Davis ran his risks and took his chances, fully conscious of eminent danger, yet powerless, from physical weariness, to do all he designed doing against the danger. When the musketry firing was heard in the morning, at “ dim gray dawn,” it was supposed to be between the rebel marauders and Mr. Davis' few camp defenders. Under this impression he hurriedly put on his boots, and prepared to go out for the purpose of interposing, saying,-- “ They will at least as yet respect me.” As he got to the tent door thus hastily equipped, and with this good intention of preventing an effusion of blood by an appeal in the name of a fading, but not wholly faded authority, he saw a few cavalry ride up the road and deploy in front. “ Ha, Federals!” was his exclamation. “ Then you are captured,” cried Mrs. Davis, with emotion. In a moment she caught an idea — a woman's idea — and as quickly as women in an emergency execute their designs, it was done. He slept in a wrapper — a loose one. It was yet around him. This she fastened ere he was aware of it, and then, bidding him adieu, urged him to go to the spring, a short distance off, where his horses and arms were. Strange as it may seem, there was not even a pistol in the tent. Davis felt that his only course was to reach his horse and arms, and complied. As he was leaving the door, followed by a servant with a water-bucket, Miss Howell flung a shawl over his head. There was no time to remove it without exposure and embarrassment, and as he had not far to go, he ran the chance exactly as it was devised for him. In these two articles consisted the woman's attire of which so much nonsense has been spoken and written, and under these circumstances, and in this way, was Jefferson Davis going forth to perfect his escape. But it was too late for any effort to reach his horses, and the Confederate President was at last a prisoner in the hands of the United States.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.