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Capt. Robert M. Smith


Posted By: Scott A. Smith (email)
Date: 11/27/2012 at 11:21:56


Robert Smith was born in Canada, March 13, 1838, and in early youth came to Stephenson county, Ill., and located near Lena, Ill. Attended the common schools at this place and fitted himself for a teacher and taught a number of terms near his home. Later he prepared himself for the ministry.

In Sept. 1861, he enlisted in Company B. 46th Ill. Inft, and on Sept. 10 was appointed 5th Sergeant. Was sent to Freeport, Ill., from Camp Butler, by order of Col. John A. Davis, to assist in recruiting Company G, and, on the arrival of this company at Camp Butler, was transferred from Company B to Company G to accept promotion as 1st Sergeant of the latter company.

For faithful services and meritorious conduct at the battle of Shiloh, on the death of Lieut. Thomas M. Hood, who was killed at this battle, he was promoted to 2nd Lieut, to date from April 7, 1862.

On the death of Lieut. Moses R. Thompson, killed at battle of Hatchie, he was promoted 1st Lieut, to date from Oct. 6, 1862. After the resignation of Capt. Wm. Young, April 12, 1863, he was promoted to Captain and served his company with credit and ability. After the surrender of Vicksburg he was detailed on detached service in connection with the Quartermaster's department.

On account of failing health he was relieved from the arduous duties of this position and for a while was in care of the regimental surgeon, Benj. H. Bradshaw. After his recovery he again resumed command of his company and, on the expiration of his term of enlistment, was mustered out of the service at Memphis, Tenn., Dec. 28, 1864.

Captain Smith participated in battle and siege of Fort Donelson in Feb., 1862. At the battle of Shiloh he took a conspicuous part and distinguished himself for bravery on the battlefield. In the battle of Hatchie, as a commissioned officer, he rendered valuable service, being brave and courageous. At the siege of Vicksburg he commanded his company with skill and ability and on the evening in May, when a night attack was made on the picket line of the 46th, he directed his men to fire into the ranks of the enemy, checking their movements in capturing the balance of the regiment.

Capt. Smith was married to a southern lady by name of Miss Adams, sometime in the Summer of 1862, who resided at La Grange, Tenn., Chaplain David Teed of the 46th officiating. After his service in the army, he brought his young bride north and engaged in the ministry in the Baptist church, serving in the States of Wisconsin, Kansas and Iowa. He was a man of great force and ability, a brilliant orator and had many calls to speak at public gatherings of the G. A. R., and also in ministerial work in revival services. He was a man positive in his expressions in all interests of public concern, always speaking his convictions in earnestness, irrespective of friend or foe.

He died at Eldora, Iowa, May 20, 1894. The widow and large family of grown sons and daughters survive him.

~Complete History of the 46th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry; Thomas B. Jones, Lieut. Company B, Historian; published ca1907/1908; pg. 80

~Notes: Rev Robert Smith was born in West Canada March 13, 1838. He attended Seminary College, Wittenberg, Ohio ca1858; served as pastor of the Waukon Baptist church 1882-1884. He also was a Charter member & served as the Chaplain of the Waukon G.A.R. 'John J. Stillman Post No 194'


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