During one of the most tumultuous times in American history, two men served as president of one country divided. One of these men was Abraham Lincoln. The other was the only man to ever serve as the president of the Confederate States of America. His name was Jefferson Davis and he would be the man who decided to lead the opposition against Lincoln and the Union forces. Although he held such a controversial position during the Civil War, he was still revered for being a decent man and also for his actions prior to and after the end of the war.
Jefferson Davis was born in June of 1808, in what is now known as Todd County in Kentucky. His immediate family was of militaristic background. He was the son of Samuel Emory Davis, who had served in the Revolution against the British alongside his brothers.(Man 25) Samuel Davis was regarded as, "A young officer of gentle and engaging address, as well as remarkable daring in battle."(Chadwick 143) Samuel Davis also had four sons, of which Jefferson was the youngest. Each of Jefferson's three brothers served as soldiers in the War of 1812. Two of them gained special mention from General Andrew Jackson for the role that they played in the Battle of New Orleans.(Vandiver 15) Jefferson would also serve his country in many different aspects in his lifetime. First he would be educated at the University of Transylvania in Kentucky and then continue his education as a cadet at West Point Military Academy due to an appointment by President Monroe. He graduated at the age of twenty and went directly into service as a second-lieutenant in the first infantry stationed in the Northwest where he would soon be involved in the Blackhawk War. This "war" was a conflict with local Indians, the chieftain of which was named Blackhawk. It is said that after the Indian leader was captured and placed under the charge of Davis, "The heart of the Indian captive was won by the kind treatment he received from the young officer who held him prisoner.