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. 


 In Varina's letter to the Blairs,  written a few day after Davis captures, she writes that SHE told the Union soldiers Jeff Davis was her mother, as she held him.

Not kinda. Not sorta.  Not in away.  That's what she wrote, and even more, she wrote later, that Jeff Davis told her to get  herself killed.

Don't believe me?  See her book!    Don't believe the letter?  See her book, too.

It's her book. And she was doing all she could to save Davis embarrassment. 

Varina Davis admitted Davis told her 

to get herself killed.


Remember Davis looked enough like a female, with his dead down, that Varina told the soldiers to leave him alone "IT'S MY MOTHER".   That came from HER own letter to the Blairs, not from someone else. 

Yes--  Davis told his wife to "force your assailants to kill you."   Others who witnessed Davis tell her to get herself killed, added an interesting detail that Varina omitted. Davis told her that for a "Davis" to surrender without a fight, "would bring shame upon the South."


Take a minute.  Do you know anyone who told their wife to get herself killed?

Do you know anyone who left his wife and children, ran away in a dress, but later claimed to be heroic?

No, you know no such human being.  



Yet he and his friends, tried to show him as heroic.   In fact, Davis had his friends swear out affidavits, and statements,  backing up his lies of heroism.  He even donated the clothes he claimed he wore, to "prove"  he had on his normal clothing -- and those clothes are on display right now, it Museum of Confederacy,

Davis claimed he WOULD have killed that first soldier, and was willing to die in the reign of bullets that would follow --  but the safety of his nearby children made him resist his brave impulses -- for their sake. 

For their sake?  Really?  He had left them to their own devices, to survive on their own, told his wife to get herself killed, as he ran away in her dress.  Sound like he has such noble concern for his children, that he suffered the "humiliation" of not going down in battle?

Davis could -- and often did -- twist the truth exactly to this degree. In fact, he was quite good at that. 

WTF?   As we know for Varina, Davis was no where near those kids. He was running away, leaving them in danger.

But he wanted to claim he surrendered, only for their safety?

Not sorta, not kinda, not  "if you want to look at it that way".  

And like many things about Southern leaders, Southern cry babies have kept spent a lot of time and effort, making sure things like this never got in any US text book.



How we know -- for sure...

Being in his wife's dress does not mean he was a coward.  Running away, leaving her in danger, leaving his children in danger, for his own safety,  THAT was cowardly.  Does not matter what he was wearing, but he was wearing her dress. 

That's not misquoting, that's not misrepresenting what happened.  That's what happened.

Varina essentially validated the Union soldier's own reports.  They reported he was in full woman's attire, that he ran, that she (Varina) ran to protect him.

Strange -- that's what she wrote to the Blairs, too.   Do you think she got together with the Union soldiers and made it up? Do you think she accidently reported the same basic facts (though she did do some spinning, her facts were largely the same) as the Union soldiers -- and Davis nephew.

Davis's own nephew was there, and wrote in his journal that Davis was dressed as female. He was not trying to shame Davis, any more than Varina was.   The nephew tried to make say Davis mush have been doing it, as his wife's urging. 

If his wife urged Davis to wear her dress, why didn't she just say that?  She never did say that. 

Varina even wrote, essentially 'well so what if he did have on full women's attire' -- he did it for the South, its of no cavil.  (Not a big deal).

Later in life, when asked in public if Davis had worn a dress, Varina was coy, almost comical.  She would say, "Mr. Davis did not wear a hoop skirt".

Everyone would laugh --no one had ever claimed he wore a hoop skirt, a big frilly skirt made for formal dances.   Davis wore his wife's travel skirt. 

Remember Davis looked enough like a female, with his dead down, that Varina told the soldiers to leave him alone "IT'S MY MOTHER".   That came from HER own letter to the Blairs, not from someone else. 

By the way, this was very much like Davis, not a moment of weakness.   Davis had a long habit of claiming to be heroic,  but running for safety, while urging others to fight to the end.

