Champion Hills, battle of
, at Jackson
(q. v.), hearing of the arrival of Johnston
and his order for Pemberton
to strike his rear, perceived the reason for the sudden evacuation of their post by the troops at the capital.
No doubt they had been sent to join Pemberton
that the latter might crush Grant
by the weight of superior numbers.
The latter comprehended his peril, and instantly took measures to meet Pemberton
before such junction could take place.
He ordered a concentration of his forces at Edwards's Station, 2 miles from the railway bridge over the Big Black River
tarried in Jackson
long enough to destroy the railways, military factories, arsenal, bridges, cotton factories, stores, and other public property, the remainder of the army turned their faces towards Vicksburg
was at or near Edwards's Station, with about 25,000 troops and ten batteries of artillery.
moved towards the station, followed by McClernand
; while McPherson
, on another road, kept up communication with McClernand
had advanced to Champion Hills, when a note from Johnston
caused him to send his trains back to the Big Black River
; and he was about to follow with his troops.
, close upon him. compelled him to remain and fight (May 16, 1863). General Hovey
's division now held the advance directly in front of Pemberton
At eleven o'clock a battle began.
's division bearing the brunt, and, after a severe contest of an hour and a half, his infantry were compelled to fall back half a mile to the position of his artillery.
Reinforced, he renewed the battle with great energy.
's left began to bend under Logan
's severe pressure.
and, at five o'clock, gave way. The rest of his army became so confused and disheartened that they began to fly. Seeing this.
ordered his whole army to retreat towards the Big Black River
; when Grant
ordered the fresh brigades
to follow with all speed, and cross the river, if possible.
In the retreat Pemberton
lost many of his troops, made prisoners.
This battle was fought mainly by Hovey
's division of McClernand
's corps and Logan
's and Quinby
's divisions (the latter commanded by Crocker
) of McPherson
The National loss was 2,457, of whom 426 were killed.
The loss of the Confederates
was estimated to have been quite equal to that of the Nationals in killed and wounded, besides almost 2,000 prisoners, eighteen guns, and a large quantity of smallarms.
Among the killed was General Tilghman
, who was captured at Fort Henry
the year before.