Jefferson Davis was the President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War.
When Mississippi seceded from the Union in January 1861, Davis resigned as Secretary of War and joined the Confederate States Army as a colonel. He was given command of all forces in his home state and promoted to brigadier general later that year.
Davis served as President of the Confederacy from February 1861 until May 1865. During this time he did not have much control over Confederate armies outside his home state, but he did direct military strategy at home and worked hard to maintain support for the Confederacy among other Southern leaders who were concerned about its future after Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House in April 1865.
After losing his government position when his army surrendered at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, Davis escaped capture by Union forces for nearly two months by fleeing southward through North Carolina and Georgia before being captured on May 10 near Irwinville, Georgia.
Davis was imprisoned at Fortress Monroe in Virginia until May 1867, when he was released on bail pending an indictment by a grand jury for treason against the United States government. He wrote his memoirs while he was imprisoned and after his release traveled across Europe and Canada promoting the “Lost Cause” narrative that sought to justify his actions during and after the Civil War. He died in New Orleans on December 6, 1889 at age 81 after suffering a stroke 15 days earlier.