Sound like you should already know this?   Well, Davis was a such a coward, that Southern crybaby "historians"  are well aware of it, but dare not admit one iota of it.   

The "coward in a dress" is just the tip of the iceberg.  Davis's supposed heroism in Mexican war -- same thing.  Davis supposed man of principle and honor -- same thing.

This is not in dispute, that Varina Davis  wrote about this in her own book, and in her own letter to Blairs.

Not someone else. She. Wrote. It.

Nor is one word of that disputed. No one says -"that's a fake".   No one says "that's out of context".


That is what she said.  She wrote.  She was not  trying to make Davis look bad.  This was in her own book, and her own letter.

She was trying to deflect blame from Davis, as well as she could.  In her letter, written just one week after Davis's capture,  she is trying to take the blame for his female attire.

Yes, female attire.  She does not outright admit he wore female attire, but in one paragraph, she wrote, essentially, well so if he had wore full women's attire, he did it for the South.


Varina lists three different female garments.  So no,  now matter how many times Davis claimed it -- he was not in his normal clothing, and he was not protecting anyone, least of all his wife and children.

And she writes that Davis was running away -- and explains how she ran to help him, and how she held Davis, to protect him from a Union soldier that was promising to shoot Davis.

Leave her alone --  "It's my mother".

She also wrote that if she had not grabbed Davis and held him, she believed the soldier would have shot Davis.

That's not what I said.



That's what she said.  Varina wrote it.  In her book and her letter.  No, she was not trying to shame him publicly.   When asked later in public, if Davis was running away in a dress, she would be coy.  She said "Mr Davis did not wear a hoop skirt".

NO one said he wore a hoop skirt. 

How do Southern "historians" like to play this?  They are as cowardly and deceitful as he was.  They are well aware of her letter, well aware of his nephew's journal, well aware of the Union reports validating the Davis running away like a coward story -- but they parse words, and never tell you the full story.

Typical, for Southern crybabies, actually. 

But Davis -- in typical Davis form actually -- reverses everything, claimed he was heroic, and he defended  his family.  And Southern crybabies have to work around this. So they do.  But Davis was deceptive about everything, and always claimed heroism, when the reverse was true.


No one ever told you that, did they?  There is much much more, but we are just talking here, about what she wrote, in her own letter, and in her own book.

And her book was not the only Confederate eye witness that admitted he wore a woman's dress. 


His nephew's journal.

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


So why do  Southern and some other "historians" insist Davis was no coward, and did not run away in a dress?

Because they dont want to piss off Southern crybabies. Yes, they know he ran away in a dress, but if you admit that, and admit he told his wife to get herself killed (as she made clear), that whole Southern honor crap becomes a joke.

It was always a joke. 

Davis had often urged -- even ordered - idiotic attacks on Northern troops, which decimated the remaining Confederate soldiers.

Did you know that?

No.   Davis was always for the peons to kill, to die. That was fine with him.   Lee was the the same way -- yes,  he was.   The poor were fodder,  and like Lee's crazy orders to attack a fortified line at Gettysburg, (easily the dumbest order of the Civil War)  Lee and Davis themselves sure as hell were not going to get near  danger themselves.

We will show Lee's cowardice, another place, but both were personal cowards. 

Davis made fun of, and replaced, generals who would not attack, per his macho orders, essentially suicide attacks.  

So when myths get created -- Davis helped create his own myths, and had surrogates do it, too -- it's very hard to change them.   

But the facts were clear -- Davis ran away in his wife's dress, was a coward, and told her to get herself killed.  



Varina told the Blairs -- in the letter itself -- to destroy it, or it would be used to "embarrass" Davis.

But 50 years later, after Varina died, after Davis died, the Blair children donated boxes of papers to the Library of Congress.

This was just one letter.  

The Blair children were essentially bragging that their parents, since the time of George Washington, through the CIvil War,  and up to the 20th century, were BFD in politics. And they were!

