1. Welcome to the CivilWarTalk, a forum for questions and discussions about the American Civil War! Become a member today for full access to all of our resources, it's fast, simple, and absolutely free! If you aren't ready for that, try posting your question or comment as a guest!

Grant on the capture of Davis

Discussion in 'Civil War History - Secession and Politics' started by trice, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. trice

    trice Major

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    9,395
    From Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs, Chapter LXIX

    =====
    Wilson’s raid resulted in the capture of the fugitive president of the defunct confederacy before he got out of the country. This occurred at Irwinsville, Georgia, on the 11th of May. For myself, and I believe Mr. Lincoln shared the feeling, I would have been very glad to have seen Mr. Davis succeed in escaping, but for one reason: I feared that if not captured, he might get into the trans-Mississippi region and there set up a more contracted confederacy. The young men now out of homes and out of employment might have rallied under his standard and protracted the war yet another year. The Northern people were tired of the war, they were tired of piling up a debt which would be a further mortgage upon their homes.

    Mr. Lincoln, I believe, wanted Mr. Davis to escape, because he did not wish to deal with the matter of his punishment. He knew there would be people clamoring for the punishment of the ex-Confederate president, for high treason. He thought blood enough had already been spilled to atone for our wickedness as a nation. At all events he did not wish to be the judge to decide whether more should be shed or not. But his own life was sacrificed at the hands of an assassin before the ex-president of the Confederacy was a prisoner in the hands of the government which he had lent all his talent and all his energies to destroy.

    All things are said to be wisely directed, and for the best interest of all concerned. This reflection does not, however, abate in the slightest our sense of bereavement in the untimely loss of so good and great a man as Abraham Lincoln.

    He would have proven the best friend the South could have had, and saved much of the wrangling and bitterness of feeling brought out by reconstruction under a President who at first wished to revenge himself upon Southern men of better social standing than himself, but who still sought their recognition, and in a short time conceived the idea and advanced the proposition to become their Moses to lead them triumphantly out of all their difficulties.

    The story of the legislation enacted during the reconstruction period to stay the hands of the President is too fresh in the minds of the people to be told now. Much of it, no doubt, was unconstitutional; but it was hoped that the laws enacted would serve their purpose before the question of constitutionality could be submitted to the judiciary and a decision obtained. These laws did serve their purpose, and now remain “a dead letter” upon the statute books of the United States, no one taking interest enough in them to give them a passing thought.

    Much was said at the time about the garb Mr. Davis was wearing when he was captured. I cannot settle this question from personal knowledge of the facts; but I have been under the belief, from information given to me by General Wilson shortly after the event, that when Mr. Davis learned that he was surrounded by our cavalry he was in his tent dressed in a gentleman’s dressing gown. Naturally enough, Mr. Davis wanted to escape, and would not reflect much how this should be accomplished provided it might be done successfully. If captured, he would be no ordinary prisoner. He represented all there was of that hostility to the government which had caused four years of the bloodiest war—and the most costly in other respects of which history makes any record. Every one supposed he would be tried for treason if captured, and that he would be executed. Had he succeeded in making his escape in any disguise it would have been adjudged a good thing afterwards by his admirers.
    =====
    Any comments?

    Tim
     

  2. (Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
  3. matthew mckeon

    matthew mckeon Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Messages:
    7,360
    Grant's memoirs are essential reading on the Civil War. They are only matched on the Confederate side, by Porter Alexander's book.

    In this passage, Grant is correct in thinking that Lincoln wanted Davis to escape. Lincoln said so himself. He is also correct is his assessment of Andrew Johnson as well IMO.

    As far as Davis's garb when captured, Grant again shows one of his more attractive qualities, his dislike of humiliating other people.
     
  4. Beowulf

    Beowulf Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,173
    Location:
    Virginia
    How long, O Lord, will the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

    If any of you gets to the MOC before the LEFT dismantles it, and scatters it to the four winds, the suit of clothes Davis was wearing when captured are displayed....

    They are indeed quite male, and handsome clothes. A grey suit.

    He was wearing a waterproof ragland, and a shawl, which may have been his wife's he picked up (or she threw about him) by mistake. It was early, dark, and it was foggy and cold... And they were living in a freaking tent.

    Ask any reenactor how hard it is to find your... clothes... early in the morning in a tent! In the dim light.

    Grant speaks well, but off-base. Lincoln wanted to let the
    WHIG (Left Wing) South up easy, and control Southern patronage through the executive office, by reuniting Cottom Whigs and Conscience Whigs, which had been separated in the 1850's... due to slavery.

    If the South comes back in as captured provinces, instead of states, Lincoln's former party of radicals in Congress get to control patronage and Sumner and Stevens get to decide
    the rules for forced repatriation of these states...

    And they get to decide the patronage, and the graft and corruption...

    Which, after Lincoln was 'mysteriously' shot dead, they did get to do!

    Something about a Wade-Davis Bill...

    Beowulf
     
  5. johan_steele

    johan_steele Lt. Colonel Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Messages:
    11,544
    Location:
    South of the North 40
    The majority of soldiers in the CW were not living in tents, especially not CS soldiers. A tent was a luxury.

    I suppose there is a difference between a soldier who is used to living and surviving in the dark of night on campaign and a politician who isn't. Almost as much difference between a re-enactor and a soldier in the field circa 1865.

