Tools Menu

Share Your Feedback

Winner of two 2013 Emmy Awards from the Southeast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

Today in Georgia History
is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.

May 1

Get Adobe Flash player

Jefferson Davis

May 1, 1886 - Atlanta, Macon, Savannah
It was a comeback tour for the man who had been Confederate president.

Jefferson Davis lived quietly at his Mississippi home in the decades after the Civil War. But in 1886, he laid the cornerstone for a Confederate memorial in Montgomery, Alabama. Henry Grady, the enterprising editor of the Atlanta Constitution, invited Davis to Atlanta to dedicate a monument to Georgia politician Benjamin Harvey Hill.

More than 50,000 people jammed the corner of Peachtree and West Peachtree to see Confederate Generals John B. Gordon and James Longstreet join Davis at the ceremony. Other stops in Macon and Savannah met with the same enthusiasm. Gordon, who was running for governor, said it was the first time he witnessed the power of the lost cause.

Davis’ re-emergence attracted national media attention and what began as a trip to dedicate Confederate monuments turned into a sort of national affirmation of the South's reunion with the nation.

The man who led the Confederacy made his triumphant return to Georgia on May 1, 1886, Today in Georgia History.

Resources

Vocabulary

Daily Activity

Learn More & Image Credits

Related Topics

19th century, Civil War, politics, president, government, Governor, newspaper, ceremony, military, media, Culture, Time Continuity and Change

Related Articles
& Links

Jefferson Davis...

John C. Fremont...

John B. Gordon...

Fast Fact

At the end of the statue dedication ceremony, Grady introduced Winnie Davis as "daughter of Confederacy" -- a name which became the basis of a new organization for Southern women, the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

GHS Finding Aids

Jefferson Davis letter

Jefferson Davis bail bond

Varina Davis letter

George Nowlan Saussey letters

Letter to Morris Island