Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Mystery of young Henry Davis

This record is a clipping from a ledger compiled in 1921 of Soldiers from Stanly County, N C who fought in the Civil War. 

The entire record is located at, and titled "Soldiers from Stanly County in the Civil War from 1861 to 1865." The lists are broken down by Company and Troop. This one was the second one assembled, Company  and in it are listed 4 Davis's. David D and George W. Davis enlisted on July 29, 1861. Both were sons of James M. and Rowena Lee Davis, and grandsons of Job Davis. 

Unseen to the right of this section is listed any notes as to the fate of the soldier. On both David and George Davis, is written "Transferred to Company K". 

Just below them is listed both James W. Davis and Henry Davis who enlisted together on March 15, 1862. Next to James W. Davis is "Wounded Near Richmond". And next to Henry Davis is the words "Died June 7, 1862".

David Daniel Davis, George Washington Davis and James Wesley Davis were all sons of James M. Davis and his wife Rowena Lee Davis. But who was Henry? The way he was listed and the date he was listed, one would be led to believe he was also a son of James M. Davis. But he does not appear in the census with the family. 

To start at the beginning with James M. Davis and family, we have to go back to the 1830 census, which is the first one he shows up in, when Stanly was still part of Montgomery. 
Name:James Davis
[James Pavis] 
Home in 1830 (City, County, State):Montgomery, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29:1   Jim
Free White Persons - Females - Under 5:1   Elizabeth Jane
Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 19:1   Rowena
Slaves - Males - Under 10:1
Slaves - Males - 10 thru 23:2
Slaves - Females - Under 10:1
Slaves - Females - 24 thru 35:1
Free White Persons - Under 20:2
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:1
Total Free White Persons:3
Total Slaves:5
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored):8

James, who was born in 1808, would have been 22, his wife Rowena was still a teenager, between the ages of 15 and 19, and their first daughter, Elizabeth Jane Davis, who was born in 1829 and married Stephen Crump Jr. first and Ephraim Mauney second, would have been but a baby. 

Name:James Davis
Home in 1840 (City, County, State):West Pee Dee River, Montgomery, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - Under 5:3   William Edward b 1834
     Job Pinkney b 1835
     George Washington b 1840
Free White Persons - Males - 5 thru 9:1   John Lee  b 1832
Free White Persons - Males - 30 thru 39:1   Jim
Free White Persons - Females - Under 5:1  Winifred Catherine b 1839
Free White Persons - Females - 5 thru 9:1  Charlotte W. b 1831
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 14:1   Elizabeth Jane b 1829
Free White Persons - Females - 20 thru 29:1   Rowena
Slaves - Males - Under 10:2
Slaves - Males - 10 thru 23:2
Slaves - Males - 55 thru 99:1
Slaves - Females - 24 thru 35:1
Persons Employed in Agriculture:4
Free White Persons - Under 20:7
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:2
Total Free White Persons:9
Total Slaves:6
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves:15
By 1840, the number of children had increased to 7. West PeeDee was the Stanly County side of the Yadkin/Pee Dee River. 

Then by 1850, the children are all listed, except for Elizabeth Jane, who was already married. 

1850  Name:James Davis
Birth Year:abt 1808
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Ross, Stanly, North Carolina, USA
Family Number:792
Household Members:
James Davis42
Roena Davis37
Charlotte Davis19
Jno Davis18
Job P Davis15
William Davis13
Catharine Davis11
George Davis9
David D Davis7
James W Davis5
Aranah Davis3
Sarah E Davis2
Arena Davis0

If Henry was a son of James Davis, he should have been included in this census. But he was not. 

1860   Name:James M Davis
Birth Year:abt 1808
Birth Place:North Carolina
Home in 1860:Stanly, North Carolina
Post Office:Albemarle
Family Number:1169
Value of Real Estate:View image
Household Members:
James M Davis52
Rowena Davis47
William E Davis23
George Davis20
David Davis18
Wesley Davis16
Arranna Davis14
Louisa J Davis9

Neither was he in the 1860 census, the last one before the war. William Edward Davis, George W. Davis, David D. Davis and James Wesley Davis were all still at home in 1860. John Lee Davis, oldest son, was living in Anson, near and perhaps working for, George Turner, father-in-law of his uncle, M. F. Davis. The older girls were married and little Sarah E. Davis probably had passed away, as she disappears from records. 

So, Henry was not the son of James M. Davis. Younger brother Edward Winfield Davis had not yet married and had no children. Marriott Freeman Davis, the youngest brother, would only have one son, Millard F. Davis, who was born in 1855 and was not old enough to serve. So, could Henry Davis have been a son of Henry Davis, the oldest brother, born in 1806?

Name:Henry Davis
Birth Year:abt 1808
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Albemarle, Stanly, North Carolina, USA
Family Number:947
Household Members:
Henry Davis42
Martha Davis33
Sarah Davis13
Nancy Davis12
Hampton Davis10
Mary Davis8
Martha Davis5
Aughton Davis4
Job Davis2

A record for "Henry H. Davis", from March and April, 1863, states that he was absent and sick and back home in Stanly County. He had been serving as a prison guard in Salisbury. This was not the Henry Davis who passed away, as he died in 1862. In fact, this was, I am sure, Henry Hampton Davis, age 10 in the 1850 census, who did not pass away in the war. Would Henry have 2 sons named Henry?

Image result for stanly county, nc

Fold3 gives the following information for the Henry Davis who enlisted on March 15, 1862, Co D 28th Regiment:

Enlisted in Albemarle by W J Montgomery, for a period of 3 years. Paid by G. S. Thompson in June. 

County: Stanly  Enlistment: March 15, 1862   Age: 18  Volunteer      Died: June 7, 1862 of Disease. 

Roll of Honor
Image result for civil war soldier drawing

Records following these labeled Henry further identify him as "William Henry Davis", same company and regiment, and that he died of thyphoid fever in Virginia.

There are no William Henry Davis's of his age in or near Albemarle in the 1850 or 1860 census records. There is a Henry Davis born in 1835 in the 1860 Anson County census, but he would have been nearly 10 years older than this young Henry when he enlisted.

Who was this 18 year old Henry Davis who enlisted in Albemarle, NC and died of Thyphoid Fever?

Image result for civil war soldier drawing, typhoid


  1. Take a look at this Inex - find the name of you soldier ------- then go to this set of books to find him - --- North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster (19 Volumes the index will give you IV:22 thats Vol 4 page 22)

    1. Thank you Charlie. I've been in those books many times and they give no more information than can be found on Fold3. Who this young man was and if or how he was related to my Davis family remains a mystery.