The mighty Mississippi River, known as the ‘spinal cord’ of
was crucial to the survival of the Rebels in the western theatre.
Ulysses S. Grant knew that to insure victory, the river must be in
of the Federals. Without it, the enemy could easily transport troops
goods up and down the river at will.
Understanding the importance of this river, Vicksburg held the
to the Mississippi. Whoever controlled Vicksburg, controlled the river.
After a series of major battles, the Yankees approached and attempted
assaults on the city. Realizing the extensive fortifications, and
the mettle of their foe, General Grant formulated his plans to lay
to the city.
May 26, 1863, the Federal army severed rebel telegraph and
lines, dug in, and prepared to wait out their equally determined
The southern soldiers and population alike, prepared caves to live and
protect themselves from the random artillery of the Yankee army and
under Admiral Porter.
Starvation and disease ravaged the citizens and infantrymen.
over a month, Confederate Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton,
relief was not forthcoming, surrendered the town on July 4, 1863.
With the occupation of Vicksburg, the Federals delivered a
blow to the Confederates, for now control of the Mississippi lay in the
hands of Grant.
Of the occupying forces, a Colonel Wilson and his aide,
McPherson decided to headquarter at 1445 Harrison Street. This
house built in the style of Greek revival, was familiar to Capt.
for he was a resident in Vicksburg before the war. Now seeing the half
starved populace, he would often give food to the local children,
“I don’t want the next generation to grow up hating us like this one
Unfortunately, the hatred seethed and with the disappearance
Capt. McPherson, Colonel Wilson began an organized search for his aide
and friend. It wasn’t until a few weeks later that the Colonel was
by a noise in his bedroom. He fell back asleep in his rocking chair,
to be awakened again by the motion of someone rocking the chair from
He leapt up, and there before him was the figure of a man. Upon closer
examination, he realized it was his missing friend, Capt. McPherson.
pervaded the Colonel as he noticed that the side of the Captain’s head
was mutilated and his clothes torn and wet. The Captain weakly stated
he had been beaten and thrown into the river by former Confederates. He
pleaded to the Colonel that his murder not be avenged, for he didn’t
the next generation to grow up hating” them “like this one does.”
In 1984, the house was bought by an architect; not for the
history, but for its elegant beauty. He had no idea what lay ahead for
him in the realm of the supernatural.
Soon after the purchase, a tour guide was bringing a group
the house when one of the tourists asked if the piano in the parlor
The guide pressed a key to find that it in fact did not work. As the
neared the archway, the sound of a beautiful waltz was heard from the
Apparently the piano had changed its mind.
As some time passed, the disturbances got worse. One could
the oppressive air as they entered the house. Feeling demonic, this was
new to the establishment. On one particular occasion, a door was
through it’s own volition on the hand of the owner, causing injury. On
another occasion, the owner states that as he walked through the
he was pushed to his knees from behind, although he was alone.
It was at this time he moved out until an Episcopal exorcism
be performed. The atmosphere is that of a benign one now, although
of soldiers are seen by startled tourists from time to time. Tour
seem to have the most abundant sightings, since their time in the house
is daily. As for the bloody apparition of Capt. McPherson, he has been
seen too in the time since the war. The house is also home to a woman
who has appeared in the middle bedroom, with long brown hair and a
McRaven is located at 1445 Harrison Street and is open daily