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George Evans Davis

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U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Civil War

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During Confederate General Early's advance on Washington, D.C., First Lieutenant George Davis was part of a detachment assigned to guard a railroad bridge and small wooden bridge that spanned the river between Frederick City and Washington. Under the rebel advance, General Wallace found it useless to resist further and ordered the bridges destroyed, opting to sacrifice his skirmishers to save Washington. In the absence of a lieutenant colonel who usually commanded the 200 skirmishers, Lieutenant Davis assumed command on July 9, 1864, as the rebels advanced. Under his leadership the outnumbered Federal soldiers resisted two attacks. The small wooden bridge was burned early in the afternoon, and a third attack was mounted against the defenders of the railroad bridge at 3:30 p.m. Lieutenant Davis and his men were alone as every other Union regiment pulled back, and fought valiantly while surrounded on all sides by a horde of Confederates. They held throughout the afternoon, then made a desperate race across the railroad bridge. Those who escaped rejoined their unit at midnight. The battle had been costly, but had greatly delayed General Early's advance.

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