In 1853, the land now known as Champion Hill was given to Sid and Matilda Champion as a wedding present from her father, Eli Montgomery. They erected a two-story white frame house on the Old Jackson Road overlooking the railroad near Midway Station. Sid joined the 28th Regiment Mississippi Cavalry in Vicksburg, 1862, leaving Matilda in charge of the plantation. Her worst fears came true May 15, 1863, when she heard that Grant's army was marching westward toward Vicksburg. She gathered her four young children and fled to her parents' home in Madison County. On May 16, the Battle of Champion Hill was fought, primarily on the Champions' property. The house served as a Union hospital and was later torched by the Yankees. After Vicksburg, Sid fought in the Atlanta and Tennessee campaigns. In 1865, Sid and Matilda returned to Champion Hill and built a modest house at Midway Station. Sid died three years later at age 45. Matilda died in 1907 at the age of 80. Both are buried in the family cemetery.