One of the Blair children, even spoke on the occasion of giving the letters to Library of Congress.    They had always known Davis wore a dress, it was an open secret in their conversations.    

There is no doubt, whatsoever, about Varina's authorship, of her letter and her book.

In her private letter to the Blairs -- she slyly admits Davis wore three layers of female garments-- all hers. She parsed words, she made excuse for him, but according to her letter, Davis had on three female garments, and was running away.

He was not protecting his children, as he claimed.  And  he sure as hell was not protecting her. He was running.  Read her letter closely -- it very much confirms the facts in the Union soldier's reports. So no, this was not made up story, not by the Union soldiers,  not by the newspapers.

In fact, Southern newspapers -- not Northern -- first published the story of Davis in a dress.  How many years will this bullshit continue -- about this and many other things related to Confederate leadership> 



The typical response to Davis "dress story" is that it was made up by Northern papers.  Not even close.   In fact, as you will see, a Southern newspaper first ran the story.

But more than the dress, was his cowardice.  No matter what  he wore (and he wore his wife's dress)   Davis told his wife to cause her own death by HER shooting at the Union soldiers, and his wife said so.  Try to grasp that. In her own book -- not some rumor, her own book, she says that.  Davis told her to get herself killed by shooting at the Union soldiers.

And he ran away in  her dress.

 Let me repeat that, Davis had on three female garments, and was running away.

And he told his wife to get herself killed.

 She said so. In writing. 

According to her OWN book, Varina tells the world that Jeff Davis told her to get herself killed.

Do you see why Southern apologist dare not- - can not -- will not -- ever tell the truth about  this man, who ran away in his wife's dress, and told her to get herself killed. 



No,  Varina was not trying to shame Davis . 

She was doing her best to spare him embarrassment.  She knew the country was reeling in this story of his cowardice, and tried to take the blame, as much as she could. 

Her story -- in her letter to Blairs -- was trying to explain away his cowardice.   But she would not outright lie to the Blairs. Spin? Yes, of course. Varina is an excellent source, her book about Davis is amazing too, for the same reason.

Lie?  No, she would not lie, though Davis certainly would, and did often.   Varina was very young when Davis married her, and frankly fooled by Davis's bullshit. But she would NOT blatantly lie, even for hm.

This makes Varina Davis book, one of the best sources for information about the South, and Jeff Davis. She would never expose Davis torture of slaves, yes he had them tortured, and Varina was part of that process.  She would not candidly reveal that kind of thing. 

Varina's two volume biography of Davis does repeat Davis's Orwellian nonsense -- his double speak, his justifications for slavery and killing to spread slavery.

Varina  was "all over the map" in her letter, and the sentence "I said it was my mother"    Davis did indeed look enough like a woman, dressed that way, that even after they were all standing together, close enough to touch, Davis, his wife, and his wife's sister, were still trying to pass Davis off as a woman.  



Davis made it hard for modern "historians"  to lie for Davis-- because Davis insisted out the ass he was in his normal clothing, and only his normal clothing, no ratigan, no nothing.  And Davis insisted he was heroically defending his children.

No, he was not. He was running away -- they were not by him, as we know from Varina's own account.

But -- Varina tries to claim sh put the garments on him, she said.  She put her rattigan over his head "because he lost his hat"  and so that "he would not be recognized."  

And the few "historians"   who  try to piss on the Davis story, always claim Davis put on one garment by accident, or Varina did it.  No, there was no fucking accident.  Davis was already dressed as female, before the Union troops were even near.   He had "retired early"   -- the night before, and almost certainly was dressed as female all night, in case the Union troops found them, which they did. 

And Davis, upon hearing the shooting -- ran.

Maybe -- just maybe -- if Varina had not written the sentence,  "I said it was my mother",   historians could at least rationally say there is some wiggle room, that Davis only looked like a female for a moment.  But Varina told the soldiers Davis was her mother, while they all stood near each other -- near enough for a Union soldier to simply reach over, and pull Davis's hood back, and show his bearded face.

