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W.C. Smith

W.C. Smith

Confederate (CSV)


William Crawford Smith

(1837 - 1899)

Home State: Virginia

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 12th Virginia Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

From Petersburg, VA, he'd gone to Nashville, TN before the war but returned to Virginia to enlist a a Private in Company B, 12th Virginia Infantry on 17 May 1861.

On the Campaign

He was wounded and captured in action at Crampton's Gap on South Mountain on 14 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was treated at a US Army field hospital in Burkittsville, MD from 15 September, was paroled and exchanged (places and dates not given), and then in a hospital in Richmond, VA by 15 October. He returned to duty in November 1862. He was promoted to Corporal in March 1863 and to (Color) Sergeant in August. He was wounded again, in the Wilderness, VA on 6 May 1864 and later wrote:

During the charge of Mahone's brigade on the 6th, and just a few minutes before it reached the plank road, the writer received a slight but very painful wound, on the ankle of his right foot, which disabled him for two or three days...
He was surrendered at Appomattox Court House, VA on 9 April 1865.

After the War

He returned to Nashville, TN as a builder and contractor and in August 1866 opened an office as an architect there. He was responsible for several notable homes and public structures in the area, including buildings at Cumberland and Vanderbuilt Universities and the recreated Parthenon (1897) at Nashville.

He left his practice in 1898 with a commission as Colonel of the First Tennessee Infantry for Spanish-American War service in May 1898. He was in action in Manila in the Philippines on 5 February 1899 when he fell from his horse due to heat exhaustion or a stroke, and died - his regiment's first combat casualty. His body was returned to Nashville for burial.

References & notes

His Civil War service from Henderson.1 Spanish-American War details from his Compiled Service Records and the Tennessee Encyclopedia. The quote above from Bernard.2 Personal details from family genealogists. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a hand-colored photograph of unknown provenance, found online from genealogists and other sources.

He married Rachel Jane Matthias (1837-1928) in October 1868 and they had 2 children; daughter Sussie May (1878-1918) and namesake William, who died at about 1 year old.


11/26/1837; Petersburg, VA


02/05/1899; Manila, PHILIPPINES; burial in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Nashville, TN


1   Henderson, William D., 12th Virginia Infantry Regiment, Lynchburg (Va): H. E. Howard Company, 1984  [AotW citation 27602]

2   Bernard, George S., War Talks of Confederate Veterans, Petersburg (Va): Fenn & Owen, 1892, pg. 96  [AotW citation 27603]