Jefferson Davis Essay

1074 words - 5 pages

Jefferson Davis was born on June 3rd, 1808 in Christian County, Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis and was the youngest of 10 children. At three years old Davis’ family moved to Rosemont Plantation in Woodville, Mississippi. At the age of seven Davis was sent to a Dominican boy’s school in his hometown of Kentucky where he attended for three years. Later at thirteen he attended Transville College in Lexington, Kentucky (Encyclopedia Britannica). In 1828 Davis graduated from the United States Military Academy in West Point where he graduated twenty-third out of a class of thirty-four. The year after graduation Davis met his wife, Sarah Taylor, who was the future president, Zachary Taylor's daughter. Unfortunately only after three months of marriage Sarah got Malaria and passed away. He later remarried to a much younger woman named Varina Howell with who he had six children with. On December 6, 1889 Davis passed away in New Orleans, Louisiana (Civil War Trust). Jefferson Davis was best known for his role in the Mexican-American War, U.S. Secretary of War, and as the president of the Confederacy.
While serving in Congress in 1844, Davis stepped down after only a year of service due to the outbreak of the Mexican-American War. Davis returns to the frontlines as a colonel to volunteers from Mississippi where he served under his late wife’s father, Zachary Taylor. It was after the Battle of Buena Vista where Jefferson Davis was declared a war hero. The Mexican general, Santa Anna, surrounded the U.S. troops and demanded that they surrender, but the U.S. declines. Santa Anta then sends 15,000 troops to attack the dense 5,000 American soldiers. Jefferson Davis is said to have saved the American Army from downfall by using a “V” formation strategy as defense from the Mexican troops which ultimately delayed Santa Anna’s attacks. Although the U.S. Army was not completely destroyed, Davis was badly injured and returned home. Upon his arrival he was celebrated and known as “The Hero of Buena Vista” to the public (Kion).
After the Mexican-American War, Davis makes his to return to politics. He first is appointed as a senator, and then in 1853 President Franklin Pierce named him as the Secretary of War. In his role as the Secretary of War, Davis focused on creating a new and improved military. He implemented new technologies like rifled cannons and muskets, upgraded the harbors, and drafted plans for a transcontinental railroad. In addition to these new technologies Davis also implemented new battle tactics and strategies to later be used in the Civil War (The New York Times). After the Pierce administration, Davis chooses to return to the Senate. Although Davis agreed with the states right to secede, he was against secession because he doubted that the North would let secession happen. In 1861 Mississippi secedes from the union which causes Davis to reluctantly choose to withdraw himself from the senate in support of Mississippi...

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