A Long Shadow: Jefferson Davis and the Final Days of the Confederacy

By Michael B. Ballard | Go to book overview

THREE

We'll Fight It Out to the Mississippi River

IN THE PRESIDENTIAL CAR "silence reigned over the fugitives" as the train carrying the Confederate government crawled slowly toward Danville. Stephen Mallory described his colleagues. John Reagan was "silent and somber, his eyes as bright and glistening as beads, but evidently seeing nothing around them." He "sat chewing and ruminating in evident perplexity" as he whittled on a stick. George Trenholm, suffering from neuralgia, worried over the Treasury, "a very troublesome elephant," while his wife tried to comfort him. The irrepressible Judah Benjamin interrupted the quiet with hopeful talk of "other great national causes which had been redeemed from far gloomier circumstances." President Davis's staff members John Taylor Wood and William Preston Johnston sat silent, but Francis Lubbock recounted an endless supply of Texas stories in "a style earnest and demonstrative." Mallory himself reflected on his naval vessels, already in flames on the James River. 1

Jefferson Davis displayed a mixture of emotions. Crowds waited at all the stops, and everyone wanted to see, speak to, and shake hands with the president. He maintained a "bold front" and spoke encouragingly to seas of anxious faces. At one stop during the morning hours of 3 April a waiting crowd

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A Long Shadow: Jefferson Davis and the Final Days of the Confederacy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • One - The Old Story of the Sick Lion 3
  • Two - The Scream and Rumble of the Cars 34
  • Three - We'll Fight It Out to the Mississippi River 52
  • Four - Much Depended on These Generals 74
  • Five - Unseated but not Unthroned 93
  • Six - Walking in a Dream 117
  • Seven - Old Enmities Were Forgotten 149
  • Bibliography 178
  • Index 195
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