And her letter -- remember that -- Varina's letter, says that. No someone else's letter. No someone saying what her letter said. Not some newspaper man.  Not some rumor.

That's what her letter said, and her letter still exists. And you can read it in person or online.

And yes, every "historian"  every Confederate apologist, every "curator" at every Davis memorial, knows it.  

And this is typical of the way South has handled the truth about Confederate leaders.   Shame on guys like McPherson, Foner, Catton, for letting the bastards get away with this shit. 


Varina's book was a major sensation in 1890,  and should be required reading today for anyone who pretends to know anything about the Civil War or Jeff Davis.  Varina is very, very much on  her husband's side. Much of the book is Jeff Davis own quotes

Varina does omit many things -- like Southern War Ultimatums, Jeff Davis sending 1000 killers to Kansas in 1856, under the leadership of US Senator David Rice Atchison, the Senator who boasted about killing in Kansas, and boasted about passing the Kansas Act, then going to Kansas and starting his own reign of terror there, that led directly to LIncoln getting back into politics.

 Varina does mention he was running away. She does mention he was dressed enough like a woman, that she and her sister ran to Davis aid, Varina held him, and  she told the soldiers to leave her mother alone -- ITS MY MOTHER.

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Again, that is what VARINA wrote in her letter at the time. Not what someone claimed she wrote. You can see her letter yourself, it still exists, and was donated to Library of Congress after her death, by the Blair family.  It's authenticity is not in doubt.

I said it's my mother, she told the solder.   Remember, she said that in HER letter. 

One of the garments she mentioned was neck to ankle a "dressing gown"  which was actually her dress, as her nephew confirmed.

The other two were also female garments, and placed on him in a way his face was completely hidden.   Only by pulling back his head covering, did they see his face.  And it took Davis a while to get OUT of the women's clothing, as you will see.


Here is what Davis said he wore -- and he went to the amazing length of having his picture taken later, with the very clothes he claimed to have on -- not similar clothes, these are the clothes he specifically said he had on. Exactly.


Not a waterproof cloak, as some Davis apologist said.

But a woman's dress.

Davis never claimed he had on a waterproof cloak. Davis always insisted he wore his normal clothing.

There are all kinds of variations of excuses for Davis.   But his wife, his nephew, and the Union reports are all so closely alike, written at the time, that is the best evidence.

Overlapping evidence.

And remember, Davis wife, and nephew, were doing all they could to SPARE Davis shame, not humiliate him.

 Davis -- of his own volition, his own idea -- had this picture taken to prove exactly what he wore that day.

 He was very clear, these are the clothes, not similar clothes,  he had on, when captured. Remember that.

Of course Davis would have no way to know, Varina already let the cat out of the bag, re the clothes. She had already admitted he had on three layers of female attire-- though she tried to parse words.

Strange indeed, the Union soldiers, and Davis nephew, both reported he had on female clothes.   Matter of factly,  with only two sentences, the Union reports were that he had on a dress, and when allowed to change, his wife emerged from the tent, wearing that dress!

You can't make this up.  Davis wife emerged from the tent, after Davis changed, with that dress on, no doubt to keep the soldiers from taking it as a souvenir. 

Do you see any female "dressing gown"  his wife wrote about, at the time? Do you see the other two female garments? 

  Davis was dressed 100% in female attire -- except for his boots. 

 Union soldiers spotted this woman running, and noticed "she" had on spurs, manly spurs in very manly boots, very expensive manly boots. 

Women did not wear spurs.   Davis was caught because of his spurs.

Davis would not speak, when first confronted, but put his head down like a child in trouble. 

His wife ran to him, and  held him she wrote.  She held him -- and told the soldiers to "leave her alone, it's my mother"

That's in her letter.  That's what Varina wrote.  She said she told the soldiers to LEAVE HER MOTHER ALONE.

Varina was pissed as hell that the soldiers swore at Davis -- they told him to identify himself or they would shoot (several of their own soldiers were moments ago shot, by each other, and no one was quite sure who was who, at that point). 