    I'm sure the those Cav boys were quite amused to see Davis in his wife's shawl. Besides "Jeff Davis in a Dress" is a "catchy" tune.
     
  6. Beowulf

    Beowulf Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,173
    Location:
    Virginia
    Tell me again what Lincoln was wearing when he slithered into Washington City, to keep from being known as who and what, he was, and represented?

    I think this bit of irony was what the easily-amused Yanks so enjoyed this retribution for...

    Any thoughts?

    Beowulf
     
  7. PvtClewell

    PvtClewell Corporal

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    403
    According to David Herbert Donald in his biography of Lincoln, as well as Maury Klein in his book 'Days of Defiance', Lincoln was wearing a brown felt Kossuth hat.

    http://www.clearwaterhats.com/civilwar1.htm

    Donald also says Lincoln wore his long overcoat loosely over his shoulders without his arms in his sleeves to conceal his identity because of a rumor of assassination. He reluctantly did this at the behest of several of his advisors, not the least of whom were Allan Pinkerton and Ward Lamon.

    So what's the issue? Sounds reasonable to me.
     
  8. matthew mckeon

    matthew mckeon Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Messages:
    7,360
    Lincoln was criticized unmercilessly for "sneaking" into Washington DC., and cartoons with variations on his dress were common. It fit with the idea that Lincoln was uncouth, and not a gentleman. At a time when he was trying uphold the authority of the federal government, it was a political blunder, and a contrast to the indifference to his personal security he demonstrated for the rest of his presidency.

    So Jefferson Davis's behavior at his capture becomes a comic bookend, with Davis satirized trying to escape in woman's garb, fitting with the idea that the aristocratic Davis and his aristocratic South had abandoned their dignity in the scramble for safety.

    It is of course, both un true and unfair to Davis, as Grant himself notes.

    It does however fit with the narrative that Davis seemed to have every quality to be a great national leader(the man and the hour have met), but would be whittled down by his carping critics and the ordeal of war, while the much mocked Lincoln would grow in stature and dignity to overshadow his rival.
     
  9. Battalion

    Battalion Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Messages:
    4,815
    ...and there was an actual skirmish (with killed and wounded) between Federal cavalry units over the capture of Davis.

    Who ended up with the prize money?
     
  10. johan_steele

    johan_steele Lt. Colonel Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Messages:
    11,544
    Location:
    South of the North 40
    Does it matter? That prize money, or the promise of it kept Davis alive.
     
  11. Beowulf

    Beowulf Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,173
    Location:
    Virginia
    Good choice for a disguise! I'd have never known him in that!:laugh2:

    Of course it sounds reasonable to you; you have been taught to love this man. We all have.... But think about it HE IS BEING ASKED TO SNEAK INTO OFFICE...

    Because he is a dangerous candidate who may get assassinated... and he isn't even in the White House, yet...

    This mandatory adulation had not yet occurred, and there were many who felt that he would destroy the country. It's just a good thing the South lost, and can all blame them with the incumbent loses... and tragedy.

    So we can enjoy Lincoln and his Temple...

    Thanks also go out to the Institution of Slavery, for a wonderful buzz word.

    Beowulf
     
  12. Beowulf

    Beowulf Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,173
    Location:
    Virginia
    It is called the Beale Treasure, and it is buried around here somewhere, according to a Mr. Viemeister in his book on the subject...

    I think the money was divided up and given to the citizens in a time when the yankees were still trying to eradicate the South and steal their lands back through unpaid taxes...
    after the war.

    But you didn't get that from me!:angel:

    Beowulf
     
  13. Battalion

    Battalion Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Messages:
    4,815
    [​IMG]
    Wikipedia

    :laugh1:
     
  14. Beowulf

    Beowulf Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,173
    Location:
    Virginia
    More like DIXIEPEDIA! THERE'S a site worth checking out some time!

    http://www.confederatereprint.com


    Lincoln exiting STAGE LEFT! (facing). (His Right, our Left!)

    Of course!

    He was also one of the Flying Whig Left, because he went out a window to avoid doing his duty in Congress once before, also, I believe...

    If memory serves...

    Beowulf
     
  15. johan_steele

    johan_steele Lt. Colonel Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Messages:
    11,544
    Location:
    South of the North 40
    I pulled this down off the net while looking at period letters earlier this year. I literally stumbled across it while tracking down Emory Upton data. Written w/in the week of the capture of Davis, frankly it's probably where the idea that he was wearing a dress came from.

