Terrence G. Winschel, historian, Vicksburg National Military Park, explains the role the A. K. Shaifer House played in the Battle of Port Gibson.
The A. K. Shaifer House was built in the late 1820s in Port Gibson, Mississippi, by Abram Keller Shaifer Sr. and his wife, Elizabeth Hannah Humphreys Shaifer (sister of Governor Benjamin Grubb Humphreys). It was the site of opening shots of the Battle of Port Gibson on May 1, 1863, and the house was used as a surgical hospital for wounded soldiers. A. K. Shaifer Jr. was away from home, in service to the Confederate army, at the time of the battle, but he returned to the house after his release from a prisoner-of-war camp and established friendships with Union veterans who had fought on his property. Shaifer hosted reunions at the house and sent potted flowers from the battlefield to Union soldiers' graves every Memorial Day from around 1900 until his death May 30, 1921.
The Shaifer family donated the house and grounds to the state in the late 1970s, and the property was transferred to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in 1999. Restoration was undertaken in 2006, under the direction of architect Robert Parker Adams, as part of the TEA-21 Mississippi Civil War Trails Project. Historian Charles L. Sullivan of Perkinston, Mississippi, took these digital photographs of dedication ceremonies held at 10:30 a.m. November 20, 2007, at the A. K. Shaifer House, and donated them to MDAH in November 2009.