Remember Varina was NOT trying to shame Davis.  She added, oddly, that Davis was not in disguise, though she had detailed three layers of the disguise, and admitted she put the things on him to prevent him from being recognized.

Anyone that knew Davis, however, would know, he would not be told to wear women's clothes by her direction. He was a control freak. If he wore women's clothes, he did it for his own purposes. Davis hated anyone telling him what to do, which is a big reason the South lost the Civil War.


At least Davis  did have men chasing him, men with guns.  I would be scared shitless, too.  More than one man has fled for his own safety, and let his family stay in danger. 

 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?  WTF?   Davis did have men chasing him.  He could have been killed.   So what if he told his wife to die, to force her own death -- yes he did.   That was big talk.  Then he ran away in her dress.

 But what are "historians" -- who know all this - afraid of?


Davis always talked big -- and in the war, urged his generals to attack, made fun of, and replaced, generals that would not.

 In fact, Davis idiotically replaced his best general for NOT attacking Sherman outside Atlanta.   Davis named Hood the new general, who quickly attacked, and quickly decimated his own troops, causing even more desertions, and essentially, the end of the war.

Davis was not alone, of course, in urging others to fight and die, then running like a coward.  



Southern historians, who know exactly what happened, who have seen all Varina's letters, her books, and Davis's nephew's journal  dare not whisper  word of truth about it.

Think if LIncoln ran away in his wife's dress, if she had written a book that said he told her to get herself killed, and wrote a letter about his cowardice, Southern "historians" would cover that up?




Davis ran when the Union soldier came near -- he put on his wife's dress (must have had it  on all night, actually, because you don't put her dress on a quick minute).

He ran -- leaving his children in danger, and he told his wife to get herself killed. Yes, he did.




Many people then, and now, claim  the "dress story"  was a  "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.



Sounds bizarre, a man telling his wife to get herself killed.

  But Davis did.   Davis told her this while still in Richmond, while waiting for the gold he would take (some say steal) out for Richmond, gold collected for wounded, donated by public.

Davis was trying to act macho -- the implication was, he too would die fighting.  He had sent so many others to die, he had made fun of, and fired, his able generals, like Johnston, who did not attach Sherman in suicide attacks, and replaced them with idiots, who would attack (Hood) near Atlanta, and quickly lost the war. 



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.

Foote idiotically said that Davis was an "honorable man" because of the way he greeted his children!   Paraphrasing Foote, "Anyone who say Jeff Davis greet his children would know what an honorable man he really was". 

What a dumb fuck -- really.  Davis was very willing to let those children suffer whatever fate became of them, when he was captured. He did not stay by them, or  protect them in anyway.  He ran away, while they were in danger.

Remember that. Yes, he fucking did. 

In a recent book on Davis,  McPherson just skipped over everything that mattered -- Davis War ULtimatums to the North -- his cowardice, his record of cruelty to slaves, how Davis sent 1000 paid killers to KS --not one word.

As to Davis active role in recruiting Union solders, like Lee, still in uniform of the USA, into treason, not one word. Just offering Lee any role in the war -- while Lee was in uniform (as he was at the time) was treason, both to Lee and Davis, if Lee did not report it. Lee did not report it.

This is the kind of basic shit you have to overlook, when you write flattering things about Southern leaders, particularly Davis and Lee.

All kinds of things -- not one word.

And of course, no word about his cowardice, etc.



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.  

In Burns documentary about Civil War,  it is literally impossible -- not just difficult -  to learn what Southern leaders did, and boasted of, to start the war.

In fact, Davis authorized US Senator David Rice Atchison to lead the Texas men, Davis paid Atchison the Texas men, to invade Kansas, and there, kill and terrorize.

Atchison boasted of it. Davis defended everything Atchison did as "Constitutionally required" 

 Atchison boasted it was war, he called it war, and he called it a war to spread slavery.

