Jefferson Davis last official act -- running away in his wife's dress, after telling her to get herself killed. 

   Yes, it was. She said so. In writing. 





Union soldiers reported -- matter of factly - -that Davis wore a dress when they caught him.    Strange indeed, if they were going to smear him for wearing a dress, that the barely mentioned it, in their report.



Yes, they reported he wore a dress, and reported they allowed him to take the dress off.  Hilariously, his wife emerged from the tent (they went into tent for him to change) Varina emerged from the tent wearing the dress Davis himself just took off!!

For 150 years, Southern "historians" have claimed that was slander of a brave honorable man.

Does a brave honorable man tell his wife to get herself killed, then run away in her dress?

Uh - not so much.

Not just in her letter. In her book, she carefully touches on a very sensitive topic.


And there is even more to the story -- like the gold Davis took from Richmond, collected for supplies for the wounded.  That gold had been collected for wounded veterans, to buy them medicine.  Davis took that gold with him, when he fled Richmond.

Varina wrote of the gold, too, in her letter to Blairs. 

By the way, Davis had promised the citizens of Richmond he would never abandon them.  But he sure as hell did -- and that whole cowardly story of Davis departure from Richmond was later turned into the myth of heroism.   But we focus here on the dress "story". 


Davis would spend the next 26 doing everything he could to "prove" he was courageous that day.  

He wasn't. 

Davis nephew, who was also there, admitted Davis ran away, dressed as female, in his private journal, and apologized for his role in it.



Southern historians, who know exactly what happened, dare not whisper  word of truth about it.

You can't deal with this level of cowardice. Telling your wife to get herself killed?

Then run away in her dress.

And there is more.... we can't be sure, but it seems the implication was, the kids should die too. 

Davis told her the DAVIS FAMILY would be shamed if they were taken alive, according to witnesses.   He made no provisions for his children, he did not see to their safety. He did not take them with him.  When he told his wife to get herself killed, he did not say first protect the children.

Davis  did not stand by his own children to protect them.


The evidence is overwhelming -- not so much because of her letter.  She left enough "wiggle room" for him not to sound too cowardly.

Varina validated the soldier's reports.   The soldiers reported his cowardice, how she saved him, for example.   How he had on a dress, not just an errant shawl as he and others tried to claim.

Varina referred to three different female garments on him. And that he ran. And that she saved him. All things the soldiers reported matter of factly.

Even more, Varina wrote, in her own book, that he told her to get herself killed.  Southern papers never mentioned that. Union soldiers never mentioned that.  Very interesting that Varina would include such sentences.

Point is --Davis was no where near his children, as he claimed, he was running away in her dress.   Can you imagine Lincoln running away leaving his children in danger as bullets flew? Never mind the dress, would Lincoln run away leaving his wife and children in danger?

Hell no. 


Running away in a dress was actually smart, and not by itself cowardly. Others have done it -- and his followers would have been well pleased if he had escaped that way.

But telling her to get herself killed, then running away in a dress, then claiming to be heroic -- that is Jeff Davis in a  nut shell.

There is a good reason Sam Houston said Jefferson Davis was as cold as a snake, and as ambitious as Lucifer -- because he knew him.




Shelby Foote --  the guy who hustled Ken Burns into absolving any Southern leader of any blame whatsoever in the "CIVIL WAR" video series -- was practically a Davis groupie.

James McPHerson is  not much better. In fact about Davis cowardice and lies, as shown clearly in Varina's own book and letter, McPherson is worse.

That's right -- worse.  McPherson of course knows Varina's book. Of course he knows her letter. Of course he knows Davis sent killers to KS. OF course he knows Davis insisted blacks were so inferior they were not human beings, and that logic was why Davis could send those killers.

But in a book ABOUT Davis -- McPherson just pretends that entire basic thing, never happened. WTF McPherson. Really, WTF.

Not one word did Foote tell Ken Burns about Davis's war ultimatums of 1861.  Nor did he tell Burns about Davis sending 1000 Texas killers to Texas in 1856, when he was Secretary of War.  Davis authorized US Senator David Rice Atchison to lead the Texas men, Davis paid Atchison and the Texas men/

There is a lot of things about Davis, that Foote would not want you to know. The dress is just one of them.


"If you only saw him greet  his children"

Foote idiotically dismissed any comments against Davis this way "Anyone who saw President Davis greet his children, could not possibly think Davis was anything other than a deeply honorable man".

This is exactly the kind of bullshit that passes for history, regarding Southern leaders.    Seriously -- as if Foote saw Davis greet his children. 

As if that matters. Remember, Davis left his children in danger, when danger was near. Don't forget that, and don't forget, Foote  knew that. 

Foote would also tell you similar bullshit about Davis "principled position"  on states rights. 

Amazing what you can do, when you leave out facts.

