for September, 1865, asserts explicitly, upon the testimony of the officers present, that Davis
, in addition to his full suit of Confederate gray, had on “a lady's waterproof (cloak), gathered at the waist, with a shawl drawn over the head, and carrying a tin pail.”
says, in his official report, that he received from Mrs. Davis
, on board the steamer Clyde
, off Fortress Monroe
, “a waterproof cloak or robe” of dark or almost black waterproof stuff which was worn by Davis
as a disguise, and which was identified by the men who saw it on him at the time of the capture.
He secured the “other part” of the disguise the next day. It consisted of a small black shawl, with a red border four or five inches deep, which was identified in a similar manner by Mrs. Davis
and the soldiers.
A convincing circumstance in this connection should be mentioned.
, in looking over the wrappings on board the steamer for the shawl in question, picked out one like it, but not the identical one, when little Jeff
, a bright boy of seven or eight years, with the artlessness of childhood, said: “That isn't the shawl my papa had on when captured; this is the one,” picking up another.
Various partisans and friends of Davis
still persist in denying that he was captured in the disguise of a woman; but in their efforts to explain away the story they have confirmed it in all its essential parts.
, of his staff, in a newspaper article published shortly after the capture, admits that Mrs. Davis
had thrown over him a “dressing gown.”
Between the various explanations which have appeared from time to time, nearly all of the truth has been told, for Davis
certainly had on both the shawl and waterproof, the former folded triangularly and pulled down over his hat, and the latter buttoned down in front and covering his entire person except, the feet.
In addition to this he carried a small tin pail and was accompanied by his wife and his wife's sister, one on each side, both of them claiming him as a female relative, and both trying to impose him upon the soldiers as such.
The articles of the disguise are now in the keeping of the Adjutant General
of the Army at Washington
, and I am assured by him that they correspond in all respects to the description given of them.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that Davis
did not actually have on crinoline or petticoats, but there is no doubt whatever that he sought to avoid capture by assuming the dress of a woman, or that the ladies of the party endeavored to pass him off upon his captors as one of themselves.
Many loyal men have declared that Davis
should have been tried by drum-head court-martial and executed; but what new disgrace could the gallows inflict upon the man who