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"Under the sod and the dew, Waiting the judgment day;
Love and tears for the Blue, Tears and love for the Gray."

                                                      Francis Miles Finch, 1867










Remembering the “Bonnie Blue Flag” & Harry Macarthy

By Sue Burns Moore

It is a close race as to whether “Dixie” or the “Bonnie Blue Flag” was the most popular song of the South during the war, for both strongly gripped Southern hearts. During the Vicksburg siege, steamboats on the Mississippi River played both songs on their calliopes to encourage the Confederates in the trenches. However, the Bonnie Blue Flag was the only one actually written and sold as an anthem during the war. Its powerful lyrics and rollicking tune stirred patriotic men and women to tears and to action. In time, as with other famous war songs, questions arose as to who wrote it and when was it first performed.

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The Diary of
Pvt. Arthur P. McCullough

Co. D, 81st Illinois Infantry

Entries from May 1-17, 1863

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Raymond Battlefield Doubles in Size

Parker Hills

A Union Civil War 12-pounder howitzer guards the historic road from Raymond to Utica on the Raymond Interpretive Walking Trail.

Photo by Parker Hills

On June 30, 2009, the issue was settled--the bucolic fields along Highway 18 south of Raymond would remain that way, even though the fight to save them lasted 1,065 days, as opposed to the single day of combat on those hallowed grounds in May of 1863. Friends of Raymond, a local non-profit volunteer historical preservation group, working with the Civil War Preservation Trust, a national organization dedicated to saving America’s Civil War battlefields, purchased 66.62 acres of core battlefield property, thus, ending a three year process of negotiations and fund-raising. As a result, the preserved area of the Raymond battlefield has grown from 65 acres to almost 150, because the purchase of the property brings with it a preservation easement for additional acreage on the battlefield.

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Grant's March

Skirmish At Willow Springs
Historic Marker Rededicated
August 27, 2009

Sam Price, Brig. Gen. Parker Hills, Ret., and Robert St. John pictured at the rededication of the Willow Springs historical marker at the Willow Springs Crossroads on August 27, 2009.

Photograph by Rebecca Blackwell Drake

The marker, originally placed at the Willow Springs Crossroads in the early 1960s, disappeared approximately ten years ago; was recently found under the porch of a rental house, and was rededicated by the Port Gibson Heritage Trust. Hills was the guest speaker for the historic event, Price has researched deeply into the area history, and St. John is president of the Trust.

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The Long Road Home
by Pvt. Myron B. Loop

The 68th Ohio Infantry
in the Battle of Raymond

Excerpt from Chapter Four

The early morning of May 9 found us once more in motion. After a march of about 10 miles we went into camp near the little village of Utica. Early the following morning, Sunday, our brigade was ordered out to lead the advance. However, the order was revoked and we remained in camp until late in the afternoon, when we formed into line as Third Division train guard, marched 10 miles, and toward the hour of midnight went into bivouac.

On May 11 we took up our line of march in the direction of Raymond. We moved rapidly over the ground, now in bright sunshine and now in a torrent of rain, until late in the day, when we came to a halt and stacked arms on Roach's plantation, where we remained until the next morning.

The morning of Tuesday, May 12, we silently moved out of camp. Soon the enemy showed up in our front, when a heavy line of flankers was deployed on each side, and all moved forward in line of battle until about 10 o'clock, when we found the enemy strongly posted about two miles from Raymond.

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Now Available

Collected Stories of the Vicksburg Campaign

By Rebecca Drake and Margie Bearss

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My Dear Wife ~
Letters to Matilda

The Civil War Letters of Sid and Matilda Champion

By Rebecca Drake and Margie Bearss

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Darwina's Diary: A View of Champion Hill ~ 1865
Edited By
Rebecca Drake and Margie Bearss

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Illinois Soldiers in
Battles of Raymond & Champion Hills

Asa Wilson (1832-1912), of DeWitt County, Illinois, Co. E of the 20th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.

Oliver Harrold (1841-1905) of DeWitt County, Illinois, Co. E, 20th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.

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"Come on Riggin, the Day is Lost"

By Rebecca B. Drake

A first- hand account of the Battle of Raymond written by Thomas. B. Riggin, a member of Hall’s Scouts, a state company, who patrolled the Utica-Raymond road the night before the battle.

On May 12, 1863, the night before the Battle of Raymond, General McPherson’s advanced guards were located at “Magnolia Vale,” six miles from Raymond. The area was known as Fairchild’s Crossing since the Utica-Raymond road connected to the Oakley-Crystal Springs road in front of the Fairchild residence. Today the historic home is owned by Reuben and Sue Lott.

Battle of Raymond as sketched by Theodore Davis, a New York sketch artist who worked for Harper’s Weekly.  Davis accompanied the Union army from the time they disembarked at Bruinsburg Landing until the surrender at Vicksburg.

St. Nicholas Magazine, July 1889

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