Davis

Nelson Davis UPDATE 2018

Nelson T. Davis was born in 1837, the son of David Davis and Vermont-born Susan Smith (1803-1903).

David and Susan were married in Waterville, Vermont on May 8, 1829. By 1840 David L. Davis was living in Adams, Ohio. The family eventually left Ohio and by 1860 Susan was living with her daughter Ann and her husband Oliver Carman and their family in Ganges, Allegan County, Michigan. Next door lived Nathaniel Plummer; his daughter Pamelia would eventually marry Nelson’s younger brother David.

Nelson was 24 years old and probably living in Ganges when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861, along with his brother David (known as Lyman). They may have been related to Washington Davis of Company A (his father’s name was Nelson).

David and Nelson were among the second wave of recruits to come out of Ottawa County and did not in fact enlist until the end of May, along with Albert Hamlin, Calvin Hall, Joseph Payne, Albert Gardner, James Rhodes, Perry Goshorn, Sylvester Gay, Joseph Solder (Josiah Schuler), Quincy Lamereaux, William Suret and John Ward.

Sometime during 1861 Nelson was struck down with measles. (His brother David also suffered from measles in July of 1861.) He eventually recovered (as did his brother) and was on duty with the regiment when it participated in the opening phases of McClellan’s Peninsular Campaign in Virginia in the spring of 1861. On May 29th Nelson wrote home to his mother,

It is not much that I have to write this time. I received yours of the 13th last night; it found me in good health and I hope this will find you all as well as it leaves me. You wanted me to help you to a pair of light shoes. Now I would do it if I had the money. From the time we left Yorktown till within a few days I bought my own living for I was sick and could not eat government food. We shall get our pay before many days and when we get it I will send the required amount. I shall not write anything of our late movements for it has been forbidden and I think it . . . is not our business to write home what is transpiring here. It is warm and pleasant here; corn is large enough to hoe; wheat is headed out; string beans are ripe. The season of cherries will soon be at hand and then I will enjoy myself while they last. I was sick with the measles last year when they was ripe. L. [his brother Lyman] has just got back from the spring with some cool water and I feel like indulging to the extent of a canteen full or less. I expect that you will see me at home sometime in July provided we both live for it is my opinion that the game of Rebellion is nearly played out. We made a point [?] at Williamsburg and we will shank [?] them at Richmond.

Well I have wrote more than I expected when I commenced but my head is not quite empty so I will . . . write a little more. The Allegan boys are all here and they are all well. Harry Campion has been promoted to a corporalship.

I guess that I won’t write much more for I am tired of writing; write often I will write when I can. Love to all and keep a share to yourself.

Nelson added a postscript to his brother-in-law “Oll” (Oliver Carman):

I shan’t write to you until you write to me. Oll you had better enlist; Uncle Sam gives us two drinks of good whiskey every day [although] I don’t indulge; he also gives us plenty of hard bread, bacon, sugar and coffee, also plenty of beans. Lyman and I carry a three-quart dish to cool beans in; we can eat the full of it at one meal and wish that it held more. I was pretty hard up for nearly a month but I am well now. I hope that you are in as good health as your humble writer. Well Oll I will close for this time. Write soon. I remain your affectionate brother, Nelson.

Nelson was killed in action on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia. His remains were returned to Michigan and he was interred in Taylor cemetery, Ganges, Allegan County; buried next to him is his mother Susan and near him is his brother David.

In February of 1863 his mother applied for and received a pension (no. 146670). In 1870 Susan was living with the Richard Ames family in Saugatuck, Allegan County.

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Washngton Davis

Washngton Davis was born January 8, 1841, in Newfane, New York, the son of Nelson (b. 1808) and Rosina.

Sometime between 1841 and 1850 New York native Nelson moved his family from New York to Michigan, and by 1850 Washington was living with his father Nelson and possibly a stepmother named “H.I.” in Grand Rapids, where his father worked as a carpenter and Washington attended school with his sister "A. M." By 1860 he was a farm laborer living with his father and stepmother, New York native Phebe Ann (b. 1820) in Grand Rapids’ Third Ward where Nelson worked as a the Superintendent of Water Works.

