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Author Post
Thu Mar 09 2023, 03:24AM

Registered Member #1
Joined: Tue Jul 17 2007, 02:46PM
Posts: 3995

Jeff. Davis' Alleged disguise.
Portland (Maine) Argus.

I am no admirer of Jeff Davis. I am a Yankee, born between Saccarappa and Gorham Corner; am full of Yankee prejudices; but I think it wicked to lie even about him, or, for the matter, about the devil.
I was with the party that captured Jeff. Davis; saw the whole transaction from its beginning. I now say-and hope you will publish it — that Jeff. Davis did not have on at the time he was taken any such garment as is worn by women. He did have over his shoulders a water-proof article of clothing-something like a “Havelock.” It was not in the least concealed. He wore a hat, and did not carry a pail of water on his head, nor carry pail, bucket or kettle in any way. [92]
To the best of my recollection, he carried nothing whatever in his hands. His wife did not tell any person that her husband might hurt some body if he got exasperated. She behaved like a lady, and he as a gentleman, though manifestly he was chagrined at being taken into custody. Our soldiers behaved like gentlemen, as they were, and our officers like honorable, brave men; and.the foolish stories that went the newspaper rounds of the day, telling how wolfishly he deported himself, were all false. I know what I am writing about. I saw Jefferson Davis many times while he was staying in Portland several years ago; and I think I was the first one who recognized him at the time of his arrest.

When it was known that he was certainly taken, some newspaper correspondent — I knew his name at the time-fabricated the story about his disguise in an old woman's dress. I heard the whole matter talked over as a good joke; and the officers, who knew better, never took the trouble to deny it. Perhaps .they thought the Confederate President deserved all the contempt that could be put upon him. I think so, too; only I would never perpetrate a falsehood that by any means would become history. And, further, I would never slander a woman who has shown so much devotion as Mrs. Davis has to her husband, no matter how wicked he is or may have been.

I defy any person to find a single officer or soldier who was present at the capture of Jefferson Davis who will say, upon honor, that he was disguised in woman's clothes, or that his wife acted in any way unladylike or undignified on that occasion. I go for trying him for his crimes, and, if he is found guilty, punishing him. But I would not lie about him, when the truth will certainly make it bad enough.
James H. Parker.
Elburnville, Pa.
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