And just because these hustlers - Shelby Foote is a hustler,  putting on the old charming Southern grandpa act  - have a book, should not mean much.  

Foote just hustle by omission, which is bad enough. He never mentioned, in his entire life, Southern War Ultimatums. Very basic. Can not get more basic.  Why not mention that?

 Foote also hustled by claiming Davis was a "planter" who cared about states rights.

Actually Davis quickly rejected states rights -- violently,  hated when Kansas rejected slavery, and sent (or at least paid)  1000 Texas men to Kansas under David Rice Atchison.  Foote knew that. Foote knows well Davis claim blacks were not regular human beings -- not human at all, not persons, for the constitution.

Davis actually made it clear -- himself -- in speeches and in his own book, that blacks are not persons. They are "so inferior" they can not be -- legally can not be -- persons.  They are property.

Property - not humans. That is what Davis boasted of -- in his own book -- as the justification for forcing slavery into Kansas. Kansas citizens could not keep out PROPERTY of slaves, just like they could not keep out property of a wagon, or a dog.

That is as basic as it got. Davis  himself boasted of that.  

Foote -- nor other "historians" like McPherson -- ever made that point.  And yes they know.  You can tell they know from how they parse words to get around it.


Davis was the smoothest talker/ writer of the Confederacy, which is why he became it's leader. 

 He could make anyone believe anything,  if they did not know the full facts.  His own statement about his capture is no exception..... 


When Foote, McPherson, or others write about Davis capture, they simply use Davis own explanation.  And they do the same thing on everything related to Davis -- to his motives, for the killing sprees in Kansas 1856,  for example.  

Seriously, why not just tell folks "go see Davis explanation for everything".    

His own wife, and his own nephews, written accounts show he was dressed as female, which confirm the Union soldiers accounts.

Nor was it the first time Davis was cowardly, and yet able to spin that into heroism, in the way he could spin. 


At least Davis  did have men chasing him, men with guns.  Who knows what anyone would do, in that situation.  Yes he was cowardly, but other men have done that. 

But -- who is chasing the "historians" who knowingly gloss over or misrepresent this?  

He went to great pains to insist he did not run away -- though he sure did -- and he did not have on female clothing - though he sure did.


Most people who even heard of the "dress issue"  when Davis was captured, believe it's some kind of "newspaper thing"  made up in the North to embarrass Davis.

Not so.   It was first reported in Macon Georgia papers, and it was far more than just wearing a dress and running away.

Why would Davis give such a horrible instruction to his wife -- to get herself killed.

Because he had been telling others to die for some time, from September of 1864, in his Macon speech, Davis   openly berating generals who would not attack Sherman -- though when they did, they were decimated and lost the war because of it.  

Davis loved to sound tough, to oversimplify it.  

He was trying to sound macho when he told his wife to get herself killed.  The implication was,  he too would go down fighting, as he told her to do, and told his generals to do.

But --he ran away in her dress. Leaving his children in danger.

Who said so?  SHE DID.  She gave the facts in her letter, though not to shame him, but to deflect, if she could, blame from him.  She did not intend the letter to survive, she told the Blairs to destroy it, in the letter itself.
No Davis did not have a "hoop skirt on" -- not even "petticoats",   Just his wife's dress and two other garments, both female garments, that completely covered his head and face.


This is the artist drawing of what Jeff Davis wanted people to think. Actually he was running away, dressed head to foot in women's attire. And his wife saved him. 

She was trying to explain away Davis cowardice, or take the blame for the dress.  She was not trying to embarrass him.

Davis wife, Varina,  told the Blairs, in a private letter latter donated by the Blair Family, that the Union soldiers should leave Jeff Davis alone.  





Another Mark Curran -- no bullshit blog.  


If you heard about Jefferson Davis wearing a dress, you probably heard that was "vile slander" and made up by Northern newspapers.   Uh -- not so much. 



Vile slander?

Not really. If anything, as you will see, newspapers at the time did not yet know Davis told his wife to get herself killed, then he ran away.

Davis wearing his wife's dress was the least cowardly thing he did that day.

 Varina jumped in front of Davis, held him, and told the solders, "ITS MY MOTHER".

She then told the Union soldier to shoot her -- Varina -- if he needed to shoot someone.

Her sister also told the soldiers, Davis was their mother. 

This is not what someone else claimed -- this is what his wife wrote to the Blairs. They saved her letter.   Their children donated the letter to Library of Congress 1908.

Varina protected Davis. He protected no one.

"but for the interposition of my person, [Davis] would have been shot -- I told the man to shoot me, if he please".



Varina, as always, puts the best spin on it for Davis.  She was never out to embarrass Davis.  Read her full letter to Blairs  yourself.  The Blair children donated the letter to Library of Congress (with much other memorabilia)  in 1908.

But the details -- the details! -- are astounding. She not only confirms the Union soldiers reports of the dress, she actually includes details no one has bothered to make public.  

