Camp Davis

Camp Davis

Camp Davis was established by order of the Secretary of War, J. P. Benjamin, by letter to Gov. Joseph Brown dated Feb. 11, 1862. This prompted the State Executive Department to establish camps of instruction by order of Gov. Brown dated Feb. 14, 1862. The camp in our area was named after Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America. There were two others in the state. These were camps for induction, training, medical clearance and issue of supplies for soldiers.

The site was chosen on land adjacent to the Central of Georgia Railroad between mile markers 32 and 33, two miles north of Whitesville (now Guyton). This is near the present intersection of Highway 17 and Keith Road. It is situated on what is now known as Woodlawn Plantation, the lovely country home of local attorney Warren Ratchford.

Soldiers from counties comprising the 1st, 2nd, 6th and 13th military districts were ordered to report to Camp Davis under general order No. 2, dated Feb. 13, 1862. The Governor had declared all men from age 18 to 45 must report for duty and, if not enough men arrived for duty from each county, then men would be drafted to fill the quota needed. These military districts encompassed the majority of southeast and southwest Georgia.

Major E. C. Corbett was ordered to command Camp Davis on March 16, 1862, although records indicate it opened a short while before that date. Staff of the Confederate Infantry Training Camp included Col. W. Schley. Dr. Francis Stone served as Surgeon. Assistant Surgeons were: Dr. Jonathan Toole, Dr. R. S. Dawson, Dr. William H. Wilson and Dr. W.W. Wilson. These physicians did physicals and declared medical exemptions for unfit soldiers. Some of the doctors served at Guyton Confederate General Hospital or Springfield Confederate Convalescent Camp after duty at Camp Davis. Records indicate several soldiers while at the training camp died from illness or died where they were sent for treatment.

Supplies arrived on the Central of Georgia Railroad from the Commissary Department in Savannah. They did not have nearly enough tents or provisions when the troops began arriving from the Militia Districts. Rations issued to Camp Davis in March and April of 1862 include: 6,399 pounds pork and bacon, 8,878 pounds beef, 18,130 pounds of salt pork, 231 barrels of flour, 67,832 pounds of cornmeal, 11,443 pounds of sugar, 23,609 pounds of rice, 3,001 pounds of coffee, 1,119 pounds of candles, 1,907 pounds of soap, 1,387 quarts of salt, 1,005 gallons of molasses and 39 50-pound sacks of rye.

The 47th, 48th, 49th, 50th, and 51st Georgia Regiments were formed (a total of 4,125 men) and trained through May of 1862 at Camp Davis. After that date the camp was not used for any further training by the Confederate Army. Though short-lived (about two-and-one-half months) this site certainly played a role in the history of the Civil War.

Written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. 

Courtesy of The Effingham Herald

http://beta.effinghamherald.net/section/9/article/17703/

46801_156409134370773_3255420_n

Commemorating Woodlawn Plantations’ history

3115_10152140187555573_41284122_n 155214_10152140194730573_8778600_n

Group shot

Group shot

189256_10152140196980573_1589871972_n

Loading the firearms

Loading the firearms

401535_10152140189600573_1521223642_n

Camp Davis… 150 years celebration

305006_10152140195930573_1938450701_n 483126_10152140188575573_1913234123_n

Cannon Firing during the Camp Davis renactment

Cannon Firing during the Camp Davis renactment

Southern Belles

Southern Belles

564832_10152140186270573_147655936_n

Camp Davis reenacters

Camp Davis reenacters

Camp Davis Sons of Confederate encampment

Camp Davis Sons of Confederate encampment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Twitter