Guide to the John Hobart Davis Papers, 1832-1920

Collection Overview

The papers of John Hobart Davis span the years 1832-1920, but the bulk of the collection is the Civil War correspondence, 1862-1865. Davis chiefly wrote the letters to his sister, Elisa E. Davis, with a few letters to other family members, such as his brother Frank. Private Davis was stationed at Camp Beaufort, Me. (1861, Dec. - 1862, Feb.); Ship Island, Miss. (1862, Mar. - 1863, Feb.); Fort Jackson, La. (1863, Feb. - Aug.); Pass Manchoc, La. (1863, Aug. -Sept.); Fort Stephens, La. (1863, Oct. - 1864, July); and Washington, D.C. (1864, Aug. - 1865, Apr.).

Topics discussed in the collection include Davis' attitude toward Blacks, especially his prejudice toward Black officers, foraging raids behind enemy lines and the Battle of Blair's Landing, (also known as Pleasant Hill Landing) as well as aspects of camp life, such as guard duty, artillery practice, drills, and practice skirmishes, pay furloughs, sutlers, camp recreation, and breaking up camp. Some letters are illustrated with maps or drawings. Included also are diaries, photographs, and miscellaneous writings.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Collection Details

Collection Number
John Hobart Davis papers
Davis, John Hobart, 1843-1918
1 Linear Feet, 400 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

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Collection is open for research.

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More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], The Papers of John Hobart Davis, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1861, Dec. - 1862, Feb.
Box 1
1862, Mar. - Dec.
Box 1
1863, Jan. - June
Box 1
1863, July - Dec.
Box 1
1864, Jan. - Apr.
Box 1
1864, July - Dec.
Box 2
1865, 1920
Box 2

Historical Note

John Hobart Davis, a resident of Portland, Maine, volunteered for a three-year term of service with the U.S. Army in 1861. As a private in F Company of the 13th Maine Infantry Regiment, he was variously stationed at locations in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Washington, D.C. Davis was a clerk, and later was in charge of ordnance and then of supplies. In Washington, D.C., he served in a U.S. Army Hospital in the ordnance department and then as paymaster. He was discharged in December, 1864.

After the war, Davis returned to Portland and became an officer in the Casco Bank. In 1869, he married Jennie E. Constable, and they had two sons, Marshall and Raymond. He died on November 11, 1918.

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The papers of John Hobart Davis, Civil War soldier and bank officer from Portland, Maine, were a gift to the Rubenstein Library in 1986.

Processing Information

Processed by: Sharon Estes Knapp

Completed March 16, 1987

Encoded by Stephen Douglas Miller