From Mark Curran's "WTF" History.

 Important shit we are never taught. 

Jefferson Davis wife's letter about his cowardice.


Yes, he did. How do we know for sure ???  Varina said so.  In writing. In her own letters, and her own published book. That's how we know.

And those "historians" who pretend not to know this, or gloss over it, are fucking lying bastards.

Even more, this is the tip of the iceberg about what "Historians" tell you about Southern leaders.  More specifically, what these lying bastards "forget" to mention.

"At least Jeff Davis did have men after him, with guns.  I can understand his cowardice, though he told his wife to get herself killed, and left his children in danger."

  "But why on earth have 'historians' been so chicken-shit as to cover up his pattern of creepy cowardice and lies?"

 Did he  really did tell his wife to get herself killed?

 Did he really then run away in her dress?

Did he really claimed to be heroic?


It was NOT just her letter.  She revealed important details -- in her own book.

And it was not just her own book and her own letter.  Also, Davis's own nephew validated Varina's letter about Davis running away in a dress.

Union soldier's reports line up -- on every major point -- with Varina's letter.   Davis dressed as female. Davis running away, not protecting anyone, etc.  In fact, Varina wrote in more detail about Jeff's cowardice and dress, than did the Union soldiers reports!  

And of course, the soldiers had no clue Davis told his wife to get herself killed. They had no clue what she would write in her letter -- yet their reports, and her letter, line up to a remarkable extent, as to the facts.

The authenticity of her letter and book are not in doubt. 


Varina Davis wrote a letter  to her friends, the Blairs, about her husband.  In that letter  she revealed Jeff Davis's  cowardice, though she never called him a coward, the facts she presented revealed his cowardice.

  Who runs away - dressed as a woman or not (and he was dressed as a woman)  -- when your children are in danger?

Varina told the Blairs to destroy the letter, in the letter itself.   But they kept it.

 Fifty years later, the Blair children donated it, with other memorabilia, to the Library of Congress. But she also wrote a book, published just after Davis death.   In her book she again refused to back up Davis claim that he was heroic and protected his children.  She just sidestepped that moment, yet it was one of the most intense moments of  her life, and her children's life. 

But what do books about Davis say?  They literally could not write such books, if they admitted Davis ran away as his children were in danger, and told his wife to get killed.

A man of "uncommon valor" .   A man whose "very presence"  instills bravery and nobility to those around him. A man who cared only about one thing in life -- the principle of freedom.    All nonsense, but that's exactly the kind of writing that floods from most Davis biographies.


Jefferson Davis and Robert E Lee fled from Richmond on a false rumor of a breach in the slave-built line around the city.   Absurdly,  they are both presented as heroic and personally brave, then and in all situations.

But the facts show otherwise, including Davis almost comical and creepy cowardice. This is an excellent metaphor both for the character of those men, and the absurdity of the myths surrounding them, from that day to this.

We just look at one aspect of that myth,  here. Jeff Davis creepy cowardice, which he would try to pass off -- and "historians" have helped him to pass off - as heroic. 


A brief background of Davis and Lee in Richmond.   Repeatedly Davis gave the most brave sounding speeches to the residents how he would never leave Richmond, he would never leave them.   He would defend them "with ever fiber".

But a rumor -- that was not true -- of a breech in the amazing rows of defenses around Richmond, built by slaves under the direction of Robert E Lee (then called "King of Spades,"  spade being a derisive term for slaves) was all that was needed for both Davis and Lee to flee -- and leave the citizens to their own ability to defend themselves.  

Davis claimed he heroically defended his children -- and only let himself be taken alive, because if he killed the first soldier to come near him, his children would be in danger.

Their safety meant so much to him - his story went - that he resisted his urge to go down fighting.  But only for their sake.  For them, he would do the unthinkable: he would be taken alive, after he told people he and his wife would go down fighting, if they met the enemy.

By the way -- Davis had always urged others to fight to the last breath, rather regularly.  He fired and replaced generals who would not attack, such as General Johnston, who was doing brilliant work stopping advance of  much stronger Union army around Atlanta.  He replaced Johnston with Hood, who quickly attacked Sherman, and quickly lost 30% of his men, and caused even more desertions in the Confederate Army.  

  Davis himself reported that 2/3 of Confederate soldiers had already deserted (see his Macon Speech, below).  That desertion rate, Davis said, was so high that if just half the deserters came back, the South could not lose.

