The Last Hear Say
Dar Dunning of the 4th Michigan Cavalry was among those who captured Jefferson Davis. This was related to me by his 104-year-old great grandniece, Margaret Dunning. This is what she related to me.
It all happened near Irwinville, Georgia on May 10th, 1865 around noon.
It seems that a company or so of the 4th Michigan rode into the camp of a group of Confederate refugees. They noticed a tall figure wearing a raincoat and a shawl wrapped tightly around the head walking with a woman and a slave girl carrying a bucket towards the swamp. One of the soldiers noticed that the tall person was wearing spurs.
He called for them to stop and a group of the cavalrymen surrounded them. The man was told to remove the shawl and his coat. There stood Jefferson Davis. Varina, his wife, immediately threw herself in front of him and begged for his life. Colonel Prichard placed them under arrest and they retired to their tent under guard.
There were members of the Confederate Cabinet, about a dozen solders and a few slaves were there. The campsite was searched, looking for Confederate gold and souvenirs in the two days or so that they were there. Soldiers came to peer into the tent at Jefferson Davis and ask about gold and silver. Officers went through their baggage. Varina always smiled and was accommodating.
The Jeffersons had three children. One a babe in arms, another about a ten-year-old girl and an eight-year-old boy who loved to wrestle with an African-American boy about his age. Varina always smiled and was gracious.
Before the days were over Varina charmed the Union soldiers so, that they picked and gave her wild flower bouquets.