Edmund Kirby Smith

Monument: Find-a-Grave

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Reference: Alabama Department of Archives & History. Custodian of the original pictures. Confederate Officers photo album.  http://www.archives.alabama.gov/conoffalb/index.html

Edmund Kirby Smith, called "Seminole" at West Point, was born at St. Augustine, Florida, on May 16, 1824, the son of New England parents. He obtained his early education at Benjamin Hallowell's preparatory school in Alexandria, Virginia, and was graduated from West Point in 1845. Commissioned in the infantry, he won the brevets of 1st lieutenant and captain for gallantry at Cerro Gordo and Contreras in the Mexican War. From 1849 to 1852 he was assistant professor of mathematics at West Point. Later he served in the Indian campaigns on the Texas frontier. As major of the 2nd Cavalry in 1861, Smith refused to surrender Fort Colorado (in Texas) to the Texas militia under Ben McCulloch and expressed his readiness to fight to hold it. Nevertheless, he resigned his commission on April 6, when Florida seceded from the Union. He entered Confederate service as a lieutenant colonel and served in the Shenandoah under J. E. Johnston. On June 17, 1861 he was commissioned brigadier general in the Provisional Army and was severely wounded at First Manassas the following month. He was promoted major general on October 11, 1861, and in 1862 was in command of the District of East Tennessee. Smith participated in Bragg's invasion of Kentucky and won a decisive victory at Richmond, August 30, 1862. He became lieutenant general from October 9, 1862. From 1862 to 1865 he was in command of the Trans-Mississippi Department, and received the permanent rank of general in the Provisional Army on February 19, 1864. In the spring of 1864 his army repelled the Red River expedition of General N. P. Banks. Smith was almost the last Confederate general in the field, but in a hopelessly isolated situation, he finally surrendered his troops to General E. R. S. Canby on May 26, 1865. After the war General Smith was for two years president of the Pacific and Atlantic Telegraph Company. Subsequently he was president of the Western Military Academy at Nashville, and chancellor of the University of Nashville; and from 1875 until his death, was professor of mathematics at the University of the South. The last survivor of the full generals of the Confederacy, he died at Sewanee, Tennessee, March 28, 1893, and is buried there.

Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.