1864 Apr. 28
Inclusive dates
1864 Apr. 28
Letter, 28 April 1864, from Governor William Smith (1797-1887) of Virginia to James M. Mason (1798-1871), Confederate diplomatic commissioner to Great Britain, accepting an offer of a marble statue of Stonewall Jackson (1824-1863) by a group of English contributors, and asking Mason to thank them on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia
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Governor William Smith was the third son of Colonel Caleb Smith and was born in King George County on 7 September 1797. Smith studied at the English and Classical School of Thomas Nelson in Hanover County, Va. and studied law in Warrenton, Virginia, then began practicing law in 1818. Smith was elected in 1836 to two terms in the Senate of Virginia then as a representative in Congress. In December 1845, the Virginia Legislature elected Smith Governor for three years. Following this first term as governor, Smith again served in Congress for four more terms between 1853 and 1860. At the outset of the Civil War, at age 64, Smith raised a regiment of volunteers and received a commission. As colonel of the 49th Virginia Volunteers, Smith commanded his regiment with distinction at the battles of Manassas, Seven Pines, and Sharpsburg. Severely wounded in the shoulder at Sharpsburg, Smith was promoted to Brigadier-General. In February 1862, he was elected to the Congress of the Confederate States and served until the Congress adjourned then rejoined his regiment. Despite the certainty of winning his election to a second term as governor in 1863, Smith still participated in the Gettysburg Campaign. Smith took office on January 1, 1864. During his short term, Smith raised two regiments of Home Guard from exempt soldiers and fought to gain appropriations from the General Assembly for the purpose of supplying the army and people of Virginia with food and clothing. After the fall of Richmond, Smith followed President Jefferson Davis to Danville then surrendered himself and returned home to Warrenton. Following the war, he again entered political life being elected to the Virginia legislature in 1877 and was narrowly defeated for a seat in the United States Senate. Smith died 18 May 1887.
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  • The Library of Virginia
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Mason, John
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    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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