Chapter 3: Mr. Davis continues his narrative.
While on my way to Montgomery, and waiting in Jackson, Miss., for the railroad train, I met the Honorable William L. Sharkey, who had filled with great distinction the office of Chief-Justice of the State. He said he was looking for me to make an inquiry. He desired to know if it was true, as he had just learned, that I believed that there would be war. My opinion was freely given, that there would be war, long and bloody, and that it behooved everyone to put his house in order. He expressed much surprise, and said that he had not believed the report attributing this opinion to me. He asked how I supposed war 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 in sensational reports, made by irresponsible parties, which were published in Northern newspapers, and were not considered worthy of correction under the pressure of the momentous duties then devolving upon me. These false reports, which represented me as invoking war and threatening devastation of the North, have since been adopted by partisan writers as authentic history. Itis sufficient answer to these accusations to refer to my farewell address to the Senate, already given, as reported for the press at the time, and in connection therewith, to my inaugural address at Montgomery, on assuming the office of President of the Confederate States, February the 18th.  These two addresses, delivered at the interval of a month, during which no material change in circumstances had occurred, being one before and the other after the date of the sensational reports referred to, are sufficient to stamp them as utterly untrue. The inaugural was deliberately prepared and uttered as written, and, in connection with the farewell speech to the Senate, presents a clear and authentic statement of the principles and purposes which actuated me on assuming the duties of the high office to which I had been called.An eye-witness wrote:
I have been honored with the friendship of the late President Davis since early in 1861. Of the voluntary escort which met him near the Georgia line and went with him to Montgomery when he first assumed the Chief Magistracy of the Confederacy, then consisting of seven States, I can recall but three who are now living-Alexander Walker, Thomas C. Howard, and myself. In those days there were no sleepers, and we secured a car which had been roughly fitted up for the use of Dr. Lewis, and which contained a comfortable bed. Soon after an introduction, we were at Ringgold about ten P. M., where bonfires were blazing and where he made a ringing speech, of which I remember  the opening phrase: “Countrymen, fellow-citizens, Georgians! I give your proudest title last,” etc. He went to sleep at once without undressing, but at every station as we came down the line he insisted upon responding to the greetings of the assembled crowds, and always in fresh, eloquent language. In the morning, from the balcony of the Trout House, he made a stirring address to a crowd of some five thousand citizens, which manifested an enthusiasm that I have never seen equalled; and so all the way to and in Montgomery similar scenes were repeated.The President was met with acclamations by the throng collected at Montgomery, which, as will appear in a letter subjoined, only depressed, while their enthusiasm gratified, him, and in two days thereafter he was inaugurated, and delivered his address at the Capitol at one o'clock on Monday, February 18, 1861.
The letter to me given below was the first written from Montgomery, and shows none of the elation of an ambitious, triumphant conspirator, but rather bears the imprint of a patriot's weight of care and sorrow.