{⋆★⋆} BG Smith, Thomas Benton

Thomas Benton Smith

Born: February 24, 1838
General Smith.jpg


Birthplace: Rutherford County, Tennessee

Father: James Meacham Smith 1794 – 1847

Mother: Martha Page 1796 -

Education:

Attended Western Military Institute in Nashville, Tennessee​

Occupation before War:

Received a patent for a Locomotive Pilot at age 15​
Railroad Worker in Nashville, Tennessee​

Civil War Career:

1862: Enlisted in 20th Tennessee Infantry Regiment​
1862: Participated in Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky​
1862: Participated in Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee​
1862 – 1864: Colonel of 20th Tennessee Infantry Regiment
After war.jpg
1862: Led his regiment at Baton Rogue, Louisiana​
Wounded during the Battle of Stones River, Tennessee​
1863: Wounded during the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia​
1864: Participated in the Atlanta, Georgia Campaign​
1864 – 1865: Brigadier General of Confederate Army Infantry​
1864: Brigade Commander during Battle of Jonesborough, Georgia​
1864: Surrendered and attacked with brain injuries at Nashville, Tennessee​
1864 – 1865: Prisoner of War held by the Union Army​
1865: Released from Union Army prison on July 24th

Occupation after War:
IMG_8533.JPG


1865 – 1876: Railroad Worker in Nashville, Tennessee​
1870: Unsuccessful Candidate for United States Representative​
1876 – 1923: Lived at Tennessee State Asylum (Central State Hospital)​
Attended Confederate Veteran reunions especially for 20th Tennessee​

Died: May 21, 1923

Place of Death: Tennessee State Asylum, Nashville, Tennessee

Age at time of Death: 85 years old

Burial Place: Mount Olivet Cemetery, Nashville, Tennessee

IMG_8534.JPG
 
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Polloco

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After he was captured at Nashville, U S Colonel William L.McMillan repeatedly struck Smith with his sword around the head. This was while Smith was being herded to the rear with much of his command. Injuries were so serious Smith was not expected to survive and permanent injuries resulted. The injuries also forced him to enter an asylum at Nashville in 1876.
 

Luke Freet

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Thomas Benton Smith

Born: February 24, 1838 View attachment 345946

Birthplace: Rutherford County, Tennessee

Father: James Meacham Smith 1794 – 1847

Mother: Martha Page 1796 -

Education:

Attended Western Military Institute in Nashville, Tennessee​

Occupation before War:

Received a patent for a Locomotive Pilot at age 15​
Railroad Worker in Nashville, Tennessee​

Civil War Career:

1862: Enlisted in 20th Tennessee Infantry Regiment​
1862: Participated in Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky​
1862: Participated in Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee​
1862 – 1864: Colonel of 20th Tennessee Infantry Regiment View attachment 345947
1862: Led his regiment at Baton Rogue, Louisiana​
Wounded during the Battle of Stones River, Tennessee​
1863: Wounded during the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia​
1864: Participated in the Atlanta, Georgia Campaign​
1864 – 1865: Brigadier General of Confederate Army Infantry​
1864: Brigade Commander during Battle of Jonesborough, Georgia​
1864: Surrendered and attacked with brain injuries at Nashville, Tennessee​
1864 – 1865: Prisoner of War held by the Union Army​
1865: Released from Union Army prison on July 24th

Occupation after War: View attachment 345948

1865 – 1876: Railroad Worker in Nashville, Tennessee​
1870: Unsuccessful Candidate for United States Representative​
1876 – 1923: Lived at Tennessee State Asylum (Central State Hospital)​
Attended Confederate Veteran reunions especially for 20th Tennessee​

Died: May 21, 1923

Place of Death: Tennessee State Asylum, Nashville, Tennessee

Age at time of Death: 85 years old

Burial Place: Mount Olivet Cemetery, Nashville, Tennessee

When Smith was captured at Nashville, the Union general whose troops had been cut down in front of his line took his sword out and bashed him over the head repeatedly with the butt of his sword. The brain injuries he suffered later caused him mental problems later in life, resulting in him being interned in an insane asylum for most of his postwar life.
 

Polloco

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The only biography that I can find on a William L. McMillen has the spelling McMillen with an e instead of an a. It doesn't mention the "striking with a sword"incident. But it does say McMillan was a physician/surgeon. You'd think of all people a docter would know better than repeatedly strike a person in the head.
 

Luke Freet

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The only biography that I can find on a William L. McMillen has the spelling McMillen with an e instead of an a. It doesn't mention the "striking with a sword"incident. But it does say McMillan was a physician/surgeon. You'd think of all people a docter would know better than repeatedly strike a person in the head.
Probably because medicine was still much more primitive when it came to understanding the effects on the human brain. And what was known at the time (mostly learned from the case of Phineas Gage), probably did not filter down to McMillan.
That, or he knew, and did this intentionally. Highly doubt that, but the possibility is there.
 

