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Nashville in Davidson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Mary Kate Patterson Davis Hill Kyle

October 15, 1838 - July 6, 1931

 

— Confederate Spy —

 
Mary Kate Patterson Davis Hill Kyle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, February 7, 2021
1. Mary Kate Patterson Davis Hill Kyle Marker
Inscription.  Mary Kate was the daughter of Dr. Hugh and Ellen T. Patterson. They lived along Nolensville Pike in the defunct community of Rashboro, now within Nashville. She was attending Elliott School when the U.S. capture of Nashville interrupted her education.

Mary Kate's brother Everett served with Coleman's Scouts. The most famous member was Sam Davis, whose statue is on Capitol Hill, and whose home is a shrine in Smyrna. He was hung as a spy, though captured in his uniform. The Patterson home was a secret rendezvous for the scouts. A closed or open shutter could signal all clear, and lamps could be placed in designated windows to relay other information. Messages were left in stumps and hollow trees referred to as post offices. An approaching scout might give the haunting call of the Bob White to announce his presence.

The Confederate forces had difficulty procuring medicines. Dr. Patterson had contacts in Nashville that provided crucial quinine and morphine. They had a false bottom built into a buggy so that Mary Kate could bring them out. If room was left, she also conveyed such items as boots, bridles, and spurs. Sam Davis wore
Mary Kate Patterson Davis Hill Kyle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, February 7, 2021
2. Mary Kate Patterson Davis Hill Kyle Marker
a pair of boots Mary Kate had made for him, and was wearing them when hung by the U.S. Army. Davis refused to reveal the source of papers he was carrying with information on U.S. troops. It may be that he was protecting Mary Kate.

One night in mid-November 1863 Mary Kate heard a pebble tossed at a window. It was Sam Davis's special signal. It was too dangerous to stay in the Patterson home, so he camped in a nearby thicket. The next morning Mary Kate brought him coffee and a warm breakfast. She also brought him soap, a toothbrush, and U.S. newspapers. She may have brought him troop movement information and a diagram of U.S. forts around Nashville. All of these items were on him when he was captured later in the month. Before he was executed he could have saved his life. Davis declined saying, “If I had a thousand lives I would lose them all here before I would betray my friends or the confidence of my informer.”

The following February Mary Kate married Sam Davis's elder half-brother John Davis. After the war John was a partner with Dr. Patterson as owners of a steamboat. In February 1867, just three years after they married, John was killed when the boat exploded on the Mississippi River. Mary Kate married two other times, before dying as a widow in 1931.
 
Erected by Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 28.
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Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesWar, US CivilWomen. In addition, it is included in the Sons of Confederate Veterans/United Confederate Veterans series list.
 
Location. 36° 8.901′ N, 86° 44.086′ W. Marker is in Nashville, Tennessee, in Davidson County. Marker can be reached from Lebanon Pike. Marker is at Confederate Circle at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1101 Lebanon Pike, Nashville TN 37210, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Adelicia Hayes Franklin Acklen Cheatham (a few steps from this marker); Mary Elizabeth Bradford Johns (a few steps from this marker); James Edwards Rains (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas Benton Smith (within shouting distance of this marker); Hylan Leitus Rosser (within shouting distance of this marker); Adolphus Heiman (within shouting distance of this marker); John Bell (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); William Hicks Jackson (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nashville.
 
More about this marker. Marker is part of Mt. Olivet Confederate Memorial Hall Trail.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 7, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 32 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 7, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
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Feb. 24, 2021