In Varina Davis’ wonderful Two Volume biography on the life of her husband titled “Jefferson Davis, A Memoir by His Wife” we read in the second volume about the Davises last trip to Macon, Georgia. I was extremely interested in this account since we had just bought the silver bowl that the citizens of Macon had presented to Mrs. Davis on that occasion on November 25, 1887.
Here is what Varina writes: “…our whole family were urged to be present at the yearly agricultural fair at Macon…The enthusiasm baffled description, and on Veterans’ Day, as it rained steadily, they were to march to Colonel Johnson’s house to greet Mr. Davis; but they were too impatient to pursue the circuitous carriage route, but jumped over the fence and came running, and shouting all the way to greet their old chief; the tattered battle flags were borne in the strong hands that saved them twenty years before from capture, and with tender words ‘they called him worthy to be loved,’ who looked his last at them through eyes shining with a pride in them too great for words; but the strong, braves heart that had not quailed under danger, imprisonment, and vilification, sunk under the weight of his people’s love, and he was stricken with heart failure.”
Mrs.. Davis goes on to say that after days of suffering and imminent danger his physician ordered him back to Beauvoir (their retirement home at Biloxi, Mississippi) where he was to remain quiet for the future. She ends this part of her story as follows “Never defeated man had such a following, and never had people a leader who so loved them.” The President died two years later.