About A Soldier's Diary
The History of 'Crawfish' Jesse's Diary
This 126yr. old diary was written by my Great-Grandfather Jesse C. Davisson. Whom held three alias names: Henry C. Hays, John R. Day and Jack R. Day. Jesse was born in Philadelphia on January 17, 1868 in a section called Fairmount Park. At 33rd & Diamond Street.
The diary will take the reader through The American-Indian Wars, Spanish War, Philippine-Insurrection and WW1. Giving first hand accounts of events as see through his eyes.
Jesse’s diary almost never came to be, and was lost a few times during the years. After Jesse died his belongings were put in a trunk and placed in my Grandfather’s basement in Philadelphia. Where it sat through a flood and was almost destroyed in a house fire. But that ole trunk was tougher than we thought.
My father and I were clearing out the house after my Grandfather’s death, and found the trunk in a dark corner. When we opened it my dad said “Oh my gosh I think this is Jesse’s trunk!" He quickly closed it and we brought it home to our house. Where my dad started compiling the diary.
My dad became sick from chemo treatments and the diary was pushed aside for a few years. My dad was very tired from the treatments and couldn’t focus on anything. So I would read books, articles, magazines that I had found, and go through Jesse’s 11 scrapbooks. Precious days indeed! Then one day I got a package in the mail. My dad had sent me a rough draft of Jesse’s diary. From then on he and I did endless nights of research, and endless days of calling anybody who could provide historical information.
Sadly my father had a tragic accident and I was summoned to his death bed. I did get to see him for his last hour on earth. And whilst holding his hand I promised him and myself that I would follow the project through till I published the diary.
The diary has come so far from that old Rowhome (Rowhouse) basement trunk in Philadelphia. I can still smell the dampness in that cellar. Those old homes have a very distinctive aroma. It’s in the timber and other materials that were used for building the homes. I guess you can say it’s a Philly thing!
Never give up on your dreams!