National Geographic : 1963 Jul
Record of Union action holds the attention of Southern school children. Here guns of the 8th Battery, Michigan Light Artillery, went into action on May 25, 1863, and ham mered enemy lines until July 3. Amid thunder and smoke, men in gray act out the battle that raged in front of the Great Redoubt on May 22, 1863. Guns in this position shredded attacking Union columns. a large oval table of solid walnut. "Look at the underside," said Mrs. Sid S. Champion. I got down on hands and knees and poked my head under. I could see dark stains, as if varnish had trickled there and dried. "That's blood," said Mrs. Champion. The Champion home became a Union hospital after the battle, she explained. "There were often two wounded Yankees on the table at the same time, head to toe, with two sur geons operating on them." Champion Hill was won May 16, 1863. Two days later Grant came up to Vicksburg. In 18 days since crossing the river, he had won five engagements and prevented John ston's army from coming to Pemberton's aid. He was on his way to military greatness. Pemberton was ready for him-West Point er Pemberton, native Philadelphian with Southern sympathies. His engineers had built 50 a strong line of defense along an irregular ridge, and he had about 31,000 men when the siege began. Grant could muster some 48,000 then, and as many as 76,000 later. It took us less than half an hour to drive from Champion Hill to the National Military Park. Once there, I could see why Grant needed 47 days to make Pemberton submit. If Vicksburg was a natural fortress from its river front, it was no less so here.