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KF5JRV > TODAY    10.05.19 13:30l 45 Lines 2266 Bytes #1 (0) @ WW
BID : 36046_KF5JRV
Subj: Today in History - May 10
Sent: 190510/1125Z 36046@KF5JRV.#NWAR.AR.USA.NA BPQ6.0.18

Jefferson Davis, president of the fallen Confederate government, is
captured with his wife and entourage near Irwinville, Georgia, by a
detachment of Union General James H. Wilson’s cavalry.

On April 2, 1865, with the Confederate defeat at Petersburg, Virginia
imminent, General Robert E. Lee informed President Davis that he could
no longer protect Richmond and advised the Confederate government to
evacuate its capital. Davis and his cabinet fled to Danville, Virginia,
and with Robert E. Lee’s surrender on April 9, deep into the South.
Lee’s surrender of his massive Army of Northern Virginia effectively
ended the Civil War, and during the next few weeks the remaining
Confederate armies surrendered one by one. Davis was devastated by the
fall of the Confederacy. Refusing to admit defeat, he hoped to flee to a
sympathetic foreign nation such as Britain or France, and was weighing
the merits of forming a government in exile when he was arrested by a
detachment of the 4th Michigan Cavalry.

A certain amount of controversy surrounds his capture, as Davis was
wearing his wife’s black shawl when the Union troops cornered him. The
Northern press ridiculed him as a coward, alleging that he had disguised
himself as a woman in an ill-fated attempt to escape. However, Davis,
and especially his wife, Varina, maintained that he was ill and that
Varina had lent him her shawl to keep his health up during their
difficult journey.

Imprisoned for two years at Fort Monroe, Virginia, Davis was indicted
for treason, but was never tried–the federal government feared that
Davis would be able prove to a jury that the Southern secession of 1860
to 1861 was legal. Varina worked determinedly to secure his freedom, and
in May 1867 Jefferson Davis was released on bail, with several wealthy
Northerners helping him pay for his freedom.

After a number of unsuccessful business ventures, he retired to
Beauvoir, his home near Biloxi, Mississippi, and began writing his
two-volume memoir The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government
(1881). He died in 1889 and was buried at New Orleans; four years later,
his body was moved to its permanent resting spot in Richmond, Virginia.

73 de Scott KF5JRV


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