Jefferson Davis, Unconquerable Heart

By Felicity Allen | Go to book overview

I
Capture

As the tug bore him away from the ship, he stood with bared head between the files of undersized German and other foreign soldiers on either side of him, and as we looked, as we thought, our last upon his stately form and knightly bearing, he seemed a man of another and higher race, upon whom “shame would not dare to sit.”! 1

To one of the enemies waiting ashore, he appears “much wasted and very haggard”; to another, he seems to bear himself “with a haughty attitude.” The latter is an assistant secretary of war for the United States, Charles A. Dana. By the death date of the man now his prisoner, Dana will have come to regard him as a “majestic soul” who “bore defeat and humiliation in the high Roman fashion.” The other enemy is Bvt. Lt. Col. John J. Craven, M.D. He will attend the already ailing captive for seven months and prove, in the end, a friend. 2

The man so variously looked upon is Jefferson Davis, until twelve days before, president of the Confederate States of America. The ship from which he is being borne away this May 22, 1865, is the William P. Clyde, an oceangoing, though barely seaworthy, side-wheeler. Escorted by the warship Tuscarora, it has brought Confederate prisoners up the coast from Port Royal, South Carolina, to Hampton Roads, Virginia. The “foreign soldiers” wear the uniform of the United States of America. They are a few of the thousands in the Northern army, many recruited surreptitiously abroad. 3 At Andersonville, Georgia, so many prisoners cannot speakEnglish that the Catholic priest has had to send for an interpreter. Davis conveyed an informal protest to Pope Pius IX about this covert recruitment in Catholic regions of Europe. The pope “appeared to be touched” and “intimated … a salutary remedy, ” but no more came of it. 4

-1-

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Jefferson Davis, Unconquerable Heart
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Editorial Note xix
  • Jefferson Davis - Unconquerable Heart *
  • I - Capture 1
  • II - Home 31
  • III - School 45
  • IV - Army 57
  • V - Marriage 83
  • VI - Plantation and Politics 111
  • VII - Fame 137
  • VIII - United States Senator 159
  • IX - Victory in Defeat 184
  • X - War Department Days 202
  • XI - Struggles for Health and the South 225
  • XII - President 266
  • XIII - The Chief Executive 292
  • XIV - Commander in Chief 317
  • XV - The Year of Our Lord 1863 344
  • XVI - Double-Quick Downhill 372
  • XVII - Prisoners 412
  • XVIII - An Unseen Hand 434
  • XIX - Varina 461
  • XX - Sad Wandering 488
  • XXI - The Cause 511
  • XXII - The Hero 534
  • XXIII - Afterward 560
  • Appendix A - J. E. Johnston to J. Davis, on Rank 577
  • Appendix B - Proclamations by Davis for Days of Prayer 582
  • Appendix C - Devotional Material Used by Davis in Prison 584
  • Preface to the Notes 587
  • Notes 593
  • Select Bibliography 733
  • Index 761
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