View single post by Hellcat
 Posted: Mon Feb 11th, 2013 02:21 pm
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Root Beer Lover

Joined: Tue Nov 15th, 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 830

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Found the book, TD. Scandals of the Civil War by Douglas Lee Gibboney. Was wrong about the broken arm, it was a couple different incident's I was thinking about, one that apparently that nearly killed him and following the Eggnog Riot and even his leaving West Point and one that took four months to recover from prior to the Eggnog Riot. From page 9:

In the winter of 1838, yet another booze-tinged adventure nearly killed Davis. He was then in Washington, making contacts to possibly restart his military career after becoming bored with life on his Mississippi plantation. One evening he attended a reception given by the secretary of war which was followed by a post-midnight chapagne supper. Afterward Ohio Senator William Allen led Davis back to his boarding house, walking through the dark streets of the capital. Allen however had drunk too freely of the chapagne and stumbled off a bridge into Tiber Creek. Jefferson Davis followed right behind him, a plunge that nearly proved fatal when Davis' head struck a rock. Allen, drunkenly reciting a campaign speech, pulled Davis to safety and managed to get him back to his quarters. The next morning, Davis was unconcious, and it took several hours for the doctors to revive him.

On the Eggnog Riot the book mentions it was Davis who had secured whatever the alcohol for the eggnog was. reading it it sounds like Davis was actually the lookout at the time the merrymakers got caught. Captain Ethan Allan Hitchcock was the one to discover the cadets drinking the eggnog and Davis wasn't in the room at the time. In an earlier drinking incident Davis had narrowly escaped expulsion and Gibboney puts forth the idea that this was because Hitchcock had not seen him drinking and because he knew Davis' older brother that he may have spoken on his behalf. At anyrate on the night of the Eggnog Riot just after Hitchcock discovered what the cadets were up to Davis burst into the room and told his fellow cadets to

"put away the grog" for hitcock was coming

At this point Hitchcock appearently ordered Davis back to his quarters and Davis followed orders. Gibboney claims that his following orders may have saved him in this instance from expulsion again. That and again Hitcock didn't catch him drinking, merely warning his fellow cadets.

The other instance of injury which is probably what made me think he'd broken his arm (no actual mention as to what his injuries were but Gibboney doesn't specify a broken arm here) was just months before the Eggnog Riot.

One might imagine that would hae ended Cadet Davis's sub rosa revelries at Benny Havens---but one would be wrong. The following year, Davis and another student were back at the barroom when word came that a West Point professor was on his way in. The two students raced out a back trail toward the academy but Davis tripped and tumbled down a sixty-foot embakment. He suffered serious injuries and spent most of the next four months recovering at the post hospital. Somehow though, he managed to again avoid prosecution for being at Benny's.

Personally it's a little amazing with what happened in his younger years that he lived long enough to even become a Senator.

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