Did Jefferson Davis ever wear a uniform during the Civil War?

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Joined
Aug 25, 2012
As a former U.S. Army officer it would have been acceptable to wear his U.S. Army uniform to certain events that were military in function. It would seem unlikely that Davis did so. I have doubts he ever wore a Confederate military uniform during the Civil War. I am not sure Davis ever wore his U.S. Army uniform after the Civil War and not sure it would have been appropriate.
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
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Coffeeville, TX
I'm gonna have to give a big no...

His time in the US Army pre-Mexican War he left to marry his bride, and promptly got malaria. It wasn't uncommon for folks to burn cloths when they got infectious diseases back then. That uniform from then may have ceased to exist. His Mexican War uniform, I think it still survives, but I highly doubt he wore it after that war. Given his love of martial affairs, and mementos, I bet he packed it away to be preserved and not worn again. (The Jefferson Davis Presidential Library might have the answer to whether or not it survived, I know they have, or had pre-Hurricane Katrina a lot of his Mexican War stuff including his saddle, which was found in a far away field after if I remember right.)

That was my "no" for him wearing a uniform on what he had pre-CW, now there's a bigger "no". He spent most of his life after Mexico as a politician in a pre-CW US, and the President very conscious of American principles Confederacy. While some folks, and especially Southerners, had a big love affair with military rank, and military glory, it was a BIG no no to bring into politics any kind of professional military habits, like running things like in military in a military uniform.

America was the land of the "citizen soldier" which that mentality, looked down on professional military men, and especially uniforms. The only reason to allow a regular army was so it could act a core of knowledge for the militias to be called up, or form around for more effectiveness. Americans had a DEEP distrust of regular army and many prided themselves that we had no need of it. The people tended to hate professional military men when they didn't need them. A good example of what I'm talking about is the pre-war US Army. Usually only the officers were American, the enlisted men were almost always immigrants looking for a roof over their heads, you literally couldn't get Americans to join because they hated its existence. Militias were good enough.

Plus, civilian control of the military was a big concern, and if you have a President in a military uniform, it has a bad vibe to it. Davis was an elected citizen representing the people, him in a military uniform wouldn't look good politically. Plus most military men back then, and now don't wear a uniform when their not on military business.

But I'm sure he would have preferred wearing a uniform and being a General at the head of an army. Allegedly he wanted to be in the Confederate Army but was called on to be President instead. That combined with his belief that he was something of a military genius probably hurt the Confederacy.
 

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
I'm gonna have to give a big no...

His time in the US Army pre-Mexican War he left to marry his bride, and promptly got malaria. It wasn't uncommon for folks to burn cloths when they got infectious diseases back then. That uniform from then may have ceased to exist. His Mexican War uniform, I think it still survives, but I highly doubt he wore it after that war. Given his love of martial affairs, and mementos, I bet he packed it away to be preserved and not worn again. (The Jefferson Davis Presidential Library might have the answer to whether or not it survived, I know they have, or had pre-Hurricane Katrina a lot of his Mexican War stuff including his saddle, which was found in a far away field after if I remember right.)

That was my "no" for him wearing a uniform on what he had pre-CW, now there's a bigger "no". He spent most of his life after Mexico as a politician in a pre-CW US, and the President very conscious of American principles Confederacy. While some folks, and especially Southerners, had a big love affair with military rank, and military glory, it was a BIG no no to bring into politics any kind of professional military habits, like running things like in military in a military uniform.

America was the land of the "citizen soldier" which that mentality, looked down on professional military men, and especially uniforms. The only reason to allow a regular army was so it could act a core of knowledge for the militias to be called up, or form around for more effectiveness. Americans had a DEEP distrust of regular army and many prided themselves that we had no need of it. The people tended to hate professional military men when they didn't need them. A good example of what I'm talking about is the pre-war US Army. Usually only the officers were American, the enlisted men were almost always immigrants looking for a roof over their heads, you literally couldn't get Americans to join because they hated its existence. Militias were good enough.

Plus, civilian control of the military was a big concern, and if you have a President in a military uniform, it has a bad vibe to it. Davis was an elected citizen representing the people, him in a military uniform wouldn't look good politically. Plus most military men back then, and now don't wear a uniform when their not on military business.

But I'm sure he would have preferred wearing a uniform and being a General at the head of an army. Allegedly he wanted to be in the Confederate Army but was called on to be President instead. That combined with his belief that he was something of a military genius probably hurt the Confederacy.

This does make some sense.
 
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