JOSIAH M. DAVIS was born in Camden, New Jersey in 1849 to Ephraim and Anna Davis. His father, who worked as a clerk, died during the 1850s. When the Census was taken in 1850 the family lived in Camden's North Ward and included older siblings Benjamin, Mary Ann, Charlotte, Rebecca, Emma, and Ella Davis. Two more daughters came after the Census, Anna and Eliza. The family lived next door to William B. Hatch, who would serve the country with great honor and distinction during the Civil War that was to come.

When the Census was again taken in 1860 Anna Davis and her children were living in Camden's Middle Ward

Though still in his teens, Josiah M. Davis twice went off to war in the Union Army. He first enlisted as a Private in the Independent Company, New Jersey 1st Infantry Regiment on June 17, 1863. When Lee invaded Pennsylvania in June, 1863, Governor Curtin, of that State, appealed to the other loyal States for assistance, and on June 17th the Governor of New Jersey called for volunteers for thirty days to aid in repelling the enemy. James M. Scovel at once recruited an independent company in Camden, which was mustered in on June 19th. It left for Harrisburg the same day and was assigned to duty under General Couch. At the end of the thirty days service the company was returned to Trenton for discharge. Its roster was as follows: Captain, James M. Scovel; First Lieutenant, Timothy C. Moore; Second Lieutenant, George Holl; First Sergeant, James Lane; Sergeants, James V. Gibson, Ernest Troth, George E. Webb, Francis C. Vanhorn; Corporals, Joseph M. Cooper, Sylvester Birdsell, P. J. Murray, Benjamin Wright, Lawrence Breyer, John Capewell, William Wible, Henry Smith. Privates, Joseph Bates, John Kline, Anthony Bernard, William Mahoney, Henry Breyer, James McCormick, William Bundick, Peter Quinn, Joseph Burton, Michael Leibinlitz, Simpson Campbell, Enoch Shootz, John Decker, John Smith, William Dorman, James Snowe, George Dosinger, David Sparks, John Dovey, Isaac H. Stowe, Thomas Dovey, George Tenner, John Fenner, Benjamin Todd, Henry Figley, Benjamin Tyre, Edward Gifford, John Ward, Henry Gilbert. James Wilson. John Guyant, William Wilson, Frank Hewett, David Wood, John Hill, Frederick Wood, William C. Kaighn, Henry Belisle, H. Kelly, John Campbell, John Coats, John McGuin, Josiah Davis, Josiah Mead, David W. Hutton, David D. Middleton, Henry Ivins, and John Stetzer.

Josiah M. Davis enlisted in Company A, New Jersey 1st Infantry Militia on July 14, 1864. Company A, First Militia, was commanded by Captain Richard H. Lee with First Lieutenant William C. Shinn and Second Lieutenant Charles H. Kain assisting. In the early part of July, 1864, the cities of Washington, D. C., and Baltimore, Md., were endangered by a threatened invasion of the enemy. A battle had been fought within a few miles of Baltimore and communication with Washington had been interrupted. In view of this emergency the governor of New Jersey issued a proclamation dated at Trenton, July 12, 1864, calling for the organization of the militia for 30-days' service in Pennsylvania, Maryland or the District of Columbia. Under the call this company reported for duty, was accepted, and mustered in at Camden N. J., July 14, 1864, for 30 days. It left the state on July 15 for Baltimore, Md., and on arrival reported to Major General Lew Wallace, commanding the Middle Department. It was stationed at the Relay house, below Baltimore, and was attached to the 1st separate brigade, 8th army corps. Upon expiration of term of service it returned to New Jersey, and was mustered out at Camden, Aug. 15, 1864. The total strength of the company was 94. Besides Josiah Davis, among those who served were Benjamin M. Braker and Isaac Shreeve.

The 1870 Census shows Josiah Davis in Camden's Middle Ward with his mother and his sister Eliza. Josiah Davis was then working as a carpenter. 

Josiah M. Davis served with the Camden Fire Department as a member of the Hook and Ladder Company from January 8, 1872, when he replaced Charles G. Zimmerman, until to October 7, 1872 when he resigned from service with the Fire Department, and was replaced in turn by Edmund Shaw. A carpenter by trade, Josiah Davis then lived at 410 Stevens Street. He returned to the Fire Department and the Hook and Ladder Company in April of 1874, when he replaced James Carey. Josiah Davis remained with the Department until the spring of 1876. During this time, he was living at 1006 Carpenter Street.

Josiah Davis was reinstated on April 8, 1877. He was then living at 525 Federal Street and working as a driver. He moved to North 5th Street above Arch Street by the spring of the following year, and to 804 Kimber Street by April of 1879. Josiah Davis was not reappointed in April of 1882. He took a job as a brakeman with the Pennsylvania Railroad. This did not turn out to be a good idea, as on the night of January 10, 1884 Josiah M. Davis fell from freight train and was cut in two.

The 1880 Census shows Josiah M. Davis at 804 Kimber Street with his wife Maggie and three sons, Ephram, 9, Augustus, 7, and Charles, 3. Another son, William, was born in April of 1883. Maggie Davis and her sons were still living at 804 Kimber Street as late as 1914.

Philadelphia Inquirer * March 26, 1877

Trenton Evening Times - January 12, 1884

Civil War Pension Record