Vicksburg's Best Kept Secret

James N.

Colonel
Forum Host
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Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
East Texas
HOW did the building escape damage during bombardment from Union gun boats or forces? How far is it from the river ?
That's a good question.....
It sits on the highest elevation in the city and WAS a target for Union land and naval artillery, some of which DID fall nearby or on target. But it was positioned too high up for naval guns to elevate to hit it and too far from the Union lines for army artillery to even see it. That mainly left indirect fire from mortars or the occasional overshots as the only things that really threatened it.

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Desert Kid

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Location
Arizona
View attachment 386155
Completed in 1860, the historic old courthouse (now museum) in Vicksburg is a jewel in the city's crown.
I visited the museum today and wanted to invite my CivilWar Talk friends to come along.
View attachment 386156
The one thing that makes this historic museum special is that it is full of artifacts found by the locals in their yards and gardens and were given to the museum for people to enjoy. Many are in their "raw state".
View attachment 386157
These artifacts came from the many camps that the soldier's occupied in and around the city.
They are varied and include personal items as well as weapons.
View attachment 386158
As I was browsing through the cases, I became startled to see a house cat perched on one of the displays. You gotta love it. I guarantee you won't find a mouse anywhere in this museum!
View attachment 386159
So many locals have donated artifacts that they have found to the museum that you find the more common items like minie balls and shell fragments stuck away in shelves underneath display cases.
View attachment 386160
Now here is a jewel....This large hunk of iron is a 7'' Dyer shell (42 lb. Rifle) found by a local relic hunter back in 1981. It is noted on the display that this is the only one known to be found in Vicksburg.
View attachment 386161
About 30 years ago, a relic hunter discovered this .58 calibre minie ball with a message carved on it: "From Grant"
View attachment 386162
For those that have been to the battlefield at Port Gibson, you will have seen the A.K. Shaifer home where the first shots of the battle were fired.
The cufflinks were carved from a tree on his property.
View attachment 386164
Cases of cleaned shells line the halls of the museum.
View attachment 386165
This courtroom saw many famous Americans including Confederate president Jefferson Davis and Theodore Roosevelt among many others.
View attachment 386169
A whole room is dedicated to the household furnishings of local planters including this china and silver service display.

There are also rooms dedicated to other areas of Vicksburg's rich history including native American and 20th century.

Well worth a visit. I know my time was well spent today!
I see they swapped the 1894 flag out front for the 1861 flag.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
It sits on the highest elevation in the city and WAS a target for Union land and naval artillery, some of which DID fall nearby or on target.
The U.S Navy did target the Courthouse.

And as you pointed out, they did indeed come very close to lobbing a few shells into the building.

At that point, I think the Rebs started moving Yank prisoners to the upper floors.
(I'm pretty sure the U.S Navy stopped using the Courthouse for target practice after that).


But again, I defer to our Vicksburg members for details.
 
Last edited:

Booklady

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Location
New England
Memory lane. ❤ It's been about six years since I was there.

I miss that city. I lived on Polk Street, in a house built in 1940 probably on some of that land originally belonging to the park service as someone mentioned. By the way, Joe Gerache of Corner Drug did not just have an impressive collection, he was also an expert in Civil War medicine who sometimes gave reenactments. He could quite graphically describe severed limbs piled higher than window sills and bloody rags being rinsed out in bloody water and then reused.

Thanks for posting the OCHM photos. My favorite artifact there is a little glass cup plate manufactured in 1830-something by the Sandwich (Massachusetts) Glass Factory and donated, for some unknown reason, in the 1960s by the head of the Sandwich Historical Society. Who would think it?! I also like the baseball room. :smile:
 

Tom Hughes

First Sergeant
Joined
May 27, 2019
Location
Mississippi
It sits on the highest elevation in the city and WAS a target for Union land and naval artillery, some of which DID fall nearby or on target. But it was positioned too high up for naval guns to elevate to hit it and too far from the Union lines for army artillery to even see it. That mainly left indirect fire from mortars or the occasional overshots as the only things that really threatened it.

View attachment 386852
Just one shell impacted the courthouse during the siege. The Union gunners weren’t too accurate it seems. That courthouse makes a prominent target. Glad it survived intact for us all to enjoy today.
 

General Butler

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
View attachment 386155
Completed in 1860, the historic old courthouse (now museum) in Vicksburg is a jewel in the city's crown.
I visited the museum today and wanted to invite my CivilWar Talk friends to come along.
View attachment 386156
The one thing that makes this historic museum special is that it is full of artifacts found by the locals in their yards and gardens and were given to the museum for people to enjoy. Many are in their "raw state".
View attachment 386157
These artifacts came from the many camps that the soldier's occupied in and around the city.
They are varied and include personal items as well as weapons.
View attachment 386158
As I was browsing through the cases, I became startled to see a house cat perched on one of the displays. You gotta love it. I guarantee you won't find a mouse anywhere in this museum!
View attachment 386159
So many locals have donated artifacts that they have found to the museum that you find the more common items like minie balls and shell fragments stuck away in shelves underneath display cases.
View attachment 386160
Now here is a jewel....This large hunk of iron is a 7'' Dyer shell (42 lb. Rifle) found by a local relic hunter back in 1981. It is noted on the display that this is the only one known to be found in Vicksburg.
View attachment 386161
About 30 years ago, a relic hunter discovered this .58 calibre minie ball with a message carved on it: "From Grant"
View attachment 386162
For those that have been to the battlefield at Port Gibson, you will have seen the A.K. Shaifer home where the first shots of the battle were fired.
The cufflinks were carved from a tree on his property.
View attachment 386164
Cases of cleaned shells line the halls of the museum.
View attachment 386165
This courtroom saw many famous Americans including Confederate president Jefferson Davis and Theodore Roosevelt among many others.
View attachment 386169
A whole room is dedicated to the household furnishings of local planters including this china and silver service display.

