Commander in Chief
More then any individual of his time, Jefferson Davis left a legacy, which inevitably alters the constitutional and legal perception as to the Surrender of our Confederate Armies; Jefferson Davis served as our first and thus far the only President, Confederate States of America. The error made by the conqueror was in ignoring him, having never sought him out as a signatory to the surrender documents; an error which helped set the stage for the rebirth of the modern Confederate Cause.
.Jefferson Davis as President of the Confederacy was loyal to his presidential oath, not only during the war years, but also throughout the remainder of his life after the war. He refused to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States Government, as did the vast majority, thus being perceived as a man without a country. One cannot read his writings in an unbiased and truthful manner without coming away with an awareness that he knew the status of the Confederate States of America was and remains unto this day that of an occupied nation; that in a yet future generation, the Confederate Cause would be reborn and finish the work.
Constitutionally speaking, since no further Confederate States Elections were ever held, no successor was there fore chosen by the electorate, causing that he remained President, Confederate States of America until his death in 1889, not of a nation disbanded, but of a nation held under occupation, subjugation and cultural genocide. His steadfastness and loyalty to the cause, has left open unto us a legitimate claim, not only to our Confederate history, heritage and culture, but also to the nationhood of the Confederate States of America.
Had Jefferson Davis acted in any other manner then the course he chose for himself, for the sake of honor as well as the justice of our cause, not only during the closing days of the war itself, but also for the remaining years of his life. He would have in effect sold our birthright in order regain his former prewar status, but for a short season.
Jefferson Davis was born June 3, 1808, in Christian county, Kentucky. His grandfather was a colonist from Wales, living in Virginia and Maryland. His father, Samuel Emory Davis, and his uncles, were all Revolutionary soldiers in 1776. Samuel Davis served during the Revolution partly with Georgia cavalry and was also in the siege of Savannah as an officer in the infantry. He is described as a young officer of gentle and engaging address, as well as remarkable daring in battle. Three brothers of Jefferson Davis, fought in the war of 1812, two of them serving directly with Andrew Jackson, and gaining from that great soldier special mention of their gallantry in the battle of New Orleans.
Jefferson Davis was born on June 3, 1808, in Christian (now Todd) County, Kentucky, and educated at Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky.
U.S. Military Academy. Graduated 1828
Afterwards was in the frontier service.
Health forced him to resign from the army in 1835.
Fought in the Mexican War at Monterrey and Buena Vista
Wounded at Buena Vista.
On February 18, 1861, the provisional Congress of the
Confederate States made him provisional president.
US senator from Mississippi from 1835 to 1845.
US Congressman from 1845 to 1846
US Congressman from 1857 to 1861
Withdrew from the Senate in 1861 when Mississippi seceded.
On February 18, 1861, the provisional Congress of the
Confederate States made him provisional president. He was
elected to the office by popular vote the same year for a 6-year
term and was inaugurated in Richmond, Virginia, the capital
of the Confederacy, on February 22, 1862.
During the War:
Davis failed to raise sufficient money to fight the American Civil War
and could not obtain recognition and help for the Confederacy from
foreign governments. He was in constant conflict with extreme
exponents of the doctrine of states' rights, and his attempts to have high
military officers appointed by the president were opposed by the
governors of the states. The judges of state courts constantly interfered
in military matters through judicial decisions.
Davis was nevertheless responsible for the raising of the formidable
Confederate armies, the notable appointment of General Robert E.
Lee as commander of the Army of Virginia, and the encouragement
of industrial enterprise throughout the South. His zeal, energy, and
faith in the cause of the South were a source of much of the tenacity
with which the Confederacy fought the Civil War. Even in 1865
Davis still hoped the South would be able to achieve its independence,
but at last he realized defeat was imminent and fled from Richmond.
On May 10, 1865, federal troops captured him at Irwinville,
Georgia. From 1865 to 1867 he was imprisoned at Fortress Monroe,
Virginia. Davis was indicted for treason in 1866 but the next year was
released on a bond of $100,000 signed by the American newspaper
publisher Horace Greeley and other influential Northerners. In 1868
the federal government dropped the case against him. From 1870 to
1878 he engaged in a number of unsuccessful business enterprises;
and from 1878 until his death in New Orleans, on December 6, 1889,
he lived near Biloxi, Mississippi. His grave is in Richmond, Virginia.
He wrote The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government (1881).
Jefferson Davis thoughts on resignation,
loyalty, presidency and the first shots.
January 21, 1861
Today, with great sadness, I have resigned from the United States
Senate. I was afraid that it would come to this - secession.
There is no way on earth that I can fight against my home state of
Mississippi. Every state has the God given right to secession.
Mississippi seceded from the Union 12 days ago..
I am leaving tomorrow for my plantation - Briarfield - in Mississippi.
It is so beautiful there. I am looking forward to spending time with
Varina and working on our plantation. I assume, given my military
experience in the Mexican Wars, that I will be offered a position in
the newly formed Confederate Army.
Lincoln will be inaugurated President of the United States in less
than 6 weeks. Then what? What will happen? I am both anxious and
scared. Time will tell. I will write again when I reach Briarfield.
As I said to my fellow Senators upon resigning, "Mr. President and
Senators, having made the announcement which the occasion seemed to
me to require, it remains only for me to bid you a final adieu."
February 10, 1861..
I feel as if I was struck by a lightning bolt. As Varina and I worked in the
Rose Garden this morning, a messenger arrived. Here are the contents of the
letter which he presented to me:
We are directed to inform you that you are this day unanimously elected
President of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America,
and to request you to come to Montgomery immediately. "I cannot believe it.
"President Davis!" My fellow Southerners have formed a government and
found me worthy to run it. I must leave to Montgomery, Alabama tomorrow.
Montgomery is the temporary capital of our newlyfounded country. With God
on my side, I will succeed. Here I go.February 2, 1861 Well, I've been back
at my plantation (Briarfield) for nearly 8 days. How beautiful and peaceful it is
here! The weather is quite nice, considering it is February in Mississippi. Varina
looks lovelier than ever. I have enjoyed just talking to her as we work on our
garden. I see the truth in her eyes and hear it in her voice.I wonder how things
are in Washington. Lincoln takes office in a month.
Now there are 9 states that have seceded. Wow! As each day passes, I feel
more content with my decision to join the secession and remain loyal to my
home state of Mississippi. I sincerely hope that we, here in the seceded states,
can join together, and achieve our independence. It is our God given right to
be independent. I am willing to fight, even if it costs me my life, for my state
and the Southern cause.April 14, 1861 At 4:30 am on April 12, our cannons
opened fire on Fort Sumter.
Those Yankees didn't believe our warning, and now they are going to pay!
General Beauregard was magnificent; he forced the Union Army and their
leader, Major Robert Anderson, from the fort! A Southern victory already.
Rumor has it that Mr. Lincoln has now called for 75,000 volunteers.
We are now at war! I reckon that the Yankees won't want to fight and we
will end this conflict within 90 days. Virginia is now holding a convention
to vote on secession. If they join us, we are on our way to the dream.
The below has a hyperlink attached!
"We feel that our cause is just and holy; we protest solemnly in the face of mankind that we desire peace at any sacrifice save that of honor and independence; we ask no conquest, no aggrandizement, no concession of any kind from the States with which we were lately confederated; all we ask is to be let alone; that those who never held power over us shall not now attempt our subjugation by arms." --- President Jefferson Davis - 29 April 1861