previous next

Sam Davis—a Southern Hero. [from the Pulaski, Tenn., citizen, January 6, 1898.]

A Tribute to this Martyr by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, with a simple account of the sacrifice.

A touching parallel to the fate of Nathan Hale.

Nothing sweeter, it may be felt, might the poet have done, than in her lines given. It may be trusted, that, permanently re-united, our most promising refuge and Nation, will not fail in recognition, in time, of every instance of honorable devotion.

At a recent meeting of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, at Baltimore, a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox was read. The poem is eulogistic of a young Tennessee Confederate soldier who preferred death to dishonor.

Mrs. Wilcox wrote the poem for the Confederate Veteran, and in a note to the editor, she said:

‘I have never worked harder to produce what I desired. I began fully twenty poems before I wrote this one.’

Here it is:

Sam Davis.

When the Lord calls up earth's heroes
     To stand before his face,
Oh, many a name unknown to fame
     Shall ring from that high place!
And out of a grave in the Southland
     At the just God's call and beck,
Shall one man rise with fearless eyes
     And a rope around his neck.

For men have swung from gallows
     Whose souls were white as snow,
Not how they die nor where, but why
     Is what God's records show.
And on that mighty ledger
     Is writ Sam Davis' name—
For honor's sake he would not make
     A compromise with shame.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Pulaski, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (1)
Baltimore, Md. (Maryland, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox (3)
Sam Davis (3)
Nathan Hale (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
January 6th, 1898 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: