Jefferson Davis Feed

Newly Discovered Portraits of Jefferson and Varina Davis

Quarter-plate tintypes attributed to Jesse H. Whitehurst of Washington, D.C. John O’Brien collection.

In Washington, D.C. on Jan. 21, 1861, Jefferson Davis stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate and bid farewell to his colleagues. Two weeks earlier, his homeland of Mississippi had dissolved its ties with the Union, a move that effectively ended his senatorial career. 

The day proved the saddest of his life. Worn down by attempts to find a compromise to avert the current crisis and weighted down with stress and anxiety, Davis would soon leave the capital bound for an uncertain fate. His wife, Varina, would accompany him, equally distraught to leave their much-loved Washington.

Physical characteristics indicate the portraits were made at the same time. The brass mats and frames are similar, as is the texture of the back of the iron plates. Though the Davises may have visited Whitehurst’s gallery together, their different poses suggests the portraits were not thought of as a pair—Jefferson stares straight ahead and Varina in profile.


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White House of the Confederacy

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During the Civil War, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his family lived in a Richmond, Virginia mansion. Now referred to as “the White House of the Confederacy,” the residence was saved from demolition in 1896 and since 1988 has been restored to it’s wartime appearance. American History TV visited to learn about the Mexican War veteran and U.S. Senator who became leader of the Confederate States of America. 

Link to C-Span's video

Sons Of Confederate Veterans wants to set the record straight

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email


The last home of Jefferson Davis is being hailed for its significance in teaching the history of the South. The National Sons of Confederate Veterans coupled a celebration of the completion of Beauvoir's presidential library with the commemoration the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. 

Re-enactors at Beauvoir, the last home of Jefferson Davis, taught children about what life was like during the Civil War by showing them many of the artifacts used during that time.

Michael Givens is the Commander-In-Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

"It's very important that people recognize the struggles of the Southerners and the Northerners during that war because it was one of the defining moments in American history,"
said Givens.

History buffs headed to Beauvoir to mark the dedication of the new Jefferson Davis Presidential library.

"The public needs to understand that his building represents a lot more than just Jefferson Davis," said Beauvoir Director Bertram Hayes-Davis. "This is a historic educational opportunity for us to share the Southern heritage and all the stories to go along with not only Jefferson Davis but the Southern part of this country."

A museum is planned for the inside the library. Officials with the National Sons of Confederate Veterans said they look forward to exhibits which will preserve the history and heritage they hold dear.
"It's going to be a beacon. A depository of literature about the people, about their struggle," said Givens. "We're just so happy that we're able to dedicate it today. Once this building is complete and the museum is in side and all the literature, the history books, it will be able to help to tell the rest of the story. To set records straight. To let everybody know more about the struggles of our people."

From WLOX.xom

Jefferson Davis’ .44 (.54 bore) Kerr’s Patent Revolver

A Kerr’s Patent Revolver with provenance indicating that it was one of two presented by Confederate President Jefferson Davis to the commander of his personal escort, Captain Given Campbell, Duke’s Cavalry Brigade, May 4, 1865, shortly before Davis’ capture by Union forces.

The Confederacy imported about 7000 Kerr revolvers from England and these were issued to the 7th, 11th, 12th, 18th and 35th Virginia Cavalry as well as the 24th Georgia and 8th Texas (Terry’s Texas Rangers). This imported lot of Kerr revolvers represents far more hand guns than were ever produced by Southern Armories…

Thomas Custer, younger brother of George carried a captured Kerr revolver to his death at the Little Bighorn. The inscribed gun can be seen on display at the Custer Battlefield Museum in Garryowen, Montana…

From Defending the Heritage on Face Book

Jefferson Davis Presidential Library


The Jefferson Davis Presidential Library will open in early 2013.  This facility is a state of the art architecturally beautiful building that will feature exhibits and events focused on the life of Jefferson Davis.   The Library reflects both the stature of the Beauvoir house framed with columns similar to the porch.   Contained in the design are the unusual ratios that reflect Davis’ height, six feet, and the number of states, thirteen.   Through the inside of the building are large galleries and clean lines that represent a modern design.

The Beauvoir room is a large multi-use room that can be used for both meetings and events.  It will feature a state of the art audio visual capacity and flexible seating.  This arrangement will allow the Library to accommodate meetings of up to 200 people in a comfortable atmosphere. 

