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 Richard Penn Smith, Jr

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Richard Penn Smith, Jr

  • Birth 9 May 1837 Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Death 27 Nov 1887 West New Brighton, Richmond County (Staten Island), New York, USA
  • Burial New Dorp, Richmond County (Staten Island), New York, USA
  • Plot Section A, Lot 58
  • Memorial ID 19357964

Civil War Union Army Officer. He was in command of the 71st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry as it helped defend "The Angle" at the Battle of Gettysburg. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he was a merchant in that city when the Civil war started in April 1861. He offered his services to help defend the Union and was commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant in Company F, 71st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. In February 1862 he was made Adjutant of the regiment, and served in that duty through the 1862 Peninsular Campaign. When Captain John Markoe of Company A was advanced to Lieutenant Colonel in June 1862, Lieutenant Smith was promoted to the Captaincy of the Company. While leading his men at the September 17, 1862 he assumed command of the whole regiment when Colonel Isaac Wister went down wounded, but he himself was then wounded, and he retired from the field. Promoted to Major on November 1, 1862, he was with his unit as it participated in the December 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg, where is took part in the futile assaults on Marye's Heights. The engagement caused the serious wounded of now-Colonel John Markoe, and he resigned due to those injuries. On February 1, 1863 Richard P. Smith was promoted to Colonel and commander of the 71st Pennsylvania, and would hold that commission for the rest of his service. On the Third Day of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 3, 1863) The 71st was involved in the repulse of Pickett's Charge. As a portion of Confederate General Lewis Armistead's brigade broke through in front of Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing's battery at the stone wall (in front of the famous copse of trees known as "The Angle") along Cemetery Ridge, Colonel Smith and his men, immediately to the rear of the position, surged forward and filled the gap, ending the threat in that area. For a good portion of his remaining service, Richard P. Smith alternated between commanding his regiment and commanding a brigade in the Army of the Potomac. When his enlistment expired, he was honorably mustered out on July 2, 1864.

Bio by: Russ


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Tony Cossean
  • Added: 12 May 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 19357964
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Richard Penn Smith, Jr (9 May 1837–27 Nov 1887), Find A Grave Memorial no. 19357964, citing Moravian Cemetery, New Dorp, Richmond County (Staten Island), New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .