1) Jeff Davis tells his wife to get herself killed.

2) Varina writes letter to Blairs for help,  that Davis ran away, she ran to him, held him -- and told the soldiers to leave her MOTHER alone.

3) A Union soldier then removed Davis's head covering, revealing the well known face and beard of Jeff Davis.

4) Varina writes that if her husband did wear "full women's attire"  it was "of small cavil" -- it did not matter. 


If not for those six words, reasonable men could disagree.   But Varina wrote those -- and others.

I said it was my mother -- she told that to soldiers as he held Davis!  She was holding him as she tried to convince the Union soldiers Davis was her mother.

Varina's own letter, her own words. 

I said it was my mother..

She even told them -- it's in her letter -- that if they had to shoot someone, shoot her, but leave her mother alone. (Varina)

Twelve  times Varina gives exactly the same details as did the Union soldier's reports.  

"I said it was my mother"  -- is the exact same words Union officers used to report what she said.

Varina wrote that he was holding Davis when she told the soldiers Davis was her mother.  The Union officers were in exact agreement with her.

Varina wrote that she told the soldiers to shoot her -- Varina -- but leave her mother alonge.  The Union officers were in exact agreement on that, too.

Jeff Davis was dressed in a woman's garment -- the same garment Varina wore after Davis and Varina went to a tent to change Davis's clothing.   Varina emerged with that dress Davis had just been wearing.

Varina did not admit that.



Wearing the dress was not cowardly --- Davis could have been shot if he resisted.

The cowardly part -- Davis ran leaving his wife and children in danger.    

There were shots fired just before the Union soldiers entered the camp.  Those shots were fired by Union troops who shot at each other in the confusion and mist of the morning fog.

The point is,  shots were fired, and Davis flees in his wife's dress, making no move to protect  his wife and children.

Does anyone think Lincoln would have run away leaving his wife and children in danger?


Who runs away leaving your wife and children to the tender mercy of men who might be shooting to kill?  Lincoln would not run away leaving his children in danger. Most parents would not. 
Varina did not run away.

     No one in the Davis camp ran -- except Jeff Davis. _______________________________


And as one of Davis biographer wrote, Davis was obsessed for the rest of his life to prove he was not wearing his wife's dress and was not cowardly that day.

✔️Davis had everyone he could write "affidavits" saying he was wearing his own clothes ( a lie).  

✔️Davis had his picture taken repeatedly -- with the clothes he claimed he had on that day -- as if that proves anything.

✔️ The Museum of Confederacy to this day shows those clothes as if that proves Davis ran away in those clothes. What else could they do?  Show Varina's letter??


In at least 10 basic facts -- Varina and the Union soldiers report the same thing.  

 So any idea that the Union officers made this all up is absurd.

Varina reported dozens of details  in her letter to Blairs,  and her book.  While the Union officers all wrote extensive reports to Edwar Stanton in the War Department.

The Union officers were very clear (see below) Davis ran away in a dress.   They report specifically like Varina's letter did -- that she told them Davis was her mother.  

And they wrote that she was the brave one -- she jumped in front of Davis to protect him,  that she told them Jeff Davis was her mother.

 Varina does not flatter herself as brave --that detail about holding him as the soldiers were going to shoot him  was just her explanation of the facts.

And it was confirmed by the US troops.

The soldiers all admired her for that bravery the rest of their lives.

The Union officers  allowed him to remove the dress for the trip back.  

Varina would never say bluntly that Davis wore a dress -- she described three different garments, none of them looked anything like his regular clothes.

One was a full length "dressing gown"  she claimed he used in the summer for chills.  Another garment was her "Rattigan".   

Davis just claimed he wore is very sophisticated looking clothes, that looked like New York high fashion.

And he tried to act as if he was the hero.   He once claimed he surrendered for her sake, and his children's sake.  Otherwise he would have killed the first soldier that came near him. 



SINCE 1910.

