Fascinating sights, history, and stories of Vicksburg

After four days of taking in the fascinating sights, history, and stories of Vicksburg, we are already planning another visit to continue exploring this very historic area. So much to see, so much history here!

Vicksburg was built on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in 1811, but a French settlement existed here in 1719.

Thriving port city

Fascinating sights, history, and stories of Vicksburg

Steamboat docked in Vicksburg

You probably remember from history class that pre-Civil War Vicksburg became a significant port city on the Mississippi, full of luxurious homes, hotels, and shopping opportunities. Vicksburg was also an essential stop for paddlewheel riverboats traveling along the River.

The Civil War at Vicksburg

The victory at Vicksburg gave the Union control of the Mississippi River, and it provided a route to move soldiers and supplies and simultaneously divided the Confederacy. This victory came after months of battles fought and a 47-day siege on Vicksburg.

Vicksburg National Military Park

3201 Clay St.
Vicksburg, MS 39183
Established: February 21, 1899

Fascinating sights, history, and stories of Vicksburg

Just one of the many monuments throughout the park

“Vicksburg is the nailhead that holds the South’s two halves together.”

Confederate President Jefferson Davis

“See what a lot of land these fellows hold, of which Vicksburg is the key! The war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket. We can take all the northern ports of the Confederacy, and they can defy us from Vicksburg.”

President Abraham Lincoln

This incredible Park was established in 1899 to commemorate these Civil War battles in Vicksburg and the surrounding area.

The Park has over 1,300 historical monuments and includes a 16-mile driving tour, cannons, the antebellum Shirley House, and the Vicksburg National Cemetery. The USS Cairo, a restored Union gunboat, is also on exhibit in the Park.

Monuments have been erected here by many of the different states that sent soldiers to fight at Vicksburg.

Vicksburg’s Old Courthouse Museum

1008 Cherry St.
Vicksburg, MS 39183

Fascinating sights, history, and stories of Vicksburg

The courthouse has housed antebellum and Civil War artifacts for years.

This 1858 courthouse museum is home to countless Civil War artifacts. Confederate President Jefferson Davis spoke here at the beginning of his political career. On July 4, 1863, Union General Ulysses S. Grant watched as the Confederate flag was lowered and the Union flag was raised.

Under the direction of the Vicksburg and Warren County Historical Society, this courthouse opened as a museum in 1948 after remaining vacant since 1939. It became a national landmark in 1968.

Anchuka Historic Mansion and Inn

1010 First East Street
Vicksburg, MS 39183

Fascinating sights, history, and stories of Vicksburg

This striking home, constructed around 1830, is Vicksburg’s first antebellum home to offer public tours. The tour includes an introductory film about the home’s history and is self-guided. Today Anchuca is a bed and breakfast inn that has a magnificent restaurant on site.

Legend states that in 1869, Confederate President Jefferson Davis made one of his last public addresses from the balcony of this home owned by his brother Joseph Emory Davis. Joseph Davis lived here until he died in 1870.

Today Anchuca is furnished with beautiful antique furniture and art. This is such an elegant but very inviting home. I hope to stay here as a guest on one of our return visits.

McRaven Home

1445 Harrison Street
Vicksburg, MS 39180

Fascinating sights, history, and stories of Vicksburg

McRaven is advertised as one of the most haunted homes in Mississippi, one of the most haunted in Mississippi. Ghost tours of the home are held most weekends, and McRaven advertises that several ghosts or spirits, including Andrew Glass and Mary Elizabeth, are still residing here.

Although McRaven is one structure, it was built in three pieces during three different periods.

Part One

Notorious highwayman Andrew Glass built the oldest part of the house in 1797. George Washington was President at that time! Andrew Glass’s portion of this home consists of a kitchen with a bedroom above it. It remains very much the same as it did when Glass was alive.

Part Two

Fascinating sights, history, and stories of Vicksburg

Sheriff Stephen Howard purchased the house in 1836, and he added the middle dining room and a bedroom above that. Sheriff Howard married 12-year-old Mary Elizabeth. She became pregnant at 15 but died during childbirth in that middle bedroom.

Mary Elizabeth is considered one of the most active ghosts at McRaven and sometimes appears in photos taken by guests on tours. She’s not in any of mine, though.

Part Three

Fascinating sights, history, and stories of Vicksburg

John H. Bobb built the third section of the house after he purchased McRaven in 1849.

Mr. Bobb added a front entry area, parlor, staircase, upstairs bedroom, and a dressing area to the structure.

McRaven has been referred to by National Geographic as a “time capsule of the south” because of these three different construction periods and different architectural styles. Remarkably, most everything Steve and I saw on this tour was authentic artifacts and antiques.

Fascinating sights, history, and stories of Vicksburg

Many Union and Confederate soldiers were killed and buried on McRaven’s property to dial the ghost and spirit speculation up a notch. John Bobb was killed by Union soldiers – after the end of the War. The home was also used as a Confederate field hospital in 1863.

Fascinating sights, history, and stories of Vicksburg

The next family to live at McRaven, William Murray, his wife Ellen Flynn, and two of their seven children died at McRaven.

Fascinating sights, history, and stories of Vicksburg

Steven and Kendra Reed purchased McRaven and began giving historical and ghost tours in 2007. Since that time, McRaven has been featured on Ghost Adventures. It IS a spooky place.

Blues Highway

I learned about the Blues Highway that runs through the Mississippi delta when we visited Port Gibson. There are six Blues Highway markers in Vicksburg:

  • Highway 61 – the actual route many performers took on their way north
  • Blue Room – a famed nightspot in Vicksburg
  • Marcus Bottom – a historic African American community that was a center for early blues, jazz, and gospel music activity
  • Red Tops – a blues, jazz, and pop bad performing between 1953 and 1974
  • William “Bill” R. Ferris – responsible for documenting Mississippians and bringing recognition to the blues
  • Willie Dixon – Vicksburg native that recorded the 50s and 60s songs “Seventh Son,” “Little Red Rooster,” “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “My Babe,” and “Wang Dang Doodle, among others.

Mammy’s Cupboard

555 Highway 61S.
two miles south of Natchez city limits

Fascinating sights, history, and stories of Vicksburg

We did enjoy some great restaurants in Vicksburg and the surrounding area. Still, the most unusual was a lunch we enjoyed at Mammy’s Cupboard just two miles outside of Natchez’s city limits but over an hour from Vicksburg.

I’d visited Mammy’s many years ago. Other than Mammy being a bit worn looking, it was pretty much the same; great food served along with exceptional southern hospitality. You can’t help but stop to see what this restaurant is all about.

This roadside restaurant, constructed in 1940 in the shape of a mammy from the South, as in Aunt Jemima, depicts a stereotypical black nanny as she would have appeared during this time. Mammy’s skirt, made out of bricks, contains a restaurant.

Fascinating sights, history, and stories of Vicksburg

We had a terrific time visiting Port Gibson and Vicksburg. We had a great lunch in Natchez but have decided to save Natchez exploration for our next trip. There is just too much to see and do in this part of Mississippi.

Fascinating sights, history, and stories of Vicksburg

2 thoughts on “Fascinating sights, history, and stories of Vicksburg

  1. I’m so sorry we had to leave you before seeing some of these things! Next time

    1. I am too! You guys are our very favorite RV traveling buddies. Looks like another trip on the horizon, huh?

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