James Argyle Smith

Monument: Find-a-Grave

James Argyle Smith was bora in Maury County, Tennessee, July 1,1831, and was graduated from the United States Military Academy in the class of 1853. He saw routine frontier service in the 6th Infantry, and resigned his commission on May 9, 1861 to join the Confederate service. He was appointed a captain of infantry in the Regular Army, and was soon promoted major and assistant adjutant general to General Leonidas Polk. At Shiloh he was lieutenant colonel of the 2nd Tennessee Infantry, where he was commended by his brigade commander, Colonel (later General) Preston Smith. Promoted colonel, he commanded the 5th Confederate Infantry at Perryville, Murfreesboro, and Chickamauga, after which and upon the repeated recommendations of his superiors, he was commissioned brigadier general to rank from September 30, 1863. He took a gallant part in the Atlanta campaign, in which he was painfully wounded. He led his brigade into Tennessee under Hood, and after the death of Cleburne at Franklin, commanded that officer's division at Nashville. While leading part of the remnant of Cheatham's corps in the Carolinas, General Smith was paroled at Greensboro on May 1, 1865. He then settled in Mississippi as a farmer. In 1877 he was elected superintendent of public education of the state, an office in which he served for many years. He died at Jackson, Mississippi, December 6, 1901, 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.

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