Davis idiotic pressure for a weakened (by desertions) Confederate Army to attack, essentially destroyed the Confederate Army, as desertion rates then went to 90% in the next 10 months, and the war was over.

Davis was very fond -- as you will see -- of bombastic speeches, he could not help himself.   Like Trump of today, Davis  would impress the stupid with boasts of bravery and his calls for the ultimate sacrifice.  He had really no choice but to make the crowd believe he, too, would fight to the end.  But that style of leadership -- firing his best generals, ignoring the basic realities of the war -- led  to more death, dragged out the war.

Contrary to what you may hear now, Confederates had far more men than necessary, if they did not desert, and Jefferson Davis himself admitted that.

Davis 1865 speech in Richmond, the one Varina alluded to where he told her to get herself killed,  essentially promised he would do that himself, and so would his wife. Bet your "history" teacher never told you any of that.  Why?  Because your "history" teacher is not told either.  Yet the documents confirming all this, and much more, were written by his own wife. And those documents are not in doubt.
Uh - not so much. 

Shelby Foote.
Knowingly and fraudulently defended Jeff Davis, 
his entire adult life.  But so did others. 

As a practical matter, Southern apologist had no choice but to lie about Confederate leaders.  See more below.  How would you tell the public Jeff Davis was dressed as a woman - not because dressing as a woman is cowardly, but because in that get up, Davis ran away leaving his children in danger.

We know they were in danger from what his own nephew wrote. Davis literally ran away as the bullets flew.

Davis is the only one in the Davis party to try to run away.  His wife defended him. Davis defended no one.

Can you imagine Lincoln running away in a dress?  Or even running away leaving his children in danger?

That's why Southern apologist can not-- literally can not -- tell you.  The more you know about Confederate leaders like Davis, the more you realize the "Southern cause" was always an ego trip for Southern political leaders, and not a cause for anything else.


Hardly.   Davis was no where near his children -- he left them in danger and bullets flew.  He was running away in his wife's dress.

Yes, he was.  Varina's letter, and Davis's nephew's journal prove the Union soldier's reports were as accurate as can be.  


A persistent excuse was that Davis had on an "errant Ratigan" by mistake, shown in this misleading drawing, above.

Nonsense.  Varina lists three specific garments he wore.  And she was holding him, when he was captured. She ran to him, held him, and (really) dared the soldiers to shoot her (Varina) but leave her mother alone.

Remember, that is in her letter.  Confirmed, in every basic fact, by the Union soldier's own reports. 

The point is -- Jefferson Davis was dressed as a woman.  The clothing looked so much like a woman's attire, she told the soldiers just inches away 

"It's my mother" 

Davis told a different story.   Davis would claim he had on his normal clothing.  He actually had pictures taken later, to "prove"  exactly what he wore.

But more importantly, he insisted he was protecting his children -and only allowed himself to be captured, to save them from harm.    His "natural impulse"  was to kill the first soldiers that came near,  he said, but that would put the children at risk.  


How do we know Davis was dressed as a woman?  Not just some "errant garment" he put on "in a rush"  to see what the gun shots were about?

Varina - remember, this is in her letter -- wrote "I SAID IT WAS MY MOTHER".

She detailed three -- three -- garments.   Varina would never bluntly say it was her dress, she parsed words like a pro.   But the details  and her rushed, almost frantic prose, confirmed in every basic point, what the soldiers reported.

Typically, Davis apologist never even mention the soldier's reports.  The "dress" detail was not even highlighted, they just said he had on women's dress, and when they allowed him to get out of that dress, in the privacy of a tent, Varina emerged wearing THAT DRESS!

She told the soldiers Davis was her mother, and protected "her mother".   The soldiers confirmed that. In fact, both she and her sister told the soldiers repeatedly at first, Davis was their mother.  

Varina letter goes on to say she told the soldiers to shoot her -- Variana -- but leave her MOTHER alone.  You heard right, Varina told the soldier to SHOOT HER -- Varina.

Varina  was within three feet of the soldiers when she told them this  -- so close that a union soldier simply reached over and pulled Davis's head covering off,  revealing Davis scraggly beard.  Davis would not saw a word for about ten minutes.

Note this please  -- Varina tried to convince the soldiers Davis was her mother, from three feet away, meant Davis was dressed, head to foot, as a woman. 

