He participated in the Black Hawk
war, and when that redoubtable chief surrendered, the duty of escorting him and his braves to Fort Jefferson
, near St. Louis
, was assigned to Lieutenant Davis
In recognition of his efficient services he was selected for promotion, and was appointed adjutant of the First Regiment of the United States dragoons at its organization.
He was immediately ordered with his regiment to what was then the extreme frontier, at Fort Gibson
, Iowa Territory
, and was constantly engaged in reconnoissances and expeditions against the hostile Indians
of the wilderness beyond, in which he rendered conspicuous and daring services, characterized always by devotion to duty and by an enterprising eagerness to seek employment on every difficult or dangerous service.
While still in the regiment of infantry, then commanded by Colonel Zachary Taylor
, he had met and fallen in love with his colonel's daughter, and had proposed to and been accepted by her.
In 1835 he resigned from the army and married Miss Taylor
He then determined to devote himself to the occupation of a planter, and, accepting the invitation of his eldest brother, Joseph E. Davis
, he, with his bride, removed to his brother's plantation in Warren county, Mississippi
, and employed himself in the opening and establishment of the Brierfield plantation
, adjoining that of his brother.
Very soon after his arrival both he and his wife were attacked with malarial fever, and within a few months after his marriage his young bride succumbed to it, and he was left to struggle with his own desperate illness.
Although his life long trembled in the balance, he recovered, and after recruiting his shattered health by a winter in Havana
, followed by a visit to Washington
, he returned to his brother's plantation, and applied himself anew to the development and cultivation of Brierfield
His plantation life during the next seven years was one of the most interesting and fruitful episodes of his career.
His brother, Joseph E. Davis
, twenty years his senior, was a very remarkable man. Educated as a lawyer and long engaged in successful practice, he had abandoned his profession, and for many years had lived in seclusion on his plantation.
He had accumulated a large and well selected library, and was an omnivorous reader and student.
He had an alert and active intellect, greedy of knowledge, acutely observant of current events, deeply interested in all the living questions of the time, with pronounced convictions and a proneness