Henry's Top Matches
About Henry Brevard Davidson
Henry Brevard Davidson (January 28, 1831 – March 4, 1899) was a career soldier who served as an officer in the United States Army in the West and later was a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He commanded brigades of cavalry in the Western Theater, particularly in Tennessee and Georgia.
Early life and career
Davidson was born in rural Shelbyville, Tennessee, in the winter of 1831. He was educated in the common schools and served in the Mexican War as a 15-year-old private in the 1st Tennessee Volunteers. He was decorated for gallantry at the Battle of Monterey and promoted to sergeant. He received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, and graduated from the academy in 1853 ranking 33rd in his class. Among his classmates were future Confederate generals John S. Bowen, John Bell Hood, and John R. Chambliss, Jr..
He subsequently received a brevet commission as a second lieutenant in the First Dragoons. Between 1855 to 1858, he served in Oregon and the New Mexico Territory as part of the forces often involved in engagements with Native American Indians. In 1858, he transferred to the quartermaster department.
Following the secession of several Southern states and the outbreak of hostilities in early 1861, Davidson resigned from his recent commission as a captain in the Union Army (he had been promoted to that rank on May 13). Shortly thereafter, he traveled to the South and entered the service of the Confederate States of America as a major and was a staff officer for several leading generals including Albert S. Johnston. He served in the Adjutant General's office and then on the Inspector General's staff. He was among the forces which surrendered following the Battle of Island Number Ten. In 1862, he was appointed as the colonel in command of the military post at Staunton, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley.
For much of the rest of the war, he was involved with the cavalry. He participated in several raids and mounted actions including Wheeler's October 1863 Raid. In August 1863 he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and was given command of a cavalry brigade at Rome, Georgia, in early 1864. His brigade served in parts of the Atlanta Campaign until Davidson was sent back to Virginia where he took command of a brigade of cavalry attached to the division of Brig. Gen. Lunsford L. Lomax. He served in that role until the end of the war.
After the war, Davidson moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, where he served as a deputy sheriff until 1867. From 1878 to 1886, he was an inspector of United States public works at San Pedro, California. He was appointed a Deputy to William C. Hendricks, the Secretary of State of California, in 1887. He also was a civil engineer and railroad agent.
He died at Livermore, California, and is buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California.