The spurs and boots Davis wore, gave him away.

 However, the soldiers were never fooled, they noticed Davis fancy spurs and boots as he was running.  In fact, one soldier yelled "There goes a man in a woman's dress" immediately.

Women did not wear such things.   See picture of those very boots and spurs, below.  


"..... he told me to force the enemy to kill me" 


Not only did Jefferson Davis  run away in her dress, in her book Varina tells that Davis told her to get herself killed.

Davis running away in three layers of female clothing

Varina protects Davis, gets in front of him, 
and dares the soldiers to shoot HER!

Davis protects no one.

The Union soldiers that captured Davis -- for the rest of their lives-- respected Varina Davis.  She had quite literally junped in from of her husband, held him -- and told the soldiers to leave Davis alone, it was "MY MOTHER".

As you can tell by her OWN letter, the soldiers swore and promised to shoot Davis, if he did not identify himself.

Varina -- this is her letter, confirmed by the Union soldiers reports -- told the soldiers to shoot HER -- Varina.  But leave her mother alone.

Now you know (and there is much more) why Southern apologist and Davis lying biographers, do not dare tell you the truth about Jefferson Davis. 

After all, can you see Lincoln running away  -- in a dress or not? Would he run away at all?

Can you see Lincoln leaving his children as bullets flew?

Can you see Lincoln telling his wife to get herself killed?

Lincoln stood -- in battle -- in the Civil War, at Fort Stevens.  The man next to him was shot. Lincoln did not flinch.

Davis ran like a coward.   Wore his wife's dress, and told her to get herself killed.

Now you see why Southern crybabies and liars can not possibly admit Davis ran away in a dress.  __________________________________________


 To understand how amazing Davis cowardice really was, you have to understand how Davis urged others to fight, even to the death.   He fired generals that would not attack, and replaced them with generals that would. 

He even  -- really -- urged his WIFE to fight to the death.  How do we know? She revealed this in her own book after his death 

Her book is flattering as she can make it be, and a gold mine of information about Davis and the Civil War, from her perspective.

Varina -- to her credit -- would never outright lie for Davis. She would spin things, she supported him in her writing,  much like she did the day he was captured, she put herself in front of him, to save him.  

Varina does not make it clear in her book, but the fact Davis told her to get herself killed was known and spoken of already for 40 years by the time Varina published her book.  She did not mention that Davis full speech that day, was actually Davis effort to impress the public how brave HE -- Davis -- would be.  The clear inference at the time, Davis told the crowd HE would go down fighting,  rather than surrender, and told his wife, who was standing there, she should too.  

But that was not the spin Varina put on it. 


Click on this video of Jeff Davis quotes about slavery.

No one told you this either, did they?



Davis had this picture taken - seriously -- to "prove" he wore his normal clothing.

These exact clothes are on display to this day and Confederate Museum.

Varina's letter about his cowardice  is not on display.  

Weird, huh? 

Davis was caught because he had on these spurs.
Women did not wear spurts.  

One Union soldiers noticed a woman running away in spurs, and told "her" to stop.

John Taylor Wood, Davis nephew was there,

He later wrote an apology for helping Davis dress like  a woman. 

Her sentence where she wrote "I SAID IT WAS MY MOTHER". makes it impossible for Davis apologist to actually show the letter in any of their "scholarship".  Instead, they quote from it in deceptive ways.  

Overall, Davis "scholars" treat the "dress story"   as a made up scandal by Northern newspapers.   Nonsense. In fact, the first reporter to get the story "on line" (on the telegraph)  was a reporter from Macon Georgia, who apparently talked to the soldiers as they took Davis from Irwin Georgia, to Fort Monroe Virginia.



Davis cowardice is not the only thing "historians" have not bothered to mention.

Here are some others....

Jeff Davis pledge to invade the North and push slavery there "by force of arms" .

Kind of a big deal, wouldn't you say?  Perpetual slavery -- and slavery in the NORTH.  By force of arms.

This is far more important -- and not shown -- in US history text books.  We are showing you how "history" is often bullshit.  Not all historians are bullshitters, but they so often repeat bullshit someone else made up, they may as well be bullshitters.

Point is, amazing "details"  and basic truths are sometimes overlooked in your history book. 


Jeff Davis War Ultimatums of 1861.   

