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

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Very nice full standing image of Smith wearing a dark civilian suit. Photo appears to have been taken before the war when Smith was serving as street commissioner of New York City.

Clarity and contrast are excellent. Bottom front has a very nice period ink ID that reads “MAJ. GEN. GUS. W. SMITH  C.S.A.” Paper and mount are very good.

Reverse has a photographer’s imprint for E. & H. T. ANTHONY… NEW YORK FROM A BRADY NEGATIVE. Some collector information in pencil at bottom.

From the collection of the late William A. Turner.

Gustavus Woodson Smith was born at Georgetown, Ky., January 1, 1822.  At the age of sixteen he entered West Point military Academy, and in 1842 he was graduated with a lieutenancy of engineers.

Joining the army in Mexico in 1846, by the death of his captain he was thrown into command of the only company of engineers in the army, and in that capacity served in the siege of Vera Cruz, and the battles of the following campaign.  He was commended by General Scott and brevetted captain for gallantry at Cerro Gordo.

In 1849 he became principal assistant professor of engineering at West Point, a position he resigned December 18, 1854, to make his home at New Orleans.  In 1856 he removed to New York City, and two years later was appointed street commissioner, but resigned in 1861 to join the Confederate movement.

He was commissioned as major-general and put in command of the Second Corps of the army in Virginia, on the transfer of General Beauregard, and was at this time second in rank to General Johnston.  He commanded the reserve at Yorktown and the rear guard in the retreat to Richmond.

When General Johnston was wounded at Seven Pines May 31, 1861, the command of the army devolved upon General Smith, who was at the time sick, though on the field.  On the day following the battle he was relieved by the assignment of Gen. Robert E. Lee to the command of the army afterward known as the army of Northern Virginia.

This assignment was agreeable to and expected by General Smith, who was physically in an unfit condition to take command of the army.  Later in 1862 he was acting secretary of war for a few days in the interregnum between Randolph and Seddon.

He had done valuable service around Richmond, and presently continued these services under General Beauregard at Charleston, after which he engaged in superintending the Etowah iron works for the armies until they were destroyed on Sherman's advance.

Governor Brown, of Georgia, having called out a militia force of about 10,000 men exempt from conscription, the command was given to General Smith, with General Toombs as adjutant-general, both of these officers having resigned their commissions in the Confederate army.

In this service under General Johnston he organized the State forces, and fought them with very marked efficiency until the surrender, notably on the Chattahoochee River before Atlanta, and on the fortified line before Savannah.  He surrendered at Macon, GA, April 20, 1865.

Subsequently he was superintendent of the Southwestern iron works at Chattanooga, 1866-70, insurance commissioner of Kentucky, 1870-76, and in business at New York City after 1876 until his death, June 23, 1896.  He published "Notes on Life Insurance," and "Confederate War Papers." He is buried in New London, Connecticut in Cedar Grove Cemetery.  [AD] [ph:L]

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