    Macon, Ga., May 13, 1865
    My Dear Ad.,
    Your very kind and flattering note of April 29th reached me here today. [...] I feel relieved now that the rebellion is finally ended by the capture of the arch rebel himself and more than gratified that he and the vice president of the 'so called' were captured by my command and by my own orders. I think I drew a net around Mr. Davis that would have reflected credit upon a detective policeman. [...] The story of Davis' ignoble attempt at flight is even more ignoble than I told it. Mrs. Davis and her sister, Miss Howell, after having clothed him in the dress of the former and put on his head a woman's head-dress, started out holding each arm and besought Colonel Pritchard's men in most piteous tones to let them take their 'poor old mother out of the way' of the firing. Mrs. Davis said, 'Oh do let us pass with our poor old mother who is so frightened and fears to be killed.' One of Pritchard's men catching sight of the 'President's' boots below the skirts of the dress, suspected at once who the poor old mother was and replied: 'Oh no you don't play that game on us, them boots don't look very much like they belonged to a woman. Come down old fellow.'
    The party reached here at 2 p.m. this afternoon, took dinner at my headquarters and after dinner I received Mr. Davis in my quarters. Our conversation was mostly about West Point, the army, the surrender of Dick Taylor, the assassination of Mr. Lincoln and the journey North. During the conversation he brought in his little son Jeff and introduced him.
    Mr. Davis seemed quite cheerful and talkative, but in his whole demeanor showed no dignity or great fortitude. He remarked with a smile that he thought the U. S. would find graver charges against him than the murder of Mr. Lincoln, and seemed to regret that Mr. L. had been killed. He has asked no favors, but Mrs. D. insinuates once in a while that the 'President' is not treated with becoming dignity. Upon one occasion she said to Colonel Pritchard that she noticed that whenever the 'President' went out the guard had their guns cocked. Whereupon Colonel P. told her the guns were not cocked, only half cocked, but his men had orders to shoot Mr. Davis if he made any attempt to escape and would certainly execute the order. [...]

    The thought struck me once or twice that Jefferson Davis was a mad man. The indifference with which he seemed to regard the affairs of our day savored of insanity. He was polite and gracious in his intercourse with me and almost affectionate in taking leave of me.
    [...] I can tell you many things in regard to Sherman, you know my estimate of his mental parts, and to say the least Sherman is very erratic. I don't believe him guilty of vaulting ambition, but I have never been entirely willing to trust his mental processes and special idiosyncracies. Grant has a great moral breadth and stability, a reliable modesty, and certainty of character which make him the superior of such men as Sherman however brilliant.
    [...] It is now midnight and I'm tired. My gray horse Sheridan, the best animal I ever saw, died of wounds received at Selma, after lingering and struggling through till yesterday. He was the prince of horses and acknowledged to be the best in the Corps. [...]
    Devotedly,
    Your Left Arm
    Jones, James P., ed. "'Your Left Arm': James H. Wilson's Letters to Adam Badeau." Civil War History 12 (September 1966) 230-44.
     
  16. Beowulf

    Beowulf Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,173
    Location:
    Virginia

    I don't for a moment believe this account, even though it is period.

    I do, however, think that enough evidence exists to disarm this account. When I should have liked to have seen Davis and the South more into espionage, and
    such covert activities, they were never into that enough, and honor always kept getting in the way of guerrilla warfare.


    If Davis had been trying to escape in a dress, that would be cool in my book... Clever, actually. Anything to let the South exist five more minutes and be a problem for the North...But knowing the man, as being concerned with Southern public opinion, I don't see him doing it.

    But if he had done it, nice try, Mr. President.

    This tale is effective because it plays upon the yankee's natural fear of BEING EMBARRASSED. I have often noted
    this trait in their kind, and they can be easily controlled if this is played upon, effectively. There is a bravado among their men that the Latin American men, who are said to possess a similar style, would envy... But it is a pack animal thing, not an individual bravado. Yankees work mostly in gangs, or groups.

    There is then the Southerner, who does the challenging to individual duels of honor. This is an individual thing, like independence is an individual thing, at its root.

    All one has to do is watch Saturday Night Fever for the bravado lesson, or an episode of EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, to see the fears of being 'left out' and ostracized by Northern taunting.

    Both are quite accurate, even though they are Hollywood.
    (More accurate than this letter, I'm bound!)

    If Davis had been picked up wearing a dress, the dress would have been paraded about the streets and with a Confederate Flag tied to it. It would have been in the Smithsonian... by this time. I know my Northern brethren, and embarrassment of others is the best way to deflect it from one's self...

    Again, it is 'pack' law.

    Sort of like why Booth's body was never photographed, nor hung up in chains to rot on the docks...

    You can't display what you don't have...

    But here is what you really should be concerned with, that we can prove... and because you aren't THAT BOTHERS ME MORE THAN ANY DRESS...

    1. LINCOLN WANTED DAVIS TO ESCAPE. By yankee code, that is TREASON on the part of the EXECUTIVE. That is collusion with the enemy... NO WAY AROUND IT.

    2. It shows the WRONGNESS of the yankee position in the invasion of the South and shows a military conquest, not a preserving of any Union, nor any Southern wroingdoing... Which, clearly, there was none... At all.

    Had Davis done similar, we would have never heard the end of it!

    Again, the Double Standard...

    Beowulf
     
  17. matthew mckeon

    matthew mckeon Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Messages:
    7,360
    Good find, Shane.

    Now this is a letter by cavalry general Wilson to Badeau? I don't think Wilson was at the capture himself, so he's hearing it 2nd hand.

    Interesting thumbnail sketches of Davis, Grant and Sherman.
     
  18. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    16,455
    Location:
    Virginia
    Dear List Members;

    Thought this may add to the thread.

