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Jefferson Davis: Civil War, Facts, Biography, Education, Leadership, Early Life (2001)

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Published 7 years ago

Jefferson Finis Davis (June 3, 1807/1808 – December 6, 1889) was an American soldier and politician who was the President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War (1861–1865). About the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/039... He took personal charge of the Confederate war plans but was unable to find a strategy to defeat the more populous and industrialized Union. His diplomatic efforts failed to gain recognition from any foreign country. At home he paid little attention to the collapsing Confederate economy; the government printed more and more paper money to cover the war's expenses, leading to runaway inflation and devaluation of the Confederate dollar. Davis was born in Kentucky to a moderately prosperous farmer, and grew up on his brother's large cotton plantations in Mississippi and Louisiana. His brother Joseph secured his appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After he graduated, Jefferson served six years as a lieutenant in the United States Army. He fought in the Mexican–American War (1846–1848), as the colonel of a volunteer regiment. He served as the U.S. Secretary of War from 1853 to 1857 under President Franklin Pierce, and as a Democratic U.S. senator from Mississippi. An operator of a large cotton plantation in Mississippi with over 100 slaves, he was well known for his support of slavery during his time in the Senate. Although Davis argued against secession, he believed that each state was sovereign and had an unquestionable right to secede from the Union. Davis lost his first wife, Sarah Knox Taylor, to malaria after three months of marriage, and the disease almost killed him as well. He suffered from ill health for much of his life. He had six children with his second, younger wife, Varina Howell Davis, but only two survived him. Many historians attribute the Confederacy's weaknesses to the leadership of President Davis.[3] His preoccupation with detail, reluctance to delegate responsibility, lack of popular appeal, feuds with powerful state governors, favoritism toward old friends, inability to get along with people who disagreed with him, neglect of civil matters in favor of military ones, and resistance to public opinion all worked against him.[4][5] Historians agree he was a much less effective war leader than his Union counterpart Abraham Lincoln. After Davis was captured in 1865, he was accused of treason but was not tried and was released after two years. While not disgraced, Davis had been displaced in ex-Confederate affection after the war by his leading general, Robert E. Lee. Davis wrote a memoir entitled The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, which he completed in 1881. By the late 1880s, he began to encourage reconciliation, telling Southerners to be loyal to the Union. Ex-Confederates came to appreciate his role as a Southern patriot and he became a hero of the Lost Cause in the New South.[6] Some portions of his legacy were created not as memorials, but as contemporary recognition of his service at the time. Fort Davis National Historic Site began as a frontier military post in October 1854, in the mountains of western Texas. It was named after then-United States Secretary of War Jefferson Davis. That fort gave its name to the surrounding Davis Mountains range, and the town of Fort Davis. The surrounding area was designated Jeff Davis County in 1887, with the town of Fort Davis as the county seat. Numerous memorials to Jefferson Davis were created. The largest is the 351-foot (107 m) concrete obelisk located at the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site in Fairview, Kentucky, marking his birthplace. Construction of the monument began in 1917 and finished in 1924 at a cost of about $200,000.[10] In 1913, the United Daughters of the Confederacy conceived the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway, a transcontinental highway to be built through the South.[163][164] Portions of the highway's route in Virginia, Alabama and other states still bear the name of Jefferson Davis.[163] Davis appeared on several postage stamps issued by the Confederacy, including its first postage stamp (issued in 1861). In 1995, his portrait appeared on a United States postage stamp, part of a series of 20 stamps commemorating the 130th anniversary of end of the Civil War.[165][166] Davis was also celebrated on the 6-cent Stone Mountain Memorial Carving commemorative on September 19, 1970, at Stone Mountain, Georgia. The stamp portrayed Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson on horseback. It depicts a replica of the actual memorial, carved into the side of Stone Mountain at 400 feet (120 m) above ground level, the largest high relief sculpture in the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferso...
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