Jefferson Davis

Jefferson Davis was the 10th son of Sam Davis; he was a plantation owner from Missouri and was born June 3rd, 1808. When he was 7 years old he was sent to a boarding school in Kentucky and when he was 13 he later entered Transylvania College in Lexington.

In 1824 Davis entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After graduating in 1828 he served as a lieutenant in the Wisconsin Territory and took part in the Black Hawk War. Davis resigned his commission in 1835 and became a planter to Vicksburg. He entered Congress in 1845 for Mississippi and served with distinction in the Mexican War.

Davis, a member of the Democratic Party, successfully won election to the Senate in 1848. His father-in-law, Zachary Taylor, became president and as a member of the Whig Party. Taylor supported the admission of California as a free state but Davis disagreed and led the pro-slavery faction in Congress. After the death of Taylor, Davis served as Secretary of War.

In 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the USA and 7 states seceded from the Union. Representatives from these 7 states quickly established a new political organization, the Confederate States of America. On February 8th the Confederate States of America adopted a constitution and within 10 days elected Davis as its president and Alexander Stephens as vice-president. Montgomery, Alabama, became its capital and the Stars and Bars was adopted as its flag. Davis was also authorized to raise 100,000 troops.
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Davis took the view that after a state seceded, federal forts became the property of the state. On April 12th, 1861 General Pierre T. Beauregard demanded that Major Robert Anderson surrender Ft. Sumter in Charleston harbor. Anderson replied that he would be willing to leave the fort in 2 days when his supplies were exhausted. Beauregard rejected this offer and ordered his Confederate troops to open fire. After 34 hours of bombardment the Fort was severely damaged and Anderson was forced to surrender.

Major General Irvin McDowell was given command of the Union Army and in July ...

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