Monday, May 31, 2010

MEMORIAL DAY - Forney J. Davis - Civil War

In remembrance of all who died protecting our freedom

and to remember today by special mention, Forney J. Davis, my third great grandfather, paternal grandfather of Sarah Davis Wallen. Forney served in the Civil War in the 12th Kentucky Infantry which was organized in October, 1861, at Camp Clio, Pulaski County, Kentucky, under Col. William A. Hoskins. This regiment engaged in the battles at Stone River, Chickamauga, and all the battles of the Atlanta campaign. It was also engaged in what became known as the "Affair at Travisville", the first military combat incident of the Civil War in Tennessee

A little bit about the Affair at Travisville

Until the events of this day transpired, people locally had assured themselves that they were too far off the beaten paths to see any fighting. The event of that particular Sunday, one hundred and forty one years ago, represents the first military action in Tennessee during the Civil War. Only in the past several years has Travisville been acknowledged as the official beginning of the conflict and the struggle for control in Tennessee.

From the Tennessee Civil War Sourcebook....

Report of Col. William A. Hoskins, Twelfth Kentucky Infantry.
Camp at Albany, September 29, 1861.

This morning I received information that the Confederate forces were forming another encampment at Travisville, distant from us 13 miles. Accordingly I ordered Capt. Morrison to take the effective force under his command and proceed to that point, and after reconnoitering sufficiently to satisfy himself that the number was not too great to justify an attack, to take them by surprise, order a surrender, which, should they refuse, to fire upon them. In obedience to my orders he proceeded to that point as directed. In about two hours after Capt. Morrison left camp Lieut. Adams joined us, as also the Home Guards of Hustonville Cavalry. I ordered a detail of 15 men from the company under command of Lieut. Adams and 30 from the Hustonville Home Guards, which were placed under command of Maj. Brunets, and he ordered to proceed to Travisville, to support Capt. Morrison in the event he was repulsed; but before reaching that point Capt. Morrison had surprised the camp, finding about 100 troops, which, being ordered to surrender, fled, when they were fired upon and 4 killed, the balance effecting their escape by fleeing to the hills. They also took 4 prisoners, 2 of whom, as also 2 horses, were captured by Thomas Huddleston, a private in Capt. Morrison's company; after accomplishing which, to use his own expression, "He looked for more, but they had all fled." Among the officers with Capt. Morrison were Lieut. Miller, Sergeants Hay, Carr, Chilton, Smith, and Howard. The prisoners were brought this side the line, when, after taking a solemn obligation to prove faithful to the United States Government, they were released. But for our timely arrival the Confederate troops, I have no doubt, would now have been in possession of this place, as they were to move in this direction on yesterday.

The following letter dated Oct. 1, 1861 from W.A. Hoskins at the camp at Albany to Brigadier General Thomas indicates the Confederates did not stay dispersed for long....

I learn that the Confederate troops are rallying again at Travisville, with the intention of attacking us. From the best information, they cannot muster a force exceeding 1,150. Last night at 9 o'clock our picket guards were fired upon by a party of seven persons within 3 miles of the camp; they returned the fire, with what effect I have not ascertained. None of ours were injured that I know of, though one of the picket has not yet come up. I have ordered a detachment of fifty cavalry to scout the whole country in the neighborhood of the beat at which the pickets were stationed, as also that in which the absent picket was stationed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. A. Hoskins,
Commanding Post.

Brigadier General Thomas' reply dated October 29, 1861:

I learn that they have also a body of cavalry stationed at Travisville, numbering 1,200, which of course will join their main force at Albany, making in the aggregate 4,400. I have no fears from an attack should it come from the direction of the main road leading from Monticello, but apprehend that they may attempt to flank us by crossing lower down the river.

Respectfully, &c.,
Geo. H. Thomas, Brig.-Gen., U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

Forney's last child was born a few months after he enlisted. He named that son Thomas HOSKINS Davis after Col. William A. Hoskins.

Forney J. Davis died November 30th, 1862 of disease contracted during his service. His burial place is unknown.


1 comment:

  1. It is always great to bring a story to an ancestors life and giving meaning to their service.