Joseph R. Davis

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Joseph R. Davis
Davis in uniform, ca. 1861
Birth nameJoseph Robert Davis
Born(1825-01-12)January 12, 1825
Woodville, Mississippi
DiedSeptember 15, 1896(1896-09-15) (aged 71)
Biloxi, Mississippi
Biloxi Cemetery,
Biloxi, Mississippi
(30°23′52.1″N 88°54′27.2″W / 30.397806°N 88.907556°W / 30.397806; -88.907556)
Allegiance Confederate States
Service/branch Confederate States Army
Years of service1861–1865
Commands heldDavis' Brigade
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War
Spouse(s)Frances Peyton
(m. 1848, div. 1878)
Margaret Green
(m. 1879)
RelationsJefferson Davis (uncle)
Other workLawyer, politician

Brigadier-General Joseph R. Davis (January 12, 1825 – September 15, 1896) was a senior officer of the Confederate States Army who commanded infantry in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Joseph Robert Davis was born in Woodville, Mississippi on January 12, 1825, and was educated in Nashville and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Trained in the law, he practiced his profession in Madison County, Mississippi, and was elected to the Mississippi State Senate in 1860.[3]

American Civil War[edit]

Entering the Confederate service as Captain of Militia from Madison County, Mississippi, Davis had no military training. He was soon made Lieutenant-Colonel of the Tenth Regiment, Mississippi Volunteers, after which he served on the military staff of his uncle, President Jefferson Davis, in Richmond as an aide de camp with the rank of Colonel of Cavalry.[4] Commissioned a brigadier-general to rank from September 15, 1862, and confirmed by the Senate only after charges of nepotism were freely aired and his nomination once rejected, Davis was assigned a brigade in Heth's Division, Army of Northern Virginia, which he led through some of the most bitter battles of the war. He fought at Gettysburg (his brigade suffered heavily in the railroad cut in the first day of the battle. and his command formed a support to Pickett in the celebrated third day), in the Wilderness Campaign, and at the siege of Petersburg.[5][6]

Later years[edit]

Paroled at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, Davis returned to Mississippi. He died September 15, 1896 and is buried at Biloxi Cemetery.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Biloxi Herald, 1896.
  2. ^ Warner, 1959, pp. 68-69.
  3. ^ Warner, 1959, pp. 68-69.
  4. ^ Hooker, 1899, pp. 249-50.
  5. ^ Hooker, 1899, pp. 249-50.
  6. ^ Warner, 1959, pp. 68-69.
  7. ^ Hooker, 1899, pp. 249-50.
  8. ^ Warner, 1959, pp. 68-69.


  • "Gen. Joseph R. Davis." Biloxi Herald. 19 September 1896.
  • Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0-8047-3641-1.
  • Sifakis, Stewart. Who Was Who in the Civil War. New York: Facts On File, 1988. ISBN 978-0-8160-1055-4.
  • Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1959. ISBN 978-0-8071-0823-9.
  • Wheeler, Maj.-Gen. Joseph; Hooker, Col. Charles E. (1899). Evans, Brig.-Gen. Clement A. (ed.). Confederate Military History. XII. Atlanta: Confederate Publishing.
  • Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi. II. Goodspeed Publishing Co. 1891. Retrieved September 20, 2014.

Further reading[edit]

  • Gottfried, Bradley M. (2012). Brigades of Gettysburg: The Union and Confederate Brigades at the Battle of Gettysburg. New York: Skyhorse Publishing. ISBN 978-1-61608-401-1.
  • Stewart, George R. (1959). Pickett's Charge: A Microhistory of the Final Attack at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. LCCN 59-8864.
  • Williams, T. P. (1999). The Mississippi Brigade of Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Davis: A Geographical Account of its Campaigns and a Biographical Account of Its Personalities, 1861-1865. Dayton, Ohio: Morningside House, Inc. ISBN 0-89029-335-X.

External links[edit]