Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mr. Smith Goes to War

In writing the biography of Major General C. F. Smith, I noticed that a number of Civil War generals named "Smith" came up in my research.  My curiosity prompted me to find out just how many "Smiths" served as general officers.  The un-exhaustive research found 20 names. 

There were 12 Union and 8 Confederate officers.

  • Andrew Jackson Smith - USA
  • Charles Ferguson Smith - USA
  • Edmund Kirby Smith - CSA
  • Giles Alexander Smith - USA
  • Green Clay Smith - USA
  • Gustavus Adolphus Smith - USA
  • Gustavus Woodson Smith - CSA
  • James Argyle Smith - CSA
  • John Eugene Smith - USA
  • Martin Luther Smith - CSA
  • Morgan Lewis Smith - USA
  • Preston Smith - CSA
  • Thomas Benton Smith - CSA
  • Thomas Church Haskell Smith - USA
  • Thomas Kilby Smith - USA
  • William "Extra Billy"Smith - CSA
  • William Duncan Smith - CSA
  • William Farrar "Baldy" Smith - USA
  • William Sooy Smith - USA
  • Thomas Alfred Smyth - USA
Some interesting facts about the "Smith" gang:
  • Nine were graduates of West Point.
  • Five served in the Mexican War. 
  • Four died during the Civil War. 
  • Three were born in Pennsylvania and Tennessee and two were from Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New York.
  • Three fought at Fort Donelson
  • If you are confused about the Smiths at Shiloh, it's because nine of the men were involved in the bloody battle.
  • The best nicknames are William F. "Baldy" Smith and William "Extra Billy" Smith.
  • Thomas Alfred Smyth was the last Union general to die in the war.
  • Two Smith brothers (Morgan L. and Giles A.) fought for the Union.
  • Confederate Brigader General Tomas Benton Smith lived until 1923, but spent his last years in a mental asylum in Tennessee.
  • Lieutenant General Edmund Kirby Smith held the highest rank among the Confederates and was the last surviving full general of the Confederacy.
  • Two were named Gustavus --- Gustavus Adolphus Smith - USA and Gustavus Woodson Smith - CSA
  • Charles Ferguson Smith was cousin to Elizabeth Todd Grimsley Brown, first cousin to Mary Todd Lincoln.
  • Thomas Kilby Smith was US Consul in Panama and Morgan Lewis Smith was US Consul in Honolulu.
  • Six were lawyers/politicians, six were involved in education, and four were engineers.
  • Gustavus Adolphus Smith was a Internal Revenue collector.
Learn more at Mr. Smith Goes to War.

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