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Jefferson Davis Memorial State Historic Site

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Uploaded on Aug 31, 2008

A video tour including a narration of the Jefferson Davis capture site in Irwinvile, GA.

The place where the civil war ended.

For four years, Jefferson Davis had led the Confederate States of America as its President. As the Civil War drew to a close, Davis, fled Richmond, Virginia with his cabinet in early April, 1865 and began a trek southward with federal troops in pursuit; while still weighing the merits of forming a government in exile.

Reaching the farming community of Irwinville, GA, on the evening of May 9th, the remaining hopefuls, still assuming that they were a step ahead of their pursuers, set up camp near a creek bed.

Early the next morning the camp was awakened by a pop of gunfire and within minutes was surrounded by members of the First Wisconsin and Fourth Michigan cavalries. A member of the Michigan detail quickly apprehended Davis.

It was on that spring morning, with his arrest, the government of the Confederate States of America ceased to exist.

By the 24th of May, Davis would be indicted for treason against the United States government imprisoned at Fort Monroe in Virginia, until May 1867 when he was released on bail.

Today, a monument marks the spot where Davis was arrested. Visitors can tour the 13-acre historic site that includes a museum built by the WPA in 1939, a quarter mile nature trail, picnic tables and a group shelter. The site staff offers guided tours of the capture site along with special presentations by site volunteers and period re-enactors

Davis would spend his remaining years in Biloxi, Mississippi, Never asking for, nor was he granted, a pardon for his actions. However, in a speech at Mississippi City, Mississippi, he spoke: "The past is dead; let it bury its dead, its hopes and its aspirations. Before you lies the future, a future full of golden promise, a future of expanding national glory, before which all the world shall stand amazed.

There is no documentation to believe that Davis or any of his direct descendents ever returned to the site of capture in Irwinville, Georgia.

Videographers note: This is truly where the Civil War Ended. I've never found an article that documents the war, that doesn't include Irwinville, GA. The history is preserved today by the State of Georgia and countless numbers of people. A priceless piece of history is preserved only several miles from Interstate 75 in South-Central Georgia.

Special thanks to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

References.

Georgia Department of Natuaral Resources

New Georgia Encyclopedia

Mollus War Papers

Video by Wellsboro, PA railroad executive Brian P. Roslund

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