General Jefferson C. Davis

screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-11-23-56-pmDavis, Jefferson C., brigadier-general, was born in Clark county, Ind., March 2, 1828, was educated at the county academy, and, at the age of eighteen, enlisted for service
in the Mexican war. For bravery at Buena Vista he won a commission as 2nd lieutenant in the 1st artillery. In 1852 he was promoted 1st lieutenant. In 1858 he was placed in charge of the garrison at Fort Sumter, and, as an officer under Maj. Anderson, took part in the occupation and defense of that fort. In recognition of his bravery on this occasion, he was promoted captain and given leave of absence to recruit the 22nd Ind. volunteers,  of which regiment he became colonel. Being assigned as acting brigadier-general to the Department of the Missouri, he distinguished himself by bravery at Milford, Mo., and won promotion to the rank of brigadier-general of volunteers. He commanded a division at the battle of Pea ridge, March 8, 1862, and took part in the battle of Shiloh, April 6 and 7, and the siege of Corinth, and after the evacuation of that place by the Confederates, May 29, he was assigned to the Army of the Tennessee. On Sept. 29, 1862, he chanced to meet in Louisville Gen. William Nelson, his superior officer, from whom he claimed to have had harsh treatment, and, in a quarrel which ensued he shot and instantly killed Nelson. Gen. Davis was arrested, but was not tried, and was soon afterwards assigned to duty in Covington, Ky. He commanded a division forming a part of McCook’s right wing at the battle of Stone’s river, Dec. 31, 1862, where he so distinguished himself that Gen. Rosecrans recommended him for promotion to major-general. In 1864 he commanded the 14th corps of Sherman’s army in the Atlanta campaign and in the march through Georgia, and on March 13, 1865, he was brevetted major- general U. S. A. for gallant and meritorious services at the battle of Jonesboro, Ga. He was promoted colonel of the 23d U. S. infantry, July 23, 1866, and served on the Pacific coast, in Alaska, and, after the murder of Gen. Canby by the Modoc Indians, in 1873, succeeded to the command of the department and forced the tribe to surrender. Gen. Davis died in Chicago, Ill., Nov. 30, 1879.

Buried at Crown Hill Cemetery, Hamilton County, IN Section 29, lot 1

Source: The Union Army, vol. 8 & Research by Mark Davis


Basil Duke succeeds Morgan, settles in Louisville


History of Morgan’s Cavalry. Cincinnati: Miami Printing and Publishing, 1867, 1st edition.

Duke (1838-1916) was a Kentucky native practicing law in St. Louis before the Civil War broke out. Involved in secessionist activities, he joined Morgan’s company of Lexington rifles when the war finally erupted, and succeeded Morgan after his death. Two weeks later, Duke was commissioned Brig. Genl. When word reached him of Lee’s surrender, he hastened to the aid of Johnston in North Carolina, and his unit formed part of Jefferson Davis’ escort to Georgia. Duke’s three years with Morgan in the thick of the war, and being Morgan’s second in command, made him one of the premier biographers of the famous guerilla commander. Once the war ended, Duke settled in Louisville and worked as hard for swift reconciliation as he had for secession.

Source: Cowan’s Auction, online

Louisville Citizen Guard – sheet music

Lithograph drawings of the Louisville Citizen Guards on sheet music dated 1858, titled “Citizen Guards March to the Officers and Members of the Louisville Citizen Guards” by Carl O. Edelman.


“The period following the war with Mexico saw the formation of independent military companies in many parts of the nation. These units were often very popular and were, on occasion, the subject of musical compositions, as in the sheet music shown here. The Louisville Citizen Guards was formed in 1858, captained by Simon B. Buckner. Buckner subsequently served as a general in the Confederate army, was later a Louisville newspaper editor, and finally served as governor of Kentucky. With the coming of preparations for war, the Louisville Citizen Guards became part of
the Second Regiment of the Kentucky State Guard.”

According to Kentucky Illustrated (Schmidt): p. 129

Regarding Buckner:

“In the remaining years before the Civil War, he was adjutant general of the Illinois militia and directed the reorganization of the Kentucky State Guards. As the head of Kentucky’s military forces, he attempted to preserve its precarious neutrality. In July 1861, the Unionist-controlled military board of the state ordered the State Guard, which they considered pro-secessionist, to turn in its arms. He supported Kentucky’s neutrality, refusing a commission in the Union Army in 1861. Buckner resigned on July 20th, and 2 months later was named a Confederate Brigadier General, neutrality having come to an end. ”

General William Bull Nelson



ON page 669 we publish an illustration of the ASSASSINATION OF GENERAL NELSON BY GENERAL J. C. DAVIS, which took place ten days since at Louisville. Our picture is from a sketch by our artist, Mr. Mosler, who visited the spot
immediately after the affair. The Cincinnati Inquirer
gives the following particulars:

When the alarm was raised in Louisville that the enemy were marching on that city, General Davis, who could not reach his command under General Buell, then at Bowling Green, went to General Nelson and tendered his services. General Nelson gave him the command of the city militia so soon as they were organized. General Davis opened an office and went to work in assisting the organization. On Wednesday last General Davis called upon General Nelson in his room at the Galt House, in Louisville, when the following took place:

GEN. Davis. “I have the brigade, General, you assigned me ready for service, and have called to inquire if I can obtain arms for them.”

