{⋆★⋆} BG Smith, Gustavus W.

Gustavus Woodson Smith
Major General Smith.jpg

Born: November 30, 1821

Birth Place: Georgetown, Kentucky

Father: Byrd Smith 1790 – 1872
(Buried: Fayette City Cemetery, Fayette, Missouri)​

Mother: Sarah Hatcher Woodson 1796 – 1867
(Buried: Fayette City Cemetery, Fayette, Missouri)​

Wife: Lucretia Bassett 1822 – 1881
(Buried: Cedar Grove Cemetery, New London, Connecticut)​

Children: None


1842: Graduated from West Point Military Academy (8th​ in class)​

Occupation before War:

1842 – 1845: Brevet 2nd​ Lt. United States Army, Engineers​
1845 – 1853: 2nd​ Lt. United States Army, Engineers​
1847: Served in the Battle of Cerro Gordo, Mexico​
1847: Brevetted Captain for his role at Battle of Contreras, Mexico​
1853 – 1854: 1st​ Lt. United States Army, Engineers​
1854 – 1858: Civilian Engineer in New York City, New York​
1858 – 1861: New York City, New York, Streets Commissioner​

Civil War Military Career:

1861 – 1863: Major General in the Confederate Army​
1861 – 1862: Served in Northern Virginia as a Division Commander​
1862 – 1863: Commander of the Richmond, Virginia Defenses​
1862: Acting Confederate States Secretary of War​
1863: Volunteer Aide to General P. G. T. Beauregard​
1863 – 1864: Superintendent of Etowah Iron Works​
1864 – 1865: Major General of Georgia State Militia​
1865: Paroled in Macon, Georgia
After war.jpg

Occupation after War:

1866 – 1870: Iron Manufacturer in Tennessee​
1870 – 1876: Kentucky State Insurance Commissioner​
1876 – 1896: Lived in New York City, New York​

Died: June 24, 1896

Place of Death: New York City, New York

Cause of Death: Myocarditis (Inflammation of the heart muscle)

Age at time of Death: 74 years old

Burial Place: Cedar Grove Cemetery, New London, Connecticut
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Luke Freet

First Sergeant
Forum Host
Nov 8, 2018
After resigning from the Confederate army following Lee's ascension to command, Smith became Superintendent of the vital Etowah Iron Works. After the start of the Atlanta Campaign, Smith was able to evacuate his iron works and was appointed to command a division of Georgia Militia in the later part of the Campaign.


Sep 15, 2018
South Texas
In 1862 when the new rank of Lt. General was created by the CS Senate Smith was passed over while several "junior" major generals did get promoted. Smith resigned his commission on Feburary 17, 1863.He had been a major general since September 19, 1861.
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Sep 15, 2018
South Texas
He was also an author after the war, Some of his works include "Notes on Insurance"in 1870, Confederate War Papers in 1884, The Battle of Seven Pines"1891, "Generals J. E.Johnston and G.T .Beauregard at the Battle of Manassa, July 1861" in 1892. His final work was published after his death in 1896, "Company A, Corps of Engineers , USA, 1846-48, in the Mexican War".
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Sep 15, 2018
South Texas
According to another source he was a brother-in-law to General Horace Randal who died at Jenkins' Ferry. Apparently they married the Bassett sisters. Randal was a Kirby Smith appointee and never approved by Richmond. Smith was also some sort of relative to General Hood.
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Feb 20, 2005
On May 31, 1862, Smith briefly took command of the Army of Northern Virginia after Gen. Joseph E. Johnston was wounded at Seven Pines, due to his being the senior major general in Johnston's army. However, Jefferson Davis replaced him with Robert E. Lee the following day, June 1

6/2 AAG Whiting to Gen Lee-I regret to inform you that General Smith finds himself utterly unable to endure the mental excitement incident to his actual presence with the army. Nothing but duty under fire could possibly keep him up, and there is danger of his entire prostration. He goes to town to-day to gain a few days’ respite. All business and all exciting questions must be kept from him for awhile. Major Melton will accompany him to prevent, while it is necessary, all such intrusion.
Since writing the above I have again seen the general, and am pained to learn that partial paralysis has already commenced. The case is critical and the danger imminent...

July 62- Smith writes:The President informed me that he had told a distinguished gentleman from SC that he would order me to Charleston to command the Dept of SC & Ga in July last if my health would permit. I was consulted on the state of my health alone. That subject was referred to the Medical Director of my command. He decided that the state of my health would not justify my attempting to take that command at that time

8/10 Smith says “On reporting to Gen Lee for duty, I asked to be assigned to my own Div. This was refused. I was assigned to another Div, & in a few days was placed in command of the right wing of Gen Lee's army.

8/30 Assumes command of the defenses of Richmond

Headed the Dept of Richmond until 12/12. The Dept of NC & Southern Va was added to this Dept on 9/19, & Smith retained its command through Jan 14, 1863.

Feb 7-Smith resigns his commission

Smith became a volunteer aide to Gen Beauregard for the rest of that year.

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