troops to his left flank.
Union forces at the Champion House moved into action and emplaced artillery to
When Grant arrived at Champion Hill,
around 10:00 am, he ordered the attack to begin.
By 11:30 am, Union forces had reached the Confederate main line and about 1:00
pm, they took the crest while the Confederates retired in disorder.
The Federals swept forward, capturing the crossroads and closing the Jackson
Road escape route.
One of Pemberton's divisions (Bowenís)
then counterattacked, pushing the Federals back beyond the Champion Hill crest
before their surge came to a halt.
Grant then counterattacked, committing
forces that had just arrived from Clinton by way of Bolton.
Pembertonís men could not stand up
to this assault, so he ordered his men from the field to the one escape route
still open: the Raymond Road crossing of Bakers Creek.
Lloyd Tilghmanís brigade formed the rearguard, and they held at all costs,
including the loss of Tilghman.
In the late afternoon, Union troops seized the Bakers Creek Bridge, and by
midnight, they occupied Edwards.
The Confederates were in full retreat towards Vicksburg.
1 National Park
- having a decisive influence on a
campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war
having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign
having observable influence on the
outcome of a campaign
having a limited influence on the
outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important
3 Casualties are
someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.