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[233] South and send their reports by courier line to General Bragg at Missionary Ridge. The expedition was attended with much danger.

The scouts had seen the 16th Army Corps, commanded by General Dodge, move from Corinth to Pulaski, and on Friday, November 19, they started to return to their own camp, each man for himself, and bearing his own information.

Late that afternoon they were captured by the 7th Kansas Cavalry, known as the ‘Kansas Jayhawkers,’ taken to Pulaski and put in prison.

Important papers were found upon the person of Sam Davis. In his saddle-bags the plans and fortifications as well as an exact report of the Federal Army in Tennessee were found.

A letter intended for General Bragg was also found.

General Dodge sent for Davis and told him that he had a serious charge to make; that he was a spy and did not seem to realize the danger he was in. The General also remarked kindly that Davis was a young man, and that it would be well for him to tell from what source his accurate information concerning the Federal army was obtained. Davis had made no reply until this time. Then he said:

General Dodge, I know the danger of my situation, and am willing to take the consequences.’

He was ready to die rather than betray his friends.

General Dodge remonstrated with the young prisoner, and insisted that he tell the name of his informer. Davis answered steadfastly:

‘I will not tell. You are doing your duty as a soldier, and I am doing mine. If I have to die, I do so feeling that I am doing my duty to God and to my country.’

Pleading was useless. He thanked General Dodge for his kind interest, but remained firm. Davis was condemned to death. The night before his execution he wrote a pathetically brave letter to his mother and father.

The morning of the execution arrived. Davis was put into a wagon and taken to the Courthouse Square. The condemned man, seeing some of his friends at a window, bowed a last farewell.

Arriving at the gallows Davis asked Captain Armstrong how long he had to live. The reply was: ‘Fifteen minutes.’ Davis then asked for the news. Captain Armstrong told him of the Confederate defeat at Missionary Ridge. He expressed much regret, and said:

‘The boys will have to fight without me.’

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