‘A Good Deal that was Trampled Under Foot’ – Davis Finally Pays His Men

May 3, 1865 (Wednesday) The night previous found Jefferson Davis, what was left of his Cabinet, quite a load of gold, and about five brigades of cavalry in Abbeville, South Carolina. They all had set out from the town at midnight. Among their number were two Confederate agents, John Headley and Robert Martin, Texans, whoRead More

Davis Thinks He Can Continue the War

May 2, 1865 (Tuesday) On the morning of this date, Jefferson Davis and his cavalry escort, along with what little was left of the Confederate Cabinet, arrived in Abbeville, South Carolina. Brigade commander, Basil Duke, related his memory of this council of war. At Abbeville, South Carolina, Mr. Davis held a conference with the officersRead More

The Eight Conspirators Named

May 1, 1865 (Monday) John Wilkes Booth was dead. But Edwin Stanton had been far from satisfied. His strict orders that the assassin should be brought in alive had not been followed, and those he had in custody – a growing list of people, some only vaguely associated with the plot – had grown unwieldy.Read More

‘This Slow Progress Was Harassing’ – Davis Continues

April 30, 1865 (Sunday) “Soon after I heard that Johnston had surrendered to General Sherman,” wrote Union General James Wilson, commanding the cavalry out Georgia, “I received information that Davis, under escort of a considerable force of cavalry, and with a large amount of treasure in wagons, was marching south from Charlotte, with the intentionRead More

Armistice in Alabama – ‘With Joyous Poppings of Champaign Corks’

April 29, 1865 (Saturday) In February, Union General Edward Canby had been reinforced by much of the Army of the Cumberland. Near Mobile, he was to capture the port city if he thought possible, but to march as he could to Selma or Montgomery, Alabama. And so with 45,000 men, he was off, contested alongRead More

‘The Tide of War Will Follow Me’ – Davis Continues His Retreat

April 28, 1865 (Friday) Jefferson Davis was now on the run, though by the speed of his entourage, it might have been difficult to tell. While he was in Charlotte, North Carolina, he learned that Joe Johnston had surrendered and that John Wilkes Booth had been killed. The small band of cavalry which accompanied himRead More

Johnston Finally Able to Surrender His Army

April 26, 1865 (Wednesday) General Sherman had apparently overstepped his bounds, wishing to treat with the entire Confederacy rather than simply Joe Johnston’s army. In his mind, he wanted to wrap the entire war up in one fell swoop and thought that the capitulation of all the remaining Rebel forces, as well as the reestablishmentRead More

The Flight and Capture of John Wilkes Booth

April 25, 1865 (Tuesday) The assassin and his accomplice made the successful landing on Virginia’s banks of the Potomac on the morning of the 23rd. Thomas Jones, the Confederate spy who provided the boat for crossing, has also provided them with a name of a women who would help them – Mrs. Quesenberry. Again onRead More

Sherman Learns of the Rejection; Davis Wants a Body Guard

April 24, 1865 (Monday) Though General Sherman was expected Major Henry Hitchcock to arrive on the train from Washington with news of Washington’s approval or disapproval of his terms of surrender for Joe Johnston, what he was not expecting was General Grant. Believing this too important to be left to Sherman alone, Grant decided toRead More

Davis Plans to Retreat into Texas or Mexico

April 23, 1865 (Sunday) “The dispersion of Lee’s army and the surrender of the remnant which remained with him destroyed the hopes I entertained when we parted,” wrote Jefferson Davis to his wife. Jefferson Davis was still in Charlotte, North Carolina. He had scurried away from Richmond mere hours before its fall, and by AprilRead More