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Jefferson Davis was born on June 3, 1808 in Christian County, Kentucky which was renamed later to Todd County. He was named after his father’s political hero, Thomas Jefferson. He was in a family of ten kids; he was the tenth and the last child. His mother almost died giving birth to Jefferson Davis at age 45. He was the President of the Confederate States-the only president of the Confederate. This was the person the South looked up to. He chose all the generals/plans to work with in the Civil War.
His dad, Samuel Davis, was in the Revolutionary War in 1776 along with his uncles. Jefferson’s brothers were also soldiers, but in the war of 1812-some sat side by side with President Monroe.
Jefferson was homeschooled at an early age. After homeschooling, he was sent to Transylvania University in Kentucky. He finished his school in 1824 at age 16. After, he was appointed by President Monroe to go to WestPoint Military Academy as a cadet. People said that he was very soldier like and should be one of the best soldiers. He had graduated from WestPoint at age 24 in 1832. Right after he graduated WestPoint, he was assigned his first active job in the army. He was working at posts in the North-West of Fort Crawford, Wisconsin in 1828-1833. In 1831, the Black Hawk War, his regiment participated in many battles. In 1833, he transferred to a new regiment named the First Dragoons. That same year, Davis was also promoted to being the first lieutenant.
He married, Sarah Knox Taylor. She was the daughter of President Zachary Taylor. They didn’t spend a lot of time together, so it must have been love at first sight. President Taylor didn’t oppose of this marriage because of all the hardships they had to face in the war. They later divorced and Jefferson Davis married Varina Howell Davis.
On February 9, 1861, he got a notice saying that he was the next President of the Confederate States. He didn’t want to be president of the Confederate; he actually wanted to be the commander of the military. He was a different person compared to the rest of the generals in the Civil War. People like to have their business/job their first priority, but Jefferson Davis had his family his 1st priority instead of his business. He became famous by his writing. He wrote about loneliness, and being away from his family during the war. In 1847, he fought in the Battle of Buena Vista (the Mexican American War). In 1860, he came out for favor in seceding. This was his first time he actually came out and said that he was helping the South secede. Davis appointed a new state to the confederate in 1861. This was a good strategy because he was gaining more people to support slavery being legal in the U.S. This state was Tennessee. In 182, he signed the Conscription Bill; this shocked many people because the southern army was small but very experienced and skilled. The conscription bill is saying that he is singing about 50-100 men to fight in the army. The southerners were shocked because they didn’t think that Jefferson Davis would sign so many inexperience people. Davis said that they couldn’t win the war without this.
In 1861, he spoke his last speech before his illness in the U.S. Senate. This was an illness threatening to lose his left eye. 1865, he was captured in a Casemate at Fortress Monroe for two years. In prison, he sold his land to a former slave name Ben Montgomery. Ben was a good manager, mechanic and had already owned a General Store.
On December 6, 1889, he had died in New Orleans. He had died around 12:30 to 1:00am. He had hit many front pages in the Southern Newspapers which had tributes and praises on how important he was and how much they loved him. He died of old age at the age of 81. This person was important because he was the person that the people in the South looked up to. He was the president, which meant, he chose all the generals and he ran the south to fight against the North. He was also important because he wanted to secede from the United States. He didn’t want to be a part of the United States because he thought that Abraham Lincoln was going to take away their slaves. He was also a leader in the Civil War Period. This teaches us what the South really wanted to do since the North said that slavery should not be legal. This also teaches us about the past and why the South wanted to keep slavery legal and what they would do about it.
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