A Civil War Biography

Andrew Jackson Smith

Smith was born 28 April 1815 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He graduated from West Point in 1838 and was assigned to the 1st US Dragoons. He spent his first couple years of military service at the Carlisle barracks in Pennsylvania learning cavalry tactics then spent a couple years on recruiting duty before being sent to the frontier. He fought in Mexico then was assigned to California and various other post on the frontier.

At the beginning of the war Smith helped organize the 2nd California Cavalry and served as the units colonel being assigned on 2 October 1861. He resigned from that post to become Henry W. Halleck's chief of cavalry in the Department of Missouri then the Department of Mississippi beginning 11 February 1862. Smith was commissioned brigadier general of volunteers on 17 March 1862. He fought during the Corinth campaign and commanded a division at Chickasaw Bluffs. He commanded the 10th Division/ XIII Corps during the Vicksburg campaign. He commanded the 6th Division/ XVI Corps then the 3rd Division/ XVI Corps in the Department of Tennessee from late summer 1863 until the spring of 1864. He commanded detached units of both the XVI and XVII Corps during the Red River campaign.

Smith was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel in the 5th US Cavalry on 9 May 1864 then major general of volunteers three days later. He commanded the right wing of the XVI Corps during operations in Mississippi and Tennessee which took place in the summer and early fall of 1864. He commanded a detachment of George H. Thomas's Army of the Tennessee in the campaign against John Bell Hood in late 1864 and early 1865. Smith commanded the XVI Corps during the Mobile campaign. He was brevetted both brigadier general and major general US Army on 13 March 1865.

Following the war Smith remained in the South commanding the District of Montgomery, and later of the District of Western Louisiana. He was mustered out of the volunteer service on 15 January 1866 then commissioned a colonel in the 7th cavalry on 28 July 1866. Smith was appointed postmaster general of St. Louis, Missouri on 3 April 1869 and resigned from the army a month later on the sixth of May to take up that appointment. Among other civic appointments he served as city auditor of St. Louis. On 22 January 1889 Smith was re-commissioned a colonel of cavalry and placed on the retirement list. He died 30 January 1897 in St. Louis.

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