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Minor HIll in Giles County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Sam Davis Capture Site

Minor Hill

 
 
Sam Davis Capture Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 24, 2014
1. Sam Davis Capture Site Marker
Inscription. On Nov 20, 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 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 Braggís 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.

Confederate veteran James C. Braley and his wife, Sarah, lived near the capture site. Mrs. Braley kept a hand-drawn map that showed the Lambís Ferry Road and an old plum stump. After the land was sold, the new owner dug up the stump, but Mrs. Braley had no trouble locating the spot. Civic leader William C. Vaughan and the citizens of Minor Hill raised $250, matched by the
Sam Davis Capture Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 24, 2014
2. Sam Davis Capture Site Marker
state government, for a permanent monument on the site. Approximately 2,500 persons attended dedication ceremonies on July 22, 1926. Governor Austin Peay appealed to the young people to be loyal to their country and true to their friends, and Mrs. Braley pulled the cord to release the drapery covering the monument.

(captions)
(upper left) Sam Davis Giles County Historical Society
(lower center) Gen. Greenville M. Dodge Courtesy Library of Congress
(upper center) Colemanís Scouts reunion, Nashville, 1866, with Sam Davis's brother John standing in center with Capt. Henry B. Shaw (“Coleman”) seated in front of him Courtesy Tennessee Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans
(upper right) Giles County Courthouse, ca. 1863-1864, showing Union troops in formation Courtesy United Daughters of the Confederacy
 
Erected by Tennessee Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Tennessee Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 35° 2.336′ N, 87° 10.41′ W. Marker is in Minor HIll, Tennessee, in Giles County. Marker is at the intersection of Sam Davis Circle and Monument Drive, on the right when traveling south on Sam Davis Circle. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Minor Hill TN 38473, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Sam Davis Capture Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 24, 2014
3. Sam Davis Capture Site Marker
At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sam Davis (here, next to this marker); Minor Hill War Memorial (approx. half a mile away); Confederate Retreat at Sugar Creek (was approx. 2 miles away but has been reported missing. ); Noblit-Lytle House (was approx. 2.2 miles away but has been reported missing. ); Sugar Creek Engagement (approx. 3.6 miles away); Sim Corder/Harrison Mill (approx. 7.5 miles away in Alabama); Cunningham Cemetery (approx. 8.5 miles away in Alabama); Grassy Memorial Chapel and Cemetery (approx. 8.5 miles away in Alabama).
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Sam Davis Capture Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 24, 2014
4. Sam Davis Capture Site Marker
Sam Davis Capture Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 24, 2014
5. Sam Davis Capture Site Marker
Sam Davis Capture Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 24, 2014
6. Sam Davis Capture Site Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 8, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 335 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 8, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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