Skip to comments.The Jefferson Davis Funeral Train Story
Posted on 06/06/2003 10:41:06 AM PDT by stainlessbanner
June 3, 2003, is the 195th Birthday of Jefferson Davis.
There is a highway that begins in Washington, D.C. and runs through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California and Oregon.
Some call it the largest monument to an American.
That (It) is the Jefferson Davis Highway in memorial to a man who graduated from West Point Military Academy, served in the United States Army, was elected as United States Senator and the Confederate States of America's first and only President-1861-1865.
This story is about a man who served his God, his family and his country. This is about the strong love the people of the South had for a man who never asked anything for himself, but was always ready to help his fellow man.
Jefferson Davis was born on June 3, 1808, in Christian County now (Todd) Kentucky. He died at the home of a friend in New Orleans, Louisiana on December 6, 1889, from severe bronchitis, complicated by malaria.
The funeral of Jefferson Davis was no simple affair. Two hundred thousand attended the services at Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans. He was laid to rest in a temporary tomb of the Army of Northern Virginia.
The events of May 29, 1893, would overshadow all other news events covered by Dixie's Newspapers. It was the day the mortal remains of Jefferson Davis were removed from Metairie Cemetery, placed in a new casket and taken to Confederate Memorial Hall to again lay in state.
On the evening of May 29, 1893, Davis' funeral procession started toward the New Orleans railroad station where train Engineer Frank Coffin and his locomotive would start the 1,200 mile trip to Richmond, Virginia. Davis would be re-interred at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.
Mrs. Jefferson (Varina) Davis began three years previous to secure a special funeral train and military escort.
The train was No. 69 of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad and the Conductor was George Crammer.
Davis' body was placed on a catafalque inside a converted observation car. The windows of the car were removed so the people could view the casket.
The crowd was so huge that the funeral procession had a difficult time getting to the train station.
The L and N train 69 pulled of New Orleans at midnight.
Uncle Bob Brown, a former Servant of the Davis family and a passenger on the train, saw the many flowers that children had laid on the side of the railroad tracks. Brown was so moved by this beautiful gesture that he wept uncontrollably.
The train stopped near Gulfport, Mississippi at Beauvoir which was the last home of Jefferson Davis.
In Mobile, Alabama the train was met by a thousand mourners and the Alabama Artillery fired a 21-gun salute. Locomotive No. 25 was also added with C.C. Dewinney as Engineer and Warren Robinson as Fireman.
In Montgomery church bells rang as a caisson carried Davis to the Alabama Capitol. A procession carried the casket through the portico where Jefferson Davis had taken the oath of office as President of the Confederacy.
The casket was placed in front of the bench of the Alabama Supreme Court room. Above the right exit of the room was a banner with the word 'Monterey' and above the left exit was a banner with the words 'Buena Vista.'
The significance of these words were that Jefferson Davis was a hero at Monterey and wounded at Buena Vista in the War with Mexico.
The train continued to the Georgia State line going through West Point, LaGrange and finally pulling into Union Station in Atlanta. A caisson carried the Southern Leaders body to the Georgia Capitol and there laid in state.
The Jefferson Davis Funeral Train continued through South Carolina, Raleigh, North Carolina and in Danville, Virginia a large throng gathered around the train and the people sang," Nearer My God To Thee" as city church bells tolled.
Finally the train reached Richmond, Virginia. On Wednesday, May 31, 1893, in the morning, and Mrs. Alberta Lee Thompson described it best as follows:
"On Arriving in Richmond on Wednesday morning, May 31, the body lay in state in the Virginia capitol building until final rites in the cemetery in the afternoon. With Mrs. Davis were her two daughters, Winnie and Margaret (Mrs. J. Addison Hayes) and Mr. Hayes. Six state governors acted as pallbearers. Thousands attended the service in Hollywood Cemetery, including Confederate military leaders and privates, where with the Presidential twenty-one gun salute the beloved leader was laid to final rest."
Lest we forget those who helped make America great!
It's not uninformed to state that the slavery aspect remains inescapable because Jefforson Davis didn't free the slaves before he fired on Fort Sumter.
The following is an excerpt from the ROGERSVILLE REVIEW NEWSPAPER, Rogersville, Tennessee, December 22, 1889 from a report that was written in the MORRISTOWN GAZETTE (TN).
My GGGrandfather was Col. O.C. King, mentioned in the article, and a member of the 61st Tennessee Infantry.
