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La Vergne in Rutherford County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Mary Kate Patterson

Confederate Spy

 
 
Mary Kate Patterson Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, March 14, 2020
1. Mary Kate Patterson Marker
Inscription.  
West of the Nashville Turnpike stands the home of Mary Kate Patterson, a Confederate spy. She assisted Capt. Henry B. Shaw's Coleman's Scouts, a Confederate cavalry unit and spy network that served the Army of Tennessee, from 1862 to 1865. She befriended Federals and obtained passes to Nashville, where she secured supplies and messages to smuggle to the Scouts in her buggy's false bottom. Her brother, Everard Patterson, also served in the Scouts. Her family sheltered and fed Confederate soldiers, signaling them by an arrangement of louvers and lanterns in the windows when it was safe to come in for medical help and hot meals.

Patterson's most famous mission came in November 1863, when her neighbor Sam Davis, one of the youngest Scouts, asked her and her cousin Robbie Woodruff to get a list of items in Nashville for Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg. She later recalled her last meeting with Davis: "We found him up, looking as bright as if he had slept all night, and, oh, he did enjoy his good warm breakfast, for we rode fast and had his coffee in a jug to keep it warm. ... Two of my little brothers brought our dinner and we spent a
Mary Kate Patterson Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, March 14, 2020
2. Mary Kate Patterson Marker
Marker is located in front of Mary Kate Patterson house.
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nice, pleasant Sunday together—the last he spent on earth but one."

Federal troops in Giles County captured Davis and soon executed him for spying. Patterson traveled to Pulaski to identify the body. She married Davis's half-brother, John Davis, also a Scout, in 1864. She lived in La Vergne for most of her life, and at her death in 1931, she became the first woman buried in the Confederate Circle in Nashville's Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

(captions)
Mary Kate Patterson Courtesy Confederate Veteran magazine
Sam and John Davis - Courtesy Sam Davis Memorial Association
Confederate Circle, Mt. Olivet Cemetery Courtesy Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area
Patterson gravestone Courtesy Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesWar, US CivilWomen. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical month for this entry is November 1863.
 
Location. 36° 0.726′ N, 86° 34.717′ W. Marker is in La Vergne, Tennessee, in Rutherford County. Marker is on Fergus Drive, 0.1 miles south of Lytle Street, on the left when traveling south
Mary Kate Patterson image. Click for full size.
via Leading Ladies of Rutherford County, unknown
3. Mary Kate Patterson
. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 159 Fergus Dr, La Vergne TN 37086, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mary Kate Patterson Davis Hill Kyle (approx. 0.7 miles away); Wheeler's Raid around Rosecrans (approx. 0.7 miles away); Cane Ridge Cumberland Presbyterian Church (approx. 3.2 miles away); Smyrna Airport (approx. 3.4 miles away); Smyrna, Tennessee Veterans Memorial (approx. 3½ miles away); Smyrna, Tennessee World War II Memorial (approx. 3½ miles away); Olive Branch Missionary Baptist Church (approx. 3½ miles away); Captain Jeff Kuss, USMC (approx. 3½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in La Vergne.
 
Also see . . .  The Unsinkable Mary Kate. The Coleman Scoutswebsite entry (Submitted on March 14, 2020, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on March 14, 2020, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 269 times since then and 113 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 14, 2020, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.   3. submitted on April 15, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 6, 2022