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Battle of Champion Hill
New York Times Article

The following is transcribed from the New York Times, dated May 26, 1863:

CINCINNATI, Monday, May 25.


Special dispatches from the army of Gen. GRANT contain full accounts of the battles in Mississippi, representing them as a series of bloody and desperate engagements, in which our soldiers immortalized themselves.


The Commercial's special dispatch is as follows:


BATTLEFIELD OF BAKER's CREEK, Saturday, May 16, 1863.


          The Federal army under Gen. GRANT has won another glorious victory.

          A furious battle has been fought, lasting nearly five hours, and resulting in the defeat of the enemy at all points, with a loss of 3,000 killed and wounded, and three complete batteries of heavy rifled cannon, besides single pieces. 2,000 prisoners, large quantities of small arms and camp equipage.

          Our success was signal and complete.

          Early on the morning of the 16th inst., Gen. MCCLERNAND's corps were put in motion, while Gen. HOVEY's division advanced across the open field to the loot of Champion Hill.

At 11 o'clock the battle was commenced.

          Champion Hill was covered with timber, flanked on both sides with ravines and gullies, and in many places covered with an almost impenetrable growth of scrubby bushes.

          The rebels opened with a heavy fire from their four-gun battery, and from their sharpshooters in the woods.

          The battle raged terribly from 11 A.M. to 3 P.M.

          Gen. Hover's division carried the heights in gallant style, making a dash on the first battery and captured it from the rebels. Lying thick in the vicinity were guns, gun-carriages broken, caissons overturned, knapsacks, blankets, small arms and other debris -- all attesting the terrific struggle for the ground. At this juncture the rebels were reinforced, and Gen. HOVEY was slowly driven back.

Gen. QUIMBY, with a origade, went to the support of Gen. HOVEY, and the ground was speedily reoccupied and the rebels finally repulsed.

          At the commencement of the engagement Gen. LOGAN's division marched to the brow of the hill, forming in line of battle on the right of Gen. HOVEY, and advanced in gallant style, sweeping everything before them to the edge of the woods.

          In the front of Gen. LOGAN the battle was of the most desperate character imaginable.

          The rattle of musketry was incessant and continued, and the reports were so blended that a single discharge was rarely heard.

          Gen. LOGAN captured two batteries, a large portion of prisoners, small arms, &c.


CHICAGO, Monday, May 25.


Specials contain the following:




          Early this morning Gen. MCCLERNAND's corps was put in motion. HOVEY's division was on the main road from Jackson to Vicksburgh, but the balance of the corps was a few miles to the southward, on a parallel road, and MCPHERSON's corps followed HOVE'YS division closely.

          At 9 o'clock HOVEY discovered the enemy in front on Champion Hill, to the left of the road, near Baker's Creek, apparently in force. Skirmishers were thrown out and the division advanced cautiously and slowly to give MCPHERSON's advance division under LOGAN time to come within supporting distance. Gen. HOVEY's division advanced across the open field at the foot of Champion Hill, in line of battle. At 11 o'clock the battle commenced.   The hill itself was covered with timber, and is in fact but an abrupt terminus of a high ridge running north and south, flanked both sides by deep ravines and gullies, and in many places covered with an impenetrable growth of scrubby white oak brush. The rebels appeared deficient in artillery throughout the battle, but opened with rather a heavy fire from a four-gun battery of rifled 6-pounders, planted about 400 yards back from the brow of the hill.

The woods on both sides of the road leading up the face of the hill, and winding back on the ridge a mile or more, were filled with sharpshooters, supported by infantry. Here the battle began, just as our men entered the edge of the timber, and raged terribly from 11 till between 3 and 4 o'clock. Gen. HUVEY's division carried the heights in a gallant style, and, making a dash on the first battery, drove the gunners from their posts, and captured the pieces. The rebels lay thick in the vicinity of the guns. Their horses were more than half killed. Gun-carriages and caissons were broken, and knapsacks, blankets, small arms and other debris, attested the deadly struggle. The colors of the Thirty-first Alabama regiment were captured there. At this juncture MITCHELL's Ohio battery was opened, at about eighty yards from the brow of the hill. The rebels made a dash for it, but the fleetness of the horses prevented its capture. At the same time the rebels appeared with fresh troops on that wing, and redoubled their efforts to hold their position, and dislodge our troops on the bill. HOVEY was slowly driven back to the brow; but a brigade from Gen. QUIMBY was ordered to his support, and the ground was speedily recovered, and the rebels finally repulsed.

At the commencement of the engagement. Gen. LOGAN's division marched past the brow of the hill, and forming in line of battle on the right of HOVEY, advanced in grand style, sweeping everything before them. At the edge of the wood in front of LOGAN the battle was most desperate. Not a man flinched or a line wavered in this division. All behaved like veterans, and moved to new positions with a conscious tread of victory. Two batteries were captured by this division, and enough hard fighting done to immortalize it. They also captured a large portion of the prisoners, small arms, &c.

          Between 3 and 4 o'clock Gen. OSTERHAUS' and Gen. MCARTHUR's divisions came into action on the extreme left, and completed what had been so auspiciously carried forward. They were both miles away when the engagement began, but were brought forward with all dispatch possible. The enemy were in full retreat soon after, and three divisions pursued till 9 o'clock, and are now encamped at Ward's Station, eight miles beyond the battle-ground.

          From rebel prisoners I learn that PEMBERTON commanded in person. FITZHUGH LEE and GREGG, who commanded at the battle near Raymond, and others of note, had subordinate commands. I also learn that great dissatisfaction exists toward PEMBERTON. He is accused by many of Selling out to GRANT; also of planning military operations for the last four weeks so as to insure the latter's success.

          It is impossible yet to do more than approximate our loss. I think it win be about 1,000 killed and wounded. It may prove less, but it cannot be much more. But few officers of distinction are injured. The Twenty-fourtt Indiana lost one hundred men. Lieut-Col. SWAIN, commanding, was killed. Not a General or staff officer on our side was hurt .This has been the hottest and most brilliant fight in the Southwest for several months. The men are enthusiastic whenever Gen. GRANT appears. His reckless exposure of himself on the field begets unbounded admiration among the privates.

          Well-authenticated cases of rebel barbarity to our wounded men can be enumerated. Three different men, who were shot down in the battle, were subsequently sabred by the rebels when they temporarily retook the ground. The men lived to narrate the atrocity, but will scarcely recover.

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