In the very back corner of Arlington National Cemetery, and I’ll give you a special merit badge for finding this memorial under a tree by the superintendent’s residence, lies one of the special politicians of the post-Civil War era.
Cushman Kellogg Davis (June 16, 1838 – Nov. 27, 1900) was Minnesota’s governor from 1874-86 before becoming U.S. Senator from 1876 to his death. The New York native grew up in the Wisconsin Territory where his father Horatio Davis was a state senator.
After graduating the University of Michigan in 1857 and admitted to the state bar in 1860, Davis served in the 28th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment as lieutenant of Company B during battles in western campaigns. Davis was promoted to Assistant Adjutant General before resigning in 1864 because of typhoid fever.
Davis became a lawyer in St. Paul, Minn. and later appointed U.S. Attorney General for Minnesota in 1868 for five years. During his state and national political career, the Republican was appointed by President William McKinley to the 1898 Paris Peace Conference to end the Spanish-American War.
Originally buried in St. Paul, he was reinterred in Arlington National Cemetery in 1901. The memorial has a bronze bust of Davis atop a granite column. A bas-relief at the base depicts Davis at the Paris Peace Conference.