FULL STANDING VIEW OF CONFEDERATE GENERAL GUSTAVUS W. SMITH - COMMANDER OF THE ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA FOR ONE DAY

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Item Code: 801-445

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Image shows Smith dressed in a dark civilian suit posed by a column with his left hand holding the front of his jacket while his right hangs by his side. This is an often published view of Smith.

The image is very clean with great contrast.

The reverse has an E. Anthony back mark stating that the image is made from a Mathew Brady negative. A period pencil inscription just above the back mark reads “GENL. GUSTAVUS SMITH.”

Gustavus W. Smith was born in Georgetown, Kentucky on November 30, 1821. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point as a brevet 2nd Lieutenant in 1842 finishing 8th out of 56 cadets. He entered the Army Corps of Engineers and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on January 1, 1845.

Smith fought in the Mexican War, winning two brevet promotions for his actions. He was appointed brevet 1st Lieutenant on April 18, 1847 for the Battle of Cerro Gordo, and to brevet Captain on August 20, 1847 for the Battle of Contreras.

When the Mexican War ended he reverted back to his pre-war rank of 2nd Lieutenant but was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on March 3, 1853. Smith resigned his commission on December 18, 1854 to become a civilian engineer in New York City, and was Streets Commissioner there from 1858 to 1861.

Smith's home state of Kentucky became a border state when the Civil War broke out in 1861. Some months afterward, he presented himself at Richmond to serve the Confederate States of America. Commissioned as a Major General on September 19, 1861 he served in Northern Virginia as a divisional and "wing" commander, and fought in the Battle of Seven Pines near Richmond during the Peninsula Campaign.

On May 31, 1862, Smith briefly took command of what would become the Army of Northern Virginia after Gen. Joseph E. Johnston was wounded, due to his being the senior Major General in Johnston's army. However, Jefferson Davis replaced him with Robert E. Lee the following day. On June 2, Smith became ill and took a leave of absence to recuperate.

In late August, Smith returned and took command of the defenses around Richmond, which was expanded to become the Department of North Carolina & Southern Virginia in September. In addition, he acted as interim Confederate States Secretary of War from November 17 through November 21, 1862.

He resigned his commission as a Major General on February 17, 1863, and became a volunteer aide to General P.G.T. Beauregard for the rest of that year. Smith was also the superintendent of the Etowah Iron Works in 1863 until June 1, 1864, when he was commissioned a Major General in the Georgia state militia and commanded its first division until the end of the war.

Smith was paroled in Macon, Georgia, on April 20, 1865, and moved to Tennessee to become an iron manufacturer from 1866 to 1870. He moved back to his native Kentucky where he became Insurance Commissioner until 1876, and then moved to New York City and began writing. Smith authored “Noted on Insurance” in 1870, “Confederate War Papers” in 1884, “The Battle of Seven Pines” in 1891, and “Generals J. E. Johnston and G. T. Beauregard at the Battle of Manassas, July 1861” in 1892. His final work, “Company "A," Corps of Engineers, U.S.A., 1846–48, in the Mexican War”, was published in 1896 after his death.

In December 1894 he was one of nineteen founders of the Military Order of Foreign Wars - a military society for officers who were veterans of wars with foreign nations and their descendants.

Smith died in New York City in 1896 and is buried in the Cedar Grove Cemetery in New London, Connecticut.

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