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Joseph R. Davis
Portrait of Davis as Colonel and Aide to
the President of the Confederate States
Birth name Joseph Robert Davis
Born (1825-01-12)January 12, 1825
Died September 15, 1896(1896-09-15) (aged 71)
Place of birth Woodville, Mississippi
Place of death Biloxi, Mississippi
Place of burial Biloxi Cemetery
Allegiance Mississippi Republic of Mississippi
 Confederate States
Service/branch  Confederate States Army
Years of service 1861–1865
Rank Army-USA-OF-02.svg Captain (Militia)
Unit 10th Mississippi Infantry
Commands held Madison Rifles
Davis' Brigade
Civil War Gettysburg
Relations Jefferson Davis
Other work Lawyer, Politician

Joseph Robert Davis (January 12, 1825 – September 15, 1896) was a lawyer, Mississippi Senator, and a Brigadier-General in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.[1] He was a nephew of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Early years

Davis was born in Woodville, Mississippi, January 12, 1825, and was educated in Nashville and at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Trained in the law, he practiced his profession in Madison County, Mississippi, and was elected to the Mississippi Senate in 1860.[2]

The Civil War

Entering Confederate service as Captain of Militia from Madison County, he was soon made Lieutenant-Colonel of the Tenth Regiment, Mississippi Volunteeers, after which he served on his uncle's staff in Richmond with the rank of colonel. Commissioned brigadier-general to rank from September 15, 1862, and confirmed by the Senate only after charges of nepotism were freely aired and his nomination once rejected, Davis was assigned a brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia, which he led through some of the bitterest battles of the war. He fought at Gettysburg (where his command formed a support to Pickett in the celebrated charge of the third day), in the Wilderness Campaign, and the siege of Petersburg.[3]

Post-war activities

Paroled at Appomattox Court-House in April 1865, he returned to Mississippi and resumed his law practice, spending the remainder of his life at Biloxi, where he died, September 15, 1896, and where he is buried at Biloxi City Cemetery.[4]

See also



  1. Warner (1959), pp. 68-69.
  2. Warner (1959), pp. 68-69.
  3. Warner (1959), pp. 68-69.
  4. Warner (1959), pp. 68-69.


  • Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher. Civil War High Commands. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
  • Pfanz, Harry W. Gettysburg – The First Day. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8078-2624-3.
  • Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Gray – Lives of the Confederate Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1959. ISBN 0-8071-0823-5.
  • Williams, T. P. The Mississippi Brigade of Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Davis – A Geographical Account of Its Campaigns and a Biographical Account of Its Personalities, 1861-1865. Dayton, Ohio: Morningside House, 1999. ISBN 0-89029-335-X.

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