Like the fact he told her to get herself killed.


It's important to note -- when Varina told the soldiers to leave "her mother" alone, she was literally holding Davis to her.  That information is in her letter.   The soldier was so close, all he had to do was reach over and  pull back Davis hood, which had completely covered his face.

She held him, to protect him, and said so.  The soldiers was about to shoot him. The soldier was swearing he would blow his head off, if he didn't identify himself.  That's according to her letter.

She  pulled Davis to her, and told the soldier to shoot her -- Varina -- if he needed to shoot someone, but to leave her MOTHER alone.

Varina's sister also told the soldiers that Jeff Davis was their mother.  Davis had to be so well disguised that even up close, his figures were covered, and only women's apparel showed.  The two sisters, Varina actually hold Davis, told the soldiers Davis was their mother, until a soldier reached over, and pulled back the hood covering his features.

Not a "newspaper" thing.   If the Blair children had not donated the letter, Davis would have gotten away with another falsehood.


  Told your wife to get herself killed?  

  Ran away in her dress?       

  90% desertion rates?  

Say it ain't so, Jeff!

This is as much about "historians" who know all about Jeff Davis cowardice.  At least Davis did have people chasing him  -- people with guns.

No one is chasing "historians" -- so WTF are they so afraid of telling the truth about Davis?


Varina's  sister, Mary, also told the soldiers to leave Davis alone -- it's OUR mother.  Varina did not write that into her letters, others reported  both  women told soldiers Jeff Davis was their mother.

So cowardly are "historians" -- they not only avoid telling readers his wife wrote the 20 page letter, they also never mention the Union soldiers reports.

Instead, Davis biographers, if they even mention this "story," put it in the back of the book, deep in a chapter, and dismiss it as as "Newspaper slander".







Every "Davis scholar" would know every page of her amazing book about Jefferson Davis. She refused, even in her book about Jeff Davis,  to back him up on his story of being brave and saving the children.

Ironically, Davis told her to get herself killed, while they were in a group of people. That is a fascinating story itself.....

 Apparently a dozen or more people were there -- in Richmond, waiting for Davis men to gather supplies and gold (yes gold) for the trip.  Never mind that Davis had told the people of Richmond repeatedly he would never give up Richmond --he sure would give up Richmond.   Lee left hours before, but Davis stayed until he had what he wanted -- the gold.

Southern "historians" like to pretend Davis and Lee left only when staying was futile --that the breech in the slave built earth works around Richmond meant Northern troops would be there very quickly.

Nonsense -- there was no breech, just a rumor of one. On that rumor, Lee and Davis left, they did  not evacuate the city. They did not help citizens.  The both helped themselves.  When you hear this great stuff about Lee and Davis, none of it is true, and this "dress story" is but one example. 

It was while waiting for supplies that Davis told his wife -- in public, loud enough for a group of people to hear, that she should get herself killed. 

What Varina left out of her book is the reason Davis gave -- that it would bring shame to the South, if they were taken alive. Others did report that. You should get yourself killed, because it would bring shame on the South if a Davis was captured alive, not fighting to the death.


Davis had told so many other people to fight on, to fight injured, to fight "for the cause" --  he repeatedly told his generals to attack, he essentially called Joe Johnston a coward for not attacking, never mind that Johnston was badly outnumbered.

So Davis was big on urging others to fight, to die, to attack. I know, you are not told that now, but it's exactly what was going on.  So in public, Davis told his wife to get  herself killed, because it would bring shame if she were taken alive.

The implication was - Davis too, would get himself killed.

Not so much.


Varina could have said -- at any time in the next 40 years of her life -- that he had on his own clothes, but just one shawl he put on by mistake.   She would not.

When asked -- as she sometimes was asked -- she would playfully say "Mr Davis did not wear a hoop skirt".  Everyone would laugh, and that would be that.

Hoop skirt was the formal dress women sometimes wore for dances. Of course he was not in a hoop skirt --no one seriously claimed he was. 


In  her book. Varina details. hour by hour, conversation by conversation, the events leading up to their capture -- but when she gets to the point of Davis capture, she simply ends the chapter there.   

It's as if she did write something, and then tore that page out.  

She never, ever, backed up Davis story of wearing his own clothes. She assumed,  no doubt, that the Blairs destroyed the letter -- she told them to destroy it, in the letter itself.   

Clearly, they did not.


Varina's letter has been in Library of Congress, since 1908.

The Blair children donated it.

Varina's letter was among those things donated.  She would have slapped them. No one questions it's her letter, and no one questions that's  her book.




Amazingly, one witness who showed up after Davis changed into his normal clothing, overheard Davis berating his wife mercilessly for his capture.

Never mind she just saved his life.

Never mind  he left his children in danger.

Never mind he told her to get herself killed.

He was mad at her.