Did you know Southern leaders issued war ultimatums in 1861?   They were boasted of at the time in Richmond newspapers.  According to the newspapers, (remember they boasted of it) there were five Ultimatums.

All five had to do with the spread of slavery - specifically the spread of slavery into Kansas, which by then was already a free state by a 95% vote.

Jefferson Davis himself said the resistance to the spread of slavery into KANSAS -- he wrote and said into KANSAS- - was intolerable.

By the time Davis wrote this, Kansas was already a free state.  Davis had sent killers to Kansas since 1856, to push slavery there, led by US Senator David Rice Atchison.

Atchison sent reports to Davis on the progress of the killings in Kansas. 

David Rice Atchison.

As US Senator, he passed Kansas Act.

Jeff Davis sent Atchison to Kansas offically
as "General of Law and Order In Kansas" 

Atchison makes his men promist to kill.

He boasts he works for the "present Administration"
Jeff Davis was his official boss -- as Secretary of War.

Atchison correctly states he speaks from his heart and the 
"blessed" administration and pro slavery party in the USA

He boasts correctly he is carrying the WAR -
the war to spread slavery.

This was in 1856.


Let me repeat that, because your "history" teacher has no clue.

Southern War Ultimatums in 1861, five of them.All five about the spread of slavery. Specifically the spread of slavery into Kansas, which was already a free state, and the citizens there had already voted 95% against slavery.

I would repeat it again -- but you should get the point.

 This information has been readily  available since 1906. 

 For 110 years, this is public information, incontrovertible, and not in doubt, whatsoever. No one claims it's not her letter. No one claims it's not her book. 
His wife's letter went into the library of Congress, donated by the Blair children, shortly after her death.

There is much more to validate what she wrote in her letter and book. 



According to one historian, Davis was "obsessed" for the rest of his life to disprove that he wore a dress.   Bet you did not know that. The historian did not explain why he said Davis was obsessed about it, I wish he had.  The point is, Davis was extremely aware he had been caught being a coward, and did all he could to make it seem otherwise.

As you will see, Davis published a book, and in it, to "prove" he did not wear a dress, he put on the exact clothes he wore that day, according to him.

Not similar clothes, Davis insisted these were the very clothes he had on when captured.

That proved it!  Here, this picture HERE, he said were of the exact clothes I wore.   

Do you see three layers of female clothing?  Varina described three layers, and while she didn't say blunty it was her dress, she did list three female garments.

"He wore no disguise, attempted no subterfuge.."


Still, Varna, in her letter, did write oddly that,  Davis "wore no disguise.. he attempted no subterfuge."   She then spent several paragraphs describing the disguise. 

But she spoke about three separate garments -- remember Davis insisted to the Nth degree, in writing, that he had on only his normal clothing.   

Varina  mentions a "dressing gown"  he wore -- she claimed he had worn in when he had fevers.  The dressing gown was a female dressing gown. 

Varina was NOT about to write bluntly "Yes he wore my dress, my head coverings, and my shawl". 

Davis nephew didn't bother going into detail, just calling it "woman's clothing".

She told the Blairs, in the letter itself, to destroy the letter, or it might be used to "embarrass" him.

Obviously, they did not destroy the letter, and fifty three years later, the Blair children, by then older adults, donated not just that letter, but hundreds of memorabilia from the Blair family, to the Library of Congress.



You can parse words from Varina's letter -- "he wore no disguise" -- and of course, Davis apologist quote that, and no more!   Do you think they don't know the next paragraphs describe the disguise?   And she even blurts out, she put all this on him "so he would not be recognized"

Who put  Davis in the dress?

While it's impossible to document whose idea it was for Davis to dress like a woman, anyone who knew Davis knew he was very much a "control freak".   Varina never said this or even implied it, but Davis also claimed he reunited with his wife's entourage to protect her!  

Remember, he also claimed he was protecting his children, and only allowed himself to be taken alive, because his children were next to him and they could have been killed if he had shot the first soldier.  He claimed he only relented for THEIR protection.

But Davis was nowhere near those children, he had left them behind when the bullets started flying.   He was NOT protecting those children, whatsoever.

And he told his wife to get herself killed.

So -- you think he joined  Varina's entourage to protect her?  Very likely, he joined her party in the SMART move -- the only way he had a chance -- to escape the search party.   They were going to be found, there were not many roads capable of the wagons Davis groups used.  