GEN. NELSON. “How many men have you?”

DAVIS. “About twenty-five hundred men, General.” NELSON (roughly and angrily). “About twenty-five hundred! About twenty-five hundred! By G—d! you a regular officer, and come here to me and report about the number of men in your command? G—d d—n you, don’t you know, Sir, you should furnish me the exact number?” DAVIS. “General, I didn’t expect to get the guns now, and only wanted to learn if I could get them, and where; and, having learned the exact number needed, would then draw them.”

NELSON (pacing the room in a rage). “About twenty-five hundred! By G—d I suspend you from your command, and order you to report to General Wright; and I’ve a d—d mind to put you under arrest. Leave my room, Sir!”

Davis. “I will not leave, General, until you give me an order.”

NELSON. “The h—l you won’t! By G—d I’ll put you under arrest, and send you out of the city under a provost guard! Leave my room, Sir!”

General Davis left the room, and, in order to avoid an arrest, crossed over the river to Jeffersonville, where he remained until the next day, when he was joined by General Burbridge, who had also been relieved by Nelson for a trivial cause. General Davis came to Cincinnati with

General Burbridge, and reported to General Wright, who ordered General Davis to return to Louisville and report to General Buell, and General Burbridge to remain in Cincinnati. General Davis returned on Friday evening and reported to General Buell. Nothing further occurred until yesterday morning, when General Davis, seeing General Nelson in the main hall of the Galt House, fronting the office, went up to Governor Morton and requested him to step up with him to General Nelson and witness the conversation that might pass between Nelson and him. The Governor consented, and the two walked up to General Nelson, when the following took place:

GEN. DAVIS. “Sir, you seemed to take advantage of your authority the other day.”

GEN. NELSON (sneeringly, and placing his hand to his ear). “Speak louder, I don’t hear very well.”

DAVIS (in a louder tone). “You seemed to take advantage of your authority the other day.”

NELSON (indignantly). “I don’t know that I did, Sir.” DAVIS. “You threatened to arrest and send me out of the State under a provost guard.”

NELSON (striking Davis with the back of his hand twice in the face). “There, d—n you, take that!” DAVIS (retreating). “This is not the last of it; you will hear from me again.”

General Nelsen then turned to Governor Morton, and said: “By G—d, did you come here also to insult me?”

Gov. MORTON. “No, Sir; but I was requested to be present and listen to the conversation between you and General Davis.”

GEN. NELSON (violently to the by-standers). “Did you hear the d—d rascal insult me?” and then walked into the ladies’ parlor.

In three minutes General Davis returned, with a pistol he had borrowed of Captain Gibson, of Louisville, and walking toward the door that Nelson had passed through, he saw Nelson walking out of the parlor into the hall separating the main hall from the parlor. The two were face to face, and about ten yards apart, when General Davis drew his pistol and fired, the ball entering Nelson’s heart, or in the immediate vicinity.

General Nelson threw up both hands and caught a gentleman near by around the neck, and exclaimed, “I am shot!” He then walked up the flight of stairs toward General Buell’s room, but sank at the top of the stairs, and was unable to proceed further. He was then conveyed to his room, and when laid on his bed requested that the Rev. Mr. Talbott, an Episcopal clergyman stopping in the house, might be sent to him at once. The reverend gentleman arrived in about five minutes.

Mr. Talbott found General Nelson extremely anxious as to his future welfare, and deeply penitent about the many sins he had committed. He knew that he must die immediately, and requested the ordinance of baptism might be administered, which was done. The General then

whispered, “It’s all over,” and died in fifteen minutes after he was conveyed to his room. His death was easy, the passing away of his spirit as though the General had fallen into a quiet sleep.


Proposal for forage from the Assistant Quartermaster’s Office, December 1862

This proposal/ad appeared int he December 3rd, 1862 Louisville Daily Journal.

Proposal for Forage 12.3.1862 LDJ.png

This correspondence from the Official records shows the importance of an army having enough forage supplies.

Unionville, Tenn., April 30, 1863–6 a.m.

Lieutenant-General Polk’s Chief of Staff:

I have the honor to report all quiet along my lines this morning. I would respectfully ask that the order to report every six hours be modified, as there is no place between here and Shelbyville where a courier station can be kept up, for want of forage. Should any movement of the enemy take place, I will report every two hours, or even at shorter intervals.

I think that the enemy will send out to-morrow morning a heavy foraging party from Triune toward College Grove. Such I infer from the large number of wagons concentrating about the former place.

Brigadier-General [Major-General] Schofield commanded the expedition we drove back yesterday. It consisted of about 500 mounted men and some artillery. The latter was not brought into action, but fell back almost immediately to Triune.

If the lieutenant-general commanding will send me two regiments of infantry, with two days’ rations, to report here as soon as possible, I will be able to concentrate my command on the [upper] pike, and, leaving the infantry to guard this road, where the enemy will come to forage, I can get into his rear and capture his wagons. My line of vedettes is too long to concentrate my command for an offensive movement, as it will leave one or other of the pikes with a weak guard. The enemy will bring, as he generally does, about one regiment of infantry with his cavalry, and, perhaps, a section of artillery.

I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Comdg. Second Brigade, Martin’s Division of Cavalry.


Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations In Kentucky, Middle And East Tennessee, North Alabama, And Southwest Virginia, From January 21 To August 10, 1863.


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