    O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLIX/1 [S# 103]
    MARCH 22-APRIL 24, 1865.--Wilson's Raid from Chickasaw to Selma, Ala., and Macon, Ga.
    No. 2.--Reports of Bvt. Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson, U. S. Army, commanding Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi.
    [Excerpt]--->
    During the firing of the skirmish just referred to the adjutant of the Fourth Michigan, Lieut. J. G. Dickinson, after having looked to the security of the rebel cam p and sent forward a n umber of the men who had straggled, was about to go to the front himself when his attention was called by one of the men to three persons in female attire who had apparently just left one of the large tents near by and were moving toward the thick woods. He started at once toward them and called out "halt!" but not hearing him or not caring to obey they continued to move off. Just then they were confronted by three men under direction of Corporal Munger, coming from the opposite direction. The corporal recognized one of the persons as Davis, advanced carbine, and demanded his surrender. The three persons halted, and by the actions of the two who afterward turned out to be women, all doubt as to the identity of the third person was removed. The individuals thus arrested were found to be Miss Howell, Mrs. Davis, and Jefferson Davis. As they walked back to the tent from which they had tried to escape, Lieutenant Dickinson observed that Davis' high-top boots were not covered by his disguise, which fact probably led to his recognition by Corporal Munger. As the friends of Davis have strenuously denied that he was disguised as a woman, it may not be improper to specify the exact articles of women's apparel which he had upon him when first seen by Lieutenant Dickinson and Corporal Munger. The former states that he "was one of the three persons dressed in woman's attire," and had "a black mantle wrapped about his head, through the top of which could be seen locks of his hair." Capt. G. W. Lawton, Fourth Michigan Cavalry, who published an account of the capture in the Atlantic Monthly of September, 1865, states explicitly, upon the testimony of the officers present, that Davis, in addition to his full suit of Confederate gray, had on "a lady's water-proof cloak, gathered at the waist, with a shawl drawn over the head, and carrying a tin pail." Colonel Pritchard says, in his official report, that he received from Mrs. Davis, on board the steamer Clyde, off Fortress Monroe, a water-proof cloak or robe, which was worn by Davis as a disguise, and which was identified by the men who saw it on him at the time of the capture. He secured the balance of the disguise the next day. It consisted of shawl, which was identified in a similar manner by both Mrs. Davis <ar103_379> and the men. From these circumstances there seems to be no doubt whatever that Davis sought to avoid capture by assuming the dress of a woman or that the ladies of the party endeavored to pass him off upon his captors as one of themselves.

    In addition to Davis and his family, Colonel Pritchard captured, at the same time, John H. Reagan, the rebel Postmaster-General; Col. B. N. Harrison, private secretary; Colonels Lubbock and Johnston, aides-de-camp to Davis; four inferior officers, and thirteen private soldiers, besides Miss Howell, two waiting maids, and several colored servants. As soon as breakfast could be prepared Colonel Pritchard, preceded by Colonel Harnden, began his march, with prisoners and wagons, for Macon, about 120 miles to the northwest of Irwinville. The next day he met a courier with copies of the President's proclamation offering a reward of $100,000 for the capture of Davis. This proclamation had been received and promulgated by me on the 9th, and hence the officers and men in pursuit of Davis were in no way inspired by the promise it contained. They performed their part from a higher sense of duty, and too much praise cannot be awarded to Colonels Pritchard and Harnden and the officers and men of their regiments who participated in the pursuit. Colonel Pritchard arrived at Macon on the 13th and reported at once with his prisoners at corps headquarters.

    Arrangements had already been made, under instructions from the Secretary of War, for forwarding Davis to the North, via Atlanta, Augusta, and Savannah. Colonel Pritchard, with a detachment of his regiment, was directed to deliver his prisoners safely into the custody of the Secretary of War. I also placed in his charge the person of James B. Clay, jr.,(*) for whose arrest a reward had also been offered by the President. Mr. Clay surrendered himself to me at Macon about the 11th of May, having informed me by telegraph from Western Georgia the day before that he would start for my headquarters without delay. A.H. Stephens was arrested by General Upton at Crawfordsville about the same time and also placed in charge of Colonel Pritchard. Brevet Major-General Upton was charged with making the necessary arrangements for forwarding the prisoners and escort safely to Savannah, in the department of General Gillmore. These arrangements were successfully carried out and the prisoners delivered at Fortress Monroe for safe-keeping on the 22d of May. My command had also arrested Mr. Mallory, the rebel Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Hill, senator, and Joseph E. Brown, Governor of Georgia. Breckinridge and Toombs managed to escape by traveling alone and as rapidly as possible, the former having passed through Tallahassee, Fla., only a few hours before the arrival of General McCook at that place.

    Immediately after the capture of Davis the detachments and scouting parties of my command were assembled by their respective brigade and division commanders, and, after paroling the bulk of the rebel forces, amounting to about 59,000 men, that had been serving in Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, the various regiments were ordered North to be mustered out. From the foregoing narrative it will be seen that the first perfectly reliable information in regard to the movements of Davis was that sent in by Lieut. Joseph A. O. Yeoman, of General Alexander's staff; that the route actually pursued by Davis and his party after leaving Washington was first discovered by Lieutenant-Colonel Harnden at Dublin, and that the capture was actually made one mile and a half north of Irwinville, Ga., at dawn of May 10, by Lieut. Col. Benjamin D. Pritchard, with a detachment of 7 officers and 128 men <ar103_380> of the Fourth Michigan Cavalry. These facts should have been fully developed before this time, but owing to the disbandment of my command, it was impossible till quite recently to obtain the reports of subordinate officers. Colonel Pritchard made his report, by my orders, directly to the Secretary of War, but omitted till last month to send me a copy. Colonel Harnden's report, indorsed by Colonel La Grange and General Croxton, together with that of General Minty's, were submitted in due time and forwarded to the Adjutant-General's Office. I forward herewith the reports of Generals Alexander and Winslow. [End of excerpt]
    J. H. WILSON,
    Lieut. Col. Thirty-fifth Infantry, Bvt. Maj. Gen., U.S. Army,
    Late Major-General of Vols., Comdg. Cavalry Corps, M. D. M.
    Bvt. Maj Gen. JOHN A. RAWLINS,
    Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, Washington, D.C.
    ----------------------------------------------------
     
