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David D. Drake


David D. "Dod" Drake was born in March 1837 in Lavinia, Carroll County, TN. The son of Dr. James W. Drake, a local physician, and Margaret Woods Drake, he would have been brought up in an educated and affluent home.

On September 1, 1863, David, called "Dod", was enlisted by a Captain Browning as a 4th Sergeant in Company D of the 20th Regiment Tennessee Calvary (Referred to as “Russell's Regiment“) for a period of three years and went to war for the Confederate cause.

20th (Russell's) Cavalry Regiment (also called 15th Regiment) was originally organized in February, 1864. Its members were recruited in the Tennessee counties of Henry, Gibson, Carroll, Madison, Dyer, Humphreys, and Weakley. Shortly afterward, these men were brought into North Mississippi and merged with several smaller organizations into a regiment under the command of Colonel Robert M. Russell. The unit was placed in Colonel Tyree H. Bell's Brigade in the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana. While David Drake was a member of the regiment, it fought at Okolona Mississippi on February 22, 1864, at Paducah, Kentucky on March 25, at Fort Pillow on April 12, at Brice’s Cross Roads near Baldwyn Mississippi on June 10, 1864, and at Harrisburg, which was fought over four days from the 13th to the 16th of July 1864.

At the Battle of Harrisburg, in what was then Pontotoc County, Mississippi, on July 14, 1864, David was gravely wounded. Five miles south of the battle site, just east of the Natchez Trace Parkway, was the house of W. H. Calhoun in the Palmetto Community of then Pontotoc, now Lee, County. That day the palatial home became a hospital and morgue for the wounded and dying. "Dod", so far from home, was taken to the Calhoun Mansion for care, but could not survive his severe injuries and died there.

The mansion remained in the Calhoun family for many years after the war, eventually passing to a grand daughter, Lucie Tankersley. But time and age ravaged the home's one time beauty. The big antebellum house, with its legends of the war and stories of ghostly soldiers who wandered it’s halls, was destroyed by fire in the late nineteen fifties. The once beautiful gardens with its towering avenue of ancient cedars, no longer needed or cared for, devolved to pastureland.

But by the side of the road, in an area that once was the side yard of the Calhoun home, there survived a small grave marker .... a marker for D. D. Drake.... a reminder of this son of Tennessee who fell so far from home.

Grave Of David D. "Dod" Drake


David D. Drake
20th Regiment Tennessee Cavalry