This is the only photograph I have of Annie Rebecca Graham Davis, my great-great grandmother. I have so little information on this woman who, as a bride, saw her husband join the Confederate cavalry only four days after their marriage. She later gave birth to their son and took care of him, all while her husband was off at war. I know from census records that she was from New York, she was born in 1832 and was four years older than her husband, W. Hunter Davis, and that her father was from New York. Her death certificate indicates her father’s name was “Albert.” Apparently she thought well enough of Albert to include him in her son’s name, William Albert Davis, who then passed it on to his youngest son, Albert Davis (who our family knows as Unk). The name skips a generation to appear with my brother, Albert Thom Eves, who died as a toddler, before I was born.
Annie had to have been a strong woman (but possibly had help from others), to live through the Civil War with an infant and toddler. Her strength would be challenged again when her husband died in 1879 at the age of 41, leaving her with a nine-year-old son, John Bart Davis, to raise along with her older son, Will. Fortunately, as we saw from the city directories in last week’s post (Annie appears…finally), Will was already working as a clerk for the Central Rail Road and Annie was taking in boarders at their Zubly street house in Savannah.
I am not sure when the photograph was taken, but with some sleuthing through city directories for the photographer’s name and by examining her dress and hairstyle, I might be able to pinpoint a decade. I’m guessing 1880s by her gray hair and the fitted, non-puffed sleeves. I’ll save that detective work for another post.