The gift store will offer a larger collection of both books and items that reflect both the Presidential stature and the accomplishments of Jefferson Davis and the property.  Included in this will be gifts that are attached directly to Beauvoir through materials or the craftsman.  The expanded space will also be able to provide a reading area and activity area for children.

Using clear cypress and stainless steel panels the Library halls, provide an open and bright opening to the large galleries.  Two galleries will hold numerous exhibits and offer flexibility for traveling and rotating opportunities as they are developed.

Also included is a Library that will hold the research materials that were secured from the first building.  In addition, there will be artifacts and donations that have been made to the Library after Katrina to include flags, books, papers  and other artifacts.

This building will be a destination for events focused on Jefferson Davis and the many aspects of his life.  They will include trains, the Capital, the Smithsonian, the War Department, the   US Senate, West Point, and the Aztec War of 1847.  It will truly be a world class facility.

 Photo and text from


Jefferson Davis Final Home


Presentation by Commander Mark Morgan at the George E. Dixon Camp 1962, March 2, 2012 Camp Meeting. Mark discusses the final home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis located in Beauvior, Mississippi. He covers the purchasing of the home, it's history, the Davis family, and it's restoration as the result of Hurricane Katrina.

See: Louise Desporte

This week in the Civil War - February 19, 1862


Confederate President Davis re-inaugurated.

Jefferson Davis, who was provisionally elected the president of the Confederacy at a convention in Montgomery, Alabama, and inaugurated in February 1861, is reinaugurate this week 150 years ago. The re-inauguration on Richmond's Capitol Square takes place on Feb. 22, 1862, following Davis' election in November 1861 to a six-year term.

In his address, Davis declares that the people of the Confederacy have come to believe that "the Government of the United States had fallen into the hands of a sectional majority, who would pervert the most sacred of all trusts to the destruction of the rights which it was pledged to project. ... Therefore we are in arms to renew such sacrifices as our father s made to the holy cause of constitutional liberty."

The Richmond Examiner, in a report on the eve of Davis' oath-taking, declares the day an "auspicious" one, but it exhorts his administration to take up its cause with energy so as to "escape the miseries of a protracted war." The Philadelphia Inquirer is among Northern newspapers that will print the bulk of the speech in later days along with details of the elaborate inaugural ceremonies and the politicians, judges and other prominent officials present.

Elsewhere, The Associated Press reports from Springfield, Missouri, that federal army troops are in "vigorous pursuit of the rebels" in that state. A dispatch states that Union forces have captured four rebel officers and 13 privates but the main body of pro-Confederate forces led by Sterling Price eludes them in the countryside. From 1862 to 1864, Missouri will be the crucible of bloody guerrilla warfare. Only Virginia and Tennessee will see more battles, clashes and other engagements during the war.

The Associated Press

Beauvoir House


Photos courtesy Mark Morgan

Louise Caroline Desport (1862 - 1902) was  house mother at the Bueavoir house in Biloxi, Mississippi during the 1890s. Louise was my Great Grandmother.

Bueavoir was the last home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Davis died in 1889. His daughter, Winnie then inherited the property and when she died in 1898, Varina, Jefferson Davis' widow inherited the property. Mrs. Davis sold the property to the Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans with two stipulations. The first was that the property be used for a Confederate Veterans Home for the veterans and or their widows at no charge to them. The second stipulation for the sale of the property was that it be used as a memorial to Jefferson Davis and the Confederate Soldier; and that has been done from 1903 until the present time.

Louise was house mother, 'took care of the titles,' showed the house around and acted as tour guide after Davis' death.

Louise died in the summer of 1902, at the age of 40, possibly from Yellow Fever.

Her daughter Mary Bridget Vernier (1885 - 1959) spoke of roaming through the 'house with big rooms,' as a small child and remembered helping to polish the silverware. She said the silver was, 'heavy.'

Louise's  father, William Desport, enlisted August 29, 1862 at Boloxi, Mississippi in Company A, 3rd Mississippi Infantry, as a regimental cook. He deserted  at  Mobile, Alabama, February 2, 1865

At least one member of that family (Louise) can claim to have honorably served the Confederacy, even if it was 40 years after the war.

Thanksgiving Proclamation By President Davis

1862 Thanksgiving Day Proclamation by CSA President Jefferson Davis

President Jefferson Davis, Confederate States of America, made the following Thanksgiving Day proclamation in 1862. His first such proclamation, "a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer," had been issued in 1861. It was not until two years later that  Abraham Lincoln copied Davis and announced the first official Thanksgiving day in the North.

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