There are also rooms dedicated to other areas of Vicksburg's rich history including native American and 20th century.

Well worth a visit. I know my time was well spent today!
Wonderful and cant wait to see it
 

Stock

Private
Joined
Jul 18, 2018
Location
Tallahassee, Fl
View attachment 386155
Completed in 1860, the historic old courthouse (now museum) in Vicksburg is a jewel in the city's crown.
I visited the museum today and wanted to invite my CivilWar Talk friends to come along.
View attachment 386156
The one thing that makes this historic museum special is that it is full of artifacts found by the locals in their yards and gardens and were given to the museum for people to enjoy. Many are in their "raw state".
View attachment 386157
These artifacts came from the many camps that the soldier's occupied in and around the city.
They are varied and include personal items as well as weapons.
View attachment 386158
As I was browsing through the cases, I became startled to see a house cat perched on one of the displays. You gotta love it. I guarantee you won't find a mouse anywhere in this museum!
View attachment 386159
So many locals have donated artifacts that they have found to the museum that you find the more common items like minie balls and shell fragments stuck away in shelves underneath display cases.
View attachment 386160
Now here is a jewel....This large hunk of iron is a 7'' Dyer shell (42 lb. Rifle) found by a local relic hunter back in 1981. It is noted on the display that this is the only one known to be found in Vicksburg.
View attachment 386161
About 30 years ago, a relic hunter discovered this .58 calibre minie ball with a message carved on it: "From Grant"
View attachment 386162
For those that have been to the battlefield at Port Gibson, you will have seen the A.K. Shaifer home where the first shots of the battle were fired.
The cufflinks were carved from a tree on his property.
View attachment 386164
Cases of cleaned shells line the halls of the museum.
View attachment 386165
This courtroom saw many famous Americans including Confederate president Jefferson Davis and Theodore Roosevelt among many others.
View attachment 386169
A whole room is dedicated to the household furnishings of local planters including this china and silver service display.

There are also rooms dedicated to other areas of Vicksburg's rich history including native American and 20th century.

Well worth a visit. I know my time was well spent today!
I agree completely on the greatness of the courthouse museum. I am so glad I took the time to visit there. And though a corner of the battlefield east of town was partially closed because of mud landslides, it is not too difficult to understand how hard it was to win the battle militarily (as in direct attack). It is a sad affair for a southern boy to visit but it is so important to understand that place.
 

Orion.M.E

Private
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
View attachment 386155
Completed in 1860, the historic old courthouse (now museum) in Vicksburg is a jewel in the city's crown.
I visited the museum today and wanted to invite my CivilWar Talk friends to come along.
View attachment 386156
The one thing that makes this historic museum special is that it is full of artifacts found by the locals in their yards and gardens and were given to the museum for people to enjoy. Many are in their "raw state".
View attachment 386157
These artifacts came from the many camps that the soldier's occupied in and around the city.
They are varied and include personal items as well as weapons.
View attachment 386158
As I was browsing through the cases, I became startled to see a house cat perched on one of the displays. You gotta love it. I guarantee you won't find a mouse anywhere in this museum!
View attachment 386159
So many locals have donated artifacts that they have found to the museum that you find the more common items like minie balls and shell fragments stuck away in shelves underneath display cases.
View attachment 386160
Now here is a jewel....This large hunk of iron is a 7'' Dyer shell (42 lb. Rifle) found by a local relic hunter back in 1981. It is noted on the display that this is the only one known to be found in Vicksburg.
View attachment 386161
About 30 years ago, a relic hunter discovered this .58 calibre minie ball with a message carved on it: "From Grant"
View attachment 386162
For those that have been to the battlefield at Port Gibson, you will have seen the A.K. Shaifer home where the first shots of the battle were fired.
The cufflinks were carved from a tree on his property.
View attachment 386164
Cases of cleaned shells line the halls of the museum.
View attachment 386165
This courtroom saw many famous Americans including Confederate president Jefferson Davis and Theodore Roosevelt among many others.
View attachment 386169
A whole room is dedicated to the household furnishings of local planters including this china and silver service display.

There are also rooms dedicated to other areas of Vicksburg's rich history including native American and 20th century.

Well worth a visit. I know my time was well spent today!
I must be honest I’m very taken with that cat. I’m calling him or her the cat of Vicksburg.
 

Tom Hughes

First Sergeant
Joined
May 27, 2019
Location
Mississippi
I must be honest I’m very taken with that cat. I’m calling him or her the cat of Vicksburg.
That cat is one of two cats that live in the museum now. I’ve got to admit, it startled me when I was looking at the displays and I suddenly looked up to be face to face with the feline😂😂😂
 
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