Raymond, Champion Hill events set for this week

Published 9:38 am Monday, May 11, 2015

Vicksburg National Military Park is taking its commemoration on the road to Hinds County this week with programs on two battles in the Vicksburg Campaign.

The park will hold a 152nd anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Raymond at 10 a.m. Tuesday and a commemoration of the Battle of Champion Hill at 10 a.m. Saturday. The Raymond commemoration will be at the Raymond Battlefield, VNMP ranger Tim Kavanaugh said.

“The program will be held at the row of cannon on McPherson’s Ridge which is accessible via Mississippi Highway 18, just south of the town of Raymond.  While a small unpaved parking area is available, the area can become muddy after a rain,” Kavanaugh said.

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The formal portion of the program is expected to last approximately 30 minutes followed by a brief question and answer session.

The battle of Raymond took place on May 12, 1863, and was small by Civil War standards. It resulted in in about 514 Confederate casualties and 442 Union casualties. Civil War-era causalities include soldiers who were listed as missing, dead or wounded.

The battle allowed Union Gen. Ulysses Grant to modify the plan of his campaign and capture Jackson in order to prevent a Confederate buildup in his rear while he marched on Vicksburg.

VNMP ranger Jake Koch will lead a program on the Battle of Champion Hill at the Coker House, three miles east of Edwards on Mississippi 467. The program will last for approximately 30 minutes.

“Thanks to the generous support of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the program will take place at the Coker House on the battlefield. The front yard was used as an artillery position by both armies, and the house was used as a field hospital following the battle,” Koch said.

The Battle of Champions Hill was fought May 16, 1863. It was the bloodiest battle of the campaign with close to 6,300 casualties.

The Union victory forced the Confederate Army of Vicksburg to retreat to the Big Black River and later into the Vicksburg defenses, where they would surrender less than two months later.

For further information visit www.nps.gov/vick or call VNMP at 601-636-0583.