James Davenport (54th MA Colored)

James Davenport was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, in 1830 and enlisted in the Union army on December 22, 1863, in Brookline, Massachusetts. While it is unclear how Davenport got from Albemarle County to Brookline, he was living as a free man and working as a laborer at the time of his enlistment. His enlistment records describe him as 5 feet, 3 1/2 inches tall, with black hair and black eyes. On the day of his enlistment, Davenport mustered into Company I of the famous 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment near Long Island, Boston Harbor, Massachusetts. During his military career, Davenport served as the company cook for one of the most active Black infantry units of the Civil War. The 54th Massachusetts contributed to the war effort in many different ways, primarily in the southern lowcountry and Sea Islands. It conducted assaults and siege operations against Fort Wagner near Charleston (prior to Davenport joining the regiment) before occupying key parts of South Carolina such as Charleston and Georgetown. Eventually, Davenport and his unit's service came to an end, and he was mustered out on August 20, 1865, in Charleston. He never filed a pension, and the details of his post-war life remain unknown.

Name:Davenport, James
Alternative names:
  • Devenport, James (alternative name)
  • Soldier
54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (Colored)I
Branch of service:Army
Enlistment1863-12-22Brookline, MAaccepted33Free
Muster In1863-12-22Long Island Boston Harbor, MA
Muster Out1865-08-20Charleston, SCMustered Out
Residence at enlistment:
Rank In:Private
Rank Out:Private
Highest rank achieved:Private
Person 1Person 2NumberRelation Type
Davenport, Jamesnoneapplication-invalid
Davenport, Jamesnoneapplication-minor
Davenport, Jamesnoneapplication-parent
Davenport, Jamesnoneapplication-widow
Birth date:1830
Birth date certainty:About
Birth place:Albemarle County, VA
Death date:
Death place:
Causes of death:

Compiled Service Records for James Davenport, RG94, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; Frederick A. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, vol. 3 (Des Moines, IA: Dyer Publishing Company, 1908).