Early on the morning of May 16, 1863, Confederate troops under General Loring were deployed on the ridge facing east. Union forces advancing from Raymond formed a line of battle approximately 1,000 yards east, where they unlimbered their artilley. For hours a sporadic artillery duel ensued, causing little damage to either side. At mid-afternoon, Loring was directed to send two of his three brigades to the endangered Confederate left, near Champion Hill. His remaining brigade —that of Brig. Gen. Lloyd Tilghman — was withdrawn to the next ridge west of the Coker House. Immediately following the withdrawal of Confederate forces, Union troops took possession of the ridge. Six guns of the Chicago Merchantile Battery were positioned between the Raymond Road and the Coker House, which was eventually utilized as a field hospital for soldiers of both North and South.
Once one of the few remaining structures associated with the Battle of Champion Hill, the Coker House was a one-story Greek Revival house, built around 1852 by H. B. Coker, a popular citizen and farmer. The interior layout followed the traditional central hall plan, having two rooms on each side. Bullet holes in the front door and jambs and cannonball holes on the west side of the structure provided evidence of this bloody and decisive battle.
Falling into extreme disrepair after Hurricane Katrina, the Coker House was restored by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in 2008. The house is currently administered by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and is closed to public entry. Several interpetive displays are available on the grounds of the building.
Last updated: March 16, 2018