|Birth: ||Jan. 15, 1835|
|Death: ||Mar. 22, 1915|
William M. Smithey was born on January 15, 1835. The place of his birth is disputed, being either Illinois or Missouri. It is known that he was raised in Missouri, and lived there until roughly 1857.
He twice made the journey from Missouri on the Santa Fe trail, the second time driving an ox-team. According to a 1912 interview he gave, he fought Kiowa and Comanche Indians along the way. In between these two drives, he drove a stagecoach between Georgetown and Clinton, Missouri.
In 1858 he married Sadonia Elizabeth Reagan, a Missouri native, in McKinney, Texas. A copy of their marriage record can be obtained at the county clerk's office there. The next year, their first child, Ruhamey, was born. She was the first of several, including Amanda, Nancy Jane, Joseph, John Washington, and Ruben Bartlett.
In 1862, William joined the 16th Texas Cavalry under the command of Colonel William Fitzhugh. Two of his brother-in-laws, including his wife's brother Thomas Reagan, also served in the regiment. On July 7th, 1862, the regiment fought its first battle near Helena, Arkansas, in what is known alternately as Cotton Plant, or Round Hill on Cache River.
They were forced to retreat, allowing Union forces to take Helena. Shortly afterwards, William was courtmartialed for desertion by General Theophilus Holmes, and sentenced to death. Despite this, William served in the remaining battles in which his regiment was involved, including Milliken's Bend, on June 7, 1863 (Thomas Reagan was killed in this battle), Mansfield, Louisiana, on April 8, 1864, Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, on April 9, 1864, and Jenkins' Ferry in Arkansas, on April 30, 1864. William was pardoned by order of Jefferson Davis in late 1864. The regiment was disbanded on May 15, 1865 at Camp Groce, known also as Liendo Plantation, just outside of Hempstead, Texas.
William returned home, and in 1877 moved from McKinney to Bonham, where he would live and work as a farmer the rest of his days. His youngest child, Ruben, was born in 1883.
Because of his service, William was able to obtain a Confederate pension in his old age, being near destitute, and suffering from kidney troubles.
Sadonia passed in 1910, and from that point on, William lived with his son John, as can be seen in the 1910 Federal Census. William passed at home on March 22, 1915 of kidney failure, aged 80.
Sadonia Elizabeth Reagan Smithey (1841 - 1911)*
Ruhamey Elizabeth Smithey Coonrod (1859 - 1952)*
Nancy Jane Smithey Johnson (1869 - 1968)*
Joseph S. Smithey (1875 - 1934)*
John Washington Smithey (1880 - 1945)*
Ruben Bartlett Smithey (1883 - 1964)*
16th Texas Cavalry
Created by: ijtadloc
Record added: Jul 29, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 94449417