Almost exactly 154 years ago* my great great grandfather Dick Worden, a private in the 24th Iowa Regiment, was one of the soldiers in Grant's amy who took part in the first assault of the battle which ended in the rout of Confederate forces and sealed the fate of Vicksburg.
[Photo from the Mississippi Historical Markers website]
Here's an excerpt from the 24th Iowa's Regimental History describing their role in the battle:
It was engaged in constant skirmishing from that time to the battle of Champion's hill, where it proved the equal of any regiment engaged. At one time it advanced unsupported charged a battery of 5 guns that was creating havoc, fairly ran over the men at the guns, and drove the supporting infantry in wild confusion, but was compelled by overwhelming numbers to fall back. Forty-three were killed, 40 mortally wounded and nearly 30 maimed for life, the total loss in killed, wounded and captured being 195 out of 417 engaged.
It's great to know that someday I will be able to visit Champion Hill with my daughter and grandson to see where our ancestor helped preserve the Union.
*The fighting commenced on May 16, 1863
**When Bonnie and I visited Vicksburg in May, 2003, I didn't know that one of my ancestors had been there during the Civil War.
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