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Chalmers Smith
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Birth: Jul. 27, 1847
Mercer County
Kentucky, USA
Death: Mar. 31, 1919
Beverly
Lincoln County
Kansas, USA

Chalmers was a Forsyth Scout and was on Beecher's Island during the the battle in eastern Colorado in 1868.

He was the son of Washington Smith and Rachel Seaton.

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THE BEVERLY TRIBUNE
Beverly, Lincoln County, Kansas
Thursday, April 3, 1919

CHALMERS SMITH

Chalmers Smith was born in Kentucky July 27, 1847. When a boy he moved with his parents to Illinois, and then to Missouri and finally from there to Kansas in 1865, where he lived until the time of his death.

On the fourteenth day of December 1872 he was united in marriage to Anna Elizabeth Bloomheart. He leaves to mourn his death, seven children. His wife and one child have preceded him to the better world. Those surviving are Albert Smith of Salina, Frank Smith of Beverly, Will and George Smith of Lincoln, Nebraska, Mrs. Frank Lyons of Hastings, Nebraska and Mrs. Frank Fenton and Mrs. John Pagan of Beverly, also fourteen grandchildren.

He departed this life March 31, 1919, at the age of 71 years, 8 months, 8 days.

Same Issue, Separate article:

Chalmers Smith gave up the unequal struggle with a combination of ailments that have afflicted him for many years early Monday mourning. He was one of the first settlers in Lincoln county and had an active part in those trying times. The funeral services were held at the township hall yesterday afternoon, by reverend Kuhn, in the presence of the relatives, his old comrades, Co. C. of the State Guard and a large group of sympathetic friends. Time and space forbid a deserving account this week, but this will be given next week so that all may file away a short history of one of the great men of early days.

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THE BEVERLY TRIBUNE
Beverly, Lincoln County, Kansas
Thursday, April 10, 1919

Chalmers Smith
Chalmers Smith when 18 years of age, enlisted in Company E 17th Regiment Infantry Volunteers on the 1st day of August 1864 for 100 days, and was discharged on the 16th day of November 1864 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, by reason of expiration of service and on January 5, 1865 he enlisted in Company B, 16th Regiment of Kansas Cavalry Volunteers to serve three years or for the duration of the war and was discharged on the 6th day of December 1865 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

He soon after moved west with his parents to Salina, Kansas then took a claim on the Saline River about 30 miles west of Salina. At that time there were but few people living in what is now Lincoln County. It was still the home of the buffalo and the roving bands of Indians. He lived in a dugout on the bank of the river and passed through all of the hardships connected with frontier life.

Peace reigned on the Saline during 1866 and 1867 and until August 1868. Then the change came. From the clear sky there rolled up the clouds of an Indian war. Fortunately for the settlers in the valley, Company H, of the 7th U.S. Cavalry was out from Fort Harker on a scout and drove the Indians off just after they had attacked the settlement. General P.H. Sheridan, who then commanded this department called for men to enlist in a company of scouts. They were to be picked men and the company was known as "Forsyth Scouts" taken from the name of their commander, Col. G.A. Forsyth.

Chalmers with fourteen others were the first to enroll from this river. The scouts went to Fort Hays, then scouted northwest to the Republican River, then southwest to Fort Wallace without seeing an Indian. Soon after arriving at the latter fort the Indians attacked a hay camp northeast of Fort Wallace and the scouts (to be Continued)

THE BEVERLY TRIBUNE
Beverly, Lincoln County, Kansas
Thursday, April 17, 1919

Chalmers Smith
Continued from last week

were sent after them. They had enlisted to fight Indians and their commander led them on and on. When they all knew as the trail grew larger that there was a large force of Indian not far ahead of them. September 16th they camped on the north bank of the Arickaree River opposite a small island. At daylight the next morning the Indians were upon them and drove off a few of the horses and at sunrise one of the hardest fought Indian battles recorded in history was on. The scouts crossed the river to the island, tied their horses to a few trees that were there, then dug pits in the sand with their hands to protect themselves from the rain of bullets and arrows coming from a thousand painted warriors.

Before noon over sixty percent of the men from the Saline Valley were killed or wounded. Charge after charge was made by the Indians until Roman Nose was killed, then the fighting was at longer range. Long before night the horses were all killed and after the fighting had ceased for the day they found as there were so many wounded men that they could not leave the island without help, therefore two men started in the night for Fort Wallace ninety miles away for relief. The Indians kept up their fire on the scouts for the next two days, but they did not see an Indian after the seventh day and during this time all the men had to eat was horse meat, one coyote and a few prickly pears. They thought relief would come in five days, and the spirit of the men was high but as the sixth and seventh days passed and no relief in sight, they began to give up hope, thinking that the Indians must have killed the men that had gone for relief. Some were so weak they did not move around much, hope had about fled. The morning of the ninth day came when on the hills south moving objects were seen; relief was not looked for from that way, they thought it would come from the east or southeast, but it proved to be Col. Carpenter's Company of the 10th U.S. Cavalry. They arrived at the island at 10 AM September 25, 1868.

May 30, 1869 the Indians raided the settlements on this river and killed a number of people. The governor called for men and Chalmers joined Company C Second Battalion Kansas State Militia in June, and was discharged November 1st. This was a case of locking the door after the horse was stolen, as there were no more Indians in this part of the state after May 20, 1869.

After the Indian wars were over he lived on a farm and followed that advocation as long as his health would permit. In 1898 he visited the old battleground on the Arickaree River (Beechers Island) and has attended many of the reunions since.

Chalmers outlived most of the Forsyth Scouts and of Company C Second Battalion Kansas State Militia. He has gone to answer the roll call up yonder, to meet loved ones, and the "old boys". J.J. P.

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NOTE:
In 1898 he, and comrades, James J. "Jack" Peate and Henry H. Tucker returned to Colorado and located Beecher Island. There have been annual reunions since. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Washington Smith (1815 - 1888)
  Rachel Seaton Smith (1823 - 1891)
 
 Spouse:
  Anna Elizabeth Bloomheart Smith (1854 - 1890)*
 
 Children:
  Albert T. Smith (1874 - 1958)*
  Rhodella Smith (1875 - 1878)*
  Florence Etta Smith Fenton (1875 - 1950)*
  William Elsworth Smith (1878 - 1930)*
  George Seeton Smith (1881 - 1958)*
  Myrtle Susan Smith Lyon (1883 - 1955)*
  Frank Cogswell Smith (1885 - 1961)*
  Josephine Mary Smith Pagan (1887 - 1984)*
 
 Sibling:
  Chalmers Smith (1847 - 1919)
  Susanna Smith Hartman (1859 - ____)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Beverly Cemetery
Beverly
Lincoln County
Kansas, USA
 
Created by: Old History Buff
Record added: Oct 29, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12200779
Chalmers Smith
Added by: Anonymous
 
Chalmers Smith
Cemetery Photo
Added by: John C. Irish
 
 
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Click on image for full size.


- JARROTT P. COX
 Added: Aug. 24, 2015

- Randy Eutsler
 Added: Nov. 10, 2008
A true pioneer. Rest in peace cousin.
-Anonymous
 Added: Jun. 8, 2006
 
 
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