Winston Guards#2643 MS Division United Daughters of Confederacy met in the Flamingo Room at Lake Tiak O Khata. To honor the birthdays of General Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the table held Mr. Scott Griffith of Houston, MS.
He presented a program of “Rodney, MS”. Rodney was originally settled in 1763 by the French. It is named “Petit Gouffie” which means “Little Gulf”. It was later named in 1828 in honor of Judge Thomas Rodney. Rodney was the largest port on the Mississippi River in the 150’s. it is located in Jefferson County about thirty miles northeast of Natchez. In 1828 Rodney proper was three votes short of becoming territorial capital. Rodney church, which for years has been under the care of the MS Division UDC, was built in 1832. it suffered two fires one in 1853 and one in 1869.
In 1863 there were extensive Confederate re-enforcements in Natchez and Vicksburg, but Rodney was not well protected. The Rattler, a Union ironclad was stationed at Rodney. The admiral of the ship had left strict orders that the sailors were not to leave the ship, but a Union sympathizer invited them to go to church. On September 12, 163 some of the officers and sailors left the ship to sneak into church. The Confederate surrounded the church as results a melee broke out and the remaining sailors on the Rattler shelled the Rodney church and several houses. Confederates took seventeen Union prisoners.
Rodney had several notable visitors including Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay and Zachary Taylor. Zachary Taylor purchased Cypress grove Plantation in 1842. His daughter Sarah met and eloped with Jefferson Davis. She dies three months later. Rodney’s most notable resident was Dr. Haller Nutt. He developed a new strain of cotton “Egypto- Mexican” which was more resistant to rot and improved the cotton gin. He started building Longwood in Natchez, but the onset of the War Between the States stopped construction. It was never completed.
Scott is involved with a non-profit organization that is working to preserve Rodney and other historic sites. He gave us a brief insight into The Bates House in Houston, MS. it is the only Exotic Greek Revival Architecture in Mississippi.
At the conclusion of the program, Connie Faye Estes opened our business meeting the ritual, pledges and songs and at the conclusion of our business, we adjourned by holding hands and singing “Bless Be The Tie That Binds”.