Statue of Sam Davis.

Statue of Sam Davis, Rebel Martyr

Field review by the editors.

Pulaski, Tennessee

Sam Davis, "The Boy Hero of the Confederacy," had been dead for over 40 years before he got a suitably heroic statue. In 1906 Pulaski, the town where Davis was hanged, erected an impressive marble likeness of him supposedly carved by an Italian master. It stands atop a gaudy 15-foot-tall pedestal, in a place of honor on the courthouse lawn. Sam, his arms crossed rebelliously, looks far younger than a similar Sam Davis statue erected only three years later on the grounds of the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville (The Nashville statue is probably a less-idealized likeness of the 21-year-old non-Boy Hero).

Sam was a Confederate spy, hanged by the Yankees when he refused to reveal his sources or the identity of his spy leader. The pedestal of his statue is engraved with a defiant quote attributed to Davis, a Bible verse, a pithy line from a poem written in his honor ("Let come what must, I keep my trust"), and a claim that he was executed as a spy even though he was "a Confederate soldier in the line of duty." Davis himself insisted that he wasn't a spy, although the secret documents found hidden in his shoe, stolen from the desk of a Union general, suggested otherwise.

Statue of Sam Davis.

Statue of Sam Davis, Rebel Martyr

Address:
W. Madison St., Pulaski, TN
Directions:
South side of the courthouse, north side of W. Madison St. between N. 1st and N. 2nd Sts.
Admission:
Free
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Backwards Plaque Shuns the KKKBackwards Plaque Shuns the KKK, Pulaski, TN - < 1 mi.
Sam Davis Museum, Hanging SiteSam Davis Museum, Hanging Site, Pulaski, TN - < 1 mi.
Giant Chicken with Chef HatGiant Chicken with Chef Hat, Elkton, TN - 12 mi.
In the region:
Forks of Cypress Replica, Florence, AL - 46 mi.

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July 16, 2018

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