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This Happy Land First Families · Pledging Allegiance · Palmetto Jews 
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The Last Council of War Meeting of Confederate President Jefferson Davis with his Military Chiefs and Advisors, painted by Wilber George Kurtz,1922
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The Last Council of War Meeting of Confederate President Jefferson Davis with his Military Chiefs and Advisors
from left to right: General Vaughn, Brigadier General Ferguson, General Bragg, President Davis, Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin, General Breckinridge, General Dibrell, Brigadier General Duke, and Colonel Breckinridge
Wilber George Kurtz (1882–1967)
United States, 1922
Oil on canvas
City of Abbeville, S.C.

Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin, the South’s highest ranking Jewish statesman, sits to the right of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Three weeks after Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant, Davis had summoned his remaining field commanders and cabinet members to Abbeville, South Carolina. Here in Major Armistead Burt’s home, on May 2, 1865, he made a final but futile plea to continue fighting. Eight days later the fugitive president was captured by Federal forces in Georgia. Judah P. Benjamin fled to England, where he lived for the rest of his life.

Artist Wilbur George Kurtz was born in Oakland, Illinois, in 1882, and educated at the Chicago Institute of Art. In 1939, he created murals for the New York World’s Fair. A Civil War buff, he was technical advisor to the movies “Gone with the Wind” and “Song of the South.”

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Last updated: Wednesday, June 21, 2006