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In Their Own Words

May 03, 1865

Journal Entry on Jefferson Davis Entering Washington, Georgia

In Washington, Georgia, Eliza Frances Andrews noted in her journal that amidst the steady stream of Confederate soldiers passing through hometown, one notable person stood out - perhaps too much so for his own safety:

“After noon the town was thrown into the wildest excitement by the arrival of President Davis. He is traveling with a large escort of cavalry, a very imprudent thing for a man in his position to do, especially now that Johnston has surrendered, and the fact they are all going in the same direction to their homes is the only thing that keeps them together. He rode into town ahead of his escort, and as he was passing by the bank, where the Elzeys board, the general and several other gentlemen were sitting on the front porch, and the instant they recognized him they took off their hats and received him with every mark of respect due the president of a brave people… . About forty of his immediate personal friends and attendants were with him, and they were all half-starved, having tasted nothing for twenty-four hours… .The party was all worn out and half-dead for sleep. They travel mostly at night, and have been in the saddle for three nights in succession. Mrs. Elzey says that Mr. Davis does not seem to have been aware of the real danger of his situation until he came to Washington, where some of his friends gave him a serious talk, and advised him to travel with more secrecy and dispatch than he had been using.”

Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), pp. 201-202.