On May 4, 1865, Jefferson Davis arrived in Washington, Georgia (102 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. Traveling via Warthen, Sandersville and Ball's Ferry, he reached the home of Mr. E. J. Blackshear (10 miles N) early on May 7th, after finding his family camped nearby.
Stopping only for breakfast, he pushed on — Mrs. Davis' party added to his — reaching Dublin about 11 o'clock. After securing supplies from Judge F. H. Rowe, he again pushed on. He camped near Alligator Creek (20 miles SW), unaware that the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry [US had learned of his passage through Dublin.
On the 8th, he camped in Abbeville (50 miles SW) after crossing the Ocmulgee River. On the 9th, he camped a mile N of Irwinville (76 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 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.