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.