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 William Marson Smithey

William Marson Smithey

Illinois, USA
Death 22 Mar 1915 (aged 80)
Bonham, Fannin County, Texas, USA
Burial Bonham, Fannin County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 94449417 · View Source
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William M. Smithey was born on January 15, 1835. The place of his birth is disputed, being either Illinois or Missouri. It is known that he was raised in Missouri, and lived there until roughly 1857.
He twice made the journey from Missouri on the Santa Fe trail, the second time driving an ox-team. According to a 1912 interview he gave, he fought Kiowa and Comanche Indians along the way. In between these two drives, he drove a stagecoach between Georgetown and Clinton, Missouri.
In 1858 he married Sadonia Elizabeth Reagan, a Missouri native, in McKinney, Texas. A copy of their marriage record can be obtained at the county clerk's office there. The next year, their first child, Ruhamey, was born. She was the first of several, including Amanda, Nancy Jane, Joseph, John Washington, and Ruben Bartlett.
In 1862, William joined the 16th Texas Cavalry under the command of Colonel William Fitzhugh. Two of his brother-in-laws, including his wife's brother Thomas Reagan, also served in the regiment. On July 7th, 1862, the regiment fought its first battle near Helena, Arkansas, in what is known alternately as Cotton Plant, or Round Hill on Cache River.
They were forced to retreat, allowing Union forces to take Helena. Shortly afterwards, William was courtmartialed for desertion by General Theophilus Holmes, and sentenced to death. Despite this, William served in the remaining battles in which his regiment was involved, including Milliken's Bend, on June 7, 1863 (Thomas Reagan was killed in this battle), Mansfield, Louisiana, on April 8, 1864, Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, on April 9, 1864, and Jenkins' Ferry in Arkansas, on April 30, 1864. William was pardoned by order of Jefferson Davis in late 1864. The regiment was disbanded on May 15, 1865 at Camp Groce, known also as Liendo Plantation, just outside of Hempstead, Texas.
William returned home, and in 1877 moved from McKinney to Bonham, where he would live and work as a farmer the rest of his days. His youngest child, Ruben, was born in 1883.
Because of his service, William was able to obtain a Confederate pension in his old age, being near destitute, and suffering from kidney troubles.
Sadonia passed in 1910, and from that point on, William lived with his son John, as can be seen in the 1910 Federal Census. William passed at home on March 22, 1915 of kidney failure, aged 80.

Family Members


William Smithey
Co. B
16th Texas Cavalry

See more Smithey memorials in:

  • Created by: Isaiah Tadlock
  • Added: 29 Jul 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 94449417
  • Joyce Baughn
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for William Marson Smithey (15 Jan 1835–22 Mar 1915), Find A Grave Memorial no. 94449417, citing Brown Cemetery, Bonham, Fannin County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Isaiah Tadlock (contributor 47894635) .