Eventually they would run into a Union patrol -- and to dress as a woman was the only way he could escape notice.  Varina herself even wrote to the effect, 'well so what if he had on full female attire -- he did it because he loved the South"!

And no Davis did NOT put on the three layers of garments by mistake, or even in a hurry.  It would take a man likely 10-20 minutes to remove his manily attire -- spurs and all -- and put on her layers of clothing.  Very likely, Davis had her clothes on the entire night, ready to flee if needed.   But that is conjecture -- the important facts are, Varina wrote about Davis running away in a dress, and she wrote "I said it was my mother" 

And of course, the "historians" are not going to mention "I told them he was my mother".

That's right -- according to HER letter, she held Davis to protect him, and she told the soldiers, standing just feet or inches as "It's my mother"

That's not what someone else said -- that's HER, in her letter, which still exists.

Was she a bit daft? Do you tell men standing a few feet away, that the person you are holding is your MOTHER, unless that person is dressed a whole lot like a woman?


 A number of books, and hundreds of "scholarly" articles have been written to prove Davis just had on, by mistake, his wife's Ratigan.

Ratigan my ass.  Davis never claimed a ratigan by mistake. Others tried to make up excuses to explain away his female attire, but Davis never claimed any mistaken ratigan!

 If that were not enough -- and it is -- Davis own nephew wrote in his own journal that Davis wore women's clothes and apologized for his role in that. 


This is from the report to the Secretary of War, by  Col Pritchard, who was there at the capture, and was there after Davis took the dress off, and his wife put it in (in a tent).


Precisely like -- Pritcard wrote, the dress usually worn by Mrs Davis after their capture, on the march back to Macon.

JEFF TOLD HER TO GET HERSELF KILLED -- IS IN HER BOOK, which was a huge best seller at the time, and still in print NOW. 

  "Historians"  use her book frequently,  chosing words carefully, ignoring others. Because for the most part, Varina flattered Davis whenever possible.

But Varina had something against outright lying.  She would be clever, but not lie for Davis.

Varoma  was honest factually-- her narrative was often slanted, but that's human nature.  When she says Davis told her to get herself killed, she is speaking factually, as she often did.  She saw no need to make  up bullshit, which Jeff Davis did, practically non-stop. 

Varina could have at ANY TIME in the next 30 years, simply said --"Davis wore his own clothes"   or "Davis acted bravely and protected the children".  

She never would. In her book, she comes right up to the moment of capture --- then just stops.  As if she had written something, then just taken it out.

Even in public, when asked, as she was, if Davis was in a dress or not, Varina was coy: "Mr Davis did not wear a hoop skirt".

Everyone laughed. No one said he wore a "hoop skirt".

Point is -- Varina Davis would never back up Davis story of his heroism.   She saw just what a coward he was.  And she knew his stories of his own heroism were a long standing habit of his -- none of them true.



See his wife's own book, quoting her husband.  


Why not show that?   They dare not. 

Davis, of course, would never tell anyone slaves were tortured, raped, sold.   They way Davis spoke, slavery was a kindness.  And it was cruel -- yes cruel -- not to spread slavery further, so slaves would be cared for more!

That's not what someone made up -- that is what Varina Davis, his own wife, wrote in Davis defense. 

Did you ever heard of Davis claim slavery was a kindness?

Fuck no.  

Did you ever hear he bought beautiful boys?

Fuck no.

Did you ever hear other Southern leaders had slave girls tortured, too, and defended it as a Godly directive, intended by God?

No.  Yet these are the things Southern leaders -- including Lee and Davis, actually wrote, and did. 

Slavery was justified -- always -- by reference to GOD and his intention, yes intention, that blacks be enslaved.   Did you know that? Jeff Davis did that.  And proudly. And it's not even in dispute, his own wife, and others, boasted of it.  

But has any biography of Lee or Davis made this clear?  Hell no.

Just like the "historians" dare not show you how cowardly Davis was, they won't dare show you their tortured logic for torture of slaves, and spread of slavery.

  Certainly every Davis "historian" has read Varina's book and letters, including the letter about his cowardice. And Davis defending slavery as ordained by GOD, a kindness to slaves, a cruelty to slaves to not enslave them.

