The Resource Requests to Governor William Smith for Military Service Exemption, 1864
- Requests to Governor William Smith for Military Service Exemption, 1864
- Inclusive dates
- Virginia -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Recruiting, enlistment, etc
- State governments -- Virginia -- Officials and employees
- State government records -- Virginia
- Letters (correspondence)
- Virginia -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
- Virginia -- Politics and government -- 1861-1865
- Contains letters, petitions, and certifications sent to Governor William Smith from various Virginia county and city officials seeking exemption from military service during the Civil War. Each file contains letters to the Governor and usually a response from the Governor's Office in regard to the request. Also included are lists of justices in each county, as well as letters of exemption from Governor Smith that contain the names of mulitple exempted officials. These letters are not filed by applicant surname, but are instead titled "lists of exempted justices," and are filed at the front of each folder
- Agency history record describes the history and functions of the Virginia Governor's Office. (Search author as Virginia Governor's Office).
- Biographical or historical data
- Governor William Smith was the third son of Colonel Caleb Smith and was born in King George County on 7 September 1797. Smith practiced law in Culpeper County beginning in 1818 and was a supporter of the Democratic-Republican party in the 1820s. He was elected in 1836 to two terms in the Senate of Virginia then as a representative in Congress as a democrat. In December 1845, the Virginia Legislature nominated Smith as governor for a three-year term. Following this first term as governor, Smith 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. In February 1862, he was elected to the Congress of the Confederate States serving until the Congress adjourned, then rejoined his regiment.
- Smith took office as governor on 1 January 1864, serving a one-year term. Governor 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. On 2 April 1865, President Davis evacuated from Richmond to Danville and encouraged Smith to do the same. Smith followed Davis to Danville, then surrendered himself and returned home to Warrenton, Virginia. Following the war, he again entered political life when he was elected to the Virginia legislature in 1877. Smith died on 18 May 1887.
- Military service exemptions could only be granted by the governor and were usually reserved for city and county officials whose duties were essential to the governance of a locality. Exempt positions included justices of the peace, mayors, overseers of the poor, sheriffs, constables, and commonwealth's attorneys.
- Cataloging source
- Citation source
- Salmon, John S., comp. A GUIDE TO STATE RECORDS IN THE ARCHIVES BRANCH OF THE VIRGINIA BRANCH OF THE VIRGINIA STATE LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES. Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1985
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