Remember that. 



Union soldiers reports were much the same, in every important detail, to Varina's letter.

Pricharts report  

"Davis had on for disguise a black shawl drawn closely around his head and shoulders, through the folds of which I could see his gray hairs. He wore on his person a woman's long, black dress, which completely concealed his figure, excepting his spurred boot heels. The dress was undoubtedly Mrs. Davis' traveling dress, which she afterwards wore on her return march to Macon. "



 This is the kind of detail you just can't make up.

Varina put on the dress, that Davis took off, according to two witnesses.   

Varina was allowed to go into a tent and help Davis get out of the female attire.  When they emerged, Davis was in grey man clothes, but she had also changed -- she now wore that very dress Davis took off.  Undoubtedly to keep the soldiers from taking it as a souvenir.

It worked -- the soldiers did ransack their other belongings, for "trophies."  But they would not bother her.  She had just shown herself to be a lion, she had jumped in front of Davis and told the soldiers to shoot HER - remember?

Every Union soldier there -- every one -- spoke highly of Varina Davis the rest of their lives.

They wrote that Davis was a coward -- "pathetic" as one soldier wrote.   But about Varina?  Nothing but respect.


 IT'S MY MOTHER is what happens when students read bullshit, and repeat it. said  Davis did not run away in a dress -- he and his wife, they said, insisted he had on a shawl because he was sick. WTF?

Davis insisted he was sick? Where did he insist that?

They left out her letter, too, and of course, they never had a clue she wrote that Davis told her to get herself killed, or that she told the soldiers Davis was her mother.


This is what Museum of Confederacy shows about Davis -- they actually SHOW THE CLOTHES he claims he had on.

Do you see a gown in there of any kind? Sick gown?  Dressing gown?  Davis did not have on a single article of outward male clothing, unless you count his spurs. 

Remember -- Varina wrote at length about three different female  garments. 1.2.3.



 She even wrote essentially, well so what if he had been in "full women's attire" -- he did it because he so loved the South.

The clothing, Varina wrote was " of no cavil" -- meaning, of no importance. 

We had to look "cavil" up in the dictionary. If he had worn full women's attire, it was of no cavil.

IF Davis had on just his normal clothing, as he said, and if he stood by his children, as he said, why on earth did Varina write paragraph after paragraph  about these other clothes, and about how she grabbed him to protect him, and how he had run away?



See the problem here?

Think Lincoln would run away in a dress?

Can you imagine Lincoln leaving his children in danger?

Can you imagine Lincoln telling his wife to get herself killed before he runs away?

No -- if Lincoln was surrounded, and his children were in danger, there would have been a pile of dead soldiers around, before he got through. 

 He would not wear his wife's dress. 

He would not run away.

In fact, Lincoln was shot at, several times, while President. Once the man standing next to him, was shot in the head, died instantly. Lincoln stayed there, did not even duck. He kept watching the enemy.

And guess who knows this?  WHo knows Lincoln would have killed anyone who came near his children, would protect his wife?

All Southern historians know.  And they don't dare admit their own guy was a measure of coward almost too ghastly to admit.






No Davis apologist or biographer has dared put that letter in, nor do they tell anything honest about it, nor mention how she handled this topic in her book about Davis.  

Gee, I wonder why?

But they will quote from it -- disingenuously, so they know very well it exists.

Varina told the Blairs to destroy the letter -- clearly, they did not.  She even told them that she protected Davis, that she held Davis while that swearing Union soldier was about to shoot him. 

After Davis initial cowardice, he acted macho man for  a while. He told the Union soldiers they were lucky he did not kill them, and how they were cowards to bother a group of women and children. 



Importantly, the Union soldiers report the same basic facts -- that she jumped in front of Davis when Davis was running away. That he was in a dress  (they claim simply it was a dress) and she dared the Union soldier to shoot her -- Varina!

BTW -- those soldiers spoke with respect the rest of their lives about Varina Davis.  About Jeff Davis -- one  said he was "pathetic".


 And yes, Davis biographers, like Foote, know about the letter, and her book.  They aren't stupid.   They just don't want to show the cowardly and vile things Davis did.  

Davis had THIS picture taken
to "prove" exactly what he had on


The favorite ruse of those defending Davis is to pretend  it was a "newspaper thing,"  that  Northern newspapers made it up.

And dismiss it "casually,"  as if it's so silly, they will only bring it up in the back of a book, in a throw away paragraph.


The Union reports hardly mentioned the dress -- yes, they mentioned it, but not nearly to the extend Varina did.

Why on earth would she mention anything about the garments, if he had on his normal clothing?

Why on earth would she never -- ever -- back him up. She never did say, then or later, in public or private, that Davis wore his own clothes, but with an errant shawl.


