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Near Champion Hill in Hinds County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

A Narrow Escape

 
 
A Narrow Escape Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, October 24, 2017
1. A Narrow Escape Marker
Inscription.  The Battle on Champion Hill raged back and forth for hours, earning the site a reputation as "the hill of death." As more Union reinforcements arrived, Pemberton gave the order to retreat. With Pemberton's army in danger of being trapped, a messenger arrived with news that the lower Bakers Creek bridge (destroyed in recent rains) had just been rebuilt. Pemberton directed the army there and ordered two batteries and Gen. Lloyd Tilghman's brigade, a unit of Loring's Division, to hold their position on the Raymond Road until all the Confederates made it safely across. Unfortunately for Pemberton, Loring's Division was unable to cross and never rejoined Pemberton's army.

The next day, portions of both armies fought again west of Edwards along the Big Black River. There the Confederates defended the railroad bridge from behind earthworks, hoping to allow Loring's Division time to cross the Big Black. Overrun by Union troops who assaulted the position, however, the Confederates fled across the river and burned the bridge behind them. Pemberton's army had narrowly escaped into the defenses of Vicksburg.

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"[With] The ingenious construction of this bridge, Major [Andrew] Hickenlooper, Chief Engineer of General McPherson's corps, has, during this brief but brilliant campaign, earned for himself a most enviable reputation.

This bridge is certainly the most easily constructed, and it is the most secure, of any impromptu bridge known. The buoyancy of a 500-pound bale of cotton is quite 400 pounds and serviceable for eight days."

Harper's Weekly, June 27, 1863.


[Photo captions]
Union troops rapidly replaced several bridges across the Big Black River Bridge for their advance on Vicksburg. Here are a cotton bale bridge and a pontoon bridge.

Cotton Bridge over the [Big] Black River (sketch by Theodore Davis).

 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsWar, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is June 27, 1863.
 
Location. 32° 18.272′ N, 90° 33.687′ W. Marker is near Champion Hill, Mississippi, in Hinds County. Marker is on Adams Lane south of State Route 467, on the left when traveling south. Located in front of Cal-Maine Foods on the grounds of the Coker House. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Adams Lane, Edwards MS 39066, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Death of General Tilghman (a few steps from this marker);
A Narrow Escape Marker is the last one in the distance. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, October 24, 2017
2. A Narrow Escape Marker is the last one in the distance.
Chicago Mercantile Battery - Artillery in the Yard (a few steps from this marker); A Refugee Family (within shouting distance of this marker); Architecture and Renovations (within shouting distance of this marker); The Vicksburg Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker); The Coker House and the Battle of Champion Hill (within shouting distance of this marker); Lloyd Tilghman (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Battle of Champion Hill (approx. 2˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Champion Hill.
 
A Narrow Escape Marker is located on the grounds of the Coker House. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, October 24, 2017
3. A Narrow Escape Marker is located on the grounds of the Coker House.
Once one of the few remaining structures associated with the Battle of Champion Hill, the Coker House was a one-story Greek Revival house, built around 1852 by H. B. Coker, a popular citizen and farmer. The interior layout followed the traditional central hall plan, having two rooms on each side. Bullet holes in the front door and jambs and cannonball holes on the west side of the structure provided evidence of this bloody and decisive battle. Falling into extreme disrepair, the Coker House was restored by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in 2008.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 3, 2017. It was originally submitted on November 3, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 564 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 3, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Feb. 21, 2024