On May 10, 1865, Union Troops ended the four-year War Between the States by capturing Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States. The capture marked a new page in American History by ending a war that cost this country more than 600,000 lives.
Jefferson Davis was heading west into Texas to meet another Confederate Army which might have made the Civil War last another two years, sacrificing even more American lives.
Many people believe that the Civil War ended when Robert E. Lee surrendered in Virginia, but the official end of the war happened right here in Irwinville, Georgia located at what is now known as the Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site.
In 1865, Reuben W. Clements purchased the land where Jefferson Davis was captured. In 1915, his son, the Honorable J.B. Clements (pictured), and the Georgia Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy introduced a resolution tendering four acres of that land to the State of Georgia for the express purpose of creating a state park. The resolution passed and in July of 1920 the original four acres were officially deeded to the state. On july 3, 1933, Mutual Life Insurance Company deeded to the Governor of georgia and additional four acres for Jefferson Davis park, bringing the size of the park to eight acres. On March 8, 1938, the United States of America deeded to the state of Georgia and adjacent tract of land containing 3.66 acres. In 1952, Jack Eli and Doris R. Vickers donated 1.008 acres as a gift to the park bringing it to today's total of 12.668 acres.
Today, we are working diligently to preserve this historical site so generations to come might have the opportunity to experience it as our ancestors have. History cannot be erased, nor should it be. It should be studied and the lessons learned should never be forgotten. In a war as culturally signifigant as the War Between the States, it only makes sense to recognize and preserve the location in which it actually came to an end.