Union Daily Times

Sign them up for next year

CROSS KEYS HOUSE — “Living History XI” was a success, so much so that those who took part in it are eager to return next year for “Living History XII.”

Sponsored by the Union County Historical Society, Living History is a program centered around the visit of Confederate President Jefferson Davis to the Cross Keys House on April 30, 1865. Davis and his party, which at that time included the four remaining members of his cabinet and their military escort, were fleeing the fall of the capital of the Confederate States of America to Union forces on April 2, 1865. Davis was heading south in hopes of rallying the people of the Confederacy to wage a war of national resistance against the Union.

On his way, Davis and his party stopped at the Cross Keys House where they were given lunch by the owner, Mary Ann Bobo Whitmire Davis. Mrs. Davis did not recognize her guest and did not learn his name until, as he was leaving, he told her they shared the same last name.

Davis continued his flight south, reaching Washington, Georgia, where, on May 5, 1865, he held his final cabinet meeting and officially dissolved the Confederate government. Five days later, on May 10, 1865, Davis, along with his wife, Varina, and their military escort were captured by Union troops.

The Confederate States of America was no more.

Davis’ visit is reenacted each year during Living History which is held at the Cross Keys House and feature reenactors who, in period costume and in character, give those attending it a small taste of what life was like in the Civil War era. In addition to the reenactment of Davis’ visit to the Cross Keys House, Living History also features a battle between Union troops determined to capture Davis and Confederate troops intent on preventing them from doing so. There is also an encampment where the reenactors live like their ancestors did during that era and their are exhibits which give further examples of what life was like during that time.

While Living History has always been a success, drawing large number of reenactors as well as vendors, this year was especially successful according to Union County Museum Executive Director Rozelle Bramlett.

“It went very well,” Bramlett said Thursday. “This was Living History XI and from what I’ve heard people are saying it was the best we’ve had.”

Bramlett said there was greater participation in the program by reenactors with more tents set up in the encampment. In addition, the number of cannons used in the battle increased from three last year to four, another sign of the growth of the program. She said that both reenactors and vendors at this year’s program have expressed an interest in returning next year.

“The vendors were very pleased with their sales, with what they took in,” Bramlett said. “They’ve already asked to be signed up for next year. The reenactors have also asked to be signed up for next year.”

For more about Living History XI visit the Union County Historical Society’s Facebook page and visit the Union County Museum website (www.unioncountymuseum.com).

