Sam Davis


When you say the name Sam Davis most people assume you are referencing Sammy Davis Jr.; the Frank Sinatra contemporary and member of The Ratpack. But the Sam Davis I think of is a confederate Civil War hero who was hung at the ripe old age of 21 because he would not disclose highly sensitive information about the Confederacy. His youthfulness and calm demeanor made his Union captors uncomfortable and they pleaded with him to just give in so that his death would not be on their conscience. On the day of his execution the officer in charge was so bothered by his orders that he had trouble going through with them and asked Davis why he wouldn’t relent.

Davis famously replied by saying: “I would rather die a thousand deaths than ever betray a friend. Officer, I did my duty. Now, you do yours.” I love that quote and I would like to think I would have reacted the same way but who knows. Think about who you were at age 21 and ask yourself how you would have handled that situation. Better yet, think about what the average 21 year old in our current society would do if they were placed in that situation. As Bob Dylan said…“the times they are a changing.” As someone who grew up in the Deep South the common misconceptions outsiders have about our region of the country can be very frustrating. That having been said, I would like to share a very eloquent quote about the South by Edward W. Carmack, a United States Senator from Tennessee.

“The south is a land that has known sorrows; it is a land that has broken the ashen crust and moistened it with tears; a land scarred and riven by the plowshare of war and billowed with the graves of her dead; but a land of legend, a land of song, a land of hallowed and heroic memories. To that land every drop of my blood, every fiber of my being, every pulsation of my heart, is consecrated forever. I was born of her womb; I was nurtured at her breast; and when my last hour shall come, I pray God that I may be pillowed upon her bosom and rocked to sleep within her tender and encircling arms.”