The Hunt Continues

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The trip to Somerset and the research prior to has turned up leads to further information on the family of Daniel Davis from Somerset, Pennsylvania. Before heading north I was digging to see if there were any tidbits of knowledge that I may have over looked. You never know what you can gain from the pension application files from the Civil War and in my review I noticed that Wesley Winfield Davis had been in the war and had actually drawn a pension for more than 30 years. I know from previous experience this usually meant that they had to reapply over the years due to rule changes for pension recipients. I decided to take a chance and order the paperwork from the national archives and see what was there.


While in Somerset, I learned that Wesley had been injured during the war and had reenlisted. He had also been taken a prisoner of war.


Somerset, Pennsylvania Herald, Wednesday, June 2, 1897


Mr. Davis’ health was permanently impaired by reason of the wounds and privations he suffered while in the army, but not withstanding his physical disabilities he was an unusually energetic man and engaged in the hardest kind of manual labor. He embarked in business at different times with indifferent success. the mental strain he endured during the last few years coupled with his physical suffering proved to much for him and six months age his health began to rapidly fail and finally resulted in his death at the age of 55 years.


The deceased was a man of most generous impulses, kindly and courteous and won the esteem and affection of a wide circle of friends. The body was brought here Monday morning and was buried from Mr.Davis’ late residence at 6:30 o’clock the same evening. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Hiram King, assisted by Rev. H. C. Cameron. A delegation from R. P Cummins Post G.A.R., conducted the exercises at the grave. The funeral was large and impressive.


Wesley W. Davis, notice of whose serious sickness and removal to the Western Pennsylvania Hospital, at Dixmont, was made in the Herald two weeks ago, died at the institution at three o’clock on Saturday afternoon. Wesley W. Davis was a member of Co. A., 10th Pa. reg., the first military company organized in this county to march to the defense of the Union. He was wounded at the second battle of Bull Run (August 27, 1862, Leesburg, Virginia) and again at the battle of Charles City Cross Roads, (also known as the Battle of Glendale, Frayser’s Farm, Frazier’s Farm, Nelson’s Farm, Charles City Crossroads, New Market Road, or Riddell’s Shop, June 30, 1862) where he was captured and sent to a rebel prison pen. Discharged from the service on account of his wounds he returned to Somerset where he served as a deputy provomarshal until the close of the war. About this time he was married to a daughter of the late John Witt, a well known surveyor. Three children were born as a result of this union, two of whom Harry and Miss Mollie, both of Somerset, survive. He is also survived by his aged mother, widow of the late Daniel E. Davis, and the following brothers: William and Edward of Bradford, Pa.; George and Ross, of Somerset.


The obituary that detailed the information on his participation in the military seems to be a bit confused. The battles that are stated seem to be in the wrong order from what I can tell on line. This makes it difficult to tell at what point he was wounded and at what point he was taken prisoner.


I check on line to see what the status of the file was and noticed that it has changed, as of today, from servicing to waiting for shipment. With a little luck, I may have the file to dig through next week.


Daniel’s death was in 1892, unfortunately just a couple of years before death certificates were a government requirement, so I wasn’t able to find information on his parents. The historical society has many of those records leading up to when vital records took over and death records weren’t kept locally. From the obituary records the historical society kept I was able to find Daniel’s wife, Margaret’s death date as 1908, just two years past when the locality kept the records. At least with this bit of information I was able to send off for her death record from the state.


Somerset, Pennsylvania, Herald, Wednesday, January 6, 1909


Margaret M. Davis


Margaret, widow of the late Daniel E. Davis, died at the residence of her son, Ross F. Davis, of Main Street, Tuesday night, December 22, aged 89 years. Mrs. Davis was born in Dauphin county, pa., where she afterwards became the wife of Daniel E. Davis. The young couple came to Somerset following their marriage and throughout their lives were esteemed by all of their neighbors. Mrs.. Davis was a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church and during the greater portion of her life took an active part in the midweek meetings of the local congregation. She is survived by three sons: William of Bradford, Pa., George W. and Ross, Somerset.


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