Charles Warner | The Union Times Accompanied by members of his military escort, Confederate President Jefferson Davis reaches out to shake hands with some of the residents of the Cross Keys House during “Living History XI” this past Saturday. Living History is an annual program sponsored by the Union County History Society. The program features a reenactment of Davis’ visit to the Cross Keys House during the final days of the Civil War.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_3475.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Accompanied by members of his military escort, Confederate President Jefferson Davis reaches out to shake hands with some of the residents of the Cross Keys House during “Living History XI” this past Saturday. Living History is an annual program sponsored by the Union County History Society. The program features a reenactment of Davis’ visit to the Cross Keys House during the final days of the Civil War.
Charles Warner | The Union Times Two Confederate sentries hurry back to the Cross Keys House after learning that a group of riders approaching the house are themselves Confederate soldiers. The riders were in fact Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his military escort who were traveling through County after fleeing the fall the Confederate capital in Richmond, Virginia. As he and his escort made their way through Union County they stopped at the Cross Keys House where Davis and the four remaining members of his cabinet were given lunch by the home’s owner, Mary Ann Bobo Whitmire Davis. The visit of the Confederate president was recreated this past Saturday during the annual “Living History XI” program sponsored by the Union County Historical Society.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_3470.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Two Confederate sentries hurry back to the Cross Keys House after learning that a group of riders approaching the house are themselves Confederate soldiers. The riders were in fact Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his military escort who were traveling through County after fleeing the fall the Confederate capital in Richmond, Virginia. As he and his escort made their way through Union County they stopped at the Cross Keys House where Davis and the four remaining members of his cabinet were given lunch by the home’s owner, Mary Ann Bobo Whitmire Davis. The visit of the Confederate president was recreated this past Saturday during the annual “Living History XI” program sponsored by the Union County Historical Society.
Charles Warner | The Union Times Confederate soldiers stand ready at the Cross Keys House as they watch the approach of some riders and the return of the sentries sent to determine whether the riders are friend or foe. The riders turn out to be fellow Confederate soldiers along with a civilian and not just any civilian, but Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Davis was traveling through Union County on his way to escape pursuing Union forces and to try and rally southern resistance. He arrived at the Cross Keys House where he and his remaining cabinet members were given lunch by Mary Ann Bobo Whitmire Davis, the owner of the house. The visit of the Confederate president was recreated this past Saturday during the annual “Living History XI” program sponsored by the Union County Historical Society.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_3469.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Confederate soldiers stand ready at the Cross Keys House as they watch the approach of some riders and the return of the sentries sent to determine whether the riders are friend or foe. The riders turn out to be fellow Confederate soldiers along with a civilian and not just any civilian, but Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Davis was traveling through Union County on his way to escape pursuing Union forces and to try and rally southern resistance. He arrived at the Cross Keys House where he and his remaining cabinet members were given lunch by Mary Ann Bobo Whitmire Davis, the owner of the house. The visit of the Confederate president was recreated this past Saturday during the annual “Living History XI” program sponsored by the Union County Historical Society.
Charles Warner | The Union Times Three young Confederate standard bearers carry banners of the southern cause on the grounds of the Cross Keys House during “Living History XI” this past Saturday. Living History is an annual program sponsored by the Union County History Society. The program features a reenactment of Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ visit to the Cross Keys House during the final days of the Civil War.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_3479.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Three young Confederate standard bearers carry banners of the southern cause on the grounds of the Cross Keys House during “Living History XI” this past Saturday. Living History is an annual program sponsored by the Union County History Society. The program features a reenactment of Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ visit to the Cross Keys House during the final days of the Civil War.
Charles Warner | The Union Times Mary Ann Bobo Davis (left) and two of her daughters stand on the porch of the Cross Keys House as they watch the visitors who joined them for lunch leave to continue their journey south. Though they didn’t know his identity when he arrived, it turned out their main visitor was Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Davis was traveling through Union County as he continued south, a journey that began when he was forced to flee the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia at the beginning of April 1865. Davis’ visit to the Cross Keys House is reenacted every year during the “Living History” program sponsored by the Union County History Society.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_3481.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Mary Ann Bobo Davis (left) and two of her daughters stand on the porch of the Cross Keys House as they watch the visitors who joined them for lunch leave to continue their journey south. Though they didn’t know his identity when he arrived, it turned out their main visitor was Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Davis was traveling through Union County as he continued south, a journey that began when he was forced to flee the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia at the beginning of April 1865. Davis’ visit to the Cross Keys House is reenacted every year during the “Living History” program sponsored by the Union County History Society.
Charles Warner | The Union Times Two Union soldiers gallop forward under a flag of truce to a group of Confederate soldiers at the Cross Keys House during “Living History XI” this past Saturday. The horsemen were part of a larger group of Union soldiers pursuing Confederate President Jefferson Davis. They demanded of the Confederates that they surrender Davis to them. The Confederates, however, said no, and within minutes battle was joined. The battle between Confederate and Union forces is part of the Living History program sponsored by the Union County Historical Society each at the Cross Keys House. In addition to the battle, the program also features a reenactment of Davis’ visit to the Cross Keys House in 1865.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_3486.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Two Union soldiers gallop forward under a flag of truce to a group of Confederate soldiers at the Cross Keys House during “Living History XI” this past Saturday. The horsemen were part of a larger group of Union soldiers pursuing Confederate President Jefferson Davis. They demanded of the Confederates that they surrender Davis to them. The Confederates, however, said no, and within minutes battle was joined. The battle between Confederate and Union forces is part of the Living History program sponsored by the Union County Historical Society each at the Cross Keys House. In addition to the battle, the program also features a reenactment of Davis’ visit to the Cross Keys House in 1865.
Charles Warner | The Union Times Confederate infantrymen listen as two Union cavalrymen demand that they step aside and allow them and their fellow Union soldiers to capture Confederate President Jefferson Davis. The Confederates refuse their demand and soon are engaged in battle with the Union forces. The battle was part of “Living History XI” this past Saturday which featured a reenactment of the visit of Davis to the Cross Keys House in 1865 was as the battle between Confederate and Union forces. Living History is an annual event sponsored by the Union County Historical Society.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_3487.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Confederate infantrymen listen as two Union cavalrymen demand that they step aside and allow them and their fellow Union soldiers to capture Confederate President Jefferson Davis. The Confederates refuse their demand and soon are engaged in battle with the Union forces. The battle was part of “Living History XI” this past Saturday which featured a reenactment of the visit of Davis to the Cross Keys House in 1865 was as the battle between Confederate and Union forces. Living History is an annual event sponsored by the Union County Historical Society.
Charles Warner | The Union Times Confederate infantry exchange fire with Union infantry during “Living History XI” at the Cross Keys House this past Saturday. The annual program is sponsored by the Union County Historical Society and features a recreation of Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ visit to the Cross Keys House in 1865. It also features a battle between Union forces bent on capturing Davis and Confederate forces determined to stop them from doing so.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_3493.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Confederate infantry exchange fire with Union infantry during “Living History XI” at the Cross Keys House this past Saturday. The annual program is sponsored by the Union County Historical Society and features a recreation of Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ visit to the Cross Keys House in 1865. It also features a battle between Union forces bent on capturing Davis and Confederate forces determined to stop them from doing so.
Charles Warner | The Union Times Confederate artillerymen fire at Union forces seeking to capture Confederate President Jefferson Davis who has just left the Cross Keys House. The battle was part of “Living History XI” which was held this past Saturday and, like previous Living History programs, featured a battle between Confederate and Union forces which was preceded by a reenactment of Davis’ visit to the Cross Keys House during the final days of the Civil War. Living History is sponsored by the Union County Historical Society.
https://www.uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_IMG_3492.jpgCharles Warner | The Union Times Confederate artillerymen fire at Union forces seeking to capture Confederate President Jefferson Davis who has just left the Cross Keys House. The battle was part of “Living History XI” which was held this past Saturday and, like previous Living History programs, featured a battle between Confederate and Union forces which was preceded by a reenactment of Davis’ visit to the Cross Keys House during the final days of the Civil War. Living History is sponsored by the Union County Historical Society.
‘Living History XI’ a success

By Charles Warner

cwarner@uniondailytimes.com

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.