The stories abound about the capture of the President of the Confederate States of America. I have always been a bit fascinated by the fact that there was a Confederate President and that he even had his own Whitehouse, in fact there were two of them over the duration of the war. We have been to the one in Montgomery, but not the one in Virginia. Several times we have driven past signs declaring the capture sight was nearby, but never had a chance to stop until our last family trip when we dragged my son and his wife to this historic place.
The site is outside the small own of Irwinville, Georgia. The capture happened after Lee had surrendered and President Lincoln’s assassination. Both the north and the south were in chaos.
Davis is a fascinating man. He was born in Kentucky and went to Transylvania College in Lexington, KY and also attended West Point. His first wife was President Zachary Taylor’s daughter Sarah who died a scant three months after their marriage from a fever.
Davis married again to Varina Howell and they had six children.He served the Union a Senator, but also as the Secretary of War under President Franklin Pierce. He was serving as a Senator when on February 18, 1861 he took oath of office as the President of the Confederacy.
Many from his cabinent had resigned by the time he was caputured. The war by many was considered over when Lee surrendered to Grant, however, Davis along with his family was attempting to reach a group of Confederate solders when he was captured on May 10, 1865 by Lieutenant Colonial Benjamin D. Pritchard.
Rumors that he was wearing women’s clothing when capured are untrue according to the information we heard at the museum. Davis was taken to Fortress Monroe Virginia where he was held as a prisoner for two years. He never had a trial. He was released then he and his family traveled to Europe and Canada before he retired to Biloxi to write his memoirs. This is a lovely home that we have toured and worth a visit as well.
This stop answered a lot of questions and was interesting. After his death in 1889 at the age of 81, he was buried in Richmond Virginia’s Hollywood Cemetery. I find it interesting that while in prision his citizenship was revoked and it was President Jimmy Carter that reinsated it in 1978 during his presidency.
The site is located at 338 Jeff Davis Park Rd., Fitzgerald, GA 31750. Call 229-831-2335 for details.