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G.G. Smith

G.G. Smith

Confederate (CSV)


George Gilman Smith

(1836 - 1913)

Home State: Georgia

Education: Emory College

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: Phillips' (GA) Legion, Infantry Battalion

Before Sharpsburg

He had been a clerk in Atlanta and a student at Emory before beginning a trial as minister in the Methodist Episcopal church in 1857. By 1861 he was pastor at Cedartown, GA and was appointed Chaplain of the Phillips' Legion Infantry Battalion.

On the Campaign

He was wounded in the neck in action at Fox's Gap on South Mountain, MD on 14 September 1862:

The firing was now fierce, but I felt that my regiment must be brought out of that pocket at all hazards, and I started to warn it, when I found it retreating ... in a broken and confused manner. One of the boys, Gus Tomlinson, in tears said: "Parson, we've been whipped; the regiment is retreating." "And none too soon either," said I , "for we are surrounded on all sides but one."

Just then I felt a strange dizziness and fell, my arm dropping lifeless by my side. I knew that I was hit, and I thought mortally wounded. But where was I hit? Was my arm torn off by a shell? No, here that is. Was I shot through the breast? or - yes, here it was - blood was gurgling from my throat. The dear boys rushed to me, laid me on a blanket and bore me off the field. I thought I was mortally wounded; so did they. "Yes, parson," said they, "It's all up with you."

The ball had entered my neck, and ranging downward, came out near my spine paralyzing my arm. How does a man feel under such circumstances? Well one thing I felt, and that was, that it's a good thing in such an hour to have faith in Christ and love towards all men. I had been in battle but there was not one of the soldiers in the Federal ranks for whom I had any feeling other than love. As we came out Hood's divsion went in, but it was the caution of the Federals and the cover of the night that saved our army that day from a worse defeat and from capture.

The rest of the War

He left the Battalion, his arm partially paralyzed by the gunshot, and returned to Georgia.

After the War

He was awarded the degree of Master of Arts and Doctor of Divinity by Emory in 1867. He had pastorates at Baltimore, MD and Lewisburg, WV to about 1870. Over the next ten years he served in at least 7 Georgia churches. He was a traveling Sunday School Agent from 1882 to 1888, then retired from the ministry and lived in Macon.

He wrote extensively, and his published works include: History of Methodism in Georgia and Florida from 1785 to 1865 (1877), Life and Letters of James Osgood Andrew (1888), Life and Times of George Foster Pierce (1888), Childhood and Conversion (1891), Boy in Gray (1894), Life and Labors of Francis Asbury (1896), and Story of Georgia and the Georgia People (1900).

References & notes

His experience at Fox's Gap and other details here from a battle narrative by Smith in Camp Fire Sketches & Battlefield Echoes (1886), transcribed online by Kurt Graham. More from a bio sketch in Smith's The History of Georgia Methodism from 1786 to 1866 (1900). His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture is from a photograph in Confederate Veteran Magazine, also posted by Mr. Graham.

More on the Web

His papers are at Emory University [finding aid].


12/24/1836; Sheffield, Newton County, GA


05/07/1913; burial in Rose Hill Cemetery, Macon, GA