Thomas Alfred Davies

Thomas Alfred Davies, an uncle of General Henry E. Davies, was born December 3, 1809, on a farm in St. Lawrence County, New York, when the area was virtually wilderness. After a common school education, he entered West Point at the age of sixteen and was graduated twenty-fifth in the class of 1829 in which Generals Robert E. Lee and Joseph E. Johnston of the Confederate Army stood respectively second and thirteenth in rank. Another future high-ranking Confederate in the same class was Lieutenant General T. H. Holmes. After serving on the frontier of Wisconsin, Davies resigned in 1831 to accept a position as a civil engineer on the Cro-ton aqueduct which was to supply water to the city of New York. From 1841 until the outbreak of the Civil War, Davies was a merchant in New York. He went back into the army as colonel of the 16th New York, with which he took part in the Union disaster of First Manassas (Bull Run). He was subsequently on duty in the defenses of Washington, stationed at Alexandria until March 7, 1862, when he was made a brigadier general of volunteers. He was engaged in the siege of Corinth in April and May, 1862, and in the battle of Corinth on October 3 and 4. Until the close of the war, he commanded the Districts of Columbus, Kentucky (1862-63), Rolla, Missouri (1863-64), and North Kansas (1864-65). While in command of the District of Wisconsin, he was mustered out with the brevet of major general on August 24, 1865, and returned to New York. General Davies devoted many of his remaining years to writing on topics ranging from the esoteric (Cosmogony: or Mysteries of Creation and Genesis Disclosed) to the eminently practical (How to Make Money, and How to Keep It). He died near Ogdensburg, in St. Lawrence County, August 19, 1899, and was buried in the family cemetery at Oswegatchie, a hamlet near the southern boundary of the county.

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Reference:  Generals in Blue.  Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Louisiana State University Press.  Baton Rouge.