 The black woman who sewed that dress, Elizabeth Keckley, viewed that dress in Chicago after the war.   She verified that the dress shown was indeed one she had sewn.   A little fact I found in her autobiography.

No - she did not identify that as the one Davis wore --she had no idea which dress he might have worn.  In fact, the dress she spotted, with her own style of stitching, was probably not the dress, but some other dress from the Davis belongings.  

In fact, I never knew about Davis "dress story"  at all, until I read Keckley's book about validating the dress at PT Barnum as one she had sewn.  


Clint Johnson, author of Pursuit, a book about Davis capture, had never heard of Varina's letter, or other documentation that validate Davis being in a dress.

Until I told him.

Johnson was stunned, when I presented her  letter and other documents to him.

REmember, he wrote a book, got it published, went on talk shows, smugly and repeatedly cast aspersions on those who spread "slander" about Davis. 

Johnson was certain I found something that was only recently available.  After all, Davis was his hero, he read all the books about Davis this paragon of virtue.  Such bullshit.  He never heard of Varina's letter, or the nephews's letter.  

Clinton had no clue what the "GOLD ISSUE" was either.

That shows you how glossed over the facts are - "researchers"  who write entire books on the escape and capture, never find it.

It's always there -- just no one made a big deal of it. No one wrote stuff to smear that coward. They SHOULD have, but no one ever did a tell all book on Davis.


Clint Johnson first  insisted he had copies of telegraphs sent to all Union troop leaders in the field, telling them to carry a dress with them, and then make up  a story that Davis  was caught wearing that dress.

Such bullshit. 

Later, the author, Clint Johnson, admitted he had no such telegraphs.  That's the degree to which Davis suck ups will go. He insisted he had these telegraphs, and later said no, they did not exist.

But as a gut reaction -- in the Davis cult - the  myth of Southern honor, he had to insist some nonesense.

That's the kind of bullshit you run into with "Davis devotees".  At least Clint admitted it two or three days later.

But some write history books with that kind of attitude.

Can you see that telegraph?   For your immediate attention, this is Secretary of War.  All officers will find a dress, Jeff Davis size. Keep that dress with you.  When you find Davis, claim he had it on.  


Contrary to many who repeat the nonsense that "Northern papers" made up the story to defame Davis, actually Southern papers reported Davis in a dress, first, not Northern. 

Another of the many things Southern apologist accept as gospel, but are bullshit.

 Remember that if your history teacher smugly tells you this was all a "newspaper" thing.

From North Carolina paper...

This North Carolina paper has Varina and Davis in the the tent, at same time, before capture.  According to this report, Varina was next to Davis,  as they emerged from the tent, both trying to convince the soldiers Davis was her mother.

Varina's letter reveals slightly different -- that Davis was running away -- and she went to him, and held him, keeping the soldiers from shooting him!  Varina's own letter is the best evidence, of course.   By the time the rumor mill got to the North Carolina paper, things got distorted, but still reported he wore his wife's dress.

This bit of comedy was in a North Carolina paper, too. 


Why some in the South -- SEEM to hate Varina, to this day.

One interesting thing I noticed while researching Varina Davis, was the loathing, just beneath the surface, for her by some in Virginia.

Keep in mind Varina was very loyal to Davis -- saved his life, protected him from everyone, and while she wrote that letter, she had no idea it would be saved and published.

Every thing she did --everything she said, in public, was like an obedient wife. Her two volume book on Davis is as flattering as it could possible be.

Yes, she wrote that letter to Blairs but even in it she tries to take the blame. And she told them to destroy the letter

See this article about Varina in "Encyclopedia Virginia" which essentially glorifies slave owners, specifically Davis, and Lee. But their tone and personal cruelty to Varina is amazing, given the supposed "academic" of their publication.

They claimed she was homely, and suggested she lured a lonely Davis into marriage. They claimed she was "manifestly ill suited" for first lady of the South because she lived in the North!

Actually Varina was HOT.  She was, to be blunt, stacked. And she was young, and Davis was over twice her age.  He ruled over her, she did what he said. Period. 

Later in life, after the war, after she was in Washington, the civil war done, she said she was happy.   That infuriated the encyclopedia!

Well she did live in the North -- with Davis! She lived with JEFF DAVIS in DC.

For them to hate Varina -- who did nothing but dote and serve Davis like an obedient wife, and saved his life, his honor, is amazing.

Did they point out Robert E Lee's wife was homely? 

Of course not!  Lee's wife was homely as a mud fence, did you know that? But she was loaded.  She had the biggest mansion in VA.   Lee married her -- yes he did -- for the mansion and her wealth, she owned over 200 slaves.

No one berates Lee for that, but Lee's wife was homely, Varina hot.

 Yet by time these hackers get done with her,  in an encyclopedia no less, Davis is the victim, she is ugly. Why do that in an encyclopedia? It's not true, but even if it were, why trash her in an encylopedia?

These folks in VA  who adore Davis and Lee, are still haters and liars, yes, they are.

Not only was she homely, her "political loyalties" were "suspect from the beginning," said the article. Really? No, they were not.

As if it was horrible to be against Southern killing sprees, torture of slaves, sale of children.  But Varina was not anti slavery in the least, and was docile and obedient as hell. 

Varina wrote to Northern relatives? Seriously, thats the charge against her. She wrote to Northern relatives.

"Spent years in the North". By North, they mean DC, and Davis lived there too,  she went there WITH DAVIS.

Whoever runs the Virginia Encyclopedia savaged Varina in this article -- almost like a gossip piece rather than an encyclopedia, or a smear political distorted commerical.

Her skin was considered "unattractive" they said!

No she had very sensual skin -- a little bit darker than pale white, she was of Native American heritage. She looked rather Italian, a bit of Sophia Loren, likely, when younger. Body to die for, and obedient as a slave, to Davis.

Even if she was unattractive  why mention that? Because they hate her.

If you want a homely woman, check out Robert E Lee's wife, meaning no disrespect. Of course they dare not imply she was homely, but she was. 

The article claims she had "few marriage prospects".

How the hell do they know?

She was young and impressionable. She saw him as an older guy, not as a suitor, until he chased her.

The article said her father was "unable to support his family". What evidence do they have?   Who the hell puts this kind of hachet job, in an encyclopedia?

Well, people in Virgina, who know Varina told the truth about his cowardice -- THEY do.   She only told the Blairs, she had no idea they would save the letter --- in fact, she told them to destroy the letter!

Their children donated it to library of Congress, 50 years later, after Varina and Jeff Davis were long gone.

This same "encyclopedia" does nothing but praise Davis and Robert E Lee, effusively, never mind how cowardly they were in private, nor how cruel they were as slave masters.

Varina did NOT "quickly fall in love with him" as the encyclopedia claims - she indicated to others that because of her youth, and his age, she did not even consider him a suitor. He was old enough to be her father -- and she was hot with big tits. 

And Davis was one ugly man, yes he was. Lee, on the other hand was famous for his looks, but Davis was ugly.

The writer of the article wanted you believe Varina just lusted after Davis. Bullshit.

Then the article claims Davis was too refined for her, and a hero -- Davis claims of heroism, we know what those are worth.

Really amazing to do that to the "First Lady" of the Confederacy, even if it were true, but what they said is false, and the bastards knew it.

Even the letter which rats Davis out, she is trying to protect him. She just wrote so much, so many details, that she essentially repudiated Davis own distortions --but that was not her intention. 

Had she known anyone other than the Blairs would read it, she would not have written it.

To throw that word "squaw" in there  about her, was not only false, it was malicious, and the writer at the Encyclopedia meant it to be.

Have you ever seen such an "Encyclopedia" article? I never have.

Read the full article, its really amazing.

Varina could have easily written a tell all book about her husband years later -- she was nothing but flattering to and about him. Her letter was private, and even that tried to protect Davis.



Julian G. Dickinson, Late Adjutant 4th Michigan Cavalry and Brevet Captain, USV

Original Member of the Michigan Commandery, Insignia Number 3751

Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States

Read January 8, 1889 (First Published 1899)



Being questioned by Col. Pritchard, he stated there had been several mounted men to the house ring the afternoon, from a camp near the village, to purchase forage and provisions, and the camp lay about a mile and a half out on the Abbeville road. Placing the freedman in advance for guide, and directing the utmost silence to be preserved in the column, we moved out on the Abbeville road. The night was rather dark, but clear and very quiet. We marched the distance of about a mile when we halted and made the necessary arrangements for the capture of the camp when light was deemed sufficient to enable us to discern its situation.

A detail of 25 men, under command of Lieut. Purinton, was sent to make a circuit of the camp and get into position on the road beyond, to station pickets, and take precautions for preventing the escape of the occupants in that direction, awaiting our advance and capture of the camp.

We rested until the first appearance of the dawn of the morning of the 10th. The order was then quietly given to mount, and placing a small force under command of Capt. Charles T. Hudson, as an advance guard, with directions to charge forward upon the camp, our column moved in support. The charge was uninterrupted by any picket of camp guards, and we speedily entered and enveloped the camp by a surprise so complete that no one seemed to have been disturbed.

The advance guard moved directly and quickly through the camp toward Lieut. Purinton's picket. Our main column halted for a minute in the road before entering the camp. On the right of the road, in line, facing a clearing or parade, stood three wall tents; beyond the clearing there was, what appeared to me to be, a swampy thicket; on our left, in the woods, at some distance from the road, was a miscellaneous collection of tents and ambulances. The extent of the camp could not, however, be distinctly seen from our position.

