Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Surrender To Wisconsin #5...Jefferson Davis Surrenders To Wisconsin...and michigan takes credit for it

And our friends in Georgia point it out in a roadside sign!!! The full text is in the post below.
Jefferson Davis had already surrendered to Wisconsin's primal beauty and it's history. During his time in Wisconsin he became an expert on it's flora, fauna, trails and tribes.
He met his first wife while he was posted at the frontier fort at Prairie Du Chien.
That tragic tale was told in this earlier post. But in the spring of 1865, Davis was on the run. The Confederate President was moving through Georgia, desperate to avoid freely roving regiments of Union cavalry. Among those regiments was the crack, hard riding 1st Wisconsin cavalry. What happened next is best summed up by that excellent Georgia State Historical Marker....
On May 7, 1865, Jefferson Davis, with his family and a small escort, passed through Dublin enroute south to avoid a screen of Union cavalry attempting to intercept him. That evening, the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry reached Dublin and camped at the ferry. Its commander, Lt. Col. Henry Harnden, could learn nothing from the white citizens of Dublin; but late that night a negro visited his camp and told him that the Davis party "had passed through through the town that day, going south on the river road."
At dawn, Harnden began a pursuit. After many difficulties, he reached Abbeville (50 miles SW) close behind his quarry. There, he met the 4th Michigan Cavalry, Lt. Col. B.D. Pritchard, and, after briefing Pritchard, continued his pursuit of Mr. Davis.
Pritchard, bound down-river to intercept other Confederate officials, rode on some 12 miles; then, abandoning his own mission, he made a forced march and, finding the Davis camp by posing as the escort, he surrounded it quietly and waited for dawn. Unaware of his presence, Harnden moved up before dawn to surround the camp. His advance was fired upon and, in the fight that followed, two Michigan soldiers were killed before a prisoner taken by Harnden's men revealed the identity of the "enemy."
During this unfortunate collision, Pritchard closed in and captured Mr. Davis and his party, thereafter claiming for the 4th Michigan the fruits of the 1st Wisconsin's labors.

GEORGIA HISTORICAL COMMISSION 1957
Unfortunate collision??!!!! The sob's were horning in on the 1st Wisconsin's prize and got their ass deservedly kicked...period.
Colonel Harnden, already a veteran of the Mexican-American War, was wounded on several occasions during his 4 year stint with the 1st Wisconsin. He mustered out of the service in July 1865 and returned to Madison. He served one term in the State Assembly, was U.S. Assesor, and U.S. Collector of Internal Revenue. In 1899, Harnden became Department Commander of the Wisconsin GAR, a post he held until his death.
He died of pneumonia at his home in Madison, Wisconsin, and was buried at Forest Hill Cemetery.
Due to the controversies surrounding the capture of Jefferson Davis, Harnden wrote a book, The Capture of Jefferson Davis. Let's just say, like our friends in Georgia, he set the record straight. Move over North Dakota, Georgia is my new favourite other state. Below is a picture of some of the last surviving veterans of the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry. The picture was taken in Rosendale. They don't exactly look all broken up about the "michigan" incident.

1 comment:

Marcus Aurelius said...

Hope they didn't get a speeding ticket!