During America's Civil War, Port Gibson is best remembered as one
of General Grant's first conquests after crossing the Mississippi
River during the Vicksburg Campaign of 1863. Landing at nearby Bruinsburg,
Grant's troops marched down the Old Rodney Road, then engaged and
repelled Rebel troops near the Shaifer House. During this campaign,
Port Gibson escaped the fiery fate of other Mississippi towns. In
a famous legend, Grant reportedly stated that the town was "too
beautiful to burn." He left Port Gibson mostly unscathed on
his northward trek to Vicksburg.
Today, you can relive the days of armies blue and gray that once
trooped through the plantation lands around Port Gibson. The same
Old Rodney Road is still there, looking much as it did in 1863.
So, also is the Shaifer House (bullet holes included!) and nearby
Bethel Presbyterian Church where Grant regrouped his troops after
landing at Bruinsburg.
North of Port Gibson, you can visit Grand Gulf Military Park. This
historic site marks and chronicles an early federal naval bombardment
from the Mississippi River that ravaged the thriving port town of
Grand Gulf. Along with a museum, you'll also see period structures
and a military cemetery, and enjoy camping and picnicking facilities
in the park.