American Civil War in the News is a edited review of American Civil War related news and articles, providing collection of hand-picked 1861-1865 era history.

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Jefferson Davis - President of Confederate States

Latest hand-picked Civil War news and articles.

Confederate leader President Jefferson's mansion rises again
It was 3 years ago when Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, and people are still trying to piece together their lives and homes. One of those homes is the post-Civil War residence of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Biloxi, Miss. Artists Phillip Ward and Linda Croxson are working to restore the Beauvoir mansion, which Davis purchased in 1878 and where he lived until his death in 1889. They use slow historic research to determine how Beauvoir looked 150 years ago.

Union captain hunted Jefferson Davis dressed in Confederate uniform
A Civil War captain played a key role in the capture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and aided to end to the war. This is the story of Captain Joseph Amasa Olds Yeoman, according to files from the Fayette County Historical Society: On May 10, 1865, patrols of the 1st Wisconsin and 4th Michigan Cavalry encircled Jefferson Davis in Irvinsville. Chasing the fleeing President was a platoon of the Union's 1st Ohio Cavalry dressed in Confederate uniforms. 3 days before Davis was caught, 22 men reported to General James H. Wilson the exact route of the Rebel leader. The spies were led by Yeoman.

Recreating Confederate History: great, great grandson of Jefferson Davis   (Article no longer available from the original source)
As part of the 200th commemoration of Jefferson Davis, the only president of the Confederacy, his great, great grandson traveled to the Alabama state Capitol in Montgomery to participate in a swearing in ceremony. It was the same spot Bertram Hayes-Davis' ancestor stood. The swearing in happened on the same Bible as in 1861. It was held by Leonidas Milton Leathers III, the great, great grandson of Howell Cobb, who held it in 1861. Hayes-Davis says more should be known about his great, great grandfather before passing judgement on the man who led the Confederacy. Includes video.

Jefferson Davis was devoted to the cause of the Confederacy
I am going to close listing of Heroes of the Confederacy with Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States, and his wife, Varina. His own preference was that he be named the leader of the military forces of the new nation. He had fought with some distinction in the Mexican War. By Feb 1861, he was president of the new republic, with all the qualifications to succeed. But he was doomed to fail: The Confederate Constitution was a rope around his neck. It never did decide whether the central government or the individual states held primacy. As a result, the states felt free to interpret the constitution as they saw fit.

Did the Confederates and Jefferson Davis have a master plan
The Union had its modified Anaconda plan, but did the Confederate States of America have a master strategy? Yes, Confederate President Jefferson Davis had one key strategy, but many top generals had others that put them in conflict with Davis. He patterned his plan after George Washington and the American Revolution. It was a strategy of attrition designed to wear down the better equipped and more numerous Union troops, like Washington did with the British. Many of the Southern military leaders had ties to the Revolutionary War. Robert E. Lee was the son of Revolutionary War hero `Light Horse` Harry Lee.

First Lady of the Confederacy -- Reluctant but beloved symbol
Varina Howell married to Jefferson Davis in February 1845 in Natchez. She was 19 years old, and he was 36. Davis -- planter, soldier, politician -- was a handsome, commanding man whom Varina claimed to love right up to his death in 1889, but he was also demanding and headstrong. He accepted without question every clause of the Southern code, and he expected his wife to honor that code as well. He "expected her to abide by his wishes, which he said was demanded by her 'duties as a wife,' " and he "did not see marriage as a partnership." Varina by contrast "wanted a reciprocal relationship... in which husband and wife both had obligations."

Jefferson Davis: Confederacy's first and only president   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Jefferson Davis was remembered as a soldier, scholar and statesman who never wavered in his commitment to the Confederate States of America. Davis, who was the Confederacy's first and only president, was such a good organizer that he outdid himself years before the Civil War by improving the Union army to the extent that, one day, it would crush the Rebel army he commanded. "He made the United States Army a professional army which four years later would come and destroy his nation." After the war ended, Davis was captured in Georgia. He was imprisoned and, at one point, placed in irons.

Ornate silver watch belonged to the Confederate President
Did their ornate silver watch once tick in the pocket of Confederate President Jefferson Davis? A Medford couple, who paid a bundle for it at auction, believe it did and soon will head south to put it on display at the First White House of the Confederacy in Montgomery. The watch's authenticity hangs on the tale of a cobbler, Robert Balfour, where Davis fled when bailed out of a Virginia prison two years after the Civil War. Davis was destitute and bartered the watch for a new pair of boots so goes the story, which was documented by descendants in the ensuing 140 years but not by Davis himself.

Dixie Betrayed: How the South Really Lost the Civil War [book review]
David Eicher argues that many forces that defeated the Confederacy were internal. (Q) You call Jefferson Davis' meddling in the Confederate War Department "legendary." (A) Jefferson Davis was an expert. He had been secretary of war. He micromanaged everything. By contrast, Lincoln began with almost no war experience, having been a soldier in the Black Hawk War. He knew nothing about military tactics or strategy, but Lincoln learned. He maneuvered the right people into control with a different system that included such innovations as a War Board of hand-picked people he trusted. He went through generals in chief until he got to one he trusted, U.S. Grant.