MORRISTOWNS TRIBUTE to JEFFERSON DAVIS in 1889
To the Memory of Jefferson Davis - Interesting Services. The Board of Directors of the Confederate veterans Association of Upper East Tennessee convened in extraordinary session at the office of Col. O. C. King, President of the Association, at 10 oclock on Wednesday the 11th inst., and arrangements were made for the public meeting at the Opera House at 11 oclock, in pursuance of the call by the president of the association, which was published in last weeks Gazette. At the directors meeting a committee composed of five directors, Col. Jas. E. Carter, Capt. J. C. Hodges, Hon. Jas. G. Rose, Maj. G. W. Folsom and W. T. Robertson was appointed to draft a memorial of Mr. Davis, to be engrossed on the record and roster books of the association; after which the board took a recess until 2 oclock p.m., and immediately the members went to the Opera House, where a large and select audience of the best people of Morristown and vicinity was in waiting. The large attendance of ladies was noticeable. About 11:30 a.m., the exercises at the Opera House began, the choir singing How blest the righteous when he dies. The opening prayer was made by the Rev. Geo. F. Robertson of the Presbyterian church and was a fervent and eloquent petition to the Throne of Grace. Then the president of the association, Col. O. C. King, delivered a brief preliminary address, eloquent in its just tribute to Mr. Davis. After King was followed by the beautiful and appropriate hymn - Rest. rendered with exceptional taste and affect by the choir. After this Capt. J. C. Hodges delivered an address which was listened to with marked interest. He was followed by Col. Jas. E. Carter, who though not practiced in public speaking, made a speech of a few minutes, which, for its earnestness and sincerity, was deeply affecting. The choir then rendered the beautiful and touching piece founded upon the last words of Stonewall Jackson - Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees. Then followed an address by Rev. R. N. Price, in which the religious and moral traits of Jefferson Davis character were dwelt upon in length, and several incidents in Mr. Davis life, were told with marked effect. Then followed the reading of a short eulogy by Mr. Thomas Price Williams. Then J. H. McClister, Esq. secretary of the association, delivered a brief address. Then followed the doxology and the benediction by Rev. R. M. Hickey.
The exercises throughout were characterized by a grand solemnity befitting the occasion, and we doubt if anywhere the funeral of Jefferson Davis was more appropriately observed than at Morristown.
At 2:30 p.m., the board of directors met again at the office of Col. O. C. King, when the committee on Memorial submitted the following paper, which was unanimously adopted as the sense of the association, and was ordered to be spread of record and also engrossed on a memorial page of the roster of the association:
MEMORIAL Unanimously adopted by the Confederate Veterans Association of Upper East Tennessee:
On the 6th day of December, 1889, in the city of New Orleans, State of Louisiana, Jefferson Davis, late President of the Confederate States of America, departed this life. In his long and eventful life has been illustrated more vividly than in the life of any other American, living or dead, the most exalted phases of American manhood. In early life fortune smiled on him, in that he was afforded abundant opportunities for high mental culture. These opportunities were faithfully improved by him, so that at the dawn of his early manhood he was abundantly equipped to meet the wants of the active and useful life upon which he was at once called to enter. He was born and educated for a leader among men, and opportunity for the development of the qualities of his mind and body came thick and fast in after life. He first became widely known to the people of America through his transcendent qualities as a soldier during the Mexican war. The fearful charge of the Mississippi Rifles, led by Jefferson Davis, on the battlefield of Buena Vista, has only here and there a parallel in the history of wars. That day gave the name of Jefferson Davis to the world, to be placed on the roll of famous men. From that day forward he was known and recognized and treated as a leader of men. And whether in the cabinet or in the national council, or as the chieftain of the people of his own Southland, he illustrated at every point he greatness of his character.
Time would fail if we should attempt even a slight glance at the great events in the history of this country in which he acted an honorable and prominent part.
But whether in camp or council, whether in the din of war or in the hush and quiet of his long retirement in private life, he ever impressed the world with the great fact that he was a Christian gentleman in the very highest sense of those terms. As a slight token of the regard in which he is held by the Confederate Veterans of East Tennessee.
Be it resolved, That in the death of Jefferson Davis there has passed from earth one who, in all the elements of his character and in all his acts in life, illustrated the very highest type of American patriotism and exalted manhood.
2. That we will ever cherish his memory, not so much because he was our great leader in war as because in all the walks of life he was an ensample worthy of our imitation, and because he ever showed himself worthy the highest respect of those who honor and love the patriotic citizen, the true soldier and the Christian man.
3. That we tender to the widowed wife and orphaned daughters assurances of our heartfelt sympathy for them in this hour of their saddest bereavement.
4. That the Secretary of this Association be directed to set apart in his roster a memorial page upon which he will in a suitable manner inscribe this memorial.
5. That the Secretary forward to Mrs. Davis and engrossed copy of this memorial.
The board adopted a resolution of thanks to the members of the choir for the excellent and appropriate music rendered by them during the services at the Opera House, and also to Mr. Thomas Price Williams for the eulogy read by him, and he was also requested to furnish a copy of it for publication, and to give the original to the Association, to be filed with its archives. The thanks of the Association were also extended to the Rev. Messrs. Robertson, Price and Hickey, for the parts taken by them respectively in the services of the day.
A very weak argument.
Let's see if I can help you with this.
You said, "...Davis didn't free the slaves before he fired on Fort Sumter." No, he didn't, because that would be akin to the yankees shutting down the power to all those mechanical marvels they held "in slavery" in the factories only the yankees had.
Do you not understand history, or were you one of those unfortunates who were hand-fed revisionist history?
"So, here are the reasons given by the Rebels themselves as to why they chose treason against the U.S.A:
Opening paragraph, Mississippi Declaration of Secession:
Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun.
Opening paragraph, Georgia Declaration of Secession:
The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.
From the Texas Declaration of Secession:
Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union...She was received into the confederacy...as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery-- the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits-- a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time.
In all the non-slave-holding States...the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party...based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color-- a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States
...all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations...
From the South Carolina Declaration of Secession:
We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection."
Uninformed? I don't think so.
Slavery was a big part of the dispute leading up to the Civil War. It certainly wasn't the only thing, and arguing whether it the most important thing, or simply a big factor is interesting but will never be resolved.
I don't know that Lincoln or Davis had any constitutional authority to "liberate" private property. Where would they get that power?
This one in particular has got me thinking . . . which is a good thing.