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Civil War era house vandalized

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Civil War-era house in Mississippi where Ulysses S. Grant launched a major military campaign has been vandalized.

A press release Thursday from Mississippi’s Department of Archives and History says thieves took four wooden support beams from the 200-year-old Shaifer House. The interior floor and walls of the house, which is located on a Civil War battlefield, were also damaged. The damage was discovered April 1 but likely occurred earlier.

The Shaifer House sits on the Port Gibson Battlefield In Claiborne County. It was built in 1826 and was the site of the opening salvo in Grant’s successful campaign to capture Vicksburg during the Civil War. The house was restored in 2006.

The site is currently closed, but the department plans to fix the damage and reopen it as soon as possible. Jim Woodrick, the director of the historic preservation division at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, said he doesn’t know how costly the repairs will be or how long they’ll take.

“We suppose it was to salvage some historic material for some other purpose,” Woodrick said of the crime. “Clearly it was not the work of vandals – it was something that took effort, it took planning.”

The state archives department is working with the Claiborne County sheriff’s department. The sheriff’s office did not return requests for comment.

While the crime occurred almost two weeks before the press release, Woodrick said the archives department wanted to secure the site before releasing the news.

The Shaifer House sits on the Port Gibson Battlefield In Claiborne County. Its construction began in 1826 and was the site of the opening salvo in Grant’s successful campaign to capture Vicksburg during the Civil War. The house was restored in 2006.

“This is not just a house in the middle of the woods. It’s an extremely important site related to Civil War history,” Woodrick said. “It was a really terrible thing that someone has done.”

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