Due to the nature of its mission, the history of the organization known as Coleman's Scouts cannot be readily documented by primary-source material in collections such as The Official Record of War of the Rebellion and its various supplements or the Southern Historical Society Papers. To date, only one book which deals with the history of the Scouts has been published, and much of the information presented in it is merely ancillary to a biography of Sam Davis. That book, Sam Davis, Hero of the Confederacy / Coleman's Scouts was published in 1971 by the noted genealogist Edythe Johns Rucker Whitley, and is now hard to find. Therefore, what has been written has usually centered on renowned individuals who served with the unit, such as Davis and Dewitt Smith Jobe. It is through accounts of these men and those of their less famous brethren that what history of Scouts is available can be found.
The articles and documents available on these pages represent our effort to assemble as complete an archive as possible. Some sources, such as Confederate Veteran magazine, are fairly readily available. Others, such as accounts from regimental or local/county histories, old newspapers and magazines, and scholarly research papers are not. If you are aware of any source material not represented here, please contact us.
Career of "Coleman's" Scouts, an article from Confederate Veteran magazine, Vol. VI, February 1898. Submitted by some surviving Scouts, this article contains valuable information on members of the unit.
The Coleman Scouts, a study and/or thesis by Mabel Baxter Pittard. First published in 1953, this document is perhaps the best "one stop" source for information on the organization, and contains material compiled from older source documents found on this site as well as original correspondence and research.
1911 Interview with William J. (Billy) Moore, taken from Frank H. Smith's History of Maury County. Details of the capture of Sam Davis, and Moore's own hair's-breadth escape from the same fate.
The Unsinkable Mary Kate by Marion Herndon Dunn. Undated profile of the amazing Mary Kate Patterson, perhaps the boldest and most succesful of all female Confederate spies.
Samuel Davis' Sister-in-Law, an article from Confederate Veteran magazine, Vol. IV, February 1896. A letter to the magazine from Mary Kate Patterson, with details of the last time she saw Sam Davis, and of some of her wartime activities.
About Samuel Davis, an article from Confederate Veteran magazine, Vol. IV, February 1896. Mr. John C. Kennedy's remarks to the Tennessee Historical Society concerning the death of Sam Davis, and the retrieval of his body for reinterment at his home.
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