I had known for a few years that my great-great-great grandfather, Reverend Andrew Nathaniel Jackson Davis had been a Confederate soldier in the War For Southern Independence. I also knew that he had been captured by the Federal Army. Not until today had I found any record to verify this family lore.
A.N.J or “Jack” as he was called, had been born near Stone Mountain, Georgia in 1844. His father, George, died before 1850. In the 1850 Census for Gwinnett Co., Ga., “Jackson A.” is living with his mother Nancy and the other children namely: Clementine, Carizan (Carrison? Carson?), Ewell, J. Wesley, Elrica Jane, and Mary.
I cannot find them on the 1860 Census.
Jack enlisted with the 9th Tennessee Infantry, and was assigned to Company C.
Anyhow, according to family lore, he was captured by the Yankees in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
So I sat out to find what I could on Jack.
According to his enlistment records, he signed up under the name of J.A. Davis. Makes sense, I guess.
Since I knew he had been captured, I thought another good place to look would be the POW records on ancestry.com. Searching for J.A. Davis brought up 56 results. Jack’s record was the third one I looked at.
According to this document, J.A. Davis was captured on December 28, 1864 at Egypt Station, Mississippi. (Not too far from Vicksburg.) I’ve tried to find out more information about this skirmish without much luck.
He was sent to a prison in Alton, Illinois, and arrived there on January 17, 1865. Luckily the war was almost over, or he probably would have died from starvation or disease in the horrific Yankee prison system.
He was sent to Point Lookout, Maryland for a prisoner exchange on February 18, 1865.
I have yet to find when he was received at the prison at Point Lookout. I’m still searching for that information.
Apparently after his release (or after the war was over), he returned to Georgia, where in 1867, he married Sarah Greene O’Bryan.
Sarah would give birth to sixteen of Jack’s children, including three sets of twins. Only 12 survived to adulthood.
They moved from Georgia to Arkansas where Jack (now a preacher) helped start the Oauchita Baptist College at Arkadelphia. The family then moved to Indian Territory where he was a missionary to the Choctaw Indians.
In 1890, they moved to western Oklahoma near the town of Piedmont. Sarah died there in 1901.
Jack lived until 1938. My grandmother, born in 1929, remembers him.
The photo to the left is four generations of the Davis Family. L to R: My grandmother, LaWana, her father, Clarence Jackson, his father, Robert Wallace, and his father, Andrew Nathaniel Jackson Davis. I believe this is the only photograph I have that contains both A.N.J. & my grandmother.
I just wish someone would have asked him more about the war.