On May 4, 1865, Jefferson Davis arrived in Washington, Georgia (68 miles N), where he performed what proved to be his last duties as President of the Confederate States of America. Shortly thereafter, with a small staff and escort, he departed enroute to the trans-Mississippi Department, from which vantage point he hoped to negotiate a just peace. His party reached Sandersville about noon on May 6th, where Judge John H. Reagan, Act'g Sec'y of the Treasury, and Captain M. H. Clark, Act'g Treasurer, transacted the last official business of the Confederate States Treasury.
That evening, they camped near Balls Ferry (17 miles SW); but upon learning of a threat to his family, which was on a converging route some hours ahead, Mr. Davis decided to press on and, after an all night ride over strange roads, he found them near the home of Mr. E. J. Blackshear, 10 miles north of Dublin.
After a hard journey via Dublin and Abbeville, they camped a mile N of Irwinville (110 miles SW) in the present Jefferson Davis Memorial State Park. At dawn on May 10th, his camp was surrounded by men of the 1st Wisconsin and the 4th Michigan cavalry regiments [US] and he became a "state prisoner," his hopes for a new nation in which each state would exercise without interference its cherished "Constitutional rights" forever dead.