  19. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    16,455
    Location:
    Virginia
    Inclosure No. 2.]
    FORT UNION, N. MEX., November 8, 1866.
    GENERAL: In compliance with your request of October 14, which has just reached me, I have the honor to make the following statement in regard to the capture of Jeff. Davis:

    Shortly after the armistice between Generals Sherman and Johnston I was ordered to send one regiment of my brigade to Atlanta, rapidly, to apprehend Davis, who was reported moving in that direction with an escort of cavalry. I accordingly sent the First Ohio Cavalry, Col. B. B. Eggleston commanding. A few days after I was ordered to move to the same point with the remainder of my brigade. Previous to this movement I obtained permission from the major-general commanding the corps to send an officer and twenty men, disguised in rebel clothing, to meet Davis, watch, and if possible capture him. This delicate operation I intrusted to Lieut. Joseph A. O. Yeoman, a dashing young officer of the First Ohio Cavalry, of great intelligence and coolness, and who was at that time acting as inspector-general for my brigade. Lieutenant Yeoman moved rapidly to Northeastern Georgia, where he met and joined Davis' escort, consisting of Dibrell's division of cavalry. He marched with them two or three days, but could not get an opportunity <ar103_383> of seizing on the person of Davis on account of the close watch on every one who approached his person. At Washington, Ga. (I think), the forces under Dibrell heard that Atlanta was occupied by our troops, and that they could not pass that point without a fight, accordingly disbanded during the night, and sought their homes in small parties. Lieutenant Yeoman scattered his men among the various bands to try and get some trace of Davis, but for twenty-four hours was unsuccessful. He finally found he had abandoned the idea of going into Alabama, and was making south to leave the country. Lieutenant Yeoman kept the command at Atlanta advised of all his movements, and the commanding officer advised the major-general commanding the corps by telegraph. When the information came to Atlanta that the command of Dibrell had scattered, and that Davis was trying to escape in disguise, I took 500 picked men and horses of my command, crossed the right bank of the Chattahoochee, occupied all the fords below the railroad, the passes in the Allatoona Mountains, and the main crossings of the Etowah River. I also patrolled the main roads day and night, arresting every one passing, until I heard Davis had been arrested by a regiment sent out by the major-general commanding the corps. I trust Lieutenant Yeoman will receive some recognition of his services, as he was the only officer who really risked his life; and I believe the information furnished by him caused the major-general commanding to send out the party that made the arrest.
    I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
    A. J. ALEXANDER,
    Capt. and Bvt. Col., U.S. Army, late Bvt. Brig. Gen. of Vols.,
    Comdg. 2d Brig., 4th Div., Cav. Corps, Mil. Div. of the Miss.
    Maj. Gen. JAMES H. WILSON, U.S. Army.
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    May 10.--Jefferson Davis was captured by the joint efforts of the Fourth Michigan and First Wisconsin Cavalry at Irwinville, Irwin County.
    During the month every effort was made by the division and detachment commanders to alleviate the sufferings of the poor in Georgia. Portions of the Cavalry Corps were ordered to Chattanooga during the month, pursuant to orders from headquarters department of the Cumberland.
    ---------------------------------------
    May 7.--In the evening, the effective force of the Fourth Michigan Cavalry left Macon with orders to guard and picket the Ocmulgee River near Abbeville for the purpose of intercepting the fugitive rebel, Jefferson Davis, and to make every effort to capture or kill him, sparing neither horse nor man in the pursuit. <ar103_391>
