Where is Milliken’s Bend?

Where is Milliken's Bend?

Map showing Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana;
Vicksburg, Mississippi (across from pennisula); and vicinity, 1863.
Source: eHistory, Ohio State University (click image for link)
Originally a portion of Plate XXXV, Official Atlas to Accompany the Official Records…

Milliken’s Bend was a small community in Louisiana located on the west bank of the Mississippi River, about 15 miles above Vicksburg. It was near the border of Madison and Carroll Parishes [now East Carroll Parish]. Cotton and corn were the primary crops, and hundreds of slaves toiled on numerous plantations in the area. Indeed, African-Americans composed between 75% and 90% of the population in this region of Louisiana.

In 1860, Milliken’s Bend had a population of about 200 people and aspired to greatness. A local merchant even stocked goods from Paris. Its proximity to the River, including easy access to the major centers of commerce, such as Vicksburg, Natchez, and ultimately, New Orleans, enabled its small population to thrive – except when overwhelmed by occasional levee breaks or flooding.

By early 1863, Milliken’s Bend had become one of several Louisiana staging areas for the Union Army as General U.S. Grant gathered his forces and made plans for the spring campaign against Vicksburg.

Today, Milliken’s Bend is gone – washed away in a flood in the early 20th century. Its story is all but forgotten.

Former site of Milliken's Bend

Former site of Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana, yellow dot at upper right.
Tallulah is community at lower left, under the compass.
Mississippi River is at upper right corner.
(some color enhancements have been made to the original)


Where is Milliken’s Bend? — 12 Comments

  1. Thank you guys for creating this website, I am elated to learn of my rich history which is the untold story of America. Do you have an enhanced jpeg copy of the picture that displayed here?

    • Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you find the website helpful and interesting. If you’re talking about images of the maps, if you click on the map itself, it should take you to the resource where I got it. If instead you are referring to the image of the battle which appears on the header of the website, that image came from the Library of Congress website:
      It is a sketch from Harper’s Weekly illustrated newspaper, and appeared on July 4, 1863.

  2. Why was this area called “Milliken”? Just wondered, since my wife’s great great great ancestor’s name was a Milliken. Thanks :)

    • Sevier’s work is very good. It was suspected by G.T. Ridlon that John Milliken was the grandson of Charles Milliken of the Connaught Province in Ireland. John is said to have come to the area having done early survey work in Kentucky. He definitely did survey work in the Madison Parish area. He was granted several federal land patents as well.

      As best as I can determine, John only had one child a daughter who married John Porter Parker and one of their sons was John Milliken Parker (the future governor). The Parker family were very heavily involved in the cotton business in New Orleans as well.

      If your wife is from the same Milliken line then she and I are cousins. You should be aware that there was also another line of Millikens near New Orleans that grew cotton and sugar cane becoming very financially secure. I don’t think they are related, but I have not traced their ancestry back (yet).

      Please feel free to contact me.

    • Wow – Thanks for sharing this report and the video, Kevin (too bad it was so windy). Yikes! on the bone. Please do stay in touch if you do any more work in that area!

  3. Some friends and I were considering visiting this area to search for Civil War relics. We thought the treeline just north of Milliken’s Bend along the river may be a good place to find items from Union campsites? Would you have any recommendation on a specific area to search?

    • Reagan – you may want to contact Kevin Strahan, above, who has done some searching in the area. I am generally, but not specifically, familiar with the area, so I can’t give you concrete advise.
      However, I can tell you that Milliken’s Bend was a major, huge, supply and troop depot early in 1863, with at least a division of Union troops there… and possibly more. There were two hospitals there, as well. Given the nature of the river, I would think that probably anywhere you search – especially perhaps slightly *south* of the old site (due to river flow) might be productive, as anything that didn’t wash all the way to Natchez or the Gulf (who knows?) might have washed “slightly” downstream. I would think that chances are equal about whether you might find anything or not, just because of the many floods and overflows and channel changes.
      It might also be wise to reach out to the Hermione House Museum in Tallulah. http://www.knoe.com/home/headlines/Museum-Mysteries-The-Hermione-Museum-301291241.html They are an excellent source of local history, and its possible that they might be able to tell you more about where finds have been made in the past and/or local landowners who are amenable to relic hunters. Also – because these are levees right on the Mississippi, I don’t know what, if any role the Corps of Engineers might play in any efforts to get permission.
      Best of luck, and would love to hear a report if you do this. Thanks for stopping by the website.

  4. NOTICE: Many comments which were previously on this page have now been MOVED to the appropriate section of the Descendants Pages: http://www.millikensbend.com/descendents-pages/ . Comments which focus on the geographical aspects of Milliken’s Bend have remained.
    If you have comments or inquiries about individual people associated with the Milliken’s Bend story, please comment in the appropriate section of this website. Thank you.

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