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Chapter 1: from Washington to Mississippi. The task of relating my husband's life in the Confederacy is athe announcement by telegraph of the secession of Mississippi and the receipt of the official notification whic in necessary preparations, I left Washington for Mississippi, passing through Southwestern Virginia, East Tenn had been expressed by the Commissioner sent from Mississippi to Maryland) that the secession of six Southern Shis brother apologized. As soon as we reached Mississippi, man after man boarded the train and accompanied r I. I. Pettus, as Major-General of the forces of Mississippi, dated January 25, 1861. Then began the business the organization and discipline of the forces of Mississippi. Governor Pettus came to Mr. Davis to consult abo : On my arrival at Jackson, the capital of Mississippi, I found that the Convention of the State had mad (which is as true of other Southern States as of Mississippi) is a clear proof of the absence of any desire or
e Presidency, with the Hon. Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, as Vice-President. Mr. Stephens was a delegate from Georgia to the Congress. While these events were occurring, having completed the most urgent of my duties at the capital of Mississippi, I had gone to my home, Briarfield, in Warren County, and had begun, in the homely but expressive language of Mr. Clay, to repair my fences. While thus engaged, notice was received of my election to the Presidency of the Confederate States, event it, I was surprised, and, still more, disappointed. For reasons which it is not now necessary to state, I had not believed myself as well suited to the office as some others. I thought myself better adapted to command in the field, and Mississippi had given me the position which I preferred to any other — the highest rank in her army. It was, therefore, that I afterward said, in an address delivered in the Capitol before the Legislature of the State, with reference to my election to th
r could result from the peaceable withdrawal of a sovereign State. The answer was, that it was not my opinion that war should be occasioned by the exercise of that right, but that it would be. Judge Sharkey and I had not belonged to the same political party, he being a Whig, but we fully agreed with regard to the question of the sovereignty of the States. He had been an advocate of nullification, a doctrine to which I never assented, and which had at one time been the main issue in Mississippi politics. He had presided over the well-remembered Nashville Convention in 1849, and had possessed much influence in the State, not only as an eminent jurist, but as a citizen who had grown up with it, and held many offices of honor and trust. On my way to Montgomery, brief addresses were made at various places at which there were temporary stoppages of the train, in response to the calls from the crowds assembled at such points. Some of these addresses were grossly misrepresented i
ents were fresh in the memories of their contemporaries. The Honorable J. A. P. Campbell, of Mississippi, afterward Justice of the Supreme Court of that State, wrote in 1870: If there was a delegate from Mississippi, or any other State, who was opposed to the election of Jefferson Davis as President of the Confederate States, I never heard of the fact. No other man was spoken of for Prebattle-ground. Years prior to secession, in his address before the Legislature and people of Mississippi, Mr. Davis had earnestly advised extensive preparation for the possible contingency of secess new one. He was extremely conservative on the subject of secession. The suggestion that Mississippi would have preferred General Toombs or Mr. Cobb for President has no foundation in fact. My st Mr. Davis, who was then, as he is now, the most eminent and popular of all the citizens of Mississippi. The late Duncan F. Kenner, of Louisiana, formerly a member both of the Federal and Conf
Chapter 24: New Orleans. Although depressed by the loss of the victory virtually won by General Johnston at Shiloh, because someone had blundered after his death, the people were still far from being hopeless of final success. They knew that we were still masters of the river south of Fort Pillow, and they believed that we should be able still to retain the rich valley of the lower Mississippi. But general disappointment and a temporary feeling of alarm suddenly arose from an event unexpected, and never hitherto feared: the fall of New Orleans, which had been regarded as strong enough to repel the attacking force. Such also had been the belief of General Lovell, the military commander there, as late as December 5, 1861. Chains were stretched across the approaches to New Orleans, and obstructions sunk in the river at the narrowest points; the forts had been all strengthened; but all these were passed. Our new ram, the Jlississzippi, was destroyed by our forces, and all th
Varina Davis, Jefferson Davis: Ex-President of the Confederate States of America, A Memoir by his Wife, Volume 2, Chapter 35: visit to Tennessee.—Battle of Murfreesboro. (search)