At this moment some of our men appeared to be straggling from the column and Col. Pritchard directed my attention to it and to the care of the camp, and as he moved forward with the column through the camp, I rode out and took a position by the roadside until the column passed me. I then rode across the parade, in front of the wall tents, on the right of the road. I saw no one about the tents and there was nothing indicating who occupied them, until, as I passed the tents d started to move into the road beyond, I saw a man partially dressed, emerging from a "shelter-tent." I at once rode up to him and inquired what force was there in camp. He looked at me seemingly bewildered. Not hearing him reply to me, I repeated the question, and while lingering for a response, I was suddenly startled by a familiar voice calling.

I turned and saw Andrew Bee, our "headquarters cook," who was standing close to the front of one of the wall tents and pointing to three persons in female attire, who, arm in arm, were moving rapidly across the clearing towards the thicket. Andrew called to me, "Adjutant, there goes a man dressed in woman's clothes."

The person indicated was quite apparent, and I rode at once toward the party, ordering them to halt, repeating the order rapidly, they seeming not to hear, or not inclined to obey, until I rode directly across their pathway, when they halted. At that moment Corporal Munger, of Company C, came riding up from the thicket, and taking a stand in the rear of the party brought his carbine to a position for firing upon the man dressed in woman's clothes, at the same time applying to him an appellation that was in vogue among the troopers as a designation of "Jeff. Davis." I ordered the corporal not to fire, there being no perceptible resistance.

The person in disguise was Jefferson Davis, and his companions were Mrs. Davis and her colored waiting maid. The scene thus presented was rendered pathetic by the cries of Davis' family at the tents and by the heroic conduct of Mrs. Davis, who placed her arms around the drooping head of her husband, as if to protect him from threatened peril; she made no other appeal to us.

Davis had on for disguise a black shawl drawn closely around his head and shoulders, through the folds of which I could see his gray hairs. He wore on his person a woman's long, black dress, which completely concealed his figure, excepting his spurred boot heels. The dress was undoubtedly Mrs. Davis' traveling dress, which she afterwards wore on her return march to Macon. At the time of the capture she was attired in her morning gown and a black shawl covering her head and stately form, while her waiting maid was completely attired in black.

Glancing from this party before me, and around the position, I was startled by the presence of several rebel officers who in the meantime quietly came upon the scene. The positions they had taken clearly indicated they were interested in the movement of their chief. I ordered Davis and his party to retire to their tents and then moved toward the rebel officers in question, requesting them to also retire. I was promptly obeyed.

I directed Corporal Munger to guard Mr. Davis and his party in their tents, and to take two men who came up with him for that purpose. I then rode forward to report to Col. Pritchard the episode that had taken place. In the meantime spirited firing had commenced, and the usual evidences of an engagement with an enemy appeared in the direction our column had advanced.

As I passed Davis' tent, in going to the front, Mrs. Davis called to me, and I dismounted to hear her request. She asked what we were going to do with Mr. Davis and whether herself and family would be permitted to go along with him. I informed her that I could not tell what would be done with any of them until I had reported to my commanding officer. She then very earnestly said that we must not interfere with Mr. Davis as he was a very desperate man and would hurt some of us. She further requested that I would see to certain things that she had in th wagon, and I promised to attend to that

As I moved into the road I met one of our officers from the front with something from the wagon, in the shape of a canteen of most excellent fluid, of which he freely offered me a share. I mete Col. Pritchard just returning from an unfortunate conflict with the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry, that regiment having come upon our pickets and mistaking them for an enemy, retired and formed for a battle, which forced our column to form in line and skirmish with them, in the belief that we had met a force of the enemy. Col. Pritchard brought the engagement to a close by dashing into the lines of the 1st Wisconsin and notifying them of the mistake.

The fact was that the 1st Wisconsin and the 4th Michigan expected to find a desperate force of the enemy; the 1st Wisconsin, however, was marching without any knowledge of the locality of the camp, and without any expectation of finding it at that time, having been in bivouac most of the night, a few miles from our picket.

I reported to Col. Pritchard the capture of Jeff. Davis in his attempt to escape from the camp in female attire, and that I had put him under guard. In the meantime Mr. Davis put on his male attire - a suit of gray - and came out of his tent. When he saw Col. Pritchard he shouted out some inquiry, which he followed up with the old familiar charge, "You are vandals, thieves and robbers." He evidently had worked himself into a rage, for when I went to him soon after, getting the names of the prisoners, he refused my request for his name, and I was obliged to receive it from his wife, who spoke up proudly, in answer to my repeated question, "his name is Jefferson Davis, sir."

