Jefferson Davis graduated from West Point in 1828 and served in Iowa under Colonel Zachary Taylor. He left the Army in June 1835 to marry Taylor’s daughter Sarah (against her father’s wishes) and begin a career as a planter in Mississippi, though Sarah soon died of malaria. Davis entered the US House of Representatives in 1845 but resigned the following year to join a Mississippi volunteer regiment (of which he was elected colonel) in the Mexican-American War. In Mexico, Davis once again served under Taylor. He was wounded in the heel while leading an attack at the Battle of Buena Vista and later in the day helped repel a Mexican assault. Returning home a war hero, Davis served as a US senator (1847–1850 and 1857–1860) and secretary of war (1853–1857). He resigned from the Senate when the Southern states seceded and served as president of the Confederate States from 1861 until the government fell in 1865.


Audio clip provided by BackStory with the American History Guys

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