Jefferson Davis Before the War.

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Jun 7, 2021
Hi everyone,

I made a video discussing key moments in Jefferson Davis' life before he became president of the CSA.

I briefly covered the eggnog riots Davis partook in while at West Point.

What are your favorite anecdotes of Davis from his life before the war?
 

stetson7

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During the Mexican War, Davis became a national hero for his role in the Battle of Buena Vista in 1847. While that may have been a notable accomplishment, I think this success fogged his vision regarding his military acumen during the civil war.
 
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The time he spent in Cuba had a lot of influence on him going into the war.
In the research I saw he was there recovering from his bout of malaria. In the video I discussed how he observed the Spanish fortifications. What else did he do there that influenced him?
 

James N.

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I like the fact that his mother gave him the middle name of Finis, as in finish, as in she's finished cranking out babies. There were 10 children.
According to an old article from Civil War Times Illustrated the Finis business is apocryphal rubbish invented by the Northern press; unfortunately I don't at this distance in time recall the author or exact name of the article but have always remembered it. However, there WAS an actual Confederate soldier from Hood's Texas Brigade with the unwieldy and unlikely name Decimus et Ultimus Barziza! ("Tenth and Last.") According to the article Davis had NO middle name!
 
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James N.

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In the research I saw he was there recovering from his bout of malaria. In the video I discussed how he observed the Spanish fortifications. What else did he do there that influenced him?
Two of the notable and likely unfortunate long-term friendships he formed around that time were with the ultimate military failures he thought highly of, Albert Sidney Johnston and Braxton Bragg. Johnston's faulty strategy cost the Confederacy Kentucky and most of Tennessee and paved the way for the ascendency of U.S. Grant; Bragg's failings are too legendary and voluminous to detail here.
 
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James N.

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Davis served for a time in Indian Territory at Forts Gibson and Washita. He also married Sarah Knox Taylor, daughter of his commanding officer, General and future President Zachary Taylor. Unfortunately, after only a brief marriage she succumbed to illness and is buried in a family cemetery in Locust Grove State Historic Site, St. Francisville, Louisiana:

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According to an old article from Civil War Times Illustrated the Finis business is apocryphal rubbish invented by the Northern press; unfortunately I don't at this distance in time recall the author or exact name of the article but have always remembered it. However, there WAS an actual Confederate soldier from Hood's Texas Brigade with the unwieldy and unlikely name Decimus et Ultimus Barziza! ("Tenth and Last.")
We can't prove it was and we can't prove it wasn't , so what's a person to do? It does sound like something the Yankee Press would do, though. Thankyou!
 
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bayouace

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Davis served for a time in Indian Territory at Forts Gibson and Washita. He also married Sarah Knox Taylor, daughter of his commanding officer, General and future President Zachary Taylor. Unfortunately, after only a brief marriage she succumbed to illness and is buried in a family cemetery in Locust Grove State Historic Site, St. Francisville, Louisiana:

View attachment 407101
Locust Grove is often closed, but open for visitors at various times of the year, because it is so isolated. Check with the Audubon State Commemorative Area/Oakley House near St. Francisville for times of visitor access.
 

Blessmag

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Pacific Railroad Surveys​


"The Pacific Railroad Surveys were authorized by Congress in 1852 in order to have systematic studies done to decide on the route of a transcontinental railroad. The surveys were carried out by the Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis. Three routes were surveyed over the next few years known as the northern, central, southern routes. The central route was finally chosen in 1861 by Abraham Lincoln. It was later modified mostly to allow for increased revenue along the rail line."
https://exhibits.stanford.edu/rr/feature/pacific-railroad-surveys

We have a CWTalk member who was big on the transcontinental railroad being a cause of the war.
 

ucvrelics

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In the research I saw he was there recovering from his bout of malaria. In the video I discussed how he observed the Spanish fortifications. What else did he do there that influenced him?
I don't remember his name (as its been a while since I read JD'd book) but a Spanish officer befriended him and I believe that when the CW started he came here and became a CS officer under Beauregard.
 
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