Beauvoir, the last home of Jefferson Davis, was reported late Tuesday to be "virtually demolished" by Hurricane Katrina. The Jackson, MS, Clarion Ledger said that the historic building has been "reduced to rubble and a frame of a house."
The house was located on the north side of Beach Boulevard, across from a number of "barge style" casinos. One of the closest, the President Casino, was lifted whole from its mooring pillars and transported across the highway where it came to rest crushing a Holiday Inn.
The house, constructed in 1854, was dedicated in 1998 as the "Jefferson Davis Presidential Library and Museum."
After Davis' death Beauvoir evolved first into the Jefferson Davis Soldiers' Home, serving as a hospital and residence for disabled Confederate veterans and their dependents.
The Beauvoir Confederate Cemetery is located at the extreme northwest corner of the estate and contains over 750 graves. One of them is Sam Davis, father of Jefferson Davis, whose body was moved there when the Mississippi River threatened his original gravesite at Hurricane Plantation.
The Beauvoir cemetery is also the home of the Grave of the Unknown Confederate Soldier in an above-ground granite shrine. No reports on its condition are available. Another nearby burial ground, Southern Memorial Park, had its mausoleum torn open by the force of the onrushing water, and witnesses told the Clarion-Ledger that numerous caskets were strewn about the grounds. Most "burials" in the area are above-ground entombments due to difficulties with the high water table.
The home and grounds have been open to the public since 1957. In 1969 Beauvoir survived Hurricane Camille but the museum, at that time in the basement of the house, was severely flooded. The Library cottage suffered severe damage from that storm. Both had since been rebuilt.
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FOR INFORMATION ON MORE DESTRUCTION TO CIVIL WAR SITES ....