When Davis bragged he sacrificed more, gave more for the great cause of the South hundreds of thousands of his own troops lay dead, some still dying from wounds. 

In that insane speech -- where Davis lauded his great sacrifice---  he did not mention the dead and dying, except to claim he sacrificed more.

Very Trump like insane, very Trump like egomaniac.



According to Jeff Davis -- egomaniac and coward. But he had to to compensate for his cowardice somehow -- especially to others.


Allow me to thank Elizabeth Keckely for pointing me in the direction of Jeff Davis dress.

She had  more information about Davis

Yet I never heard even of the rumor that Davis wore a dress, until I read Keckley's autobiography.  

She could not confirm that Davis wore his wife's dress-- but she did confirm the dress shown in Chicago was her stitching. 

Likely it was not the dress he had on, because that was taken to the Secretary of War.  The union soldiers took the other clothes, and it might have been her stitching but one of those garments.



 The soldiers were not kidding when they said they would kill him -- as Varina asserted correctly.   She certainly believed them -- and said so in her letter.  

Varina told the Blairs in the letter itself to destroy the letter, less it be an embarrassment to him later.
She also wrote to the Blairs, essentially, so what if he wore full women's attire -- he did so because he so loved the South, it was "of no cavil" -- it was not important.
Not an outright admission, but she had already confirmed that Davis was dressed as a woman when she told the soldiers Davis was her mother, and to leave her alone. 

This was just another interesting sentence -- essentially so what if he had on full women's attired.
Varina's handwritten letter is still at the Library of Congress,  (donated by the Blair children in 1910).




✔️The capture of Davis was weeks after Varina and Davis fled Richmond.  

✔️ It was there -- in Richmond -- that Davis  told  Varina to get herself killed if they were captured. 

✔️Davis told her to get herself killed - to die -- because for a Davis to be taken prisoners would bring shame upon the South.

For  two years Davis extorted -- and ordered -- his generals to attack, attack, attack.  

Davis publicly shamed Generals, and fired them, (Johnston, famously) for not attacking as he wanted.

Never mind that they were greatly outnumbered, as you will see, because 2/3 of the rebel soldiers deserted by 1864. (See Davis's Macon speech September of 1864)


When Davis found a general that would attack a much larger and army-  and he found one, John Hood, -- Davis caused even more deaths, and more desertions.  

The point here,  Davis was the macho man that sent others to their deaths.    So when Davis was running away from Richmond (after he promised he would never leave Richmond)  how would it look if he ran -- which he did.

How would it look if he surrendered, which he did?

How would it look if he ran away in wife's dress while his wife and children were in danger?   

Remember -- Davis told his own wife to get herself killed rather than be taken alive.  All a big act, as if he would of course to that. 


Davis himself -- in his Macon speech,  made fun of the generals that did not attack, and in the same speech,  made it clear 2/3 of the soldiers had deserted.  An amazing speech you can see here. Link. 


If they must shoot someone, Varina told the Union soldiersshoot her (Varina) not her mother. 


 Just hours after his capture, Davis dressed back into his normal clothes.

Only then did  Davis  act like a macho man, telling the Union soldiers they were lucky he did not kill some of them.

They just ignored him.


 Davis did not protect his wife and children.

You can't make this up 

 When they allowed Davis and his wife to go into a tent to get his normal clothing on -- Varina exited with that very dress -- the dress Davis had worn minutes before. 

We know those were Varina's garments -- women's clothing.

We also know Davis had those clothes on all night, and had his horse tied up nearby, which he tried to get to.   You can't put on women's clothes that fast, so he had to be prepared.

Again that's not cowardice -- the dress.  But it is cowardice to leave your wife and child while bullets are flying. 



If they must shoot someone, Varina told the Union soldiersshoot her (Varina) not her mother.  That was as Varina was still trying to pass Davis off as her mother. 


