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Civil War Soldiers - Davidson

Davidson, John W., brigadier-general, U.S. Army, was born in Fairfax county, Va., Aug. 28, 1824, was graduated at West Point in 1845, and commanded a howitzer battery under Gen. Stephen M. Kearny in 1846. He remained with the army of the west during the Mexican war being present at the combats of San Pasqual, San Bernardo, San Gabriel and Mesa, and after the war served on the frontier, his most notable accomplishment being the defeat, in 1854, of the Apache and Utah tribes, at Cieneguilla, N. M., in an engagement in which he lost three-fourths of his force and was himself wounded. He won promotion to captain by this action, was promoted major, Nov. 14, 1861, while stationed at Washington, in the defense of the capital, and was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers in February, 1862, commanding a brigade in the Peninsular campaign. He was brevetted lieutenant-colonel U. S. A. for action at Gaines' mill and colonel for Golding's farm, and also distinguished himself for gallantry at Lee's mill, Mechanicsville, Savage Station and Glendale. He was transferred to the Department of the Missouri and commanded the St. Louis district from August to Nov., 1862, the Army of Southeast Missouri until Feb., 1863, and the district of St. Louis again for the following five months. He directed the operations at Pilot Knob and Fredericktown and drove Gen. Marmaduke out of Missouri, and in the operations in Arkansas leading to the capture of Little Rock, commanded a cavalry division. He was made chief of the cavalry forces west of the Mississippi on June 26, 1864, and led the cavalry expedition from Baton Rouge to Pasagoula, Nov. 24, 1864. He was brevetted brigadier-general in the regular army on March 13, 1865, for services at Little Rock, and, at the same time, major- general U. S. A. for services during the war. Gen. Davidson was promoted lieutenant-colonel of the 10th U. S. cavalry, Dec. 1, 1866, was acting inspector-general of the Department of the Missouri, 1866-67, professor of military science in the Kansas agricultural college, 1868-71, commanded posts in Texas and Idaho, 1871-77, and the district of Upper Brazos, Tex., 1877-78. He was promoted colonel in the regular army, March 20, 1869. Gen. Davidson died in St. Paul, Minn., June 26, 1881.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

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