    Upon the morning of the 9th the Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry and Third Ohio Cavalry moved down the Ocmulgee with similar orders to those received by the Fourth Michigan. The latter regiment on the afternoon of the 9th struck the trail of the traitor near Abbeville, and pursuing him vigorously captured him with a part of his family and several officers of his staff at Irwinville, Irwin County, Ga., before daylight on the morning of the 10th. The regiment then returned to Macon. The Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry and Third Ohio Cavalry remained for a few days in the neighborhood of Irwinville watching for other fugitives, when they were also ordered to return to Macon.
    May 23.--The Fourth Michigan and Fourth Ohio being about to be mustered out marched from Macon toward Chattanooga, leaving the veteran regiments (the Seventh Pennsylvania and Third Ohio) at the former place.
    May 31.--In the evening the two regiments had arrived at Ringgold, Ga.
    -------------------------------------------
    O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLIX/1 [S# 103]
    May 1-10, 1865.--Pursuit and capture of Jefferson Davis
    No. 7.--Report of Capt. John C. Hathaway, Fourth Michigan Cavalry.
    [excerpt]
    List of prisoners captured: Jefferson Davis, President Confederate States of America; John H. Reagan, Postmaster-General Confederate States of America; Colonel Johnston, aide-de-camp, President's staff; Colonel Lubbock, aide-de-camp, President's staff; Col. B. N. Harrison, private secretary, President's staff; Maj. Victor Maurin, Richardson's battalion light artillery; Capt. George V. Moody, Madison Light Artillery; Lieutenant Hathaway, Fourteenth Kentucky Cavalry; Midshipman Howell, C. S. Navy; Private W. W. Monroe, Fourteenth Kentucky Cavalry; Private J. Messick, Fourteenth Kentucky Cavalry; Private Sanders, Second Kentucky Cavalry; Private Walbert, Second Kentucky Cavalry; Private Baker, Second Kentucky Cavalry; Private Smith, Second Kentucky Cavalry; Private Heath, Second Kentucky <ar103_541> Cavalry; Private Elston, Second Kentucky Cavalry; Private J. W. Farley, Second Kentucky Cavalry; Private J. G. Tyler, Fifteenth Mississippi Infantry, Company E; Private J. W. Brady, Fifteenth Mississippi Infantry, Company E. The family of Mr. Davis, captured with him, consisted of Mrs. Davis with four little children, Miss Howell, sister of Mrs. Davis, and two waiting maids. The regiment returned through Abbeville and Hawkinsville, arriving here at 3 p.m. on the 13th instant, having marched 200 miles, averaging 33-1/3 miles per day.
    I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
    JNO. C. HATHAWAY,
    Captain, Commanding Fourth Michigan Cavalry.
    Maj. ROBERT BURNS,
    Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Brig., Second Div., Cav. Corps,
    Military Division of the Mississippi.
    ===========================================
    List of officers and men of the Fourth Michigan Cavalry that were present at the capture of Jefferson Davis and party on the morning of May 10, 1865.
    Name. Rank and company. Name. Rank and company.
    Benjamin D. Pritchard Lieutenant-colonel. A. E. Ford Sergeant, Company B.
    Julian G. Dickinson Adjutant. A. A. Braley Sergeant, Company B.
    Perry J. Davis Regimental quartermaste. J. F. Sherburne Corporal, Company B.
    Charles T. Hudson Captain Company E. C. F. Parker Corporal, Company B.
    Silas I. Stauber First lieutenant company G. William W. Crow Corporal, Company B.
    Henry S. Boutell (a) First lieutenant company C. N. B. Tuttle Corporal, Company B.
    Alfred B. Purinton Second lieutenant company I. B. B. Bennett Corporal, Company B.
    John Bennett Second lieutenant company B. A. F. Shepard Private, Company B.
    Thomas Davis Commissary sergeant Company A. W. P. Steadman Private, Company B.
    George H. Simmons Sergeant, Company A. Franklin A. Crim Private, Company B.
    Thomas Riley Sergeant, Company A. Augustus Armstrong Private, Company B.
    Resin Wright Sergeant, Company A. William V. Wood Private, Company B.
    Darwin Dunning Corporal, Company A. John Nicholas Private, Company B.
    Robert L. Reynolds Corporal, Company A. J. J. Powell Private, Company B.
    Lyman J. Russell Corporal, Company A. L. H. Willcox Private, Company B.
    William Balow Private, Company A. Abram Sebring Corporal, Company C.
    Daniel C. Blinn Private, Company A. Reuben Palmerton Corporal, Company C
    Gilbert Cotay Private, Company A. David Q. Curry Corporal, Company C.
    James Fullerton Private, Company A. George M. Munger Corporal, Company C.
