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Varina Davis, Jefferson Davis: Ex-President of the Confederate States of America, A Memoir by his Wife, Volume 2, Chapter 4: going to Montgomery.-appointment of the Cabinet. (search)
e relation of close personal friendship, or had political claims upon me; indeed, with two of them I had no previous acquaintance. Mr. Davis wished very much to appoint the Honorable Robert Barnwell to be Secretary of State, on account of the great confidence he felt in him and of his affection for him; but Mr. Memminger, of South Carolina, was pressed for Seiretary of the Treasury. Mr. Barnwell therefore declined the portfolio of State. Mr. Memminger's portfolio had been intended for Mr. Toombs, of Georgia. Mr. Mallory had been chairman of the Naval Committee in the Senate, and was urged for Secretary of the Navy. Mr. Benjamin's legal attainments caused him to be invited to be Attorney-General. Mr. Reagan was appointed Postmaster-General because of his sturdy honesty, his capacity for labor, and his acquaintance with the territory of the Southern States. Mr. Leroy Pope Walker's name was the only one urged by Alabama for the War Department. The Confederate Congress decla
the situation and the probable extent and duration of the war, and of the provision that should be made for the defence of the seceding States. Before secession, Mr. Davis thought war would result from it; and after secession he expressed the view that the war then commenced would be an extensive one. The idea that Mr. Davis was so extreme in his views, is a 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 opinion is that no man could have obtained a single vote in the Mississippi delegation against 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 Confederate Congress, wrote: My recollections of what transpired at the time are very vivid and positive. Who should be President? was t
Varina Davis, Jefferson Davis: Ex-President of the Confederate States of America, A Memoir by his Wife, Volume 2, Chapter 62: leaving Charlotte.—The rumors of surrender. (search)
nd, the train moved on, and we continued our journey to Washington. We found the whole town in a state of most depressing disorder. General and Mrs. Elzey called to see me, and said that when the news of the surrender was received there, the quartermasters' and commissaries' stores had been sacked, and Mrs. Elzey laughingly told me she had picked up a card of pearl buttons in the street which General Elzey insisted she should throw down again, as it was undoubtedly public property. General Toombs called with many kind offers of hospitality, but I was anxious to get off before Mr. Davis could reach Washington, fearful that his uneasiness about our safety would cause him to keep near our train and of his being pursued by the enemy. My young brother Jefferson had been paroled at Augusta, and came at once to join and offer me his services. Colonel Moody, a Mississippi lawyer who was going home, and Colonel Moran, of Louisiana, volunteered to accompany us and take charge of the
e tells me that only one matter was brought before the Cabinet, viz., the proposition to subsidize steamers, to keep open communication with the West Indies. Since the interview with Mr. Memminger, I have taxed my memory to recall what passed, and it seems to me that, whether it was before the Cabinet or not, the other proposal, viz., to purchase certain steamers, was spoken of at the cabinet meeting at which I was present by invitation. I think I rememn ber someone, possibly it was General Toombs, making a remark that showed that he had confused the two measures altogether, and thought the proposition was for the Government to buy the steamers, and then subsidize a company to manage them, or something of that sort. This is a vague and indistinct recollection, however, and I merely mention it because the same incidents may have made an impression upon the others. As well as I can remember, I spoke in favor of both measures. Mr. Memminger thinks otherwise, but subsequent