✔️ For the rest of their lives, every Union soldier there who spoke of it,  respected and admired Varina Davis for  defense of her husband, specifically how she told them to shoot her, but leave her mother (Davis)  alone.






It  would have been  simple for Varina to write a few words in her 1890 book, true or false,  "Mr. Davis wore his own clothes."  

Or, "Mr. Davis defended me and the children against the Union soldiers."

The country was still fascinated by Davis's capture, and whether or not he wore a dress.

If Davis wore his own clothes -- of course, why did she not write it?

But more amazing --even if it were not true -- why not write it?

All she had to do is write a false sentence. 

  She refused to do so.  

That is amazing.   It says a lot about Varina -- and her veracity  -- that she did not lie outright for Davis, when it would be understandable had she done so.
And very easy to do.

Rear her book,  written with such precision, and so exact.So clear,

And very easy to do.
Almost as if Varina had  struggled with that part of her book.  As if she had written, or tried to write,  100 different ways to explain his capture.
In frustration,  in her book, Varina got right up to the very minute, the very moment of Davis being captured -- then the chapter ends.   
The next chapter starts. Nothing was more important to many at the time, than was Davis wearing a dress.  Surely many in South wanted to see proof, or at least see  her claim Davis was brave, and Davis wore his own clothes, and Davis protected the children. 


Varina would not do that. 



 When asked, as Varina  often was when she became friends with wife of Ulysses S Grant in New York, if Davis wore a dress,  she would smile, and say "Mr. Davis did not wear a hoop skirt." 

Everyone would laugh politely, it seems, and move to another subject.

 Of course, no one ever claimed he wore a hoop skirt. 

 No one wore a hoop skirt except at formal dances.

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




In her letter she denied David "committed any subterfuge" -- and then described the subterfuge.

She writes essentially -- well what if he had, what if he had on "full women's attire"?    So what, as we might say now.

Stunning part of her letter, almost as amazing as "I said it was my mother"  and that she told the soldiers to shoot her, Varina, if they needed to shoot someone.

She wrote It was "of little cavil."  It did not matter in other words.  He did so for a South that loved him.

He wore that dress

He ran away leaving his children and wife in danger

because -- he did it for the South.

.From North Carolina paper...

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

Davis had this picture taken 
to "prove" what he wore.

These are  clothes are on display to this day at Confederate Museum.  They of course take Davis at his word,  as if taking a picture and donating those exact garments are proof what he wore that day.

Apparently Davis never did learn that Varina wrote that letter about "I said it was my mother".  


Report to the Secretary of War, by  Col Pritchard,

 BELOW is from the report to the Secretary of War, by  Col Pritchard, who was there at the capture. 

 He was of course there when Davis was allowed to get out of the dress, and was there when Varina emerged wearing the dress Davis just took off. Link again. 

A more full account is below....

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. Including the Virginia Historical Society -- to this day.

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 that an obedient wife. Her two volume book on Davis is as flattering as it could possible be.

Yet 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" nature of their publication.

They claimed she was homely, and suggested she lured a lonely Davis into marriage. 

Notice they claim she lived in Washington and she said the worst years of her life were in Richmond -- which was a city under siege during war!

They claimed she was "manifestly ill suited" for first lady and was not attractive -- 

Actually Varina was HOT.  

Varina was young, ever so obedient. 

Davis was  twice her age.  He courted her, and he ruled over her, she did what he said. She adopted every view, every slogan, every thought he did. 

Until he died, that is.


Maybe this was her crime?

Later in life, after the war, after she was in Washington, ten and after Davis was gone, she said she was happy and "the right side won the civil war. "

The encyclopedia failed to give that quote, but doubtless they knew it.

  That apparently infuriated the encyclopedia of Virginia! Though of course they never said that was the reason they trashed her.




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.

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.



Varina, hated later by Jeff Davis adoring fools  at the Encyclopedia of Virginia to this day, apparently because of her letter and book she wrote long before those boys were even born. See below.