08 April 2007

Jefferson Davis

Ok, so this was the next big stop on my trip. Although General Lee had already surrendered to Grant in Virginia, hopes for many Confederates still survived as long as Jefferson Davis and his cabinet were around. Those hopes ended here May 10, 1865 when his group was captured where they had camped for the night. They had been travelling from Richmond, Virginia to Texas, where they had hoped to attempt a new campaign. During the night, the 1st Wisconsin infantry, and 4th Michigan cavalry had approached the area. Running into each other nearby, each thought that the other was the enemy, and a short "friendly fire" followed, that ended with 2 casualties, John Rupert and John Hines, both of the Michigan cavalry. Shortly thereafter, they found the campsite and apprehended Davis. Rumors began circulating that he was found wearing his wifes clothing, whether intentionally to escape, or by accident in the dark, but accounts are contradictary and there is no way to know for sure. Davis was taken to Fort Monroe in Virginia, where he was a prisoner for two years before being released on bail. Photo captions: Title photo is the monument to Davis on the capture site. Next shows the historic marker located in Fitzgerald, GA (see last post) telling about the site, and next is a marker on the road to the capture site. Next photos are two of the ones I managed to take in the museum before they told me to turn off my camera. The first is a Confederate not e with a story: Major A.S. Jonas (a native of Mississippi) was a member of the staff of General Stephan D. Lee, when paroled at High Point, NC in May 1865. He went with a party of officers to Richmond, VA to secure transportation home. At the Powhatan Hotel, where they were entertained, they met miss
Anna Bush ( a young lady from the North) then visiting in Richmond. In conversation with the officers one day she showed them some Confederate notes printed on one side, saying she was going to carry them home as souvenirs. Handing one to each officer, she requested them to write a few lines with autograph attached. Each gallantly complied, and Major Jonas handed back the now famous "lines". Soon after "the lines" appeared in the NY Metropolitan Record, under the heading "Something too good to be lost". Official recognization was accorded Major Jonas' beautiful lines by the National Convention of the Untied Daughters of the Confederacy in Norfolk 1907. The poem had a prominent place on the program Historic Day, Nov 15 1907, the honor of reading it being conferred on the poet's daughter, Miss Annie Lowe Jonas of Memphis.
"Representing nothing on God's green earth now,
And naught in the waters below it,
As the pledge of a nation that's dead and gone,
Keep it dear friend, and show it.
Show it to those who will lend an ear
To the tale that this paper can tell
Of liberty born of the Patriot's dream,
Of a storm cradled nation that fell.
Too poor to possess the precious ores
And too much of a stranger to borrow,
We issued today our promise to pay,
And hoped to repay on the morrow.
The days rolled by and the weeks became years,
But our coffers were empty still;
Coin was so rare that the treasury'd quake
If a dollar should drop in the till.
But the faith that was in us was strong indeed,
And our poverty well we discerned
And this little check represented the pay
That our suffering veterans earned
We knew the value in gold,
Yet as gold each soldier received it;
It gazed in our eyes with a promise to pay,
and each Southern patriot belived it.
But our boys thought little of price or pay,
Or of bills that were overdue,
We knew if it brought us our bread today,
'Twas the best our poor country could do.
Keep it, it tells all our history o'er,
From the birth of our dreams 'till the last;
Modest, and born of the angel Hope,
Like our hope of success, it passed." -Major A.S. Jonas
The next picture shows some effects of Georgia's last Confederate veteran, William Jordan Bush (see last post.) Included are shoes, pipe, umbrella, and his Confederate flag that he carried in many parades and events. Next picture shows the Davis capture site. Some of these trees have been there since the event. Next is the back of the monument (the front is the title picture). Next is the road they travelled on, the only original section of it remaining. And the last picture is the marker where the friendly fire occured and killed the two men.

No comments: