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THE COLLEGE BOY.
He was prepared at home to enter Transylvania University ·Ky., at an earlier age than was usual, and he made rapid progress in his studies here, until, at the age of sixteen, he was appointed by President Monroe a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
At Transylvania University he formed an intimacy with George W. Jones, of Iowa, which continued unabated throughout his life, and one of the most touching incidents of his death was that when Mr. Jones learned of his illness he started from his home in the Northwest to see him, but only reached New Orleans after his death. He was one of the pall-bearers, and it was very touching to see the old man's deep grief, and to hear him say as he witnessed that outpouring of the people: “Ohl just see these vast crowds which come to do honor to my precious friend, Jefferson Davis."
During his visit to New Orleans the Times-Democrat publisb.ed the following interview with him, and although much of it relates to other periods than his college days, it is of such deep interest that we insert the whole of it here as follows:
“Of the many who are bowed down with grief at the death of ex-President Davis, comparatively few feel it more keenly than General George Wallace Jones, of Dubuque, Iowa. His friendship for Mr. Davis dated back to boyhood, when he and the ex-President were college mates. The news of Mr. Davis's dangerous
illness reached General Jones at his home in Dubuque, Iowa, and he at once determined to visit him once more
before he died. Hurrying South, he reached the city yesterday morning, too late by only a few hours to once more clasp the hand of his oldest and dearest friend. He was deeply pained and disappointed at the result of his long journey, but he consoles himself with the reflection that he has at least the opportunity of paying the last formal tribute to the ashes of one who was so dear to him in life.
"General Jones was yesterday so oppressed with grief that he could think of little but the present and its immediate concerns, and it was with some difficulty that he could sufficiently command his emotions to enable him to give anything like a succinct and consecutive story of his personal relations with the late ex-president.
“They were classmates at Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky., in 1820. His acquaintance with Jefferson Davis commenced in October of that year. Young Davis was then considered by the faculty the brightest and most intelligent, and by his fellow-students the bravest and handsomest of all the college boys. In November, 1824, Jefferson Davis was appointed to a cadetship at West Point by President Monroe, and as Mr. Jones remained at the university and graduated in 1825, the friends dristed apart.
“The next I knew of 'Jeff,' as we used to call him," said General Jones, “was in 1828. He had graduated at West Point and had been assigned to duty as second lieutenant in a United States cavalry command at Fort Crawford, Prairie du Chien, then Michigan Territory, but now the State of Wisconsin. It was late in the year, and late one night, when a cavalry lieutenant and a sergeant rode up to my log cabin at Sinsinawa Mound, about fifty miles from Fort Crawford and inquired for Mr. Jones. I told him that I answered to that name. The lieutenant then asked me if they could remain there all night. I told him that they were welcome to share my buffalo robes and blankets, and that their horses could be coralled with mine on the prairie.
“The officer then asked me if I had ever been at the Transyl. vania University. I answered that I had been there from 1820 to 1825.
"Do you remember a college boy named Jeff. Davis ?'” "Of course, I do.'” "I am Jeff.'"
“That was enough for me. I pulled him off his horse and into my cabin, and it was hours before either of us could think of sleeping. I could never forget that night if I were to live a thousand years. Lieutenant Davis remained at my cabin for some days, and after the unconstrained manner of early frontier life we had a delightful time.
“ In 1832 we became associated in the famous Black Hawk war, he as lieutenant of infantry, and I as aid-de-camp to General Henry Dodge, commanding the militia of Michigan Territory. : I often accepted his invitation to partake of his hospitality, as well as that of General (then Captain) William S. Harney and Colonel Zachariah Taylor, who often divided their rations with me, as we volunteers were often in want of suitable food.
“The regulars were much better provided for than we volunteers were at that time. They were not only furnished with better rations and more of them, but they had tents while we had nono, and I shall never forget the generous hospitality of Lieutenant Davis, Captain W. S. Harney, Colonel Zachariah Taylor, and others of my brave and generous comrades of those days.
"In the winter of 1832–3, Lieutenant Davis was sent to the Dubuque lead mines, which at thótermination of the troublo had been occupied by squatters. Ho was directed by the War Department, through Colonel Zachariah Taylor, to remove these squatters. Lieutenants Gardner and Wilson, who preceded him, having failed to drive the people off.
“ Lieutenant Davis, by his concilliatory efforts and kindness, soon got them to leave under an assurance that their claims
would be recognized as soon as the treaty made with the Sacs and Fox Indians should be ratified by the United States Senate, which he felt confident would be the case. He induced all the men to leave, but permitted one woman to remain in her husband's cabin, as the winter was excessively severe. She remained ever afterward his devoted friend, up to her death, about two years ago.
“While Lieutenant Davis was encamped opposite Dubuque, my present home, he often visited me. He was a great favorite with my boys, whom he used to hold on his knees and fondle as if they had been his own. Two of them afterward served under him in the cause of the Confederacy.
“As soon as my youngest son, Captain G. R. G. Jones, learned of the firing on Fort Sumter he hurried to Nashville, where he and his brothers had graduated from the Western Military Institute. My son offered his services, and Governor Isham G. Harris (now a senator in Congress, and with whom I had served in the United States Senate) sent for him and appointed him a captain. My son was taken prisoner at tho surrender of Fort Henry, sent for a few days for safe keeping to the penitentiary at Alton, Ill., with other prisoners of war, and removed thenco to Johnson's island in Lake Erio.
“The story of the service of my eldest son, Charles S. D. Jones, under Jefferson Davis, is as follows: In the spring or summer of '62, after my return from Bogota, he left Dubuquo and went with his young wife to Frankfort, Ky:, and thenco to Richmond, Va. He did not tell me where he was going when he left. At Richmond he applied to President Davis for a position. Mr. Davis having written to Bushrod Johnson, under whom my son had graduated, the latter appointed him one of his adjutant-generals. He served in this capacity till he was taken prisoner somewhere in Virginia, when he was sent to Fort Delaware, near Wilmington.