Margie Bearss Day
Contact: Rebecca Drake, 601-953-4755
Contact: Terry Winschel, 601-619-2908
Historic Event at Champion Hill
“Remembering Margie Bearss Day”
On Saturday, May 5, 2007, 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., the public is invited to Champion Hill to attend a day set aside for honoring the late Margie Riddle Bearss, Matriarch of Mississippi History. Three events will highlight the day: the dedication of Collected Stories of the Vicksburg Campaign, by Rebecca Drake and Margie Bearss, at 11:00 a.m., followed by the unveiling of a memorial stone inscribed in Margie’s memory and, at 1:30 p.m., the unveiling of a historic marker noting the importance of the Champion family during war times. The book dedication will be held on the grounds of the Champion House while the unveiling of the historic marker will take place at Champion Hill Missionary Baptist Church, the site of the original Champion house, which was burned by the Yankees in 1863.
Other exciting events will take place throughout the day: an art exhibit by Civil War artist Jerry McWilliams; Music on the Grounds; a Civil War Medicine exhibit, and a Buttermilk Pie reception during the noon hour. Of interest to those present will be McWilliams’ oil portraits of three Confederate commanders who participated in the Battle of Raymond: General John Gregg, commander of Gregg’s Brigade, Colonel Hiram Granbury, 7th Texas Infantry, and Colonel Randal McGavock, 10th Tennessee Infantry.
Margie Riddle Bearss, a native of Brandon, began her love of history and literature at an early age. In 1958, she married Ed Cole Bearss, author and historian of the Vicksburg National Military Park, and the two began a historic journey together - one which lasted a lifetime and earned them the reputation of being America’s Greatest History Couple. Margie is credited with the establishment of the Grand Gulf Museum at Grand Gulf Military Park, the placement of historic markers at Grand Gulf, and the preservation of artifacts salvaged from the Confederate steamers CSS Charm and Paul Jones and the Union USS Cairo. Many of the artifacts salvaged from the USS Cairo are now on display at the USS Cairo Museum in the Vicksburg National Military Park. Margie also has four books to her credit: Sherman’s Forgotten Campaign: The Meridian Expedition; My Dear Wife: Letters to Matilda (Civil War letters of Sid and Matilda Champion), Darwina’s Diary: A View of Champion Hill ~ 1865 and Collected Stories of the Vicksburg Campaign (the latter three co-authored with Rebecca Drake). Margie also wrote the Preface to Elizabeth Joyner’s new book, The USS Cairo - History and Artifacts of a Civil War Gunboat.
The Champion House is located on Champion Hill Road midway between Bolton and Edwards. Signs and flags will mark the entrance to the lane leading to the house. Bring a lawn chair, straw hat, sunscreen, camera and prepare to sit back and enjoy a day dedicated to Remembering Margie Bearss.
For more information call 601-953-4755 or write RBDrake@comcast.net for information.
Did You Know?
Thomas O. Selfridge, captain of the USS Cairo, commanded three boats which sank during the war. Each began with the letter "C"-Cumberland, Cairo, and Conestoga. The coincidence was noted after the Conestoga sank, and Selfridge was assigned to the USS Osage, which survived to the end of the war.