Of course they know that, but they can't put that kind of blunt craziness in the biographies, and call Davis principled or honorable. He was a lunatic eager for power, who enjoyed being a slave owner, and the profit and power he got from it. 

Yes, he was. So was Lee. 

 Yes, historians are mostly about bullhit.  See the book "On Bullshit".   Bullshit makes them feel smart, and you can not insert the truth about Davis, then write all t hat bullshit.  So they leave out the truth.

A historian reading Varinas book would have to also know Davis was eager to send others to die--- eager to appear macho, too.  Nothing mattered, as you will see, to Davis, as much as appearing macho.

Do you think they did not read Varina's book?  She wrote about Davis telling her to get herself killed -- force your assailants to kill you.   Other accounts, at the time, made it even more clear. Davis told her to die, rather than be taken prisoner, because it would bring "shame on the family"  for a Davis to surrender.

Davis did not only surrender, he did not fight back,  and he ran away in his wife's dress. Yes, that's what he fucking did.  Then he claimed to be heroic.   And these "historians"  have all this material right there, in Varina's book, for one example, and in her letter.

But he was as big a coward as you can find. The "histories" of his bravery, books hilariously entitled "Undaunted Courage"  are  little more than goofy sophistry, repeating Jeff Davis own stories, all false, of his heroism.   Or  his lackies telling the stories Davis made up.

Davis telling his wife to get herself killed -- then running away for his safety, while is wife and children could have been killed, would be almost comical, if it were made up.  But it's true.

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


This is not someone else claiming she said it. This is her letter to Blairs, and her letter is not in doubt.   Furthermore, Varina was trying to HELP her husband avoid shame -- his cowardice was reported in papers, North and South. 

In her letter, Varina tries to take blame for Davis being in a dress, but she wrote so quickly, in such an emotional state, that she spilled the beans -- she verified, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the Union reports were correct.

Davis did run away in a dress, and she did have to protect him.  He protected no one.   He left her not only in danger, he left his children not only in danger, he also told her to get herself killed


The facts are so amazing, so extreme, it's no wonder Southern "historians" dare not admit to any of  them, but to blame the "Northern Press".

You seldom even hear of the story that Davis ran away in a dress, and if you hear of it at all, it's buried on page 287, in one paragraph, with a dismissive manner, claiming it was a "newspaper attempt at slander".

Bull shit.  For one thing, a SOUTHERN paper, not Northern, first reported his cowardice, as you will see.  

And far more importantly, Davis wife's letter -- and his newphew's journal, though they try to deflect blame,  make it incontrovertable, Davis ran away -- literally ran away -- in his wife's dress, while his children were in danger.


And yet, Davis, and his sympathizers since, have tried to claim heroism on Davis part, saying Davis had to resist his own manly impulse to kill the first Union soldier, and go down fighting, because the "proximity" of his children would mean they would be caught in the cross fire.

Nonsense. Davis cared rather little for his children, leaving them to whatever fate befell them,  and literally left them while bullets were flying, as the nephew indicated.

I SAID IT WAS MY MOTHER..  Those six words, by themselves, make it impossible to honestly posit that Davis was not in his wife's clothes, and not running away.

Varina was three feet away from Union soldiers, and holding Jeff Davis to her chest, protecting him, when she told the soldiers to leave "her" alone.  "I said it was my mother".

She told the soldiers Jeff Davis was her mother, when the soldiers were close enough to reach over, and pull Davis's head cover off, and end the charade. 

You can parse her words all you want -- and Southerners don't even want you to know she wrote a letter about her capture.  But "I said it was my mother"  ends all that.

There is not ONE book, by any Southern apologist, who dares even mention the sentence "I said it was my mother".

And hell yes, they know it.  They know Davis nephew's journal showed he was dressed as a woman, running away, leaving his children in danger as bullets flew. 

Few "historians" will even mention her letter, and when they do, they quote it dishonestly.  Yes, she did write "he wore no disguise"  but then wrote several paragraphs describing the disguise and saying he wore it "so he would not be recognize".

Her letter was a tad confusing, because she seemed to be in a hurry, and she was giving two stories at once.  She was trying to spare Davis embarrassment.

By the way, in 1908, the Blair children not only donated the letter Varina wrote to the Library of Congress, one gave a speech about the donation, and in that speech, made it clear everyone in Blair family knew Davis had worn his wife's clothes. No doubt Varina told them much more when the Blairs bailed her out of jail, and gave her lodging and support in their home.