“Wash” Davis was 20 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company A on May 13, 1861. (He was possibly related to David Davis of Company I and/or the brother of Nelson Davis also of Company I.) He was reported as a mail carrier in August and September of 1862, and the following month he was detached at Division headquarters, at Corps headquarters in November and at Brigade headquarters from December of 1862 through February of 1863. He was employed as a hostler for the Brigade in March and was a teamster at Division headquarters in April. In February of 1864 he was a hospital attendant, and was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864.

Following his discharge Washington returned to Grand Rapids.

He married New York native Rebecca A. (1845-1912), and they had at least three children: a son (d. 1879), Ella A. or Stella (1867-1879) and a second daughter.

In 1868-69 he was working as a teamster for the M.U. Exchange Co. in Grand Rapids, and living on the north side of William Street between Almy and Summit Streets. Wash was living with his wife and daughter in Grand Rapids’ First Ward where he worked as a teamster. (His father was also working as a teamster and living with his second or third (?) wife Phebe in the First Ward in 1870.)

Washington was working as a railroad freight and deliveryman and living with his wife and daughter and boarding at Lorenzo Lowe’s house on Ottawa Street in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward in 1880 and in Grand Rapids in 1886 and in 1890 in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward.

In August of 1890 a rock “weighing about 4 tons” fell and crushed his foot at the freight depot of the Michigan Central Railroad in Grand Rapids. That same year he was living at 314 Lyon Street in Grand Rapids. In fact, Washington probably spent all of his postwar life in Grand Rapids where he worked as a teamster and freight agent and conducted a freight transfer business for some 20 years in connection with the Lake Shore railroad. He sold that interest to F. Blake when he organized the Grand Rapids Storage and Transfer Co., and Davis went to work for him as superintendent.

Washington became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association in December of 1886, and was a member of Grand Army of the Republic Champlin Post No. 29 in Grand Rapids. In May of 1891 he applied for and received a pension (no. 732063).

Washington was crushed to death on March 31, 1892, in Grand Rapids

“The accident,” wrote the Grand Rapids Democrat,

occurred in front of Foster, Stevens & Co.'s store on Monroe Street. Mr. Davis was superintending the unloading of a heavy box of plate glass intended for the new front to the Boston store which is now being built. The box contained four plates 100x182 inches in size and weighed nearly a ton. It was ordered through Foster, Stevens & Co. and was consigned to them. Seven men from the shipping department of that firm had been sent to assist the teamster William Pond in unloading it from the transfer company's truck on which it had been hauled from the depot. The box stood on its edge and 4 men armed with pike poles were stationed on each side of it to brace, and at the same time move the heavy case off the end of the wagon. It was Mr. Davis' intention to let the end of the box down on the edge of the sidewalk and then turn it on its side. The men had worked the heavy package along with their pikes until about 3 feet of it projected over the end of the truck, which stood about 2 feet above the sidewalk. At this moment Mr. Davis stepped down into the gutter and despite a warning from the teamster that he was in a dangerous position, began arranging some timbers under the edge of the box. The ground around the wagon was wet and muddy and one of the men who stood on the side toward Mr. Davis slipped. He had been bearing heavily on his pike and as he lost his footing the box wavered. The other men on the same side made a frantic effort to check it, but were shoved aside by the weight. There was a warning yell as the heavy mass tottered over and Mr. Davis raised himself just in time to be struck full in the face by the falling box and borne backward directly under it.

When the workmen had sufficiently recovered their senses they raised the box and an awful sight met their gaze. Mr. Davis's head and face were crushed into an unrecognizable mass, and his clothing was covered with blood. He was tenderly raised and lifted to the sidewalk, and a faint pulsation indicated that life was not yet extinct. The ambulance was hastily summoned and the injured man was taken to his home, at 314 Lyon Street, where his wife and daughters were driven nearly frantic by the sad spectacle. Dr. William Fuller rode up in the ambulance and did all in his power to prolong the dying man's life and relieve his sufferings. He lived but a few minutes, however, and breathed his last apparently without regaining consciousness. Coroner Bradish visited the house shortly afterward and after viewing the remains and inquiring into the particulars of the accident decided that it was unnecessary to empanel a jury in the case.