This is a report by one of the Union soldiers -- they wrote about the dress matter of factly, did not make a big deal of it. Later, they would respond to claims they made this up.  

Furthermore, Varina's letter shows other details, like that Davis was running away, and that she protected Davis.  She grabbed Davis and held him -- astoundingly, telling the soldier to "shoot me"   not  her mother (Davis).

And of course, they don't show  Davis's wife's letter, or his nephew's journal. 



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 years doing everything he could to "prove" he was courageous that day.

If you wonder why there are documents and letters and affidavits claiming Jeff Davis was heroic and in his own clothes -- it's because Davis orchestrated that.

Davis had a life time of doing this kind of thing -  which is why Sam Houston of Texas said Davis was cold as a snake and as ambitious as Lucifer.

 To hear Davis speak, he was the most brave, most kind man, who just wanted to follow the Constitution.

Oh hell no.


Everyone knows if Lincoln had been surrounded, he would not have told his wife to get herself killed, then put on her dress to run away.

And Lincoln sure as hell would  not let  his children be in danger as bullets flew. Lincoln would have died fighting -- in fact, Lincoln was shot at near the White House, and was standing by a Union soldier in the battle near Washington, the man right to him shot in the head.  Lincoln did not move -- he did not even duck.

Compare that with Davis -- you can see why Southern historians have done everything possible to gloss over this, though they well know her letter, and her book.



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

According to witnesses, Davis told her that  the DAVIS FAMILY would be shamed if they were taken alive. It was a bit of bravado, in front of folks who were all standing right there. 

Davis made no move to protect his children, in fact, quite the opposite.  He left them as bullets flew.

Let that sink in.  He left his children -- and wife -- to fend for themselves as bulletts flew.  This is the most unreported aspect of that event -- bullets were flying, because Union troops were firing at each other, in the confusion.   Davis helped no one, saw to no one's safety, but ran to save himself.

 His nephew's journal  made it clear, the Davis children were standing there as bullets flew. Davis did absolutely nothing -- nothing -- to protect any of them.

Varina tells soldiers to shoot HER  -- Varina --if the soldier needed to shoot someone,  but leave her mother alone. I told him "to shoot me if he pleased". 

Varina was not claiming heroism, instead, she was relating to the Blairs the foul oaths uttered by these brutish cursing Union soldiers.   The Union soldiers who saw this amazing display of bravery by Varina, spoke highly of her the rest of their lives.

They described Davis as "pathetic".  After his capture, Davis put on the macho act, he even told the soldiers they were lucky he didn't kill the first soldier.  Davis, immediately after his display of cowardice, and for the rest of his life, would try to spin  his cowardice into acts of heroism.

Varina never made that clear -- she was not trying to smear him.  But her letter does mention she grabbed Davis as the soldiers drew near to him.

In fact, per her own letter, Varina grabbed Davis and held  him so the soldiers would NOT shoot him!!


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 never would validate anything Davis said   

It would have been so easy -- in fact, she had to be tempted to -- simply say "Mr Davis wore his own clothes, and acted bravely".

She never did.

She never ever would vouch for him.  She could have, very easily, said to anyone, or written in her book "Yes, Mr Davis was in his own clothes, and acted bravely".

She was asked repeatedly in the last 20 years of her life, if Davis wore a dress.  She would just be coy and say "Mr Davis did not wear a hoop skirt".  

Everyone would laugh. A hoop skirt was a big formal dress, flared out several feet around the legs, preposterous to wear in the woods.  No one ever claimed he wore such a dress.


In her own book, Varina inexplicably just skipped that part of the narrative of their capture.  Her book details their flight from Richmond, almost minute by minute.

But when she came to the point of actual capture, the chapter simply ends.

Nothing.  She would never -- not once in her entire life -- said Davis protected the children or wore  his manly clothes.

She always parsed words, especially later in life, forty years later, deflecting questions with a clever smile, and the words "Mr Davis never wore a  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.  She did not have to include that.   She could have as easily left that out.


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.



"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. 

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 the 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.