Birth Place of Jefferson C. Davis

near middle of town on US 31(if you blink you will miss it)

Birth Place of Jefferson C. Davis


Photo taken by J.P.




Born near present-day Memphis, Indiana, Davis served as an enlisted volunteer during the Mexican-American War. Upon completion of his volunteer service, he was accepted for an Army commission and served in the 1st U.S. Artillery. At the start of the American Civil War, Davis had attained the rank of first lieutenant and was serving in the Fort Sumter garrison when it was bombarded by Confederate forces in 1861. In August, Davis became Colonel of the 22nd Indiana Infantry, which he led in the Battle of Wilson's Creek. In December 1861, he became brigadier general of volunteers, commanding the 3rd Division, Army of the Southwest, at the Battle of Pea Ridge. He commanded the 4th Division, Army of the Mississippi, at Corinth. He went on sick leave, but left his hospital bed to serve in the defenses of Cincinnati, Ohio.

During this time of convalescence, on September 29, 1862, Davis got into an argument with his superior officer, Maj. Gen. William "Bull" Nelson, in the Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky. Davis had been offended by insults on prior occasions and when his face was slapped by Nelson, Davis shot and killed him. He was arrested and imprisoned, but Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright came to his aid and was able to get him released from prison. He avoided conviction for the murder because there was a need for experienced field commanders in the Union Army.

Update Log 

  • July 11, 2010: Added by J.P.