David Ward Prevatt

David Ward Prevatt was a brother of Richard White's great great grandmother Clarissa Prevatt Davis.

David Ward Prevatt was born in Robeson County, North Carolina, on 16 August 1824.  He married Nancy C. Graham in Decatur County, Georgia, on 11 October 1848.  In the 1850 and 1860 censuses he and his family appeared in the census for Henry County, Alabama, and his widow, Nancy C. Prevatt, also resided there with the family at the time of the 1870 census.  Although I have been unable to find a census record for her after 1870, she drew a Confederate widow's pension in Henry County in the 1890s.

In January or March of 1863 (there are discrepancies as to dates shown in the records) David Ward Prevatt enrolled in Captain E. A. Curry's Company C (the Henry County Guards/Henry Light Guards*) of the 4th Florida Battalion at Cowford (near Ebro), in Washington County, Florida; but on 26 April 1863 he was transferred to Captain John Tanner's Company (the Jackson Guards) of the 4th Florida Battalion, after which he was recorded as having been enrolled at Burnt Mill (near Ebro), in Washington County, Florida.  He appears to have deserted in Jackson County, Florida, temporarily, in August of 1863; that is to say his absence was initially recorded as a desertion, but later was changed to absent without leave from 10 Aug to 27 Oct 1863.  Because this unit suffered a continuing desertion problem and some of its soldiers were accused of selling arms to Joseph Sanders' raiders, it was sent out of state to the Savannah area.  However, apparently that wasn't far enough, because Confederate dispatches indicate that it continued to have a serious desertion problem or worse, actually a reputed planned mutiny of the entire regiment was discovered before it could happen, on 12 January 1864, while it was stationed on Rose Dew Island near Beaulieu south of Savannah.  David Ward Prevatt performed "extra duty" as a carpenter at Rose Dew Post in November and December of 1863, and he was sent on detached duty to Wilk(e)s Battery, between Savannah and Charleston from 4 May through June of 1864.  In June or more likely early July the company was redesignated as Company F of the newly created 11th Florida Infantry Regiment.  The 11th Florida Infantry Regiment was created to reinforce the Florida Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia after the Florida Brigade was nearly annihilated while acting as the "second wave" of Pickett's assault on Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg on 3 July 1863.  David Ward Prevatt was recorded variously as "missing in action" and "taken prisoner" on 21 August 1864, which was the last day of the Battle of Weldon Railroad near Petersburg, Virginia.  There is no further record of him, either Confederate or Union, and it must be assumed that he was wounded and died before he could be entered into Union records as a prisoner of war.

*NOTE:  There is no Henry County in Florida, so the name of the unit often styled "Hy Light Gds Fla Vols", rather strongly suggests that David Ward Prevatt was not the only soldier in the unit from Henry County, Alabama.)

My thanks to Dale Cox for information about the locations of Cowford and Burnt Mill.  Part of the information he provided in an e-mail to me on 6 April 2014, follows:

The Cowford in this case was the one over the Choctawhatchee River near Ebro in Washington County. Curry's company was raised in Washington, Holmes and Walton and was first stationed on the Choctawhatchee River. The burnt mill in this case was the one on Pine Log Creek just below today's Ebro. The Confederate post was at Cedar Bluff, which was on the north side of Pine Log Creek where it flows into the Choctawhatchee River. The Cowford crossed the river just up from there and the whole area was often called Cowford in those days.

From there the men were sent to the post at Campbellton in Jackson County. It was there that a number of men from Curry's and Tanner's companies were accused of selling their arms to Joseph Sanders and his raider gang, which was secreted in the Forks of the Creek Swamp between Campbellton and Malone. A number of men also deserted at Campbellton and joined Sanders. Alabama sent a force into the swamp while the Florida companies performed a "blocking" role, but Sanders and his men surrounded and ambushed the Alabama units and took all of their arms and ammunition.

The rate of desertion in the companies at Campbellton was so high that they were sent from the area to get them further away from home.

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This page was created by Richard White on 23 February 2005.
Changes to this page were last made by Richard White on  6 Apr 2014.