    Caspar Knobal Private, Company A. James F. Bullard Private, Company C.
    Philo Morse Private, Company A. David Dillon Private, Company C.
    Charles W. Nichols Private, Company A. Franklin C. Leach Private, Company C.
    Henry Prevost Private, Company A. James H. Lynch Private, Company C.
    George Rinkle Private, Company A. Stephen B. Munson Private, Company C.
    ohn Rupert (a) Private, Company C. David Cunningham Private, Company G.
    Ranselaer Riggs Private, Company C. John H. Kelch Private, Company K.
    William J. Smith Private, Company C. Joseph Hofmaster Sergeant, Company L.
    Herman Stephen Private, Company C. Benjamin K. Colf Sergeant, Company L.
    James H. Place Corporal, Company D. Charles C. Marsh Corporal, Company L.
    Burt Judson Private, Company D. William Oliver Corporal, Company L.
    Horace C. Jenne Private, Company D. Edward Lowe Private, Company L.
    William H. J. Martin Private, Company D. J. W. Linsley Private, Company L.
    William Parker Private, Company D. Perry Phelps Private, Company L.
    Francis E. Thompson Private, Company D. Benjamin F. Carpenter Private, Company L.
    Z. H. Willcox Private, Company D. Joseph E. Stewart Private, Company L.
    John Brown Private, Company D. William Newkirk Private, Company L.
    Jacob E. Nunn Private, Company D. George Noggle Private, Company L.
    George A. Bullard Sergeant, Company E. Jesse J. Penfield Private, Company L.
    David B. Green Sergeant, Company E. William Munn Private, Company L.
    John Hines (a) Corporal, Company E. Andreas Bee Private, Company L.
    Charles W. Tyler Corporal, Company E. Daniel H. Edwards Private, Company L.
    Dewitt C. Carr Corporal, Company E. Wesley D. Pond First sergeant Company M.
    William H. Crittenden Corporal, Company E. Simeon Huff Corporal, Company M.
    Silas Bullard Private, Company E. Henry Shannahan Corporal, Company M.
    Robert G. Tripp Private, Company E. Emanuel Beazan Private, Company M.
    Oscar E. Tefft Private, Company E. Andrew Anderson Private, Company M.
    Henry Johnson Private, Company E. Robert Arnold Private, Company M.
    William F. Driesman Private, Company E. John Vantyle Private, Company M.
    Peter Legarry Private, Company E. Daniel Graham Private, Company G.
    George F. Dalmage Private, Company E. Elias Pierce First sergeant Company I.
    John G. Stevens Private, Company E. Lester P. Bates Sergeant, Company I.
    John Corenton Sergeant, Company F. Jerome B. Hath Corporal, Company I.
    William F. True Corporal, Company F. Preston W. Brown Corporal, Company I.
    Dewitt C. Cobb Corporal, Company F. Luke M. Thayer Private, Company I.
    Franklin Nichols Private, Company F. Martin L. Brown Private, Company I.
    James Patterson Private, Company F. George W. Bodwell Private, Company I.
    Ira Harrington.jr. Private, Company F. William Dill Private, Company I.
    John F. Grossmann Private, Company F. George W. Dutcher Private, Company I.
    Homer Hazelton Private, Company F. Charles Flugger Private, Company I.
    Henry Trickey Private, Company F. Daniel E. Krumm Private, Company I.
    George W. Raab Private, Company F. Charles M. Middangh Private, Company I.
    Joseph Bellinger Private, Company F. Peter McKennedy Private, Company I.
    Henry Brodock Private, Company F. Hiram H. McCollough Private, Company I.
    Dennis Dresco Private, Company F. Marvin R. Pettit Private, Company I.
    William Wright Private, Company F. Ansel Adams Sergeant, Company K.
    Jacob N. Trask Sergeant, Company G. Alonzo Moe Corporal, Company K.
    James T. O'Bryan Sergeant, Company G. James R. Norton Private, Company K.
    John Cavanagh Sergeant, Company G. John Nelson Private, Company K.
    Jeremiah P. Craig Sergeant, Company G. Jacob D. Newth Private, Company K.
    William H. Palmater Sergeant, Company G. Edwin Mabie Private, Company K.
    George W. Van Sickle Corporal, Company G. Smith B. Mills Private, Company K.
    John Ballon Corporal, Company G. Decatur Jacox Private, Company K.
    Leander B. Shaw Corporal, Company G. Enoch L. Rhodes Private, Company K.
    Joshua Parks Private, Company G. Thomas Foley Private, Company K.
    Cary Reed Private, Company G. Nathaniel Root Private, Company K.
    John A. Skinner Private, Company G.
    Joseph Odren Private, Company G.
     
