Charles Henry Davis, born 16 January 1807 in Boston, Mass., was appointed Midshipman 12 August 1823 and made many valuable scientific contributions to the Navy before the Civil War during which he served with distinction. As Flag Officer of the Mississippi Flotilla he directed the capture and destruction of seven Confederate gunboats and rams near Memphis, Tenn., and received the surrender of the city 6 June 1862; joined Farragut's fleet for operations against Vicksburg; and cooperated with the Army expedition up the Yazoo River from 16 to 27 August 1862. From 1862 to 1865 Admiral Davis served as Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, then served as Superintendent of the Naval Observatory, Commander in Chief, South Atlantic Squadron; Commandant of Norfolk Navy Yard; and member of the Lighthouse Board. Admiral Davis died in Washington, D.C., 18 February 1877. TB 12, DD-65, and DD-395 were named to honor him.
(TB-12: dp. 155; l. 148'; b. 15'4"; dr. 5'10"; s. 23 k.;cpl.24;a.31-pdr.,318"tt.)
The first Davis (TB-12) was launched 4 June 1898 by Wolf and Zwicker, Portland, Oreg.; sponsored by Miss H. Wolf, and commissioned 10 May 1899, Lieutenant Commander R. F. Nicholson in command.
After trials Davis was placed out of commission 6 June 1899 and laid up at Mare Island Navy Yard in reserve She was recommissioned 23 March 1908 and assigned to Pacific Torpedo Fleet. She participated in the review for the Secretary of the Navy 8 May 1908, then cruised along the west coast as far north as the Columbia River and south as far as Magdalena Bay, Mexico, until placed in reserve at Mare Island 28 October 1909.
Davis was recommissioned 1 November 1910 for service in the San Diego area until 10 May 1911 when she again went into reserve at Mare Island. In May 1912 she was towed to Puget Sound for assignment to the Pacific Reserve Fleet. She was decommissioned there 28 March 1913 and sold for scrap 21 April 1920.