Medal of Honor Room
This soldier was awarded the Medal of Honor
George Evans Davis
Rank and Organization: 1st Lieut., Co. D, 10th Vermont Infantry.
Place and date: Monocacy, MD, 9 Jul 1864.
Entered service at: Burlington.
Born: 26 Dec 1839, Dunstable, Mass.
Died: 28 Jun 1926, Soldier's Home, Burlington.
Buried: Lakeview Cemetery, Burlington, VT
Date of Issue: 27 May 1892.
Citation: While in command of a small force, held the approaches to the 2 bridges against repeated assaults of superior numbers, thereby materially delaying Early's advance on Washington.
VHS - Reunion Society Collection
VHS - Portrait Files (FPO)
John Gibson Collection
Mike Serpa Collection
George Evans Davis (the eighth generation from James Davis of Gloucestershire, England, 1599) was born Dec. 26th, 1839, in Dunstable, Middlesex county, Mass., the seventh child of Deacon Mial and Lucy Davis. He enlisted April 19th, 1861, in Burlington, Vt., for three months, in Co. H, First Vermont Infantry, and was in the battle of Big Bethel, June 10th, 1861, as a private, and was mustered out Aug. 15th, 1861. He reenlisted in Burlington, vt., as a private, for three years, July 31st, 1862, in Co. D, Tenth Vermont Infantry; was promoted to Second Lieutenant of the same company after going into camp, being mustered into the service of the united States Sept. 1st, 1862; promoted first Lieutenant, Jan. 26th, 1863; promoted Captain of same company Nov. 2d, 1864, and honorably discharged at the end of the war, June 22d, 1865. He was commended in writing for bravery at the battle of Locust Grove, Va., Nov. 27th, 1863, by his Captain. He was in the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna River, Totopotomoy Creek, Monocacy, Opequon, Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek, and was under constant fire at Cold Harbor, June 6th to 9th, but was in hospital sick all the month of June, except the four days just named. At the battle of Opequon his right ear was cut open by the shell that killed Aaron P. Knight of Co. H, and at Cedar Creek was wounded by a minie ball in the left shoulder. From Aug. 1st, 1864 to January, 1865, he was in command of Co. H. March 23d, 1865, while on duty as Brigade Officer of the Day in camp, before Petersburg, he was severely injured in the had and spine, by being buried in the ruins of a log cabin that was blown by a whirlwind. THis kept him out of the closing battles of the war and has caused him constant suffering since 1875.
Captain Davis has been frequently mentioned in these pages in connection with interesting incidents, and much more might be said about his good qualities as a man and a soldier, which he possessed in common with his brother officers, but had had one notable characteristic, or habit--hi was an inveterate writer of letters. Besides keeping a complete diary of occurrences, neatly written with pen and ink, attending promptly and methodically to his company reports, pay-rolls and all military papers, he seemed to improve the time when not engaged in other duties in corresponding with his friends. His industry in this respect was simply prodigious. No march was too exhausting, no battle to severe, to cause a suspension of this habit for forty-eight hours at a time. Unquestionably he suffered cheerfully and bravely the privations common to us all, oftentimes being deprived of rations, sleep and rest, but he never was without pen, ink and paper, or a disposition to use them when occasion permitted. And to the custom of carrying these materials, he owed his life, on one occasion, at least. It was during the battle of Cedar Creek; while his company was changing position during the action, he was hit by a musket ball, with full force on the shoulder-blade, and nothing prevented it from passing through his body with fatal results but a few quires of letter-paper in his haversack,which at the time, for the conveniences of carrying, was swung over his shoulder. The stationary was crimpled, some of it spoiled, his shoulder badly bruised, but the ball was turned from its deadly course by this little white shield of paper.
Captain Davis has been active in the church, sabbath school, mission and Young Men's Christian Association work. He was the first president of the Burlington Young Men's Christian Association, and an officer for thirteen years; called to order the first State convention of the Vermont Young Men's Christian Association, and was for several years a member or chairman of its State committee; was one of the founders and first secretary of the Union State Sabbath School Association; called together, and had the care of, for one year, the first young people's prayer meeting in Vermont, that has been in continued existence without a break since June, 1866. In 1875 and 1876, he gave his time to evangelistic work in Vermont as chairman of the Young Men's Christian Association State committee. At present he is Treasurer of the Vermont Shade Roller Co. in Burlington, Vt.
Military Record: DAVIS, GEORGE E., Burlington; commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, Co. D, Tenth Vermont Infantry, 8/5/62; prom. 1st Lieut., co. D, 1/26/63; wounded 9/19/64 and 10/19/64; prom. Captain 11/2/64; mustered out 6/22/65.
Source: E. M. Haynes, "A History of the Tenth Regiment, Vt. Vols., with Biographical Sketches," Second Edition, (Tuttle company, Printers, Rutland, 1894), pp. 413-5.
CAPT. GEORGE E. DAVIS
Civil War Veteran Passes Away at Soldiers Home
Capt. George E. Day a veteran of the Civil war, died late Monday night at the Vermont Soldiers home in his 88th year. Captain Davis was born in Dunstable, Mass., December 26, 1839. He had a remarkable war record. His first enlistment, in the Civil war, was May 9, 1861, when he entered the Union army as a private. At that time he was living in Burlington. He was assigned to Company H, First Vermont infantry. He was discharged August 15, 1861. He re-enlisted July 31st, 1862 this time as a captain in Company D of the 16th Vermont infantry, and was not discharged until after the end of the war, June 22, 1865.
Captain Davis held one of the few Congressional medals of honor known to have been given to any soldier during the Civil war. He had been recommended for this medal by General Lew Wallace, noted author of "Ben Hur," as a citation for his bravery in the Battle of Monocacy, and as a result of this recommendation received the medal, along with the extra ten dollars per month which the medal brings.
He was at the time of his death a widower and had no children living. He had a niece, Mrs. C. D. Ordway of Burlington, and a daughter-in-law, Mrs. Stella C. Davis of Beverly, Mass., who are the only relatives surviving. The remains were sent this afternoon to Burlington, where Mrs. Ordway has made arrangements to hold the funeral and burial.
Although Captain Davis was a very quiet and modest man, he could boast of many accomplishments during his lifetime, as his war record shows. In addition to his activities during the war, he was prominently identified with Y. M. C. A. Work in Burlington, he having been the first president of the Y. M. C. A. In that city over 60 years ago. He was very popular with all the veterans at the Soldiers' home and seemed to fir right in with them. Although very hard of hearing during the last few years, he was in constant attendance at the services of the Baptist church, of which he was a member. Captain Davis was well known by Bennington people because of his many acts of generosity and kindness, and these friends will regret to learn of his passing.
Source: Bennington Evening Banner, June 29, 1926.
Courtesy of Tom Boudreau.
Letter from Davis to Chaplain E. M. Haynes, describing his part in the battle of Monocacy.
See also: Battle of Monocacy
See also: Beyer and Keydel, 375.
NARA File Number: 6264-VS-1879.