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ademy for one year, and then to the University of Virginia, which was just beginning to attract attention in quarters remote from it. But at the end of the year, for various reasons, I preferred to remain, and thus continued for four years, the time allotted to the course. When graduated, as is the custom at West Point, we were made brevet second lieutenants, and I was assigned to the infantry, and, with others of the same class, ordered to report to the School of Practice at Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis, Mo. When I entered the United States Military Academy at West Point that truly great and good man, Albert Sidney Johnston, had preceded me from Transylvania, Ky.; an incident which formed a link between us, and inaugurated a friendship which grew as years rolled by, strengthened by after associations in the army, and which remains to me yet, a memory of one of the greatest and best characters I have ever known. His particular friend was Leonidas Polk, and when J
Chapter 6: Fort Crawford, 1828-29. Cadet Davis graduated in July, 1828, received the usual brevet of Second Lieutenant of Infantry, went to visit his family on a short furlough, and then reported for duty at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis. There he found Lieutenants Gustave Rousseau, Kinsman, Thomas Drayton, Sidney Johnston, and several other old and dear friends. Very soon after Lieutenant Davis arrived there he was sent up to Fort Crawford, built on the site of what is now Prairie du Chien, in Wisconsin. The Fort was then in an unfinished condition, and he aided in building a larger and more impregnable fortification, as the Indians were then in a restless condition, and the muttering of hostilities that soon burst forth into war-cries, could now be plainly heard. Fort Crawford was situated on the Wisconsin, near its junction with the Mississippi, and was, at an early day, the northern limit of the Illinois tribe. It was a starting-point for their raids against the Iroqu
se name Mrs. McRee had forgotten. There was an angry feud between Taylor and Smith. By the rules of the army, then and now, each officer sitting on such a court was bound to appear in full uniform. The lieutenant had left his uniform at Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis. He asked the court to excuse him from wearing it. Taylor voted no, Smith voted aye, and Davis voted with Smith. Colonel Taylor became highly incensed. One thing led to another, until he swore, as an officer only in those days could swear, that no man who voted with Tom Smith should ever marry his daughter. He forbade Davis from entering his quarters as a guest, and repudiated him utterly. Lieutenant Davis served for a short time at Jefferson Barracks, and also at Prairie du Chien, with his friend Albert Sidney Johnston, where he became much attached to Mrs. Johnston, and rejoiced with them over the birth of their little boy, William Preston Johnston, who afterward served on Mr. Davis's staff while he was P
ted. The whites complained that the Indians were interlopers and committed outrages. The Governor promised, in answer to the memorial, to remove the Indians dead or alive. On May 28, 1831, the Governor wrote to General Gaines that he could bring his seven hundred militia troops to meet a supposititious Indian invasion of the territory of Illinois; but brave old General Gaines replied, the next day, that it was not necessary; he had ordered six companies of United States troops from Jefferson Barracks to Rock Island, and four from Prairie du Chien, and did not deem any greater force necessary. On the 7th of June, 1831, General Gaines held a council on Rock Island. Black Hawk and his band, in full panoply of war, singing their war-songs, to show they were not afraid, went to the appointed place, but refused to enter the council-room and occupy it with others not immediately interested in the business of the meeting. In compliance with their demand only a few were allowed to rem
British band of Sacs and Foxes established themselves upon Rock River with hostile intent. General Atkinson, on March 7th, with the disposable troops at Jefferson Barracks, went in search of Black Hawk. Lieutenant Davis accompanied the troops. Of the battle of the Bad Axe, Mr. Davis wrote: The second Black Hawk camp them have it. Black Hawk was taken with his two sons, and other braves, his nation was scattered, and the prisoners, sixty in number, were sent down to Jefferson Barracks under Lieutenant Davis's care, where they were heavily ironed. The cholera was prevailing at that time at Rock Island, and on the boat two of the captive I courtesy and by little kindly offices, merited and received from Black Hawk the thanks rendered by that chief in his Autobiography. He said: We started to Jefferson Barracks in a steam-boat, under the charge of a young war chief (Lieutenant Davis), who treated us all with much kindness. He is a good and brave young chief, with
he Creek Nation, and Lieutenant Davis was detailed to superintend the change. He gave the following account of his service in a letter written in 1878: From Hon. Jefferson Davis to George W. Jones. In the beginning of 1833 I was one of the two officers selected from the First Infantry for promotion into the newly created regiment of dragoons, and left Prairie du Chien under orders for recruiting service in Kentucky. As soon as the Kentucky company was raised I returned to Jefferson Barracks, the rendezvous of the regiment. The first field officer who joined was Major Mason, he being the other officer who, with me, was selected from the First Infantry for promotion in the dragoons, and by him I was appointed adjutant of the squadron, composed of the first companies which reported. After other companies had joined, the colonel, Henry Dodge, came and assumed command. He had known me when I served on the Upper Mississippi, and by him I was appointed adjutant of the regimen
uffered intensely from thirst and exhaustion, and he also was much weakened by the hardships of their march; but when the soldiers came to remonstrate against going farther, to where he lay on the ground, resting, but very anxious, and urged him to retrace his steps, while he refused their request, he gave them his own supply of water. The grog he did not use; so they had that also. Horace and Hannibal Bonney, twin brothers, who enlisted in the First Dragoons in 1833, marched to Jefferson Barracks, which was then an outpost on the extreme frontier. After a winter spent there the troops were ordered to Fort Gibson, Ark., and on their arrival were welcomed by a body of five hundred or more Indian warriors in the full glory of their native costumes. At their head rode a man, over six feet in height, dressed all in buckskin, and when Horace Bonney inquired who this white warrior was, with all these red men, he was informed that it was the redoubtable Captain Sam Houston. Shor