October 31, 2019, Linda Ong, WKRN TV, Nashville, Tennessee
SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) — For News 2’s Haunted Tennessee special, we took a tour of the home of Confederate soldier Sam Davis.
Spread across 168 acres in Smyrna, sits the house and farm of the Davis family. Jenny Lamb works as the Executive Director of the historic home.
“After his death, his home really became a symbol of his memorial, of his bravery during the Civil War,” said Lamb.
But what folks will find on the property may be more than the original woodwork and furniture from the 19th century.
“There have been a lot of stories over the years of not only visitors, but employees here that have had encounters with something,” said Lamb.
That something is hard to explain, even for Lamb.
“I have heard the footsteps and the doors closing, but it never seems to be anyone there,” she said. “I know there are spirits in this area, but I can’t quite put my finger on who they are.”
From the 1800’s to the 1920’s, Davis and his family called the property home as they farmed over 2,000 acres of land.
“They were not only large land holders, but slave holders owning 51 slaves by the 1860 Census,” said Lamb.
The room Davis shared with his brother John is still furnished with their beds, clothes and toys before they went off to war in the 1860’s.
“He was an excellent horseman, so after just a short time as a soldier in the Army, he was recruited into an elite group known as Coleman Scouts,” said Lamb.
Davis and his fellow scouts worked as spies, crossing enemy lines, collecting intelligence from the Union Army.
Just a few years later in 1863, Federal troops captured Davis near Minor Hill. His fate — death by hanging.
The Union offered to spare his life if he revealed his sources.
“Even though he was given the option to save his own life, he bravely refused and therefore died at the young age of 21,” said Lamb.
That bravery earned Davis the title of Boy Hero of the Confederacy.
His body was eventually brought home to Smyrna and is buried in the family cemetery where his spirit is said to make itself known.
News 2’s spooky encounter — a tree branch snapping 15 feet away and breaking into six pieces during our shoot It was captured on our audio as our camera rolled on Sam Davis’ headstone.
The encounter has been added to the top mysterious sights and sounds on the property.
But it doesn’t end there.
“A tall slender man with a long beard,” described Lamb. “He has been seen looking out of windows, seen on tour.”
There are also stories of a little boy in the house who disappears and a lady in green.
“She supposedly wearing a green dress from the 19th century and so people thought she must’ve been a tour guide, but none of our tour guides wear period clothing,” said Lamb.
Although much remains a mystery, Lamb said the spirits who may still call the property home are a special connection to the past she hopes will be present for many more generations to come.
“There’s this wonderful sense of calm on this property and this house,” said Lamb.
On November 23rd, there will be a Sam Davis Memorial Day to honor his death. The home also hosts tours throughout the fall and holidays. Click here to learn more.