January 21, 1861, was cold, just above freezing, and partly cloudy in Washington, D.C. Senator Jefferson Davis of Mississippi did not relish his mission. "The saddest day of my life," Davis called it. On this Monday Davis journeyed, as he had so often, from the house on I Street to the Capitol and its Senate chamber.... When Davis entered the Senate chamber that wintry January day, he knew that the Union he held dear was gone.