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Facial Hair Friday: A bushy beard, a murder, and a missing arm

jefferson-c-davis

Gen. Jefferson C. Davis (ARC Identifier 529104)

Today’s Facial Hair Friday is not a case of mistaken identity. Jefferson Davis was arrested for murder.

But this Jefferson Davis was not the president of the Confederate States. This one was a Union officer, with nearly the same name. Jefferson Columbus Davis was a brigadier general in the Union Army when he shot and killed a superior officer, Maj. Gen. William Nelson, after an altercation at a hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.

Although Davis was arrested, he was never convicted, but instead was sent back into the Army.  Charges were never pressed against him. After the war, he continued with the Army as the first commander of the “Department of Alaska.”

But there is a question of identity for Jefferson C. Davis.

Gen. Davis appears again in a group photo, identified at the far left. His arm appears to have been amputated, but I can’t find any mention of the event where he was wounded. Is he the man on the far left, or is he the man standing, second from the right? The beards make it somewhat hard to tell. Or do any of our readers know what happened to Davis’s arm?

Gen. Jefferson C. Davis, Gen. William B. Hazen, Gen. Oliver O. Howard, Gen. John A. Logan, Gen. William T. Sherman, Gen. Henry W. Slocum, ca. 1860-1865  (ARC Identifier 528426)

Gen. Jefferson C. Davis, Gen. William B. Hazen, Gen. Oliver O. Howard, Gen. John A. Logan, Gen. William T. Sherman, Gen. Henry W. Slocum, ca. 1860-1865 (ARC Identifier 528426)

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Comments

Comment from Phil Gast
Time July 9, 2010 at 10:07 am

Are you sure that isn’t O.O. Howard at far left?

Comment from Robert Hughes
Time July 9, 2010 at 10:09 am

Standing from left to right
Oliver O. Howard, William B. Hazen, Jefferson C. Davis, Joseph Mower.

Seated from Left to right,
John Logan, William T. Sherman, Henry Slocum

Comment from Robyn
Time July 9, 2010 at 10:28 am

The man standing second from the right has the same sort of comb-over hairstyle and uniform as the General Davis in the top photos. The man standing on the left with the amputated arm has a different hairstyle and uniform style. I think it’s the person as the man standing 2nd from right.

Comment from Bill Schroeder
Time July 9, 2010 at 10:30 am

The man on the left is Gen. Oliver O. Howard. http://www.old-picture.com/civil-war/General-Oliver-Howard-Major.htm

The gentleman with his hand in his blouse is Jefferson C. Davis who surveyed the fortification on the hill just behind where I am sitting, and declared it the most impressive fortification he’d ever seen. Fort Norton, Rome, Ga.

Comment from Kristi Cherel
Time July 9, 2010 at 1:17 pm

The man standing second from the right looks like Davis. Look at the height of his cheekbones, the comb direction of his hair, the way his hand sits inside his coat to present himself, the lines in his face. The second in from the right is definately Davis.

Comment from Janis
Time July 9, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Gen. Davis’s very distinctive nose is the most easily matched feature between the two photos, in my opinion. It turns up distinctly in profile in the first set. In the lower picture, there is even a shadow where this up-tip is visible. Yes, he’s the second standing man from the right.

Comment from Dave Richards
Time July 9, 2010 at 4:45 pm

l to r: Howard, Logan, Hazen, Sherman, J.C. Davis, Slocum and (I believe) Mower.