ANDERSON J. SMITH, M.D.
|ANDERSON J. SMITH, M.D.,
ANDERSON JEFFERS0N SMITH, for whose especial benefit congress passed a bill in 1876, is a native of Indiana, and was born in Harrison county on the 12th of October, 1832. His parents were John S. Smith, stonemason and house-builder, and Hannah Ford. His paternal grandfather, John Smith, was in both wars with England, and was killed in the battle of New Orleans on the 8th of January, 1815. His maternal great-grandfather, Benjamin Ford, was in the first war mentioned, and his maternal grandfather, John D. Ford, was killed in the second, at Black Rock, now in the city of Buffalo, New York.
Anderson J. received a common-school education, and learned the house-builder's trade; worked at it in Harrison county until 1850, when he removed to Clark county, Illinois, entered land and worked it three seasons, devoting half of this time to the study of medicine.
In 1853 he removed to Clinton, DeWitt county, in the same state; completed his medical studies, and in 1855 commenced practice at Petersburg, Menard county. The following year he settled at Springfield, the capital of the state, practicing there until after the civil war had commenced.
In August, 1862, Dr. Smith raised a company for the 130th Illinois Infantry Volunteers; was elected captain of company A, but declined the position and went in as second sergeant of that company. For a short time, while at Camp Butler, near Springfield, he had entire medical charge of the regiment. He served in the field as a soldier until the 8th of April, 1864, when he was taken prisoner at the battle of Sabine Cross Roads, Louisiana. He was taken to Camp Ford, near Tyler, Smith county, Texas, and held a prisoner fourteen months. Four weeks after being taken Governor Yates promoted him to first lieutenant for especial service in the battle just mentioned, in which he exhibited great coolness, self possession and bravery, but the commission did not reach him for more than a year afterward. During the time he was a prisoner he built a rude hospital, and managed it in the interest of the sick prisoners, the confederates furnishing neither shelter nor surgeon, nothing but a little medicine. He was released on the 17th of May, 1865, by the breaking up of the war, and mustered out just one month later. When the rebel guards left he had two hundred and eighty-six sick soldiers on his hands, and brought them all through to our lines except one man, William Martin, who was left at Shreveport, Louisiana.
The knowledge of Dr. Smith's hospital services while a prisoner coming before congress, the military committee of the lower house made the following report:
The Committee on Military Affairs., to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 597) for the relief of Anderson J. Smith, report the same back with a recommendation that the same do pass, and also report the following statement of facts:
It appears from the testimony that Anderson J. Smith, then a sergeant in company A, 77th Illinois Volunteers, was captured, in the line of his duty, on the 8th day of April, 1S64, and detained as a prisoner of war at Camp Ford, in Texas, until the 17th day of May, 1S65. That during this time he rendered valuable service as a physician and surgeon to the United States prisoners at that place. He was commissioned by Governor Yates, of Illinois, first lieutenant of comparly A, of the 130th Illinois Volunteers, on the 22d day of July, 1S64, with rank from the 6th day of May, 1864, but owing to the fact that he was detained as prisoner never received his commission. That he has been honorably discharged from service. As he was unable to perform the duties of first lieutenant, by reason of confinement as prisoner, and did voluntarily and ably perform the duties of assistant surgeon, the committee consider that he is entitled to pay as such, and report accordingly.
Subsequently the following act was passed by the forty-fourth congress, July, 1876:
AN ACT FOR THE RELIEF OF ANDERSON J. SMITH.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the paymaster-general of the army be, and he is hereby directed to pay to Anderson J. Smith, late of company A, 130th regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry, the pay and allowances of an assistant surgeon in the army from the sixth of May, eighteen hundred and sixty-four, to the date of his muster-out of service on the seventeenth day of June, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, deducting whatever pay he received for said term as sergeant; and that such payment shall be made out of any money appropriated for the pay of the army.
Speaker of the House of Representatives pro tempore.
T. W. Ferry,
President of the Senate pro tempore.
After the prisoners of the 130th and other regiments were released, and while on their way from New Orleans to Saint Louis on the steamer Magenta, on the 7th of June, 1865, twenty-one commissioned officers, from four or five different states, signed a paper in which they speak of Dr. Smith's services as a soldier, physician and surgeon in the strongest terms of commendation. He received the act of congress, one thousand one hundred and sixty-six dollars and ninety-eight cents.
At the close of the war Dr. Smith settled in Dallas county, Iowa, reaching here on the 9th of November, 1865, and he has since that date been in practice, having an extensive ride. Since 1869 his home has been in De Soto, a pleasant little village on the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific railroad. The doctor is a well-informed man, and a valuable citizen.
On the 25th of December, 1855, he was united in marriage with Miss Caroline Brown, of Sweet Water, Menard county, Illinois, and they have two sons and one daughter: Charles H., James William and Mary A. Smith.
|The United States Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men. Iowa Volume. Chicago and New York; American Biographical Publishing Company. 1878. Contributed by Nettie Mae Lucas, August 2018.|
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