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State of Kentucky
Davis, characterized as "a skilled politician, of pleasing personality and a colorful figure," was born on February 14, 1810, and moved with his parents from his native state of Virginia to Kentucky while a teenager. He settled in Carter County in 1837 and held various offices, including Carter County Sheriff in 1851. The same year he was elected Circuit Court Clerk and County Court Clerk in 1854. Davis was a prominent Whig and subsequently a member of the Republican party after its organization.
A staunch Union man, Elias P. Davis served in the Union Army in Company "D", 40th Kentucky Volunteer Mounted Infantry. He enrolled on March 28, 1864 and was mustered in as first Lieutenant on April 12, 1864, for one year. Davis was promoted to Captain and mustered out at Catlettsburg, Kentucky, on December 30, 1864.
Grayson Carter County Ky Oct. 9th 1863
John Boyle Adjutant Genl. Ky Militia
I received a printed circular containing special order (No. 1) requesting a speedy organization of the Militia in this County; Now for explination (sic) I will state Carter County has a voting popilation (sic) of about 1200 and out of that no. we have or had 335 Rebel votes and that will leave us in Carter County about 865 votes of Loyal men, and out of that number we have sent to the 3 years service 5 Companies recruited at Grayson for the 22nd Rig (sic) commanded by Col Lindsey and now we have recruited at Grayson for the 40th Rig (sic) & now commanded by Col True 4 full companies. say in the whole about 900 men have Volentiered (sic) on the side of the government, consisting of men over 45 and men under 45 say from 15 years old to 45. for I am 53 years old and I have went into the 40 Regiment for the defence (sic) of Kentucky as the Rebels have ruined my office in this County. I thought it was our duty to defend our homes and we will doit (sic) if we have a half of a chance to remain in the Mountains.
Now you see from the above statement we have no men to make Militia Companies out of in Carter Co. without we call out the good Loyal women in Carter County, but they are doing a great deal now. they are sowing their wheat and plowing of it in and saveing (sic) fodder & chopping wood for their fires to keep their children warm while their husbands & children are in the war Trying drive off the rebel bands of Rogues in our County. we have been in as bad a fix in this County as any people Could be in the state but we have turned out the Last man in our county Large enough to pack a gun to try to protect our homes and we will do it if we are let a lone (sic), we have some of the best Union men in Carter County in the State and we have some of the worst Rebels in the world. the voting district we call the Cliffs in our County is aweful. it voted 300 of the Rebel vote in August 1861, the Lastest (sic) vote we have had, we have not had a circuit Court in Carter to do any business for 3 years. we had courts held one side to allow claims only but for 18 Months we have had none. Now General if we can only be sustained by the Government we will enforce the Laws in Carter County Morgan & Rowan Counties & other places if we had such I think all of the Counties ought to raise men for the years service under the 20,000 Law to protect Ky. and when they dont I trust they will be drafted and made go into the service for our home defence (sic) but Carter cannot furnish any More (sic) men in any way that is Loyal men. if she does they must be Rebels & they wont do.
Yours Truly, E. P. Davis Clerk
of the Carter County Court
John Boyle Adjt. Genl. KY
Transcribed and researched by Marlitta H. Perkins, December 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication without express written notice by the author is strictly prohibited. © 2012. All Rights Reserved.