Served on board the U.S.S. Valley City during action against rebel fort batteries and ships off Elizabeth City, N.C., 10 February 1862. When a shell from the shore penetrated the side and passed through the magazine, exploding outside the screen on the berth deck, several powder divisions protecting bulkheads were torn to pieces and the forward part of the berth deck set on fire. Showing great presence of mind, Davis courageously covered a barrel of powder with his own body and prevented an explosion, while at the same time passing powder to provide the division on the upper deck while under fierce enemy fire.
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