The Image of Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief

Harold Holzer

in Jefferson Davis's Generals

Published in print October 2000 | ISBN: 9780195139211
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199848799 | DOI:

Series: Gettysburg Civil War Institute Books

The Image of Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief

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  • History of the Americas


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Confederate President Jefferson Davis gained an enduring military image after he lost the war. This chapter portrays how the medium of popular prints made a powerful influence on creating Davis's image not only as a statesman and a patriot but crucially a soldier. The new commander in chief had come by his military reputation honestly—and, many agreed, heroically. Davis's reputation owed as much to action as to appearance. He fought in Black Hawk War, the same conflict in which his Union counterpart, Abraham Lincoln, experienced. Davis's long service record was enough to convince many Southerners—including Davis himself—that his proper place in a war for independence was in military, not civil, command.

Keywords: Jefferson Davis; military image; reputation; soldier; commander in chief; Black Hawk War; independence

Chapter.  8830 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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