Upon hearing of Davis’ accident and death, Colonel Edwin S. Pierce, also formerly of the Old Third Michigan infantry, told a reporter for the Grand Rapids Evening Leader, “’Well, that is sad about Wash Davis's death. He was all through the war with me, and was a first-class man. He had charge of the headquarters' teams and wagons -- that was his forte -- he always wanted to be doing some work of this kind. But he was in a good many fights too. He would jump out of his wagon, grab a musket, and go to blazing away as fiercely as any of the soldiers. 'Wash' was a splendid good fellow, but I have always expected he would be killed in some way, he was such a man to rush work without considering his personal safety. He hauled all the glass for my tower clock when I built it, and I used to caution him then. But he is dead now, poor fellow.’”

At the annual reunion of the association held in December of 1892, the following resolution was read and entered into the records:

Whereas -- during the past year by a sudden stroke that was appalling, our comrade Washington Davis, late of Co. A, was taken from us without so much as one minit [sic], to leave one pasting [sic] word or say good-bye to his beloved wife and children, Resolved -- that we deeply sympathize with the wife, children and relatives of Washington Davis. That we regret that one who has appeared so young and was of so happy a disposition, and so good a husband and father, could not longer be spared to cheer and protect his family, and to aid with us with his presence in our sojourn in this vail [sic] of tears, and . . . that we will always feel a lively interest in the family he has left to our care. That we recognize in Washington Davis the true man, soldier and citizen, that we cordially invite his wife to consider herself a member of the [association].

Washington was buried in Grand Rapids’ Oak Hill cemetery: section I lot 93.

In April of 1892 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 396047), drawing $12 by 1912.

Jefferson H. Davis

Jefferson H. Davis was born around 1841.

Jefferson was 20 years old and probably living in Muskegon County when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company H on May 13, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers”, was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.) He deserted on or about July 1, 1861, at Arlington, Virginia. George Lemon of Company H wrote home on July 12, 1861, that “we had Jeff Davis desert us while here” in Virginia.

There is no further record and no pension seems to be available.

George W., James E. and William H. Davis

George W. Davis was born November 17, 1839, in Ottawa or Kent County, Michigan, the son of John (b. 1802) and Loretta (b. 1807).

Connecticut native John married New York-born Loretta, and they settled in New York, probably in Orleans County, where they were living in about 1832 when their son James was born. John eventually moved his family west and settled in Michigan by about 1834 when his son Thomas was born. He may have been the same John Davis living in Kent County, in 1840. In any case, John moved the family to Tallmadge, Ottawa, and by 1850 George was attending school with five of his siblings, including his older brother James and younger William, both of whom along with George would join Company G, Third Michigan infantry in the spring of 1861. In 1850 their father was working as a laborer.

It is possible that John's wife died and that he married New York native Laura E. (b. 1832). In any case, by early June of 1860 John was working at rafting logs, along with his son William and living in Georgetown, Ottawa County, with several of his children, including his youngest daughter Martha A. Martha would in fact marry next door neighbor Wilber Bement the following month. And Wilber would enlist in Company I, Third Michigan infantry. (Nearby also lived George Weatherwax who would command Company I at the beginning of the war.)

It is unclear where George was working in the summer of 1860. He may have moved to the Clinton County area where his older brother James had settled. In any case, it appears that shortly after war broke out George became a member of the Lansing militia company called the “Williams’ Rifles”, which was formed largely of men who lived in the Lansing area, joining his older brother James who had married and settled in Clinton County, not far from Lansing, and who would also join the “Williams’ Rifles”.

George stood 5’4” with hazel eyes, auburn hair and a light complexion, and was 21 years old when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861, along with his brothers James and William.

