Nelson Davis (alias Nelson Charles), was born about 1840 in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. According to his wife, he was enslaved by a person surnamed Charles, and also went by the name Nelson Charles. Primary documentation confirms that he used this name while serving in the U.S. military, and assumed the Davis surname around the time of marriage. Church marriage records also show that he used the name, Charles Nelson Davis.
Nelson was the second husband of Harriet Tubman, a famous Underground Railroad "conductor" and Civil War spy and nurse, in 1869.
US Civil War
During the U.S. Civil War, he served as Private in Company G, Eighth Regiment USCT. It's not certain but he may have been drafted. Harriet Tubman stated that he enrolled on 25 September 1863, and was discharged at Brownsville, Texas on 10 November 1865. In 1866/7, he moved to New York after being discharged.
Senate Report 1619 to Accompany a Bill Granting a Pension to Harriet Tubman Davis. National Archives Identifier: 7330232. File Unit: Accompanying Papers of the 55th Congress, 3/15/1897 - 3/3/1899
Series: Accompanying Papers, 1865 - 1903
Record Group 233: Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789 - 2015. U.S. House of Representatives. 3/4/1789- (Most Recent). US National Archives. Web.
Approved Pension File for Harriet Tubman Davis, Widow of Private Nelson Davis (alias Nelson Charles), Company G, 8th U.S. Colored Troops Infantry Regiment (WC-415288). National Archives Identifier: 5939992. Series: Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Dependents of the Army and Navy Who Served Mainly in the Civil War and the War With Spain, 1861 - 1934; Record Group 15: Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 1773 - 2007. Veterans Administration. (7/21/1930 - 3/15/1989) (Most Recent); Department of the Interior. Bureau of Pensions. 1849-1930 (Predecessor). US National Archives.
↑ "United States Census, 1880," images, Nelson Davis, Fleming, Cayuga, New York; citing enumeration district 20, sheet 47D, NARA microfilm T9 (DC: NARA, n.d.), roll 0814; FHL microfilm 1,254,814.
↑ "Letter from George Underwood, of Underwood, Storke, and Seward Counselors at Law, to Sereno E. Payne, concerning the military career of Nelson Charles, Harriet Tubman's husband," (1898, June 27). National Archives Identifier: 306576. File Unit: Accompanying Papers of the 55th Congress, 3/15/1897 - 3/3/1899; Series: Accompanying Papers, 1865 - 1903; Record Group 233: Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789 - 2015. U.S. House of Representatives. 3/4/1789- (Most Recent). US National Archives. Web.
↑ Larson, Kate Clifford. Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman. New York: Random House, 2009, p. 239, 252
General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. T288, 546 rolls. Ancestry.com
Death date: Larson, Kate Clifford. Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman. New York: Random House, 2009, p. 276
Fact: Residence (1880) Fleming, Cayuga, New York, United States