ConfederatePresident Jefferson F. Davis, 1988. (1808–1889) - An American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the Civil War, Davis was born in Kentucky and grew up on plantations in Mississippi and Louisiana. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and fought in the Mexican–American War. Afterwards, he served as the United States Secretary of War under Democratic President Franklin Pierce, and as a Democratic U.S. senator from Mississippi. As a senator, he argued against secession, but agreed that each state was sovereign and had an unquestionable right to secede from the Union.