Thursday, June 9, 2011
An Up Front Leader
Benjamin Franklin Davis was born 1832 in Alabama. He grew up in Mississippi. He received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point and graduated in 1856. He saw fighting with the 1st United States Dragoons in New Mexico against Apache.
When the Civil War started Davis stayed with the Union where he was a Captain in the 1st United States Cavalry [he had two brothers who served with the Confederacy]. On June 25th 1862 Davis received a commission to Colonel in the 8th New York Cavalry. He and his cavalry fought their way out of Harpers Ferry when it fell to Confederate General Thomas Stonewall Jackson. Following this he received a promotion to Major. David led the First Brigade in the Untied States Cavalry division for Brigadier General Alfred Pleasonton as part of the Chancellorsville Campaign.
Leading the First Brigade in the early morning hours of June 9th 1863 at the Battle of Brandy Station, his men charged a South Carolina artillery battery near Beverly’s Ford. Davis and his men were met by a Confederate cavalry counterattack. Most of Davis brigade fell back, but he refused to and challenged the on coming cavalry. The men of Confederate Major Caball E Flournoy’s 6th Virginia Cavalry charged Davis. Confederate Lieutenant Owen R Allen hugged his horse’s neck and fired his pistol point blank at Davis. The shot hit Davis in the forehead killing him instantly. Davis is buried in the cemetery at West Point.
If you like to more about Colonel Benjamin Franklin Davis this is a good site.