The fate of President Lincoln is universally known, but the fate of Confederate President Jefferson Davis is decidedly less well known. Yet, as fate would have it, the circumstances of his capture remained controversial for several decades.
After escaping Richmond in April, Confederate officials stayed on the run. President Davis held a meeting of his Cabinet in Georgia in early May, 1865, in which he officially dissolved the Confederate government. However, Davis still hoped to escape federal authorities.
Davis’ luck ran out on May 10, 1865, in Irwinville, Georgia, when he and his family were spotted. While attempting to run, Davis slung his wife’s overcoat over his shoulders. But in the North, Davis was portrayed as attempting to disguise himself as a woman to avoid capture. Publications gladly ran cartoons depicting Davis in dresses and women’s attire.
Davis was eventually imprisoned at a fort in Virginia and accused of treason and planning to assassinate Lincoln. Despite these serious charges, Davis spent only two years in prison before being released. For the rest of his life, Davis never requested an official pardon.
After the war, W.T. Withall wrote an account of the capture of Davis that became part of the well known Southern Historical Society publication. This edition is specially formatted with images of Davis and depictions of his capture.
|Publisher:||Charles River Editors|
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