Private Josiah Outley Daws

Company K of the 15th North Carolina Regiment

Josiah, or Siah, was born in 1844 in Edgecombe County, North Carolina.  He was 3rd son and the 5th of 5 children born to Martin and Penelope Edward Daws.  Penelope died in 1847, and by 1850, the three boys are living with their grandfather, and Martin has gone to Louisiana.

He enlisted in Company K of the 15th North Carolina Regiment, formerly the 5th North Carolina Volunteers in 1861 in Edgecombe county with his brother Hilliard.  He was wounded in the hip and arm and taken prisoner at Crampton’s Gap, MD in Sep1862.  He was taken to a hospital, then exchanged, and eventually brought to a hospital in Petersburg, VA.  He was sent home to recuperate.  He returned to his unit in March 1863, and was present for all musters until the end of the war. His unit was part of Cooke’s Brigade, Heth’s Division, and A P Hill’s 3rd Army Corps, Army of Virginia.

The following is from the history of the 15th Regiment, written by 1st Lt H C Keraney:

“On the morning of May 5, 1864, Cooke’s Brigade engaged the enemy along Plank Road, occupying the right side of the road.  Bout 2:00 Pm, before our lines were completed, the enemy advanced, but was soon repulsed, only to renew the charge with greater force.  The battle raged until night, with the 15th holding its position until dark.  Ammunition was exhausted, but two other brigades shared theirs.  At the beginning of the battle, the trees and small undergrowth was so thick that we couldn’t see the enemy until they were thirty yards from us.  Our first volley broke their lines and hurled them back.  This continued all day, with the enemy replenishing their lines, but they never got past the point of the fist volley.  At the end of the day, the ground was covered with small trees and limbs.  The next morning, we were on the left of the road, next to Wilcox’s Division.  We had worked all night throwing up breastworks for protection to enable us to hold our position.  The enemy arrived and forced troops on the other side of the road back and subjected Cooke’s Brigade to a heavy fire from the right and rear.  Soon Longstreet’s Corps and Anderson’s Division, arrived, along with Gregg’s Texas Brigade.  A new battle line was formed.  A few minor skirmishes were engaged during the rest of the day.  Our total casualties for the two days were 140.”

After the war, Siah returned to Edgecombe County where he became a farmer.  He married Martha Weaver in 1867, and they had 5 children.  He died in 1907 in Wilson County, NC