In the seventy-fifth year of his age, Davis Hall Bryant passed away at his home, in Orlando, Florida., on May 24, 1914. He was born in Savannah, Ga., September 5, 1839, the son of Col. James W. Bryant,of Charlestown, Mass., and Rebecca Hawthorne Hall of Boston.
While of Northern parentage and justly proud of his ancestry, he was by birth, by choice, and by nature a true Southerner. His love of the South and her people, her customs and traditions was one of the strongest elements that contributed toward a personality of unusual charm and sterling worth. His father was born at the old Bryant Home on Bunker Hill, Mass., where General Lafayette and other prominent men of the day were entertained. His mother was the granddaughter of Gen. Amasa Davis (who is buried on Boston Common), captain in the Revolutionary army and afterwards Quartermaster General of Massachusetts Commonwealth.
Mr. Bryant's parents moved to Jacksonville, Fla., while he was but a child, and his youth was passed in that State, with the exception of the time given to his education in Boston. The family spent much time on a country estate on the St. John's River, where the four brothers and a sister enjoyed the advantages of rural life and sports. He became remarkably familiar with all that pertained to Florida-its history, its beauty, and its possibilities-and cherished for the State a deep affection.
When the war broke out, he at once enlisted, first as a member of the Jacksonville Light Artillery and later the 2d Florida Cavalry, and for the entire four years he was in the service of the Confederacy, having during this time many thrilling experiences as scout, special messenger, and in the ranks, where he fought under Gen. Joseph Finegan and Gen. Patten Anderson and saw particularly hard service in the battle of Olustee.
At the close of the war he went to New York, where a few years later he married Miss Lucy Spiers, of North Carolina, who, with one daughter, Mrs. Edward F. Geer, of Brooklyn, survives him. His brother, Henry H. Bryant, also a veteran, still resides at Welaka, Fla.
Comrade Bryant engaged in business in New York City until his retirement, seven years ago, when he returned to the State he loved, making his home in Orlando, Fla. He was a member of the Confederate Veteran Camp of New York and was anticipating with peculiar interest attending the Reunion at Jacksonville when stricken with a fatal illness. As a soldier he was plucky and steadfast, with the highest sense of honor, duty, and fidelity. As a man he clung always to the finest ideals-a true gentleman of the old school, whose courtesy and courtly manner, whose fine temperment and rare magentism, drew to him all, of high or low estate, with whom he came in contact.
He was a member of the Episcopal Church, a man of strong but simple faith, whose life was an example and whose presence radiated kindness and good will toward all men.
SOURCE: Confederate Veteran Magazine, January, 1915.
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