Alexander Davidson 1846-1923 - Biographical Sketch
David Alexander Davidson was born
in Westmoreland County, PA on January 02, 1846 "... across the Kiski River from Vandergrift
" He was the fourth of seven children born to Alexander Davidson
(1795/Ireland-1870) and Hannah Albrecht Davidson.
David grew up to be a veteran of the Civil War,
the Grand Army of the Republic - Fifth PA Heavy Artillery, Company F
(204th Volunteers). On his enlistment papers, he listed himself as
a farmer with dark hair, dark eyes, a dark complexion and 5 ft. 8 inches
in height. He was recruited on September 3, 1863 and enlisted on
September 3,1864 as a Private. His unit fought battles at Rectortown, Virginia
and Salem, Virginia on October 5, 1864; at Salem, Virginia on October 7, 1864; at Rectortown, Virginia on October 8, 1864; and two additional battles
in the area on October 15, 1864 and on November 1, 1864.
Company records indicate they also assisted in the destruction of the Manassas Gap Railroad
in October and November The unit later pulled duty on the Bull Run battlefield in
the spring of 1865, helping to bury the nearly 2,000 dead from that
battle. They were then ordered back to Pittsburgh where he
mustered out on June 30, 1865
David re-enlisted in the Army in Light Battery K of First United States Artillery
on November 15, 1867. He was sent to New Orleans, and then to Kansas to protect settlers against Indian uprisings.
He was discharged three years later at Fort Riley, Kansas on November
15, 1870 by reason of expiration of service .
Upon his return to Pennsylvania and civilian
life, he married Margaret Catherine Daugherty on July 16, 1873.
The young couple had four sons, two of whom lived to adulthood. James
Monroe Davidson was born February 16, 1874 and died February 12, 1965;
Andrew Davidson was born July 1876 and died in 1899 of
typhoid fever; George Bruce Davidson was born in March 1879 and
also died in 1899 of typhoid fever; and Albert B. "Bert"
Davidson was born on February 17, 1884 and died May 30, 1968.
Margaret died unexpectedly on August 16, 1886 (their youngest was
only 2 years old) and was buried near her parents in the Hankey Cemetery in Franklin Twp (now Murrysville),
On February 07, 1888, David re-married
. He and Mary Ellen
McEntire were married by Rev. Kestler of Pittsburgh. Church
records indicate that David and his wife Mary Ellen were members of the Parnassus Presbyterian Church from 1890-1900. They were received into membership by examination on August 8, 1890.
David was a member of the Eli Hemphill post of the
GAR. In an affidavit, by Dr. G. C. Parks, M. D. of New Kensington,
he states, "This is to certify that ... David Davidson is well known to me and was under almost daily observation by me from
Jan. 16, 1891 to Sept. 20, 1891 and to the best of my belief and professional ability he was unfit to carry out his business as a stone mason and bricklayer - known to have rheumatism and valvular disease of the
In another general affidavit dated Sept 5, 1896,
Dr. S. J. Hindman M.D. said: "I have treated Mr. David Davidson at various times during the past two years for malaria and can testify to him having attacks at frequent intervals, and that his general health suffers from this disposition. He also suffers from nasal catarch. I treated him during July for acute articular rheumatism and he now suffers from the sub-acute form and is unable at present to work at all. I have also treated him for piles from which he suffers more or less constantly. These diseases are not due to vicious habits. These ailments are made from personal observation and were not dictated by anyone. Neither am I directly or indirectly interested in this application . In my opinion, the applicant is disabled from performing manual labor to the extent of 75%."
According to David's military pension papers,
he and Mary Ellen separated on July 03, 1902 and divorced on June 07, 1904.
Nothing more is known about their marriage or Mary Ellen's fate.
About 1917, David moved from Parnassus to
Tarentum. The retired soldier with a pension of $50 a month died
at age 77 after a two day illness (his death certificate states Acute Nephritis with contributing factors of a fall
and fracture of ribs) at the home of his son James Monroe Davidson
on May 24, 1923 in Tarentum, PA.
David Alexander Davidson is buried in Round Hill Cemetery in Parnassus,
New Kensington, PA where a GAR medallioned flag flies proudly above his