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Gen William Sooy Smith
Birth: Jul. 22, 1830
Death: Mar. 4, 1916

Civil War Union Brigadier General. He was born in Tarlton, Ohio, and received his education from local schools. He then worked and paid his way through the University of Ohio, graduating in 1849. For his engineering education he entered West Point, graduating 6th in the class of 1853. A man of high technological and intellectual ability, he resigned from the US Army on June 19, 1854, to work as an engineer on the Illinois Central Railroad. He lost the job due to poor health, but after 2 years as a teacher in Buffalo, New York, in 1857 he established the private engineering firm Parkinson & Smith, working on the International Bridge at Niagara Falls, New York, and the Charleston & Savannah Railroad Bridge near Savannah, Georgia. He left the South at the start of the Civil War, joining the 13th Ohio Infantry and on June 26, 1861, he was named its Colonel. After early service in western Virginia and assignment to the Army of the Ohio, he received a promotion to Brigadier General on April 15, 1862, for his services at the Battle of Shiloh, where, he led the 14th Brigade, 5th Division, in Major General Don Carlos Buell's force. Remaining with the Army of the Ohio, later commanding its 4th Division, he served in reserve at the Battle of Perryville, then on March 22, 1863, assumed command of the 2nd Division, XVI Corps, for the Second Vicksburg Campaign. On July 20, he became chief of cavalry of the Department of Tennessee, and in October performed the same duty for the Military Division of the Mississippi. For Major General William T. Sherman's Meridian Campaign in February 1864, he led a large cavalry force from Tennessee south toward Meridian, Mississippi. Known as the Sooy Smith Expedition, it failed miserably, angering Sherman and bringing embarrassment to himself. He had been beaten back in engagements at West Point and Okolona, Mississippi, by an inferior force under Major General Nathan B. Forrest. He the served in administrative duties at Nashville, Tennessee, until resigning in poor health on July 15, 1864. He suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and after the war lived as a gentlemen farmer in Cook County, Illinois, until reestablishing his private engineering practice in 1866. He became an internationally known expert on bridges and foundations, and was responsible for several Missouri River railroad bridges, the first all-steel bridge in the world, (constructed at Glasgow, Missouri), the refinement of pneumatic caissons in construction, and the unusual techniques required for successfully constructing tall buildings in Chicago, Illinois. Awarded an American Centennial Exposition prize in 1876 for his bridge designs, from 1890 to 1910 he remained in the Chicago area, then retired to Medford, Oregon, later dying there. (bio by: Ugaalltheway) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Sooy Smith (1784 - 1849)
  Anna Hedges Smith (1804 - 1858)
 
 Spouse:
  Josephine S Hartwell Smith (1857 - 1920)*
 
 Children:
  Gerald Campbell Sooysmith (1889 - 1937)*
 
 Siblings:
  Hannah Smith Gold (1814 - 1855)**
  Jane Smith Dresback (1816 - 1909)**
  William Sooy Smith (1830 - 1916)
  Ellen B Smith Haythorne (1842 - 1913)*
 
*Calculated relationship
**Half-sibling
 
Burial:
Forest Home Cemetery
Forest Park
Cook County
Illinois, USA
Plot: Section 1, Lot 207
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jun 04, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 9838
Gen William Sooy Smith
Added by: Find A Grave
 
Gen William Sooy Smith
Added by: David N. Lotz
 
Gen William Sooy Smith
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Ace
 
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- Rebecca Marden
 Added: Dec. 16, 2014
In memory of one who served...
- Marlene Clapp Brown
 Added: Nov. 10, 2014
Rest in peace
- Bruce Nuckowski
 Added: Oct. 24, 2014
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