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Smith Pyne Bankhead
Birth: Aug. 28, 1823
Fort Moultrie
Charleston County
South Carolina, USA
Death: Mar. 31, 1867
Shelby County
Tennessee, USA

Civil War Confederate Army Officer, Newspaper Publisher. Born into a military family, his father was General James Bankhead. Two brothers served on the union side: Union Navy Captain John Bankhead was commander of the "USS Monitor" and Brevet Brigadier General Henry Bankhead a subordinate to General Don Carlos Buell. His wife Ada is famous for her dressing down of General William T, Sherman and his subsequent relenting of his orders sending her away during his march. Smith Pyne Bankhead served as an officer during the Mexican War under his father and won a decoration. In the postwar, he migrated to California attempting to strike it rich in the gold rush but without success. He settled in Memphis becoming involved in politics, elected city attorney and founded the Memphis "Whig", a party newspaper. With the talk of secession, he began recruiting men to form an artillery battery and received an officer commission in the Confederacy. He engaged in combat at the Battle of Shiloh as Captain of his own artillery battery. First promoted to Major, while assigned to the Trans-Mississippi Department he was made a Colonel of Artillery where he remained. In the closing days of the war, realizing it was senseless to continue, he struck a deal and agreed not to fight against the United States any longer. He was given a safe conduct pass through union lines and returned to Memphis to become a prominent figure with an appointment as Deputy City Attorney and Trustee of the Navy Yard in the Reconstruction Government that was harsh on the Memphis area. He was labeled a turncoat for his post war activities and became unpopular with many of his former confederate friends. In what today is considered the city of Memphis oldest unsolved murder, Smith Bankhead was assassinated. He was struck down from behind and beaten to death by persons never identified on a main street in the downtown section of the city. After a service at Cavalry Episcopal Church he was buried in historic Elmwood Cemetery to the dismay of many still faithful, loyal confederates. His wife Adeline died in 1873. His daughter Ada died in 1924, the last member of this divided Civil War family and is buried in the family plot. (bio by: Donald Greyfield) 
Family links: 
  James Bankhead (1783 - 1856)
  Adeline Garth Bankhead (1820 - 1873)*
  Ada Pyne Bankhead (____ - 1924)*
  Florence E. Bankhead (1846 - 1849)*
  Smith Pyne Bankhead (1823 - 1867)
  Henry Cary Bankhead (1828 - 1894)*
*Calculated relationship
Elmwood Cemetery
Shelby County
Tennessee, USA
Plot: Chapel Hill Section, Lot 67
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Mar 30, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 8578551
Smith Pyne Bankhead
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Smith Pyne Bankhead
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Smith Pyne Bankhead
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