Polloco

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Probably because medicine was still much more primitive when it came to understanding the effects on the human brain. And what was known at the time (mostly learned from the case of Phineas Gage), probably did not filter down to McMillan.
That, or he knew, and did this intentionally. Highly doubt that, but the possibility is there.
I at a lost to see how it could be anything but intentional, no one pointed a gun at McMillan and forced him to strike Smith.
 

Polloco

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William Linn McMillen (or McMillan) 1829-1902. I can't find a whole lot about him. He had military medical experience from his service with the Russians in the Crimean War. He was said to be drunk at the time of the "Smith" incident, which in my opinion makes the act even more cowardly. He was mustered out on August 14, 1865 after being brevetted a major general and settled in Louisiana. He was shunned and resigned as Postmaster of New Orleans, I think. And if this is the same guy it is said he was denied a seat in the US Senate. That usually means he lost the election. The biography also stated that He served for a time in the state legislature. The biography states he had a distinguished career but states nothing of the assault on Smith.
 

James N.

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William Linn McMillen (or McMillan) 1829-1902. I can't find a whole lot about him. He had military medical experience from his service with the Russians in the Crimean War. He was said to be drunk at the time of the "Smith" incident, which in my opinion makes the act even more cowardly. He was mustered out on August 14, 1865 after being brevetted a major general and settled in Louisiana. He was shunned and resigned as Postmaster of New Orleans, I think. And if this is the same guy it is said he was denied a seat in the US Senate. That usually means he lost the election. The biography also stated that He served for a time in the state legislature. The biography states he had a distinguished career but states nothing of the assault on Smith.
I ran across this jerk when I was researching my thread Forrest's Cannae - it seems he commanded the infantry portion of Sam Sturges' force (Ben Grierson led the cavalry) that was routed by Forrest at Brice's Crossroads in July, 1864. Assaulting a defenseless prisoner was presumably the only way for this coward to get his revenge!
 

Ole Miss

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The following excerpt is from the Shiloh National Military Park Facebook cited below:
Regards
David
"First Brigade, commanded by Col William L. McMillen, which was ordered to take Compton’s Hill. McMillen, a doctor from Ohio, had served as a surgeon for the Russian Army during the Crimean War and for the Union Army in the first year of the Civil War. In the summer of 1862, McMillen organized the 95th Ohio Infantry which was mustered into service on August 19th and saw action 10 days later at Richmond, Kentucky. The green regiment led by Col. McMillen, suffered heavy casualties (most of the regiment was captured) and McMillen, although slightly wounded was accused of cowardice, but acquitted. McMillen had a reputation for drunkenness and had suffered defeat at Brice’s Crossroads."
https://www.facebook.com/ShilohNMP/...0-years-agoafter-being-pushe/743138195776169/
 

diane

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McMillen was certainly not the shining example of a good soldier, that's for sure. He had been court-martialed for cowardice earlier, too, but retained his position. He did all right after the war but when it came out what he'd done to Thomas Benton Smith, he was kicked out of the New Orleans GAR. Otherwise - life was good. Well...sometimes people just don't pay for what they do.

Smith's injury was a truly gruesome one - McMillen's sabre knocked the top of his skull off! The field medics just stuffed his brain back into his head and rushed him to the hospital. The surgeon there thoughtfully picked the sticks, rocks and dirt out, set the skull back in place and told Smith he'd notify his next of kin when he checked out. :eek: That was a long time. I think he was the last Confederate general when he died in 1923?
 

diane

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Actually, I should correct my above post - McMillen didn't use his sabre to whack Smith... he used Smith's. As soon as Smith surrendered it to him, he started clobbering him! Nothing like adding insult to injury.
 

Luke Freet

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McMillen was certainly not the shining example of a good soldier, that's for sure. He had been court-martialed for cowardice earlier, too, but retained his position. He did all right after the war but when it came out what he'd done to Thomas Benton Smith, he was kicked out of the New Orleans GAR. Otherwise - life was good. Well...sometimes people just don't pay for what they do.

Smith's injury was a truly gruesome one - McMillen's sabre knocked the top of his skull off! The field medics just stuffed his brain back into his head and rushed him to the hospital. The surgeon there thoughtfully picked the sticks, rocks and dirt out, set the skull back in place and told Smith he'd notify his next of kin when he checked out. :eek: That was a long time. I think he was the last Confederate general when he died in 1923?
I just had a thought come up. What was the condition that got Smith put into the Insane Asylum? How exactly was his mind and behavior being affected by the wounding?
 

diane

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Wasn't It was a relative I think, Page who got shot in the thigh.

Yes, I think so. Speaking of relatives, two of his cousins - Dewitt Smith Jobe and Dewitt Smith were members of Coleman's scouts. Jobe got tortured to death and Dee Smith decided to 'kill every Yankee who crosses my path'. One night he slit the throats of 14 Union soldiers while they slept and...the spree was on. Possibly 50 Federal soldiers were killed by him before they finally got him.
 

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