Allison-Antrim Museum

Andrew R. Davison


Andrew R. Davison was the third child of Abraham Smith Davison (1802- 1856) and Sarah Latta.  The eldest child of Abraham and Sarah was Joseph Alexander Davison, the subject of the February 12, 2014 Soldier’s Story.  Andrew’s other siblings were, in order of birth, Margaret (married John Hostetter), then Andrew, Charlotte A. (married Columbus F. Bonner), James H. (served in the 22nd PA Cavalry), John M., and William Grubb (married Martha Detrich, daughter of Gen. David Detrich).  Joseph graduated from the Chambersburg Academy and married Anna Mary Taylor, born February 3, 1838.  They had four children: Charles M., Smith L., Robert T., and Maud.


On page No. 171 of the Antrim Township, 1860 U.S. Census, Andrew, 19, was working as a clerk.  He and his siblings, Margaret, Charlotte, and William, were living with their widowed mother Sarah.


During the Civil War, Andrew first served as Captain of Company K, known as the Greencastle Company, in the 126th PA Volunteer Infantry.  On May 7, 1863, after the Battle of Chancellorsville and 13 days before the 126th was discharged, Davison, at the age of 20, had the sad duty of writing a letter to the next of kin of Simon W. Rupley, the 4th Sgt. of Co. K, to tell them of Rupley’s death, from wounds received during the battle.  The letter was addressed to Jacob Pensinger, brother of Sarah Rupley, Simon’s wife.  The front page of Andrew’s handwritten letter accompanies this article, as well as its transcription.


Within a month of being discharged on May 20, 1863, Andrew was required to register for the draft, in June 1863.  He was single and his occupation was listed as “clerk.”  The following year, Andrew enlisted in the 209th PA Volunteer Infantry, in which he served as Adjutant.  Jacob A. Finfrock, Antrim Township, subject of the Soldier’s Story on September 18, 2013, enlisted in Co. D. 209th PA Infantry.  The regiment was organized in Harrisburg on September 16, 1864 and left the next day for Bermuda Hundred, VA.  The 209th was attached to the Defenses of Bermuda Hundred, Army of the James (River), until November 24, 1864, when it was attached to the Army of the Potomac, until the men of the 209th were mustered out on May 31, 1865.  Shortly after arriving, the 209th was in the trenches as the Union forces were trying to capture Fort Harrison.  The men were constantly on picket duty and in garrison.  At the beginning of 1865, the 209th was involved in the following battles:  Dabney’s Mills and Hatcher’s Run from February 5 – 7, 1865; Ft. Steadman, and the final assault on Petersburg and its fall on April 2, 1865.  The regiment’s men were involved in the chase of Gen. Lee for six days between April 3 and 9.  They were present for the surrender of Lee and his forces.  Finfrock’s diary entry for April 9, 1865 said, “In the evening we had the dispatch read to us that Lee had surrendered his army and there was great cheering.”  Andrew Davison and Jacob Finfrock participated, alongside their comrades, in the Grand Review on May 23, 1865.  The 209th moved to City Point, VA and on to Alexandria, between April 20 and 29.  The men were mustered out on May 31, 1865 and they headed for home.  The 209th PVI Regiment lost two officers and 17 enlisted men were killed and mortally wounded.  Disease killed 20 for a total of 39 men.


History of Franklin County, Pennsylvania, 1887, and Biographical Annals of Franklin County Pennsylvania, 1905, give only a few clues about Andrew’s life after the Civil War.  Like many Civil War veterans, who “caught” wanderlust during their terms of service, Andrew went west.  On page No. 22 of the Brownville Precinct, Nemaha County, Nebraska, it appears Andrew was living in a boarding house.  He was a clerk or cashier at the First National Bank in Brownville.  Although he was living in a boarding house, the census indicates that he owned $2,000 worth of real estate, while his personal estate was $100.   Andrew was a cashier for 20 at the above mentioned bank.  Brownville was settled in 1854 and was incorporated in 1856.  Brownville, with a port on the Missouri River, was the largest town in the Nebraska Territory, at the time.  Six years later, the first homesteader filed his stake under the 1862 Homestead Act.  The fast rise of the railroad caused the demise of Brownville.


In 1890, Andrew applied for his pension, as an invalid, on November 26.  There are no surviving 1890 Veterans Schedules, but according to Andrew’s pension application, he was living in Colorado, when he applied.


With information given on Sheet No. 4 of the 1900 U.S. Census, in the 8th Precinct of Denver, CO, Andrew and Cora most likely married in 1889 or 1890, as they had been married for 10 years.  Andrew met and married Cora Gates while they were both living in Nebraska.  In 1900, Andrew, a real estate broker, and Cora were living with her parents at 1270 Logan Avenue, Denver, Arapahoe County, CO.  Cora’s brother Elmer and his wife were also living in the same household.


Cora’s father Abbott G. Gates, age 73, was born in Ohio, and his father was born in Connecticut.  Abbott and his wife Elizabeth (61, born in PA) had been married 47 years.  They had four children, all born in Nebraska.  Only two of their children were living in 1900 – Cora, 40, and her brother, Elmer O. Gates (35).  Abbott was a grocer and he and his wife owned their home and were still paying on the mortgage.  Elmer was a mine broker.  He was married to Ida; they had been married for three years and had no children.  Andrew and Cora had no children.


Andrew R. Davison was born in October 1842.  He died on October 21, 1900, prior to his birthday.  He was 57 years old and is buried in Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, CO.  Cora filed for his pension on November 3, 1900.




Camp near Falmouth Va

May 7th 1863


Mr Jac Pensinger


Dear Sir


Having arrived in camp late last evening I take this the first opportunity to inform you of the death of Sergt Simon W Rupley of my company.  He was severely wounded in the action near Chancellorsville about 11 O.C. AM on the 3rd of May and died of the evening of that day in the Hospital of our division      in him we have lost one of the best soldiers in the company and Greencastle certainly one of its best citizens


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I have recd from the Surgeon in charge of the Hospital what small notions he had in his pockets when he died viz 1 pocket book containing $765  1 knife comb testament &cc    He was buried in a coffin near the Hospital


You will please communicate these facts to his wife & Oblige


Yours Respectfully

A R Davison




Your Bro David escaped unhurt   Lieut Rowe is severely wounded though not dangerously   Geo Missavy died of his wounds     John Robinson Wm F Rupert Scott K Snively Jac Unger & John Beamisderfer were all slightly wounded      in Co B Johnathan Bowman is missing   I don’t know who are wounded


Wm H Snively of Co “K” is also missing & I suppose take prisoner     at least we have not heard from him since the action


I will take the articles taken from Sergt Rupley home with me when I come home which will be between 15th & 20 of Ma(y)









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