A stay at the Duff Green Mansion in Vicksburg, Mississippi, is an experience you’ll never forget. I know there are a lot of historic bed and breakfasts in the area, but in this article, I’ll show you what makes Duff Green Mansion so unique and memorable.
Read more: Take a Bite of Vicksburg
Sweeping magnolia trees surround the historic three-story historic home and overlook the rose garden, courtyard, and swimming pool. The mansion’s wide front porches are enclosed by Italian iron railings, adding visible character to the grand facade.
I stayed as a guest of Visit Vicksburg. My opinions are my own.
History of the Duff Green Mansion
Built in 1856, the Duff Green Mansion was the private home of Duff and Mary Lake Green. Thanks to the booming cotton industry, they lived a lavish lifestyle and entertained guests frequently until the onset of the Civil War.
To save their home (and neighborhood) from certain destruction, Duff Green allowed it to be used as a Civil War hospital and convalescent home for Union and Confederate soldiers. Duff and Mary moved into some caves by their home, and Mary, who was pregnant then, gave birth in the war cave!
The home later served as a boy’s orphanage and a Salvation Army office before being restored to its former glamour and turned into the magnificent Vicksburg B&B it is today.
Rooms at Duff Green Mansion
There are nine guest rooms, each with a private bathroom, except the nursery, which is primarily used to expand the Duff-Green room into a suite.
There are five rooms at ground level, which is really nice for those with physical limitations (or heavy luggage). All guests receive a key to the second-floor entry to attend breakfast and enjoy the public spaces.
For ghost hunters, you’ll want to book the Dixie Room. (More on that later.) I stayed in the Camellia room, one of the first-floor rooms overlooking the rose garden, and it was charming.
The elegant period furnishings accented the sumptuous rosewood king bed, a heavenly place to rest after my 13-hour drive.
Breakfast at Duff Green Mansion
All guests have a seated breakfast at 8:30 am in the formal dining room.
The three-course breakfast starts with a fruit compote, continues with the main dish, and ends with dessert. The entree changes daily, including quiche, waffles, a cheese grits souffle, or a traditional American breakfast. Coffee, tea, water, and orange juice are served as well.
Take a History Tour of Duff Green Mansion
Guests can take a complimentary guided tour of the mansion every morning following breakfast. The tour, given by a costumed interpreter, is also available to the public for $15 a person. It’s an excellent tour, and I highly recommend it.
Our history excursion took us back in time to the lavish events once hosted within the mansion walls. It was fascinating to learn what daily life was like in the Civil War era.
We began in the entry hall with its massive 15-foot ceilings and learned why it was built that way.
The Greens opened both hallway doors to harness the breezes coming in off of the Mississippi River, but they also needed the high ceilings to collect the coal dust deposits and keep them from settling on their guests as much as possible.
The social gatherings began in the gentleman’s parlor, where they enjoyed cocktails. The ladies sipped elderberry wine, and the men enjoyed mint juleps and bourbon.
If the men wanted to smoke cigars, they’d do so out on the porch so the smell of tobacco wouldn’t permeate the ladies’ dresses.
Dinner was served in the dining room and consisted of anywhere from 6-13 courses, so dinner lasted for hours.
With their hoop skirts and corsets, the ladies barely nibbled the food so they wouldn’t be any more uncomfortable than they already were and to maintain their diminutive waists. (A 19-inch waist was considered large.)
If the evenings were formal, everyone would move into the ballroom for a night of dancing. Men and women would be on opposite sides of the room, and musicians would play in the corner.
As the ladies’ dance cards were filled, they would swing, turn, hop, and twirl around through up to 20 songs in a single dance set.
Fun fact: Legend has it that Jefferson Davis and Ulysses S. Grant danced in this ballroom.
If the evening’s event was a dinner party rather than a ball, they’d move into Mary’s parlor for an intimate dinner with music and parlor games after the grand meal.
Their extravagant lifestyle lasted seven years before the war changed everything.
The home was converted into a hospital, and the living quarters became the surgical unit. Our guide showed us the permanent bloodstains on the wood floor underneath the rug.
We also peeked inside one of the upstairs rooms to see one of the home’s two original marble fireplaces and the cannonball hole in one of the rafter beams.
And then we talked about casket corners… and ghosts.
Is the Duff Green Mansion Haunted?
While I didn’t experience anything unusual during my stay, tales of active spirits in the Duff Green Mansion abound. I’ll leave it up to you whether you believe the stories or not.
But an unfortunate number of deaths have taken place in the home…
One of the most haunted rooms appears to be the Dixie Room (former kitchen turned operating room), where permanent blood stains remain. A Confederate soldier’s ghost is regularly seen standing by the fireplace or in a rocking chair in this room.
The ghost of little Annie Green has also been seen in the home, and she sometimes tugs on the back of men’s shirts or coats as they climb the stairs.
And in the Duff Green Room (where amputated limbs were stored all the way up to the ceiling), there have been reports of tapping, windows being opened, and maniacal rocking chair movement in the adjoining Nursery.
If you love Ghost Hunters, you may want to check out their YouTube videos to see what happened when they visited Duff Green Mansion.
Whether you visit the Duff Green Mansion for its southern charm, history, or haunted happenings, you’ll thoroughly enjoy your stay at this magnificent Vicksburg bed and breakfast.
Duff Green Mansion
1114 First East Street
Vicksburg, MS 39180
Parking – Free off-street parking is available.
Check-in – Keys are located in a lockbox with a code provided by email. You’ll receive a key to your room and a key to the main house, where you’ll enjoy breakfast. The house remains locked at all times. Check-in is at 3 pm, and check-out time is 11 am.
Pets – The Duff Green Mansion is pet-friendly (as is Vicksburg).
WiFi – Free WiFi is available.
Current owner – Harley Caldwell
Check out this post on some of the best restaurants in Vicksburg!