e following letter: From President to Mrs. Davis. Chattanooga, Tenn., December 15, 1862. We had a pleasant trip, and without an incident to relate, reached this place on the I ith, went to Murfreesboro on the 12th, and leave to-day for Mississippi. The troops at Murfreesboro were in fine spirits and well supplied. The enemy keep close in lines about Nashville, which place is too strongly fortified and garrisoned for attack by troops unprepared for regular approaches on fortifications.ity demands I will return to Richmond, though already there are indications of a strong desire for me to visit the further West, expressed in terms which render me unwilling to disappoint the expectation. General Johnston will go directly to Mississippi, and reinforce General Pemberton. Joe General Joseph R. Davis. was quite excited at hearing of active operations behind us, and spoke of returning to his brigade. Many of the officers inquired for Colonel Johnston and felt as I did, regr
863. The year 1863 opened drearily for the President, but the Confederates generally seemed to have, for some unexplained cause, renewed hope of recognition by England and France, and with this they felt sure of a successful termination of the struggle. Mr. Davis was oppressed by the fall of Donelson, Nashville, Corinth, Roanoke Island, New Orleans, Yorktown, Norfolk, Fort Pillow, Island No.10, Memphis, General Bragg's defeat at Murfreesboro, the burning of the Virginia and the ram Mississippi, the sinking of the Arkansas, and other minor disasters. The victory at Fredericksburg was the one bright spot in all this dark picture. Complaints from the people of the subjugated States came in daily. Women were set adrift across our borders with their children, penniless and separated from all they held dear. Their property was confiscated, the newspapers were suppressed, and the presses sold under the Confiscation act. In Tennessee, county officers were nominated, and an
urfreesboro, in January, 1863, attention was concentrated upon a campaign in Mississippi with Vicksburg as the objective point. Of course, this section of country wo Vicksburg, and soon after with his large army marched into the interior of Mississippi. The destruction of valuable stores at Holly Springs by General Van Dorn the command of a Geographical Department including the States of Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina. Mrs. Johnston and I were very intimatf cavalry for observation and to keep open communications with our troops in Mississippi. As soon as General Johnston assumed command in person, General Pemberton rable. On May 9, 1863, General Johnston was ordered to proceed at once to Mississippi and take chief command of the forces, and he telegraphed to General Pembertoies was all exhausted; all industries were at a standstill. The interior of Mississippi had been desolated by fire and sword, and the women and children could not e
Varina Davis, Jefferson Davis: Ex-President of the Confederate States of America, A Memoir by his Wife, Volume 2, Chapter 42: President Davis's letter to General Johnston after the fall of Vicksburg. (search)
your assignment to the immediate command in Mississippi as giving you a new position and as limitinrgia, the States of Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, and that portion of the State of Louisianahad ordered the division of cavalry from North Mississippi to Tennessee, I telegraphed to you that ordered, on May 9th, to proceed at once to Mississippi and take chief command of the forces, givin Tennessee, since assignment here, i.e., in Mississippi. When you received my telegram of June 15th, informing you that the order to go to Mississippi did not diminish your authority in Tennessem by a greater number, then on their way to Mississippi, and whom you were requested to divert to T Tennessee, since assignment here (i.e., in Mississippi). Your despatch of the 5th instant is againnduced the instruction to you to proceed to Mississippi was the conviction that your views on the prders transferring troops from Tennessee to Mississippi, and whether commanding there or not, that [12 more...]
Varina Davis, Jefferson Davis: Ex-President of the Confederate States of America, A Memoir by his Wife, Volume 2, Chapter 49: Fort Pillow, Ocean Pond, and Meridian. (search)
tes abandoned Corinth, Fort Pillow was necessarily evacuated also, and was immediately occupied by an inconsiderable Federal force. On April 12, 1864, an attack was made upon the fort by two brigades of General N. B. Forrest's force, under Mississippi's gallant general, J. R. Chalmers. The Confederates gained the outer works and drove the garrison to their main fortifications. About this time General Forrest arrived and reconnoitred the whole position, in doing which he had two horses 000 men, achieved a victory over General Seymour's 7,000 troops that had just arrived from Charleston Harbor. This battle expelled the enemy from Florida. On February 3d General Sherman, with 30,000 men, without opposition crossed the State of Mississippi to Meridian. The Federal cavalry started from Corinth and Holly Springs, and laid waste that fertile district on their way to join Sherman. Our great cavalry, leader, General Forrest, with 2,500 cavalry encountered, attacked, and defeate
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