AUTHOR: Joe Mode
Joseph Minzy Davis was born in Madison County, North Carolina (then Buncombe County) circa 1825 and is my fourth great grandfather like his brother John R. Davis. He died of “Chronic Diarrhea” on 20 August 1864 at the Post Hospital at Cumberland Gap, Tennessee. He was the seventh child and fourth son of Nathaniel and Dorothy Thomas Davis. In his Civil War death record Minzy was described as being 5’6” tall, fair complected, blue-eyed, and had dark hair. He was a farmer prior to enlisting in the war and had property valued at $200.00 in 1860. He married Lucretia May Roberts on 20 December 1849 and their marriage bond was posted 26 November 1849 in Buncombe County, NC. (Record #01001, Bond # 000005091) Witness for the bond was R.B. Vance, Clerk. D.E. Freeman, Justice of the Peace, performed their marriage. (Also spelled Minsey, Minsy, and Minzey.)
Joseph Minzy (listed as Minsey) Davis was 37 years old when he enlisted in Company C, 64th North Carolina Confederate Infantry in Madison County for a period of 3 years on 15 July 1862. This company was originally mustered into service on 15 July 1862. He was on the Muster Rolls for Aug. 31st-Dec. 1, 1862 “On Guard Duty at Strawberry Plains, Tennessee.” He was also listed as 2nd Lieutenant in the 10th Regiment, Madison Co., 27th Brigade-NC State Militia on 4 April 1862. He was listed as “Present and Accounted for” during January and February of 1863. (Shelton Laurel Massacre occurred on 19 January 1863.) He deserted two or three times during the course of his enlistment with this regiment. On April 22, 1863 in Clinton, Tennessee he was listed as a deserter. Minzy was again listed on the Muster Rolls for 30 June 1863. The 64th North Carolina Confederate Infantry surrendered to Union forces on 9 September 1863 at Cumberland Gap, Tennessee. A small contingency of the unit escaped and Minzy was one of the escapees.
Minzy then joined the 2nd North Carolina Mounted Infantry, U.S., on 26 September 1863 at Greeneville, Tennessee. The 2nd was organized at Knoxville, Tennessee on October, 1863 and was attached to 1st Brigade, Willcox’s Division, 9th Army Corps, Left Wing Forces, Dept. Ohio, to April, 1864. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 23rd Army Corps, Dept. Ohio, to February, 1865. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, District of East Tennessee, Dept. of the Cumberland, to August, 1865.
SERVICE.–Ordered to Greenville, Tenn., October 16, 1863, and duty there until November 6. Moved to Bull’s Gap November 6, and duty there until December. March across Clinch Mountains to Clinch River. Action at Walker’s Ford December 2. Gibson’s and Wyerman’s, Miss., February 22, 1864. Duty at Cumberland Gap and patrol duty in East Tennessee until April, 1865. Scout from Cumberland Gap January 23-27, 1865. Expedition from East Tennessee into Western North Carolina March 21-April 25, 1865. The 2nd moved to Boone, North Carolina on April 6 and to Asheville, North Carolina on April 27-30. The 2nd remained in North Carolina and East Tennessee until August and were mustered out August 16, 1865.
Muster rolls indicate that Minzy was “present” for the period of March/April 1864, 30 June 1864, and July/August 1864. He was listed as a private in Captain Samuel J. Kirk’s company when he died of “Chronic Diarrhea” on 20 August 1864 at the Post Hospital at Cumberland Gap, Tennessee. I do not know where he is buried, but assume he is buried somewhere near Cumberland Gap. Some bodies where supposedly moved to the Veterans Cemetery in Knoxville, Tennessee, but an examination of those interred there did not show a Joseph Minzy Davis. An inventory of Minzy’s possessions show that he had “1 pocket book,” “1 knife,” and notes for $63.00. William Henderson took possession of his property. Minzy’s brother, Peter, was supposed to have been at Cumberland Gap as well. (The 64th N.C. was involved in the Shelton Laurel Massacre in Madison County, North Carolina and Minzy may have been involved. This event occurred on 19 January 1863 and Minzy was with the 64th at this time.)
Widow’s Claim for Pension
The State of North Carolina, County of Madison on this 10th day of March. A.D. 1866 personally appeared before said clerk of county court, a Court of Record within and for said county Lucrecy Davis aged 39 years, a resident of North Carolina in the county of Madison, and State of North Carolina who, being duly sworn according to law, doth, on her oath, make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the act of Congress approved July 14, 1862. That she is the widow of Minzy Davis who was a Private in Company C, commanded by Captain Samuel J. Kent, in the Second Regiment of North Carolina Mounted Infantry, commanded by Col. J. A. Smith in the war of 1861. That her said husband diet at Cumberland Gap, in the State of Tennessee, on the 19th day of August A.D. 1864 of the cause of Chronic Diarrhea while in the line of duty in the service of the United States. She further declares that she was married to the said Minzy Davis at Pine Creek on the 20th day of December A.D. 1849, by one Daniel E. Freeman, a Justice of the Peace. That her name before her marriage was Lucrecy McPheters, and that ever since the death of her said husband, she has remained a widow: as will more fully appear by reference to the proof annexed.