|View single post by Texas Defender|
|Posted: Mon Feb 11th, 2013 01:53 pm||
| Far fewer historians have studied the life of Jefferson Davis than have studied that of Abraham Lincoln. Unlike Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Davis was never President of the United States, and was on the losing side of the Civil War.
Mr. Davis' descendant says that the first 51 years of Jefferson Davis' life have been : "Lost" and that he is known today only for being the CSA President.
Few know much about Jefferson Davis before presidency - USATODAY.com
Many writers of history (Including some on this forum) have viewed Mr. Davis as being inept in his position as President (A job that he never wanted). However, few have ever suggested who would have been a better choice for that job, or how a different man in that position would have had any effect on the outcome of the war.
Mr. Davis' descendant lists his ancestor's service to the United States, starting as a West Point cadet (He served for several years as an Army officer), a war hero (Mexican War), a US Congressman and Senator, and a Cabinet member (Secretary of War). By comparison, Abraham Lincoln was a country lawyer and one term Congressman.
It is because of his government service that Mr. Davis was selected by the Provisional CSA Congress as the most acceptable candidate for the presidency. He would have much preferred a military commission, but could not refuse a call to serve as President.
One part of Mr. Davis' life that is seldom told is the great love that he had for his first wife, Sarah Knox Taylor (Daughter of General (And future President) Zachary Taylor). Sarah's father, General Taylor, initially opposed their marriage, but was eventually won over. Tragically, Sarah died a few months after the marriage in a malaria epidemic, which almost took the life of Mr. Davis as well. More than a decade later, Mr. Davis served under his former father-in-law in Mexico, where he fought heroically and again almost lost his life.
I agree with Mr. Davis' descendant that his ancestor is remembered only as being the leader of the CSA (And considered to be a great villain by many). But, like Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Davis was a complex man. Unlike Mr. Lincoln, few people know much about him nowadays. Like many a Shakespearean protagonist, Jefferson Davis found himself in an impossible situation. He struggled in a job than he did not want, and he fought a war that he could not win.