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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.

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