In any case, by early December of 1861 William was tenting with his brothers James and George Davis as well as Orville Ingersoll and Case Wickham; Case too was from Clinton County and his family originally came from Orleans County, New York (although Case had been born in Ohio). On December 3, 1861, Case wrote to his sister back in Michigan “J. E. & G. W. & W. H. Davis and O. C. Ingersoll send their respects to you in return for yours. They stay in the same tent with me. They are pretty good boys and we have some tall times once in a while.”

George was reported sick in the hospital in November of 1862, sick in the Division hospital from April of 1863 through May and a nurse in the Division hospital in June.

George apparently recovered his health and had returned to the Regiment by the time he reenlisted on December 21, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Lansing’s First Ward. He was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough, probably in Michigan, in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was again reported absent sick in the hospital in May of 1864, and was a Musician on detached service at Division headquarters when he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

At some point in 1864 George returned to Michigan and married Regina M. Huff in Parkville, St. Joseph County. They had at least seven children: William E. (b. 1865), Cora (b. 1869), George R. (b. 1875), Loren D. (b. 1876), Vincent (b. 1879) and twins Edith and Guinevere (b. 1882).

He was absent sick in July, on detached service in September, in October he was in the Division hospital and in November was a Division provost guard. For reason(s) unknown, he was discharged on April 28, 1865, at Washington, DC.

George eventually returned to Michigan and by 1880 he was living with his wife and children in Constantine, St. Joseph County.

He may have been living in Lansing in 1883 drawing $8.00 per month (pension no. 577751), and $50 per month by 1922.

George was residing in Constantine, St. Joseph County in 1890, 1909 and 1910 but the following year moved to Toledo, Ohio where he was living at 626 Oakwood in 1914, and at 1018 Norwood in 1915. By 1920 and 1922 he had returned to Michigan and was living at 1117 Fourth Street in Three Rivers, St. Joseph County.

He was also a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association. He may at one time have been a member of Grand Army of the Republic Dewey Post No. 60 in Lansing.

George was probably a widower when he died on February 26, 1922, possibly at his home in Three Rivers and if so is presumably buried there.

James E. Davis was born December 3, 1832, in Orleans County, New York, the son of John (b. 1802) and Loretta (b. 1807).

Connecticut native John married New York-born Loretta, and they settled in New York, probably in Orleans County, where they were living in about 1832 when their son James was born. John eventually moved his family west and settled in Michigan by about 1834 when his son Thomas was born. He may have been the same John Davis living in Kent County, in 1840. In any case, John moved the family to Tallmadge, Ottawa, and by 1850 James was working as a laborer and attending school with five of his younger siblings, including his brothers George and William, both of whom along with James would join Company G, Third Michigan infantry in the spring of 1861. In 1850 their father was working as a laborer.

It is possible that John's wife died and that he married New York native Laura E. (b. 1832). In any case, by early June of 1860 John was working at rafting logs, along with his son William and living in Georgetown, Ottawa County, with several of his children, including his youngest daughter Martha A. Martha would in fact marry next door neighbor Wilber Bement the following month. And Wilber would enlist in Company I, Third Michigan infantry. (Nearby also lived George Weatherwax who would command Company I at the beginning of the war.)

James left Ottawa County and moved to the Clinton County area, at least by the spring of 1860.

James was married to Eliza Smith (d. 1861), on May 14, 1860 at the home of her sister, Mrs. Lucy Rall at Watertown, Clinton County.

By 1860 James and his wife Eliza were working for and/or living with Charles Ball in Watertown, Clinton County.

It appears that James’ younger brother George may have moved to the Clinton County area to join his older brother James. In any case, shortly after war broke out George became a member of the Lansing militia company called the “Williams’ Rifles”, which was formed largely of men who lived in the Lansing area, joining his older brother James who had married and settled in Clinton County, not far from Lansing, and who would also join the “Williams’ Rifles”. In fact, James was one of the original members of the “Williams’ Rifles” of Lansing, a local militia company which would form the nucleus of Company G of the Third Michigan infantry, quite probably joining the company in 1859.

