Mural Of Raymond

New Raymond Markers

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Mural Dedication

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Press Release –  April 1, 2024

Cannon Live-Firing & Living History Event at Raymond

Friends of Raymond, a non-profit preservation group, will sponsor a cannon live-firing and living history program at 10 am and again at 1 pm on Saturday, April 13, at the Raymond Military Park Walking Trail, located 1 ½ miles south of Raymond on Port Gibson Street, ¼ mile past Raymond High School on Hwy 18.  Historians Parker Hills and Terry Winschel will give brief outdoor presentations on the history of the artillery battery, followed by living history demonstrations and a cannon live firing by gunners of Battery D, 1st Illinois Light Artillery, better known as McAllister’s Battery.

Uniquely, the cannon that will be fired is an original bronze 24-pounder gun first saw service over 160 years ago at the Battle of Shiloh in April of 1862, and then in the Vicksburg Campaign in the spring and summer of 1863, including the Battle of Raymond, fought on May 12, 1863.   The gun is normally on display in the Starkville Civil War Arsenal, a private museum, but for this historical event it will be escorted to Raymond by a score of living historians, including the gun’s owner, Duffy Neubauer of Starkville.  This will be the first time that this gun has returned to the Raymond battlefield since 1863, so the event will be history in the making.

During the event a raffle will be held, with the winner having the historic opportunity to pull the lanyard to fire this gun for the first time in 161 years on the Raymond battlefield.  The raffle will be entirely volunteer, with the proceeds going to battlefield preservation.  Meanwhile, the public is invited to attend this event free of charge.

Press Release  February 3, 2024

History Comes Full Circle on the Raymond Battlefield

Parker Hills

One hundred and sixty-one years ago, in the center of a corn field bordering the muddy waters of Fourteenmile Creek two miles southwest of the sleepy village of Raymond, twenty-two Federal cannon belched fire and iron for five frantic hours against three Confederate guns positioned on a hillside a half mile to their front.  And while the red-hot shells shrieked over the heretofore bucolic fields, over 14,000 soldiers in blue and gray blasted their rifle-muskets at one another across the ravine-like banks of the creek. 

Fast-forward to 2024, and on Saturday, April 13,  for the first time after over a century-and-a-half has expired, one of those original Federal guns will again belch fire and split the air over the Raymond battlefield.  The story of this gun is, in modern parlance, fantastical, so here goes. 

Read More Here

Welcome To Friends Of Raymond

Friends of Raymond is an all-volunteer organization founded in 1998 to preserve historic sites around the beautiful town of Raymond, Mississippi. We are governed by a nine-member Board of Directors elected by the FOR membership, and all work is done by volunteers – there is no paid staff or administrative costs that are not used to directly support the organization.

Our group has purchased, preserved, and provided historical interpretation for the original site of the Battle of Raymond, which was an important part of General Ulysses S. Grant’s 1862 Vicksburg campaign during the Civil War.

The mission of the FOR goes beyond battlefield preservation. As an organization, we are committed to working with the City of Raymond and other local entities to preserve our rich local history. Currently, the FOR is coordinating a community-wide effort to create a mural for downtown Raymond showcasing the rich history of the square and downtown area.

The Friends of Raymond are also committed to historical education and preservation.

We work closely with the City of Raymond to coordinate historic preservation efforts for this beautiful and historic area. All work depends completely on memberships, donations, and sponsors.

We invite you to join Friends of Raymond as we seek to preserve this important piece of Mississippi history for the education of visitors from around the world.

Visit our Donate page for more information about Friends of Raymond memberships, donations, stock donations, and sponsorships.

Raymond, Then and Now MuralMural Dedication

Over 100 people turned out for the dedication of the Raymond, Then and Now Mural in the heart of downtown Raymond.

There was food, fun, fellowship, the national anthem sung by Raymond native Allen Harris, and great music by Bill Ellison, Bonnie Brown and Jeff Perkins.

It was a joyous celebration of what makes living in Raymond so special!  More Information Here

Significant Gift Bequeathed to Friends of Raymond

Raymond native Mary Will McKenzie, a world-renowned occupational therapist and educator, recently bequeathed a significant gift to the Friends of Raymond.

“We were so honored that Miss McKenzie remembered Friends of Raymond in such a generous and meaningful way,” said Friends of Raymond President Eric Bobo. “Her parents, Mary and W.M. “Mac” McKenzie, were beloved educators in this area.”

Read More about Ms McKenzie

Our History

Click on the links below for more infomation:

  • A list of all former and present  board members can be found (Here)
  • Our beginnings:  Founders & the Formation of Friends of Raymond (History)
  • FOR Timeline: Parker Hills talks about the acquisition of the battlefield properties, the acquisitions of the cannons, and the generosity of others. (History)
  • Ribbon Cutting for the Raymond Battlefield (History)
  • Our Historic Rail Fence (History)
  • A Founder’s Monument: Ride With Generals (History)
  • Transferring ownership of the Battlefields to the Vicksburg Military Park (History)
  • Walking Trails and Other Maps – (Maps)
  • “Twilight Tour” on the Raymond Battlefield (History)
  • Parker Hills: The Guns of Raymond (History)
  • Parker Hills: “Battlefield Detectives” Dig for Clues (History)
  • Significance of Miles Tract (History)


So what is next for Friends of Raymond:

Watch for a listing of Battlefield improvements, new signage for the walking trail, and additional historic makers! Details coming soon!!!

“Raymond, Then and Now” mural
on our historic town square

The mission of the FOR goes beyond battlefield preservation. As an organization, we are committed to working with the City of Raymond and other local entities to preserve our rich local history. Currently, the FOR is coordinating a community-wide effort to create a mural for downtown Raymond showcasing the rich history of the square and downtown area.

A dedication and other exciting activities are planned upon the completion of this beautiful addition to our town square.

Click Here to go to our Interactive Online Mural Page where photos can be shared, web links to photographic collections can be shared, create a way for the public to share memories, stories, and other photos.


What next..

  • Friends of Raymond intends to do a major project each year supporting and enhancing the history, liveability and spirit of the community.
  • We welcome your input! Please submit your ideas for projects to [email protected]
  • Membership information is on the website, and new members are welcomed!(Membership)
  • Friends of Raymond will host quarterly gatherings at various history venues in the area so members old and new can connect and come up with creative ideas to enhance the community, and celebrate Raymond’s history.
  • Educational programs, once a mainstay of Friends of Raymond, will be reinstated and publicized to promote attendance.
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