Civil War Union Brigadier General. Upon reaching maturity, he left his native state of New York and became a traveler with varied professions. He abandoned his career as an Indiana educator and enlisted as a Private into the United States Army on July 19, 1845 under the pseudonym Martin L. Sanford. He served under this fictitious name for five years and achieved the rank of Sergeant by the time of his discharge date of July 19, 1850. Relocating to Missouri, he maneuvered the Ohio and Mississippi rivers as a boatman and was at this adventure when the April 12, 1861 firing on Fort Sumter initiated the American Civil War. He was the essential figure in the recruitment of the 8th Missouri Volunteer Infantry in June - July 1861 and was commissioned a Colonel upon the regiment’s organization at St. Louis, Missouri. Smith directed his troops eastward and was present during the Union’s operation against Fort Donelson and the subsequent unconditional surrender of the garrison’s occupying Confederate force. On April 7, 1862, he was the commanding officer of the 1st brigade of General Lewis “Lew” Wallace’s third division during the battle of Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing) and skillfully held his men in battle line despite the mounting casualties of the brigade. He was nominated Brigadier General of Volunteers on April 26, 1862 and appointed to this rank on July 19, 1862. During the Union’s maneuvers against the southern city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, he received a dangerous wound at Chickasaw Bluffs on December 28, 1862 while reconnoitering his front. Sent home to convalesce, he rejoined the Army of the Tennessee in time to command the Second Division of the XV Corps during the November 1863 fighting at Chattanooga. At a stage in the 1864 campaign to capture Atlanta, Georgia, he was elevated to corps commander but was required to forfeit the position due to the chronic wound he received in the winter of 1862. The war ended with him in Mississippi as the commandant of the District of Vicksburg. He made his residence at Washington, DC after his resignation on July 12, 1865 and was subsequently appointed United States Ambassador in Honolulu, Hawaii (1866 to 1868).
Bio by: Stonewall