Grand Illumination Event Information
A Grand Illumination will be held on July 3 from 6-10 pm throughout VNMP. Tour road access is at the Clay St. entrance only and limited to motor vehicles. No pedestrians or bicyclists will be allowed during these hours. Click 'More' for further details. More »
Tour Stop 2 - Shirley House
On May 18, 1863, as the Confederate rear guard fell back into the Vicksburg defenses, soldiers were ordered to burn all the houses in front of their works. The Shirley barns and outbuildings were quickly burned to the ground, but the soldier assigned to destroy the house was shot before he could apply the torch.
Mrs. Shirley, her 15-year-old son Quincy, and several servants, were caught in the cross-fire as Union soldiers approached Vicksburg. Fearing for their lives, they remained in the house huddled in a chimney corner for three days before Mrs. Shirley tied a sheet to a broom handle and had it placed on the upper front porch. The frightened occupants of the 'white house' were finally removed by Union soldiers and given shelter in a cave.
Did You Know?
The USS Cairo was only in service for 11 months before making history as the first U.S. marine vessel to be sunk by an electronically detonated mine.