Monday, May 10, 2010

The Last Days Of A President

Jefferson Davis’ last day as the President of the Confederacy was May 10th 1865.

With General Ulysses S Grant in place to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond Virginia, Jefferson Davis headed for Danville Virginia April 3rd 1865. Along with his Confederate Cabinet Davis issued his last proclamation as the Confederate President then got on the Richmond and Danville Railroad and went south to Greensboro North Carolina. He received Robert E Lee’s letter declaring his surrender April 12th 1865. Davis met with his Cabinet on May 5th 1865 for the last time in Washington Georgia and adjourned the Confederacy’s activities.

Davis was captured in Irwinville Georgia on May 10th 1865. As he was trying to escape he tossed on his wife Varina Davis’ overcoat over his shoulders, leading to the stories and cartoons of him trying to hide in women’s clothes. Members of the 1st Wisconsin and 4th Michigan Cavalry took him prisoner. On May 19th 1865 he was placed in prison at Fort Monroe Virginia, where he would held on charges of treason for two years. He would be released on a bail of $100,000 which was posted by people north and south, including Cornelius Vanderbilt and Horace Greeley. The prosecution of Davis’ case was dropped February 1869.

Some other reading on this subject on the web
The Capture of Jefferson Davis