Forget the Union reports -- call them all liars.  But Varina's letter, and the newphews journal actually go into more detail, than Union soldiers reports at the time.  Yes, the Union reports did mention Davis was in female attire -- a black dress.   The reports mention that Davis was allowed to get out of the dress, and that his wife put on the dress, that  he had just taken off!

If Varina had not written her letter, you could say, well, it was such confusion, there is no way to know.  Bullshit -- some "historians" like Shelby Foote tried to say there was "confusion"  and no way to know.   Nonsense. 


Varina would spin, would bend, would do everything but outright lie for her husband. A really remarkable woman, so much so that her book about the Confederacy and Jeff Davis, is one of the most important books written in that era. Most people would lie out the ass -- and did.  Not Varina.  

Remember that- - Varina  would never, ever back Davis on his story that he was wearing his own clothes and acted bravely.   

She could have said "Yes, he wore his own clothes, he protected us".   Never said it. 

She was doing all she could to save Davis embarrassment, but she would not lie.  

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. 



  When asked later  in life, 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, though some cartoons had shown, as satire, a hoop shirt.  Everyone at that time knew women would not wear a hoop skirt to anyplace but a formal dance.   Certainly no one wore such a formal dress in the woods while running away during a war.  



How do Southern "historians" like to play this? 

OF COURSE they know her letter, and book.  In fact, they often quote Varina's book (almost always in a deceptive way) in other matters. 

Some will even quote her letter -- the sentence she writes that Davis "employed no subterfuge" --  but then spends several paragraphs detailing the subterfuge.     

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 historians, especially those who try to make the Southern leaders seem noble.  



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.  Southern leaders had no honor.  No, they did not. The only reason anyone alive thinks they did, is the bullshit put out by Southern apologist, and the weak ass stupid shits like McPherson and Bruce Catton, whose vapid and foul honoring of Jeff Davis and Robert E Lee is actually more putrid than Southern crybaby's actions. 

McPherson, Bruce Catton, etc, claimed to be historians. No, actually, they were not. They were bullshitters. 



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

Did you know that? Very basic to the military history of the day -- how Jeff Davis stupidity and vanity wiped out the South.

Lee, for example, and others, knew two years earlier the war was unwinnable. Lee, however, was such a punk, he dared not confront Davis with that news, and never would, even at the end.

Other generals, just like German generals at the end of WW2, had the balls to tell HItler it was over, and were fired, or killed.

Davis was like that.  He would not abide anyone who did not attack. Someone should write a book about Hitler's end game of lunacy, and Davis, they were not dissimilar. 

No.   Davis was always for the peons to kill, to die.

 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.

Both Lee and Davis ran away from Richmond like cowards -- after boasting they would defend Richmond with their lives.  They ran away -- upon a rumor of a breech in the slave built lines. There was no breech!   But they ran like cowards.  Yes, they did.

Lee ran, and when he personally was likely to be invovled in any danger, he not only surrendered, he surrendered his entire army, despite his staff saying they could fight.   Lee, for the first time (you are never told this) was not close to where the fighting would be. Contrary to the bullshit in US movies, Lee was never close to battles, he was always "well in the rear"  and ordering these people to die, or those, from afar..

That's another story.

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.



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.



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.  

You won't hear that from Southern apologist -- or cowards like McPherson or Bruce Catton, either.

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--  if they admitted he lied and was a coward about that, and that he told his wife to get herself killed, how the fuck were they going to show he was a man of principle and honor.

There is no way. 


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.

But if you want to read something by a remarkably honest woman, who was there every second of the Civil War with Jeff Davis, you can't do better than Varina Davis.   If you are smart, you will notice Davis boasts about shit that seems crazy today -- like boasting the slavery is a kindness, and it's cruel not to spread slavery into the West. 

Varina, rather stupid and young when she met and married Davis, would never get her own mind going till after she moved North, to NY, after the war.   One of the more interesting lives of the century.  And a great resource, as honest as she could be, within her own limitations.


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?  Even recent books -- by major historians -- treat Davis as a man of honor and principle. 

Not only no mention of  his cowardice, but no mention of his War Ultimatums, or how he paid for 1000 killers to invade KS in 1856, under the leadership of Davis Rice Atchison.

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.


 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.