Sam Davis Capture Site: Minor Hill
Minor Hill, TN 38473
On November 19, 1863, scout Sam Davis stopped here while carrying dispatches to Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg. According to local tradition, he was asleep under a plum tree when two members of the 7th Kansas Cavalry, disguised as Confederates, arrested and searched him. They found newspapers, maps, detailed descriptions of Federal fortifications, and other suspicious items in his saddlebag, boot, and saddle seat. Taken to Union headquarters in Pulaski and charged with spying, Davis was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death within a week. Union Gen. Grenville M. Dodge promised Davis a pardon if he would reveal either the source of the papers or the location of the chief of Bragg’s scouts, Capt. E. Coleman (actually Capt. Henry B. Shaw, who was in jail with Davis at that time). Davis refused, saying, “If I had a thousand lives to live, I would give them all rather than betray a friend or the confidence of my informer.” He was hanged Friday morning, November 27.