site logo
W.R. Smedberg

W.R. Smedberg

Federal (USA)


William Renwick Smedberg

(1839 - 1911)

Home State: Missouri

Education: Columbia College (now University), Class of 1857

Command Billet: Commanding Company

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 14th United States Infantry, First Battalion

Before Antietam

Sometimes known as Renwick, he had pre-war service in Company F of the 7th New York State Militia - the "Silk Stocking" regiment - from 1858 to 1860, then moved to Washington, DC. He served as a Private in Company A, 3rd Battalion, District of Columbia Infantry - the National Rifles - from 15 April to 4 July 1861, then was commissioned First Lieutenant, 14th United States Infantry to date from 1 May. He was promoted to Captain on 25 October 1861.

On the Campaign

He commanded Company F of the First Battalion, 14th US Infantry on the Maryland Campaign of 1862.

The rest of the War

He was honored by brevets to Major (for Gettysburg) and Lieutenant Colonel (the Wilderness) during the war. He was wounded on 5 May 1864 in the Wilderness, VA and his right foot was amputated, but he returned to duty.

After the War

He continued in the US Army until retiring on 15 December 1870.

In 1880 and he was in San Fransisco, CA and by 1900 was an insurance broker there. By 1885 he was also Colonel of the 2nd Artillery, California National Guard.

References & notes

His service from Heitman1 and Henry. 2 His role at Antietam from Captain Brown's after-action Report. Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1880-1900, and a brief bio sketch in the San Francisco Illustrated Fraternal Directory (1889). His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture here from a CDV with his brother Charles, contributed to Charles' memorial by Rick Calvert.

He married Frances Maria "Fanny" Raymond (1839-1930) in June 1867 and they had a son and two daughters.

His brother Charles Gustavus Smedberg, Jr. (1841-1863) was a law student before he served as a Private and First Sergeant of Company H, 14th US Infantry May-August 1862, then was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant (dated 30 June 1862). He died at camp near Falmouth, VA on 1 June 1863.

His direct descendants are Brigadier General WR Smedberg, Jr (1871-1942), Vice Admiral WR Smedberg III (1902-1994), Rear Admiral WR Smedberg IV (1929-2008), and WR Smedberg V (?).

More on the Web

See a collection of portraits and photographs of William, his ancestors, and his namesake descendants over on the blog.


03/19/1839 in NY


07/19/1911; San Rafael, CA; burial in San Francisco National Cemetery, San Francisco, CA


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. 893  [AotW citation 29161]

2   Henry, Guy Vernor, Military Record of Civilian Appointments in the United States Army, 2 Volumes, New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1873, Vol. 1, pg. 452  [AotW citation 29162]