James stood 5’8” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a sallow complexion, and was a 28-year-old farmer and sawyer still living in Clinton County when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861, along with his brothers George and William.

In any case, by early December of 1861 William was tenting with his brothers James and George Davis as well as Orville Ingersoll and Case Wickham; Case too was from Clinton County and his family originally came from Orleans County, New York (although Case had been born in Ohio). On December 3, 1861, Case wrote to his sister back in Michigan “J. E. & G. W. & W. H. Davis and O. C. Ingersoll send their respects to you in return for yours. They stay in the same tent with me. They are pretty good boys and we have some tall times once in a while.”
James was absent sick in the Regimental hospital in September and October of 1861, was present for duty from January of 1862 through June and absent sick in August. According to Homer Thayer of Company G, in early August James had been recommended for a discharge on account of disability.

In fact, on August 15 James was admitted to a general hospital, probably in Washington, and was very likely sent to a hospital in Baltimore in October. He was in Baltimore at West’s Building hospital on November 29 when he was discharged for “very bad hemorrhoidal tumors” which reportedly “bleed when at stool, and cause a great deal of pain.”

After his discharge James eventually returned to Michigan. They were living either in Wacoustra, Clinton County or Delta, Eaton County, where his wife Eliza died.

He married his second wife New York native Mrs. Eliza or Elizabeth D. Ketchum (nee Ferguson, 1837-1908), on March 18, 1865, in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, and they had at least two children: James (b. 1867) and Elsworth (b. 1870). Eliza was a widow, her first husband Emerson Ketchum had died in 1863.

He was probably working as a sawyer and living with Eliza and their young son James in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward in 1870; also living with them were 13-year-old George Ketchum and his younger brother Mortimer. In 1880 James was working “at sawing” and living with his wife and two sons in Grand Rapids. James was working as a sawyer and living in Grand Rapids’ Fifth Ward with his wife Eliza, their two sons and the two Ketchum boys (also listed in the census as “sons”) as well as Eliza’s mother June.

James was probably living in Ionia, Ionia County in 1888, but by 1900 he was residing at 292 Travis Avenue in Grand Rapids and he worked as a laborer most of his life. He was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association and Grand Army of the Republic Custer Post No. 5 in Grand Rapids.

In 1884 he applied for and received a pension (no. 424835).

James died of heart failure in Grand Rapids on March 24, 1908, of valvular heart disease, and was buried in Fairplains cemetery: section 1 lot 98.

In April of 1908 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 655052).

William H. Davis was born in 1842 in Michigan, the son of John (b. 1802) and Loretta (b. 1807).

Connecticut native John married New York-born Loretta, and they settled in New York, probably in Orleans County, where they were living in about 1832 when their son James was born. John eventually moved his family west and settled in Michigan by about 1834 when his son Thomas was born. He may have been the same John Davis living in Kent County, in 1840. In any case, John moved the family to Tallmadge, Ottawa, and by 1850 William was attending school with five of his older siblings, including his brothers James and George, both of whom along with James would join Company G, Third Michigan infantry in the spring of 1861. In 1850 their father was working as a laborer.

It is possible that John's wife died and that he married New York native Laura E. (b. 1832). In any case, by early June of 1860 John was working at rafting logs, along with his son William and living in Georgetown, Ottawa County, with several of his children, including his youngest daughter Martha A. Martha would in fact marry next door neighbor Wilber Bement the following month. And Wilber would enlist in Company I, Third Michigan infantry. (Nearby also lived George Weatherwax who would command Company I at the beginning of the war.)

William was 19 years old and possibly living in Ottawa County or perhaps he had moved to Clinton County joining his older brothers James and George when all three enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861.

William was erroneously reported as absent at Bull Run on July 21, 1861. According to an eyewitness, Davis was in fact with the company that day. “Davis,” wrote Frank Siverd of Company G on August 8, “was marked absent by mistake when the roll was called on the night of the 21st [of July, after the Union fiasco Bull Run], and was consequently wrongly reported” as absent.

