Vicksburg Campaign and Historic Trail
The story of the siege is the focus of a beautiful national military park, but outside the park boundaries, the fields, bayous and country roads where the rest of the Vicksburg campaign was waged are threatened by the forces of time, change, and neglect. The very existence of this significant resource is little known, its historic value under appreciated, and its potential for heritage tourism untapped. As a result, landmark buildings are crumbling and inappropriate development threatens unprotected sits such as the Coker House at the Champion Hill battlefield site, Pemberton’s Headquarters in Vicksburg, the Old Raymond-Utica Road, and the Shaifer House outside Port Gibson. A comprehensive strategy for education, planning and management is essential to save this hallowed ground where bravery and sacrifice shaped the course of history.
2017 Update – In Progress
As part of a comprehensive, statewide Mississippi Civil War Trails project, funded through the Transportation Equity Act for the 21stCentury (TEA-21) grant program, several projects are underway along the trail. One of the most historic structures in the Vicksburg Campaign region, the Shaifer House, located on the Port Gibson Battlefield, was restored in 2007 and interpretative signage was added to the site.
The Raymond Battlefield Trail was completed in the fall of 2006. The trail has been paved and signage installed. Open during daylight hours for public use the trail follows the Mississippi Operations in the Campaign & Siee of Vicksburg guide, published in 1999. The tour showcases significant sites association with Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s campaign for and siege. The Friends of Raymond have recently purchased 165 acres of the Raymond Battlefield for permanent conservation.
The Shaifer House, which is a contributing site on the campaign trail, was pillaged in early 2017. Some of the house’s hand-hewn sills were stolen from its crawl space. The Mississippi Department of Archives and History have made repairs to the structure and the house has been stabilized. If you have any information regarding the theft and vandalism of the Shaifer House, please contact the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.