  20. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    16,455
    Location:
    Virginia
    O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLIX/2 [S# 104]
    Union Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations In Kentucky, Southwestern Virginia, Tennessee, Northern And Central Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, And West Florida, From March 16 To June 30, 1865.(*)--#30

    Macon, Ga., May 12, 1865--11 a.m.
    Hon. E. M. STANTON,
    Secretary of War:
    The following dispatch, announcing capture of Jeff. Davis, has just been handed me by Colonel Minty, commanding the Second Division.(*)
    The First Wisconsin belongs to La Grange's brigade, of McCook's division, and had been sent due east by General Croxton, via Dublin. Colonel Minty had distributed his command all along the south bank of the Ocmulgee and Altamaha. This accounts for the collision between parts of the First and Second Divisions, and shows the zeal of the officers and men in pursuit. I have directed increased vigilance on the part of the command, in the hope of catching the other assassins. Our dispositions are good, and so far none of the rebel chiefs have been able to get through. Breckinridge's son was captured night before last eleven miles south of here. I will send further details as soon as received.
    J. H. WILSON,
    Brevet Major-General.
    (Same to Generals Grant and Thomas).
    -----
    MACON, GA., [May] 19, 1865--2 p.m.
    Hon. E. M. STANTON,
    Secretary of War:
    Clement C. Clay, jr., has given himself up to me at this place. He reported first at Atlanta, and, accompanied by staff officer of General Upton, has just arrived here. The following letter was handed me by P. P. Phillips, who accompanied him:
    LA GRANGE, GA., May 10, 1865.
    General WILSON,
    Macon:
    GENERAL: I have just seen a proclamation by the President of the United States offering a reward of $100,000 for my arrest on a charge of having, with others therein named, incited and concocted the murder of the late President. Conscious of my innocence, unwilling even to seem to fly from justice, and confident of my entire vindication from so foul an imputation upon a full, fair, and impartial trial, which I expect to receive, I shall go as soon as practicable to Macon to deliver myself up to your custody.
    I am, respectfully,
    C. C. CLAY, JR.
    I shall detain him here until the arrival of Jeff. Davis.
    J. H. WILSON,
    Brevet Major-General.
    <ar104_734>
    HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS,
    Macon, [May] 12, 1865--9 p.m. (Received 15th.)
    Maj. Gen. GEORGE H. THOMAS:
    Clement C. Clay delivered himself a prisoner at this place to day. He asserts his innocence of the charge against [him] and says he scorns to fly from investigation. General Upton reports the arrest of A. H. Stephens yesterday. I shall place him and Mr. Clay with Davis.
    J. H. WILSON.
    -----
    RALEIGH, May 12, 1865.
    Major-General SHERMAN,
    City Point:
    General Wilson telegraphs that all the rebel cavalry, between 4,000 and 5,000, have surrendered.
    J. M. SCHOFIELD,
    Major-General.
    -----
    HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
    Macon, Ga., May 12, 1865.
    Col. R. H. G. MINTY,
    Commanding Second Division, Cavalry Corps:
    COLONEL: I would like to have you arrange for the arrival of Davis and his party at the railroad depot, so as to take a special train to-morrow night before dark, if practicable. If not, then before 8 p.m. I wish to avoid the excitement of a large crowd here. Direct Colonel Pritchard, with 150 men of his regiment, to go as an escort. Colonel Pritchard I intend to go all the way, the men only to Atlanta. Perhaps you had better see me to-morrow so that I can give you verbal instructions.
    Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
    J. H. WILSON,
    Brevet Major-General.
    -----
    DECATUR, [May] 12, 1865.
    Brigadier-General WHIPPLE,
    Assistant Adjutant-General:
    Negotiations for the surrender of the Confederate forces in this section are progressing as favorably as could be desired, and I think by the last of next week all the forces in the valley will have capitulated. Major Gilbert surrendered one company at this place yesterday. There seems to be a strong desire on the part of the privates to rush in and give themselves up, but I would prefer they would come in regularly with their officers, who are making every effort to collect them for this purpose. The citizens also evidence a strong desire to return to their allegiance to the United States. A large meeting for the purpose of organization will be held at Somerville to-morrow, and probably one at Guntersville. The people of the south side of river appear much more sincere in their loyalty than on the north, particularly about Huntsville.
    R. S. GRANGER,
    Brigadier General.
    --------------------------------
    HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
    Nashville May 14, 1865-- 3 p.m. (Received 12.20 a.m. 15th.)
    Lieut. Gen. U. S. GRANT,
    Washington, D.C.:
    General Wilson reports to me the capture of Jeff. Davis, his family, Mr. Reagan, Postmaster-General; Colonel Harrison, private secretary, and Colonel Johnston, aide-de-campy at Irwinville, Ga., at daylight on the morning of the 10th instant. He has forwarded the prisoners under strong guard direct to me. I understand that Governor Brown, of Georgia, has also been arrested and is on the way to this place. To be prepared to forward the prisoners promptly and quietly I respectfully ask where it is intended that they shall be confined. I respectfully suggest some prison North as presenting the greatest security and freedom from excitement. I expect their arrival at this place by Wednesday next.
    GEO. H. THOMAS,
    Major-General, U.S. Army, Commanding.
    -----
    HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
    Nashville, May 14, 1865.
    Brig. Gen. ROBERT ALLEN,
    Louisville:
    General Wilson telegraphs me that lie has captured Jeff. Davis and family, Mr. Reagan, Postmaster-General Southern Confederacy, Colonel Harrison, private secretary, and Colonel Johnston, aide-de-camp, and that they are on their way here under a strong guard. They will be forwarded from here as soon as practicable, when you will be telegraphed, but I wish you to be prepared to forward them from Louisville without delay and with perfect security alike from escape as well as from insult and the annoyance of curiosity hunters. Acknowledge receipt, stating what you can do.
    GEO. H. THOMAS,
    Major-General, U.S. Army, Commanding.
    P. S.--You had better send them from Louisville to Cincinnati in a special steamer; one of the small class like the Lady Pike.
    GEO. H. THOMAS,
    Major-General, U. S. Army.
    -----
    MACON, GA., May 14, 1865---10.30 a.m.
    Hon. E. M. STANTON,
    Washington, D.C.:
    Colonel Pritchard arrived safely at Atlanta with Davis, Clay, Reagan, and party. They left there at 4.30 this morning under escort of General Upton. Stephens was sent on in a separate train. The entire party will reach Augusta by 7 p.m. General Molineux will have carriages and guard ready to convey them to a steamer lying three miles below the city. The device adopted by Davis to escape on the morning of his capture was even more ignoble than I reported it at first. Colonel Pritchard will give you fall particulars. I can hear nothing of Breckinridge's movements, though I suspect he has either gone ****her east, or possibly slipped through Northern Georgia, notwithstanding <ar104_761> the vigilance of my men. Brevet Brigadier-General Palmer captured in wagons and sent to Augusta nearly $200,000 in gold and silver claimed by the Georgia Central Railroad and Banking Company. They have requested its restoration. General Molineux has asked me for orders in the case. I have advised him not to release it without proof of ownership and loyalty. Please send me instructions.
    J. H. WILSON,
    Brevet Major-General.
    -----
     
  21. matthew mckeon

    matthew mckeon Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Messages:
    7,360
    Great info, as usual Wolf.

    No prize money, no shoot-out between treasure seeking patrols, I guess.
     

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

Share This Page