In any case, by early December of 1861 William was tenting with his brothers James and George Davis as well as Orville Ingersoll and Case Wickham; Case too was from Clinton County and his family originally came from Orleans County, New York (although Case had been born in Ohio). On December 3, 1861, Case wrote to his sister back in Michigan “J. E. & G. W. & W. H. Davis and O. C. Ingersoll send their respects to you in return for yours. They stay in the same tent with me. They are pretty good boys and we have some tall times once in a while.”

And in early January of 1862 Case wrote home to his sister Amanda, saying that “I want you to be punctual about writing for I am not the only one that looks forward with pleasure to the day when we expect a letter from you. Billy Davis asks me every Thursday if I have got a letter from Amanda and if I have not he is just as much disappointed as I be. He says that he never saw you but he knows that you are a brick.

Sometime afterwards William was detached as wagoner and was working as a wagoner in November and December of 1862, and a wagoner at Brigade headquarters from January to July of 1863. He reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Lansing’s First Ward, and was absent in February of 1864, presumably still on veterans’ furlough.

William eventually returned to the Regiment probably in early March, although it is unclear whether he was still employed as a wagoner .

He was reported as a Corporal in May of 1864 when he was killed in action on May 5, 1864, during the Wilderness campaign. He was presumably buried among the unknown soldiers at the Wilderness.

No pension seems to be available.



David Lyman Davis update 2018

David Lyman Davis was born September 7, 1838, in Adams, Seneca County, Ohio, the son of David Davis and Vermont-born Susan Smith (1803-1903).

David and Susan were married in Waterville, Vermont on May 8, 1829. By 1840 David Davis was living in Adams, Ohio. Susan and her family eventually left Ohio and by 1860 Susan was living with her daughter Ann and her husband Oliver Carman and their family in Ganges, Allegan County, Michigan. Next door lived Nathaniel Plummer; his daughter Pamelia would eventually marry David Lyman.

David stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was 22 years old and residing in Allegan County when he enlisted in Company I on May 13, 1861, along with his older brother Nelson. They may have been related to Washington Davis of Company A (his father’s name was Nelson).

David and Nelson were among the second wave of recruits to come out of Ottawa County and did not in fact enlist until the end of May, along with Albert Hamlin, Calvin Hall, Joseph Payne, Albert Gardner, James Rhodes, Perry Goshorn, Sylvester Gay, Joseph Solder (Josiah Schuler), Quincy Lamereaux, William Suret and John Ward.

David was taken ill with measles in July of 1861, (Nelson too was struck by measles in 1861) but soon recovered and was on duty with the 3rd Michigan when he was shot in the right hand on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run. He was subsequently absent wounded in Fairfax Seminary hospital from September of 1862 until he was discharged on February 26, 1863, at Camp Convalescent near Alexandria, Virginia, for a “disabled right hand from gunshot wound.”

David listed Ganges, Allegan County as his mailing address on his discharge paper, and probably returned to Allegan County after his discharge. (In 1870 there was a Vermont-born Susan Davis, age 65 living with the Richard Ames family in Saugatuck, Allegan County.)

He married Ohio-born Pamelia H. Plummer (1845-1926), and they had at least one child, a son Clarence (b. 1869).

By 1880 David was working as a farmer and living with his wife and son in Ganges, although by 1885 he was residing in Gaines, Kent County. He had returned to Ganges by 1890, and was still living in Ganges in 1894 where he worked as a fruit solicitor. He eventually settled in Fennville, Allegan County and for many years worked as a merchant. He moved to Orchard Heights near Mobile, Alabama around 1900 and by 1912 he was living in Crichton, Mobile County, Alabama.

In 1878 he applied for and received a pension (no. 975808). He was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association.

David died at 10:00 a.m. in the People’s Bank of Orchard, Alabama, on November 22, 1913, and his remains were sent to Michigan where he was buried in Taylor cemetery in Ganges next to his brother Nelson.

His widow was living in Crichton, Alabama in 1913 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 774679), drawing $30 by 1926 when she was living in Fennville.

 

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