A Fight at Midnight
On the afternoon of April 30, 1863, Confederate General Martin E. Green posted his brigade near Magnolia Church to defend this route to Port Gibson. Just after midnight, Green's pickets, stationed here at the Shaifer House, fired on the sixteen-man patrol leading the Union army up the road. After an exchange of gunfire in the dark, Union skirmishers pushed forward, while the Confederates fell back to the ridge behind Magnolia Church, which they held throughout the night.
While two Shaifer men were serving elsewhere in the Confederate army, their wives, children, and mother were living in the house. On the night of April 30, realizing they were about to be caught between two armies, the women packed a wagon to evacuate to town. When the sentries in the yard fired the first shots of the battle, the family fled.
"We could hear the enemy forming, and it was so still we could hear every command given. Our men had orders not to fire until word was given. Soon we could see their line of skirmishers coming down the road and could hear them say there was no one here, it was only a cavalry scout. When they were within 50 yards the word `fire'
Lt. John S. Bell, 12th Arkansas Sharpshooters
Location. 31° 56.857′ N, 91° 2.17′ W. Marker is near Port Gibson, Mississippi, in Claiborne County. Marker is on Shaifer Road 1½ miles west of Bessie Weathers Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Shaifer Road, Port Gibson MS 39150, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Battle of Port Gibson (here, next to this marker); From This Site (a few steps from this marker); Reconciliation and Reunions (within shouting distance of this marker); Field Surgery on the Porch (within shouting distance of this marker); At the Center of the Battle (within shouting distance of this marker); The Quandary of Freedom (within shouting distance of this marker); The Shaifer Farmstead (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Magnolia Church and the Battle along the Rodney Road (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Port Gibson.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
More. Search the internet for A Fight at Midnight.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 27, 2019. This page originally submitted on December 20, 2019, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 63 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 20, 2019, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana.