The Federals About to Close in on Jefferson Davis

Robert Minty

May 7, 1865 (Sunday) “Davis’ escort has been crowded so closely on all sides that it has been disbanded,” wrote General James Wilson to John Schofield, explaining the latest bit of rumors he had heard concerning the escape of the former Confederate President. “Three regiments have given themselves up to us here, and many othersRead More

Federals Still Unable to Find Davis

James Wilson

May 6, 1865 (Saturday) “One of our scouts,” wrote General James Wilson to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, “says [Jefferson] Davis left Washington [Georgia] with only six men. This I regard as probable. He can’t possibly get through the country with an escort.” Wilson, commanding troops movements from Macon, Georgia, had learned that Jefferson DavisRead More

Jeff Davis Strikes Out on His Own


May 5, 1865 (Friday) “Do not try to meet me,” wrote Varina Davis to her husband, “I dread the Yankees getting news of you so much, you are the country’s only hope, and the very best intentioned do not calculate upon a stand this side of the river. Why not cut loose from your escort,Read More

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

Robert Martin

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

Armistead Burk Mansion, where Davis held his last council of 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

Basil Duke

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