Trying to Tie Davis to Booth through Canada

May 16, 1865 (Tuesday) “It is very important to have the rebel War Department papers here immediately for use on the present trials,” wrote Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to Henry Halleck and General John Schofield. The latter replied: “I have all the archives of the late rebel War Department, including all the army muster-rolls,Read More

‘And the Devil’s Got Yours’ – Jeff Davis’ Ride to Savannah

May 15, 1865 (Monday) It had taken most of four days for Jefferson Davis and his family, along with most associated with his party when captured, to make their way under guard to Macon, Georgia. They had arrived on the 13th and left the day following. Shortly before arriving in Macon, John Reagan, the lastRead More

‘You Dare Not Hang That Man’ – Johnson Receives a Letter Brimming With Crazy

May 14, 1865 (Sunday) “Intelligence was received this morning of the capture of Jefferson Davis in southern Georgia. I met Stanton this Sunday P.M. at Seward’s, who says Davis was taken disguised in women’s clothes. A tame and ignoble letting down of the traitor.” – Gideon Welles, Naval Secretary. As the news spread through Washington,Read More

Jeff Davis Captured!

May 10, 1865 (Wednesday) Following are five first-person accounts of the capture of Jefferson Davis. Four are from a Confederate points of view, while the last was written by the Union officer responsible for his capture. Jefferson Davis: I travelled with my family two or three days, when, believing that they were out of theRead More

Federal Cavalry Surrounds Jeff Davis’ Camp

May 9, 1865 (Tuesday) From the report of Lieut. Col. Benjamin D. Pritchard, Fourth Michigan Cavalry. After a march of seventy-five miles, during which nothing of special interest occurred, the command reached Abbeville about 3 o’clock on the afternoon of May 9, and where I discovered the first trace of any of the parties forRead More

‘Make Every Endeavor to Capture or Kill Jeff Davis’ – The Federals Tighten the Noose

May 8, 1865 (Monday) It had all fallen upon Col. Robert Minty to capture Jefferson Davis. Minty, in turn, selected his own Second Brigade. To the commander, he issued these instructions: You will move with your command in as light order as possible to-morrow, the 9th instant, marching, via Hawkinsville, to Spalding, Irwin County, atRead More

Federals Still Unable to Find Davis

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

‘The Prairie Years, The War Years, Were Over’ – Lincoln Laid to Rest

May 4, 1865 (Thursday) The body of Abraham Lincoln had traveled over 1,600 miles, from Washington, to New York, Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, Indianapolis, to Chicago, and finally home to rest in Springfield, Illinois. The train carrying his remains chuffed into this small city the morning previous. His body was taken to the State House forRead 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