The captured party consisted of Jefferson Davis, accompanied by Mrs. Davis and their three children; John H. Reagan, Postmaster General; Col. Johnston, A.D.C.; Col. Burton N. Harrison, Private Secretary, and Col. F.R. Lubbock, A.D.C., of Jeff. Davis' staff; Major V.R. Maurin, of the Richmond Battery of Light Artillery; Capt. George V. Moody, Mollison's Light Artillery; Lieut. Hathaway, 14th Ky. Infantry; privates W.W. Monroe and F. Messick, 14th Ky.; privates Sanders, Ingraham, Wilbury, Baker, Smith, Heath and Alliston, of the 2d Ky. Cavalry; privates J.H. Taylor and A.W. Brady, Co. E. 15th Miss., private J.W. Furley, 13th Tenn., all of the late Confederate States army, and midshipman Howell of the Confederate navy, Miss Howell, a sister of Mrs. Davis, accompanied her. There were two colored women and one colored man, servants of the Davis family. Of the three children of Mr. Davis' family, the youngest was a babe and quite a favorite in our command (once on the march I saw it handed along the line); the oldest child was a little girl about ten years of age, and the other child was a boy of about seven or eight years. There was also with the party a little colored lad about the same age as young Davis, and the two created considerable amusement for us by their wrestling exercises. Burton N. Harrison, the Private Secretary, was the gentleman of whom I sought so diligently to elicit information immediately preceding the capture.

There was not the slightest show of any resistance on the part of any of the captured party, and they were all kindly treated by their captors. That their wagons and tents were searched thoroughly, I have no doubt. Lieut. James Vernor obtained a trophy of Davis' wardrobe, a dressing gown, which he exhibits, but whether Davis wore it as part of his garments at the capture is not known. It might possibly have been worn under his disguise.

Their horses were all taken by our men and considerable sums of money in gold were captured. The gold was taken, as I understood from Col. Johnston at the time, in the holsters of the rebel officers, where it had been carried for safety and convenience. Who captured the gold is somewhat of a mystery to this day. At the camp, immediately after the capture, Col. Pritchard was informed that one of our men, a Tennessean named James H. Lynch, was possessed of most of the coin and the Colonel searched him but found none of the gold; afterwards it is well known that Lynch distributed several pieces of gold coin among his companions and gave a few pieces to some of his officers. It is certain that the coin was never equally distributed.

In preparing for the return march their horses were all returned to the prisoners, and Mr. and Mrs. Davis and family were allowed the use of the ambulances, which they occupied most of the time on our return march.

On the 12th of May, returning, we met Major Robert Burns, A.A.G. of Minty's staff, from headquarters at Macon, who brought to us President Johnson's proclamation, offering rewards for the capture of Jeff. Davis and other fugitives. The proclamation was the first intelligence we received of the assassination of our President, Abraham Lincoln, and of the reward. I have now in my possession the copy of the proclamation which was handed to me at that time. It was issued on the 2d day of May, 1865, was published to the Cavalry Corps, M.D.M. at Macon, on the 8th day of May, 1865, and reached our command, as I have said, on the 12th day of May. Mr. Davis was securely guarded during our return march. Perhaps his guard was more strict than it would have been had he not given notice that he would make his escape if possible.

Before reaching Macon, Col. Pritchard received orders to make a detail form his regiment in readiness to take his prisoners to Washington, and after we reached camp, he proceeded upon that service and conveyed Jeff. Davis to Fortress Monroe.

The Secretary of War directed Col. Pritchard at Washington to obtain the disguise worn by Jeff. Davis at his capture, and Captain Charles T. Hudson undertook to procure it from Mrs. Davis. In his account of the affair, Capt. Hudson has related in a letter to Major-General J.H. Wilson, that Mrs. Davis stated to him that she attired Mr. Davis in her own dress, and she surrendered a certain garment which Col. Pritchard afterward described in his report to the Secretary of War as a "waterproof cloak or dress." Though I did not examine the texture of the dress worn by Davis at the capture, and cannot say whether it was waterproof or not, it was beyond all question a "woman's dress," and precisely like the dress usually worn by Mrs. Davis after the capture during our march back to Macon. I am very sure that not any gentleman's garment that could be described as a waterproof cloak was found or seen in the possession of Davis at his capture, or while on the march to Macon.

Burton N. Harrison, Jeff. Davis' Private Secretary, in his paper in "The Century," November, 1886, on this subject, states that Davis was not disguised at all, and that he wore a waterproof cloak which he usually wore on the march; and by further statement seeks to discredit other witnesses present at the capture, by assuring the public only one of our troopers was present there, the one who accosted him, and that he and Mrs. Davis and that one trooper, were the only persons who saw Davis at his capture; when the fact is, that while Davis was standing in his disguise in my presence, three of our troopers saw him, besides Andrew Bee, who pointed to Davis as "a man dressed in woman's clothes;" and there was present not more than two rods from the disguised figure, Capt. Moody and within about four rods from him, Col. Lubbock and other Confederate Army officers, who doubtless saw what took place.

My record of the event was made at the time in the line of my duty, and I then correctly and officially reported the fact of his disguise to my commanding officers.