Davidson was born in Morebattle, Scotland on 12 February 1840. He enlisted with the 121st New York Infantry on 23 August 1862. He was promoted to regimental Sergeant Major He was transferred to the 30th U.S. Colored Troops on 18 March 1864, where he was promoted to First Lieutenant and later Regimental Adjutant on May 1, 1864. It was in this capacity that he performed the act of gallantry on 30 July 1864 that later earned him the Medal of Honor. By 10 December 1865 when Davidson was mustered out of the service, he had been promoted to Captain and commander of Company B within his regiment.
After the war he was editor for a local newspaper, the Otsego Republican. He also served as a member of the New York State Senate from 1884 to 1885. He died on 10 November 1902 and his remains are interred at the Lakewood Cemetery in New York.
The 30th U.S. Colored Infantry was organized at Camp Stanton in Benedict, Maryland beginning February 12, 1864 for three-year service under the command of Colonel Delevan Bates.
The regiment was attached to 1st Brigade, 4th Division, IX Corps, Army of the Potomac, to September 1864. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, IX Corps, to December 1864. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, XXV Corps, December 1864. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, XXV Corps, to March 1865. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, X Corps, Department of North Carolina, to July 1865. Department of North Carolina to December 1865. The 30th U.S. Colored Infantry mustered out of service December 10, 1865.
Campaign from the Rapidan to the James River, Va., May-June 1864. Guarded supply trains of the Army of the Potomac through the Wilderness and to Petersburg. Before Petersburg June 15-18. Siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond June 16 to December 7, 1864. Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30. Weldon Railroad August 18-21. Poplar Grove Church September 29-October 1. Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher's Run, October 27-28. 1st Expedition to Fort Fisher, N.C., December 7-27. 2nd Expedition to Fort Fisher, N.C., January 7-15, 1865. Bombardment of Fort Fisher January 13-15. Assault and capture of Fort Fisher January 15. Sugar Loaf Hill January 19. Federal Point February 11. Fort Anderson February 18-20. Capture of Wilmington February 22. Northeast Ferry February 22. Carolinas Campaign March 1-April 26. Advance on Kinston and Goldsboro March 6-21. Action at Cox's Bridge March 23-24. Advance on Raleigh April 9-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. Duty at various points in North Carolina until December.
CasualtiesThe regiment lost a total of 225 men during service; 3 officers and 48 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, 2 officers and 177 enlisted men died of disease.
" Colonel Delevan Bates