Jefferson Davis: One and Only Rebel President

Jefferson Davis was a celebrated veteran of the Mexican War (1846–1848), a U.S. senator from Mississippi (1847–1851; 1857–1861), secretary of war under U.S. president Franklin Pierce (1853–1857), and the only president of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War (1861–1865). Tall, lean, and formal, Davis was considered to be an ideal leader of the Confederacy upon his election in 1861, despite the fact that he neither sought the job nor particularly wanted it. Davis was a war hero, slaveholder, and longtime advocate of states' rights who nevertheless was not viewed to be a radical "fire-eater," making him more appealing to the hesitating moderates in Virginia.

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