Hung from a Sour Apple Tree
by Steve Payne
says: what if falsely accused of treason, Jeff Davis is hung from a sour
apple tree? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not
necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
On April 2nd 1865,
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on this day a telegram from General
Robert E. Lee containing the stark warning "there is no more time, the
Yankees are coming
" prompted President Jefferson Davis to board a
train, fleeing the Confederate Capital Richmond shortly before midnight.
But there was no escape from the "Yankees", and on 10th May he was
arrested at Irwinville in Irwin County, Georgia. Unfortunately for Davis,
Lincoln's inaugural commitment to treat the defeated South "with malice
toward none, with charity for all" had been rather overtaken by the
that had transpired since his flight from Richmond.
And in any case such warm words were somewhat imprecise in that Lincoln
would never have considered the sentiment to extend to "the traitor" Jeff
Davis even before the assassination attempt.
Because just two weeks after Davis train pulled out of Richmond, an
officer on leave, Giles Nelson foiled an assassination attempt at the Ford
Theatre. Nelson had noticed a suspicious character trying to sneak into
the president's box and stopped him. After a brief struggle, he subdued
the assassin, a Confederate agent John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln, decorating
him later, called him "my personal saviour".
Details of a dastardly conspiracy would soon emerge. Not only would the
evidence trace back directly to Jeff Davis, but it would also implicate
the British Government who had been turning a blind eye to Confederate
spies operating over the border in Canada. Cynics would later suggest that
Lincoln had manipulated events in order to drive his own agenda, a further
consolidation of federal powers to support the Hamiltonian "American
System". Which fundamentally, didn't look much different in outlook from
the British Empire that the Founding Fathers had defeated. And perhaps
after all the hanging of Jeff Davis at Fort Monroe marked the bitter end
of Virginian thought leadership in the new dictatorship of the United
says to view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the
Today in Alternate History web site.
Steve Payne, Editor of
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