|Birthplace:||Washington, D.C., United States|
|Death:||Died in Pirayu, Paraguari, Paraguay|
|Managed by:||Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Volunteer Curator|
About Hunter Davidson
Hunter Davidson, born in the District of Columbia in 1827, was the son of Capt. William Baker Davidson and wife Elizabeth Chapman Hunter. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy from Virginia in 1841 and graduated in 1847. He attained the rank of Lieutenant in 1855.
When his state seceded the Union in April 1861, Davidson left the U.S. Navy. He received a Confederate Navy commission as a First Lieutenant in June. During the rest of that year he served at the Norfolk Navy Yard and in the gunboat Patrick Henry. He was an officer in the ironclad Virginia (better know to most as the "Merrimac") during her brief but historic career in March-May 1862.
Over the following two years, Lt. Davidson commanded the small gunboat Teaser and was in charge of the Submarine Battery Service, responsible for mine warfare in the James River. On 9 April 1864, he took the small torpedo boat Squib on a daring mission to Newport News, where he attacked the U.S. frigate Minnesota with a spar torpedo and was able to escape back up the James. He was promoted to the rank of Commander in recognition of this feat. His final Civil War service was as Commanding Officer of the blockade runner City of Richmond.
After the war, Davidson moved to Paraguay, where he married a native woman and raised several children. Hunter Davidson died on 16 February 1913 and is buried in Paraguay.
A tombstone has been located in St. Anne's Cemetery, Annapolis, Maryland for a Mary Ray who was born in 1832. The stone is inscribed "Mary Ray, wife of Captain Hunter Davidson, C.S.N. who is buried in Paraguay." No date of death on the stone.
Links to additional material:
- http://www.naval-history.net/PhotoZHinds.htm - scroll down for picture of CSS Squib.