Winnie Davis

Daughter of the Lost Cause

Heath Hardage Lee

A biography of Varina Anne "Winnie" Davis, daughter of President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis and known as "Daughter of the Confederacy" for her work on behalf of Confederate veterans' groups.
Publication date:
October 2020
Publisher :
Potomac Books, Inc.
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781640123595

Dimensions : 229 X 152 mm
Available in 3-4 weeks


• The first biography about Jefferson Davis's controversial daughter in more than fifty years
• Reintroduces Winnie Davis to Civil War buffs and a new generation of readers in women's history during the sesquicentennial of the Civil War
• Mines previously unused primary source materials, including a newly discovered diary that details Winnie's travels with her fiancé in Italy in 1890
• 2015 Colonial Dames of America Book Award recipient
• 2015 Independent Publisher's Book Award Gold winner

Varina Anne "Winnie” Davis was born into a war-torn South in June of 1864, the youngest daughter of Confederate president Jefferson Davis and his second wife, Varina Howell Davis. Born only a month after the death of beloved Confederate hero general J.E.B. Stuart during a string of Confederate victories, Winnie's birth was hailed as a blessing by war-weary Southerners. They felt her arrival was a good omen signifying future victory. But after the Confederacy's ultimate defeat in the Civil War, Winnie would spend her early life as a genteel refugee and an expatriate abroad. After returning to the South from German boarding school, Winnie was christened the "Daughter of the Confederacy” in 1886. This role was bestowed upon her by a Southern culture trying to sublimate its war losses. Particularly idolized by Confederate veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Winnie became an icon of the Lost Cause, eclipsing even her father Jefferson in popularity.

Winnie Davis: Daughter of the Lost Cause is the first published biography of this little-known woman who unwittingly became the symbolic female figure of the defeated South. Her controversial engagement in 1890 to a Northerner lawyer whose grandfather was a famous abolitionist, and her later move to work as a writer in New York City, shocked her friends, family, and the Southern groups who worshipped her. Faced with the pressures of a community who violently rejected the match, Winnie desperately attempted to reconcile her prominent Old South history with her personal desire for tolerance and acceptance of her personal choices.