Born in Kentucky, Jefferson Finis Davis (1808-1889) served as President of the Confederate States of America for the entire existence of both the state and the office, 1861-1865. As child, he lived briefly in Louisiana before the family moved to Mississippi. A graduate of West Point, he served in the U.S. army, but wishing to marry Sarah Knox Taylor, the daughter of his commanding officer Zachary Taylor, against her father's wishes, he resigned his commission. Unfortunately, Sarah died only 3 months after their wedding in 1835; in 1845, he married Varina Howell. Davis served in Congress as the representative from Mississippi, but resigned to rejoin the army during the Mexican-American War. After the war, he served as a senator and as Secretary of War under Franklin Pierce. After Mississippi seceded, he resigned from the Senate and was commissioned a Major General of the Mississippi troops, but gave up the position to serve as president of the Confederacy.