The most famous story about Rodney comes from the Civil War. After the fall of Vicksburg, the Union Navy was left in charge of the Mississippi River. The gunboat Rattler was stationed in front of Rodney to be sure nothing strange went on in this important little town. One of the favorite pastimes of the men on board was to line the decks on Sunday mornings and watch the southern belles as they paraded into church.
The admiral had left strict orders that no one was to leave the ship, but on September 12, 1863, 24 of the sailors, including a lieutenant and captain, could stand it no more. Just before services began at the Presbyterian church, they came in, dressed in their best uniforms, and quietly seated themselves in the congregation. As the second hymn was being sung, a Lt. Allen of the Confederate Cavalry walked up the aisle to the pulpit. Apologizing to the Reverend Baker, he turned and announced his men had surrounded the building and demanded the Yankee sailors surrender. One of the Yankee sailors jumped behind a door and took a shot at Lt. Allen. General melee' broke out and most of the citizens dove under their pews for safety. One Yankee sailor hid in the undergarments of his local southern girlfriend. One older lady, however, would not run. She stood on her pew and shouted "Glory to God!" A skeleton crew had remained on board the Rattler, and when they heard the commotion began firing their guns at the church. The church and four homes were hit.
When the dust cleared, the Rebels had taken 17 prisoners, including the lieutenant and captain. Ordinarily, the Yankees would have burned down the town, but Lt. Allen sent word stating that "the people of Rodney were in no way responsible for what my men have done, and if a solitary shell is thrown into the town, I will proceed to hang my prisoners." The crew of the Rattler became the laughingstock of the nation, for it was the first time in history a small squad of cavalry captured the crew of an ironclad gunboat.
Wikipedia adds this...
(Local history tells us that the cannon ball that is imbedded very high up in the front of the Church was placed there many years later. The original one had fallen out.)
To eliminate all Confederate presence in Rodney, Union infantrymen landed in Rodney and plundered almost every house in town. Citizens of Rodney later formed Company D. 22nd Mississippi infantry to fight against the Union army.