So in 1850, we find W. Hunter at 12 years of age living in Savannah, according to the 1850 U.S. Census. (See my previous posts for the lead-up to this point.)
According the the family Bible, his parents, John Washington and Martha Caroline Davis died in 1857 (or 1851, as the handwriting is a bit difficult to read) leaving him without parents at age 19.
I don’t have a firm handle on where W. Hunter was in 1860 at age 22, as it’s hard to confirm his identity in the 1860 census.
Confederate service records show that W. Hunter Davis joined the 1st Georgia Infantry in Way’s Company (Forest City Rangers) in July 1861. Take a look at the Compiled Confederate Service Records here: http://www.fold3.com/image/#32008969
He joined up at Tybee Island, Georgia and served some at Fort Pulaski. It appears he serves at least his 4-month commitment until 18 November 1861, when his “name appears in col. of Rec’d Payment as Wm. Hunter Davis.”
Thank goodness the copyist (one of the hundreds compiling these service records) footnoted this distinction.
1 Hatchet, 2 Buckets, 1 Broom
It would be easy to confuse “our” William H. Davis with so many others serving in Georgia units, but lucky for us he liked to sign his name “W. Hunter Davis”, like in the Special Requisition receipt below for “1 Hatchet, 2 Water Buckets, 1 Broom” in November 1861 --
So this is why I call our ancestor “W. Hunter”, because that’s how he signed his name! Perhaps folks called him “Hunter.” I’m just thankful he chose to distinguish himself this way!
I found the above items in the Fold3 database. But in subsequent searches back for William Hunter Davis, I couldn’t find the supply requisition. I’m relieved that I saved it.
I haven’t found documentation about what W. Hunter is doing during the almost three months between 18 November 1861 and 13 February 1862, but I would guess he was spending lots of time with Miss Annie Graham, because they were married on that date in February.
My Davis-Armstrong family Bible records show W. Hunter married Annie Rebecca Graham--it’s a little hard to read but it is there.
A published index of Georgia marriages by the Georgia Genealogical Society tipped me off to a possible marriage date for the two. A trip to the Georgia Archives (thank goodness they were open!) and I found the microfilm of the marriage certificate. Pay dirt! His marriage to Miss Annie Graham on 13 February 1862 in Savannah is confirmed!! Again, he appears as “W. Hunter.”
After being married for four days, on 17 February 1862, W. Hunter enlists with the Fifth Georgia Cavalry, Company B (Chatham Light Horse) under the command of Richard F. Akin.
A BabyThen, according to the family Bible, baby boy William Albert Davis makes his appearance on 11 September 1862.
So you can do the math and make your own assumptions.
Next post we’ll use our Compiled Confederate Service records to see what W. Hunter was doing off at war while his new bride, Annie was pregnant with their son, William Albert and then caring for a newborn infant.
Chatham County, Georgia, Marriage Books, Chatham County Ordinary Court, Georgia Archives: Unknown.
Fold3.com. Compiled Service Records of confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Georgia, M266 (: National Archives (United States), ), 0135, William Hunter Davis, Sargeant, Way's Company, Forrest City Rangers, 1st (Olmstead's) infantry, 1861. Accessed 20 March 2013, http://www.fold3.com/image/#32008969
William A. Davis Family Bible. THE-DEVOTIONAL AND PRACTICAL-POLYGLOTT-FAMILY BIBLE. (Cincinatti, Ohio: National Publishing Co. and Chicago, Ill: Jones, Junkin & Co., 1870) Privately held by Margaret M. Eves, Marietta, Georgia.