A Civil War veteran’s gravesite might not be viewed as the most desirable piece of real estate in the Hamptons, but this is not just the average war veteran and the property around the grave is quite appealing.
Thomas Jefferson Davis was an African-American sailor during the War Between the States. Coincidentally, there was another Thomas Jefferson Davis who also served in the military. This one was born in South Carolina, and as a member of the National Guard of Georgia he served in France during World War I, then in Germany in the 1920s (now in the U.S. Army), then for a decade he was aide-de-camp to General Douglas MacArthur when the latter was the military commander of the Philippines, and by World War II Davis had risen to the rank of brigadier general and participated in the North Africa campaign. “Our” Thomas Jefferson Davis, buried in the Springs section of East Hampton, had a much humbler military career, though it was distinguished by being one of the few African-Americans to see action on the water during the Civil War.
The Corcoran Group is representing the 3.2-acre parcel where Davis is buried, and the asking price is $2.2 million. The property contains a compound consisting of a main residence with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths and a 2-story cottage. The main house sports high ceilings, an open floor plan, a renovated chef’s kitchen with marble surfaces and stainless-steel appliances, a sunroom with radiant heat and floor-to-ceiling windows, and a master bedroom with a fireplace. The cottage has 2 bedrooms and a full bath, kitchen, open living room with fireplace, and an office, and outside is a patio and a shower. The grounds feature a pond-style pool, a rock Jacuzzi, and a new deck.
Davis’s grave can be found in a small cemetery, surrounded by mature trees and bushes, at the rear of the property. He served on the USS Heliotrope, a wooden steamboat that patrolled the Potomac River. Every Memorial Day, members of the East Hampton VFW place a fresh flag on the sailor’s grave.