Fort Davis was named in honor of Colonel Benjamin F. Davis. Its armament consisted of eleven guns and one mortar. It was built to serve as an outer defense of the City of Washington, DC.
Benjamin Franklin Davis, commonly known as "Grimes," was a Mississippian who fought for the Union during the Civil War. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1854 and started his military career by first serving with the 5th United States Infantry, and later the 1st United States Dragoons.
By July 1861, he was the Captain of Company K, 1st Dragoons. One year later Davis was recruited to serve as Colonel of the 8th New York Cavalry.
Davis was killed, in the spring of 1864, during a cavalry expedition known as "Stoneman's Raid" at the Battle of Brandy Station in Beverly Ford, Virginia.