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16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Where was the regiment on
Sunday, May 3, 1863

On this day, the 16th Ohio and Grant's forces continued to pursue the retreating Rebel army from Port Gibson, east, into the interior of Mississippi. Pvt. Peter Perrine, Company C, in his diary, tells us:

Continued chasing the flying rebs so closely did we pursue them that our advance would pass over the bridges they fired before any damage was done. Constant skirmishes was going always resulting in our favor.

Cpl Wolbach, Company E, adds the following for May 3:

Before daylight on the morning of the 3rd, we were up and astir with our accoutrements on; before sunrise we were moving on a road that led to the northeast. The day was beautiful and the marching easy. About the middle of the forenoon we passed a great pile of bacon that had been hauled to the roadside. It was reported to have belonged to the Confederate Government. The boys bayoneted pieces of it as they passed. Far ahead the line was dotted with these hunks of meat that were borne above the soldiers' heads on the bayonets.

As the 16th was in the heart of town [Rocky Springs, Mississippi the column halted. A white woman came to a front door and looked angrily at the bronzed and dust covered soldiers. Of course the boys looked at her and would have been glad to have had a social chat had not the unfriendly glare of her eyes precluded the idea. Standing there she was the perfect picture of a virago, and we knew that behind those thin lips was a venomous tongue. She held her fire well for a few moments, then opened, Didn't you'ns ever see anybody before? Well really madam, responded one of the boys, It is a long time since we have had the pleasure of gazing at such an amiable looking creature as yourself. He would have said more but for the tumultuous applause that drove the female from the field.

Halting long before night we busied ourselves hunting water, foraging, talking to the negroes, sleeping, &c., until night. Our orders for the night were always to be ready to move at a moments warning.

It is believed the 16th Ohio camped for the night at or shortly east of Rocky Springs, Mississippi, about 16 miles northeast of Port Gibson. This town is shown on the period map, below, incorrectly as being east of Little Sandy (Little Sand) Creek. See the modern day map, below, for a more accurate location of Rocky Springs.

Period map showing the route of the 16th Ohio, with Gen. Osterhaus' 9th Division, through the Battle of Thompson's Hill and beyond, camping at or near Rocky Springs, Mississippi on May 3, 1863:

Modern day map of the 16th Ohio's march from Port Gibson to near Rocky Springs, Mississippi:

Note: The town of Rocky Springs, Mississippi, had a population of 2600 near the start of the Civil War. Due to several factors, including a Yellow Fever outbreak, boll weevil infestation and severe erosion caused by improper farming practices, the town declined and eventually became a ghost town. Remnants of the town can be visited during daylight hours at mile post 54.8 on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Purple pin - Perkins' Plantation, from where the 16th Ohio and elements of Grant's force embarked on steamboats on April 28, 1863
Blue pin - Hard Times Landing, Louisiana, where the 16th Ohio, Osterhaus' 9th Division and other elements of Grants force disembarked from their boats on April 29, 1863.
Yellow pin - An abandoned plantation to where the troops marched and camped the night of April 29, 1863.
Aqua pin - Bruinsburg, Mississippi, where the 16th Ohio and all of Grant's force landed on April 30, 1863.
Red pin - Approximate location of Thompson's Hill, about two or three miles west of Port Gibson, Mississippi, where the Battle of Thompson's Hill occurred on May 1, 1863.
Green pin - Village of Port Gibson, occupied by the 16th Ohio and Grant's troops on May 2, 1863.
Lavender pin - Village of Rocky Springs, the approximate position of where the 16th Ohio camped on the night of May 3, 1863.

Below is a modern day image of the Rocky Springs Methodist Church, built in 1837, and which was likely viewed by the 16th Ohio as they marched along the Port Gibson Road, May 3, 1863:

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