Historic Shaifer House on Civil War battlefield vandalized.

An investigation is underway into a vandalism and theft at a historic house in Claiborne County, state officials said.

Thieves stole four wooden support beams from the nearly 200-year-old Shaifer House. The interior flooring and walls were also damaged.

The theft was discovered April 1, but likely occurred earlier that week, according to a news release from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, which administers the site.

Staff from MDAH have made an initial stabilization of the site to prevent further damage to the house. The site has been closed to the public until permanent repairs can be made.

“The repair of the Shaifer House is a top priority,” said MDAH director Katie Blount. “We are consulting with state legislators, local governments, the Port Gibson Heritage Trust, other state agencies and the National Park Service to ensure the house is preserved for future generations.”

The Shaifer House was built by A.K. and Elizabeth Shaifer beginning in 1826. It was the site of the opening shots of the Battle of Port Gibson, which was fought on May 1, 1863, and was the first in Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s last, and successful, campaign to capture Vicksburg during the U.S. Civil War. The Port Gibson battlefield is a National Historic Landmark and the Shaifer House is a Mississippi Landmark.

For more information call 601-576-6850 or see the MDAH web site.

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