Thursday, September 6, 2018

A Bit of New Information for my Civil War Genealogy

While working on another project, I just discovered this article about some activity of Company D of  the 7th West Virginia Cavalry. I had seen the website before, but overlooked this story until now. When I did see it, however, it caught my eye immediately as my great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Davis, pictured below, was a member of this company.

Here is an excerpt from the article concerning this company’s assignment. It is gratifying to see such a specific report of where my ancestor probably was and the kind of duties he performed. That is more than I knew before, so I am thankful for the people who run that site and did that research and writing.  the presence of the internet and the ability to share information like this is remarkable, a fact I like to remind myself of occasionally. Twenty years ago or so, I may never have been able to find information like this. I appreciate my luck compared to researchers and historians of the past. 

The link I added above includes more details, including a description of the fighting. 

Company D of the 7th West Virginia Cavalry had been ordered to Winfield primarily to protect steamboat traffic on the Kanawha River, which flows past the town...

A secondary role for the Union troops at Winfield was to guard the Putnam County Courthouse and the town of Winfield from Confederate attack, not an unpopular task since many of the men in the company came from Putnam and surrounding counties. The men of Company D dug rifle pits and entrenchments adjacent to a mill, around their campsite, and in the vicinity of the brick courthouse, situated on a small rise overlooking the small town and the river behind it.

Putnam County was Benjamin's birth county, so I can only imagine how it felt to be so close to home when so many soldiers travelled so many miles during the war. Benjamin, born in in 1844, survived the war and lived until 1917. 

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