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E.L. Smith

E.L. Smith

Federal (USA)


Edmund Leaf Smith

(1829 - 1891)

Home State: Pennsylvania

Education: Georgetown, Class of 1853

Command Billet: Commanding Detachment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: Company G, 19th United States Infantry

Before Antietam

A lawyer and politician from Berks County, he was elected to the State Legislature in 1857 and 1858. He enlisted as Private, Company A, 25th Pennsylvania Infantry (Ringgold Light Artillery) on 16 April 1861 at the outbreak of the War, and served with them to 24 June. He was appointed Captain in the 19th US Infantry on 14 May 1861, and joined his unit in time for the Peninsula Campaign.

He was at Malvern Hill, Second Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg and on the Chickamauga campaign.

On the Campaign

In command of Company G of the 19th US Infantry. Part of the Provost Guard, Headquarters, Army of the Potomac.

The rest of the War

He was captured in the fighting of the second day at Chickamauga in September 1863, and was held at Libby Prison, Richmond. He was recaptured after a successful tunnel escape in February 1864, was briefly held in Charleston, and finally paroled in October 1864.

He returned to his unit toward the end of 1864 and served with them at Lookout Mountain. He resigned his commission 23 July 1867. He was brevetted Major on 20 Sept 1863 for gallant and meritorious service in the battle of Chickamauga, Ga.

After the War

He went to Colorado in 1868, practiced law with his brother J. Bright Smith, and was elected to the Territorial Legislature from Arapahoe County.

References & notes

Military service details from Heitman1, with biographical information from Montgomery2. Photo here from a scan of an original seated portrait photo kindly provided by a great-great-grandchild. Montgomery spells his name Edmond L Smith, but Heitman and genealogical references use Edmund, so we've chosen that spelling here.


1829; Reading, PA


9/11/1891; in CO


1   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 896  [AotW citation 1095]

2   Montgomery, Morton Luther, Historical and Biographical Annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania, 2 vols, Chicago: J.H. Beers and Company, 1909, Vol. 2, pg. 949  [AotW citation 1096]