Written by: Jeff Rent
Case Filed: 5/16/03 - Edwards, Mississippi
Executive Producer: Rick Garner
Tucked behind 200-year-old magnolia trees lies the Yeiser House. Built in 1832, it's a house full of history going back to the Civil War. The story and events at this house actually started several hundred yards down the road on May 16, 1863, during the Battle for Champion's Hill and a little known Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman who was shot.
Historian DeAnna Thompson-Blailock says, "If it was a sniper, (he was wounded) in the throat. And due to the blood pattern where he bled to death in the Yeiser house, it would seem like a sniper shot because of the blood pattern on the floor."
After being shot, General Tilghman was taken to the Yeiser, which was being used as a field hospital. There, in one corner of a front bedroom, Tilghman bled to death.
Some accounts say past residents even tried to paint over the bloodstain, but it kept reappearing. Blood from one of the Civil War's most violent battles. Many historians consider the Battle of Champion's Hill to be not only the decisive engagement of the Vicksburg Campaign but one of the most important battles in the Civil War.
We wanted to know more about this old plantation, so we enlisted the help of two different psychics and asked them to give us their impressions of the Yeiser house. Neither psychic was told anything about the location or its history which occurred there.
Our first psychic is Tina Michelle from West Virginia. She notices something outside the room where the general died. She describes an older man that had been dishonored and will not leave the outside of the house., near a window.
Inside the impressions are stronger. Tina is told by a voice that we cannot hear to, "Get out of my house."
Our next psychic is Lysa Mateu from California. Mateu determines that the home has many secrets, that things are not as old as they seem, and people are missing. She sees in her mind bones, not grisly, however. This would make sense as the Yeiser's property would likely have a limb pit, where limbs removed from surgery would have been buried.
Our psychics concluded this wasn't what they would call a traditional haunting, but the impressions they got would certainly allow us to file the Yeiser house under the unexplained.
Although accounts differ, some historians believe that General Grant following his victory at Champion's Hill spent the night in the room where Brigadier General Tilghman died.
Historical Facts on Yeiser (Hiawatha Plantation)
thanks to Rebecca Drake
Hiawatha is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. C.C. Floyd of Edwards and has been placed on the National Register for Historic Places. The house was once a part of a large plantation originally bought by Isham Palmer in 1827. The land was in his possession for twenty years, so it is presumed that Hiawatha was built at some point during that time. During the War Between the States, Mr. Charles Allen, who maintained possession until 1869, owned the plantation. After the Battle of Champion Hill, the homes served as a hospital for wounded Confederate soldiers.
A letter, written by Elizabeth (Bettye) Gervin Ray, whose family once occupied the neighboring Coker House briefly mentions Hiawatha: "Someone wrote a piece for the Campe Chase Gazette claiming the Coker House is the only existing Civil War structure in the area. No way! The Floyd's plantation - Hiawatha - is far older than and was already an established plantation when Mr. Coker built 'Greenwood' for his wife. The front bedroom in Hiawatha - the one to the left as you go in - is probably the one Grant slept in after the battle, as it was always the fancy room of the 'great room'. My mama was petrified of that room and would never enter it after dark! She was scared of the bloodstains on the floor."
In 1869, four years after the war, the property was sold to Mr. Smith and Mr. Yeiser. Some people in Edwards still refer to the home as "The Yeiser House," because it was in their possession for twenty-one years. Mr. A.J. Lewis, a citizen of Edwards and the first millionaire of Hinds County, purchased the plantation in 1890.
Tina Michelle's Official Site
Tina Michelle's Field Reports of Yeiser House
Lysa Mateu's Official Site