The 150th Anniversary of the Capturing of Sam Davis in Smyrna

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“Sam Davis, a Hero Remembered” will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the capture, trial and execution of Sam Davis Nov. 22-24 at the Sam Davis Home.

Sam Davis, a Smyrna native, was a member of the Coleman Scouts, a Confederate unit, during the Civil War. He was captured by Union soldiers November 20, 1863, at Minor Hill and taken to Pulaski, Tennessee where he was charged with being a spy, which he denied. He was offered his freedom if he would name his leader, but refused to do so. November 27, 1863, at the gallows, after being offered on final chance to live, spoke his immortal words: “If I had a thousand lives to live, I would give them all before I betrayed a friend.” He is buried in the family cemetery, behind the Sam Davis Home in Smyrna.

Events begin with a bus ride to the Sam Davis monument at the Tennessee State Capitol building at 11:30 a.m., Nov. 22 for a memorial. Tennessee State Senator Douglas Henry will be the keynote speaker. The return trip to the Sam Davis Home will also include several Coleman Scouts related sites.


The evening of Nov. 22, a banquet and seminar will be held at the Sam Davis Home. Tickets are $25 per person and a meal will be served. Speakers will be Dr. Michael Bradley, Giles County historian Dan Watson and James Solomon, author of a new book titled “The Murder of Sam Davis.”                                                                    

The gates will open at the Sam Davis home at 8 a.m. Nov. 23. The event will include tours of the Sam Davis home and museum, Civil War re-enactor demonstrations, free ancestor research, a play about the story of Sam Davis, private relic collections on display, the shackles that Sam Davis wore and the ink well that Union General Dodge used to sign the execution orders will be on loan from the Giles County Historical Society. Sam Davis’s overcoat and one of the boots he was wearing when he was captured will be on display courtesy of the Tennessee State Museum.


The Sam Davis Memorial Ball will be held 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person. Civil War era music will be performed by Marlin Rood and Ole South. A caller will instruct dancers on all of the steps. Period or formal attire is required.

There will be a Morning Prayer service 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Nov. 24 at the grave of Sam Davis.

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Davis Home, Sam Davis, Sam Davis Home, Sam Davis Smyrna, Sam Davis Tennessee, Smyrna, Tennessee
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