Civil War Battle of Port Gibson historical markers:
A.K. Shaifer House
Confederate Gen. Martin E. Green on the afternoon of April 30, 1863, posted his brigade near Magnolia Church, with an outpost here.
Shortly after midnight, Green rode forward to check on his pickets. Reaching this point, the general found Mrs. A.K. Shaifer and the ladies of the house frantically pilling their household effects on a wagon. Green assured the women that there was no need to hurry, since the Yankees couldn't possibly arrive before daybreak. Hardly had Green spoken before there was a crash of musketry -- the pickets had exchanged shots with the Union vanguard, soldiers of the 21st Iowa. The women leaped into the wagon and headed for Port Gibson, while Gen. Green returned to Magnolia Church to alert his troops. The Confederate pickets fell back before the Federal advance.
During the Battle of Port Gibson, the Shaifer house served as Gen. John A. McClernand's GHQ and a Union hospital.
The Battle in Retrospect
This Union victory at Port Gibson gave Grant the foothold on the Mississippi side of the river that terminated a year of failure, and subsequently led to the capture of Vicksburg, his ultimate goal.
The Port Gibson battlefield has changed little since May, 1863. Ravines are still filled with vines and immense canebrakes, and ridges are as steep-sided as when Federal troops scaled them. The deep road beds have not changed, and relics of the battle are still occasionally found on their surfaces. Bridges have been added where once streams were forded. The Shaifer house remains, but with walls showing scars from missiles fired during the battle. Magnolia Church, where the Confederates placed their first line of defense, is no longer standing. Only its brick foundation and the cistern remain. The Port Gibson Battlefield is listed in the National Register of Historic Place.
Directions to the A.K. Shaifer House:
From Port Gibson:
Travel southwest on Rodney Road towards Windsor Ruins for 1.1 miles. Turn left onto Bessie Weathers Road (Magnolia MB Church at the intersection). Travel south on Bessie Weathers Road for 1.3 miles and then turn right onto an unmarked gravel road (Shaifer Road). After 1 mile you will come to the old Magnolia Church historical markers. Continue on for .4 miles to Shaifer House. There is a parking area on the left and the house is on the right.
From Windsor Ruins:
Travel east on Rodney Road towards Port Gibson. Travel about 4-5 miles and turn right onto Bessie Weathers Road (Magnolia MB Church at the intersection). Then follow the directions from Port Gibson.