One of the most important historical houses in downtown Vicksburg, Mississippi, is getting some much-needed repairs. Historic preservation efforts are underway at Pemberton’s Headquarters to prevent further deterioration of the historic building.
The front porch will receive structural shoring to support the existing structure and prevent the collapse of the second-story porch. The slate roof will be removed and stored while temporary waterproofing material is applied. The park will, at a later date, restore the porch and slate roof along with other exterior and interior preservation treatments.
This stabilization project is planned to last over 10 years and until additional planning and funding can result in the full restoration of the historic structure. Once the house is stabilized, the National Park Service hopes to reopen the building to the public on a limited basis.
“This is one of the most important sites in the Vicksburg Campaign,” said Scott Babinowich, chief of interpretation at Vicksburg National Military Park. “These repairs are not permanent fixes, but they will give us the opportunity to open the building again to visitors.”
Vicksburg National Military Park and the National Park Service Southeast Regional Office Facility Support Division are overseeing the restoration and ensuring the work follows the guidelines of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
The house was built by William Bobb in 1835-36 and was originally known as “Mrs. Willis’ House.” Confederate Gen. John Pemberton used the house as his headquarters during the 47-day siege of Vicksburg. It is in this house that Gen. Pemberton and his staff decided to surrender to the Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and the Union Army on July 4, 1863. The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977 and was deeded to the National Park Service in 2003.