Smith, Edmund Kirby

Smith, Edmund Kirby,


Edmund Kirby-Smith,

1824–93, American soldier, Confederate general in the Civil War, b. St. Augustine, Fla. A West Point graduate, he was cited for gallantry in the Mexican War. A major when he resigned from the U.S. army (Mar., 1861) to fight for the Confederacy, he served in the Shenandoah under J. E. JohnstonJohnston, Joseph Eggleston,
1807–91, Confederate general, b. Prince Edward co., Va., grad. West Point, 1829. He served against the Seminole in Florida and with distinction under Winfield Scott in the Mexican War.
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, and fought at Bull RunBull Run,
small stream, NE Va., c.30 mi (50 km) SW of Washington, D.C. Two important battles of the Civil War were fought there: the first on July 21, 1861, and the second Aug. 29–30, 1862. Both battlefields are included in Manassas National Battlefield Park (est. 1940).
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 (July). Smith led the Confederate advance into Kentucky and defeated a Union force at Richmond, Ky. (Aug., 1862). He ably commanded the isolated Trans-Mississippi Dept. (1863–65) and was promoted to general in Feb., 1864. The unsuccessful Red River campaign of Nathaniel P. BanksBanks, Nathaniel Prentiss,
1816–94, American politician and Union general in the Civil War, b. Waltham, Mass. After serving in the Massachusetts legislature (1849–53), Banks entered Congress as a Democrat, was returned in 1855 as a Know-Nothing and became speaker of
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 was directed against his forces. Smith was one of the last Confederate generals to surrender (May 26, 1865). After the war he was chancellor of the Univ. of Nashville from 1870 to 1875 and professor at the Univ. of the South, Sewanee, Tenn., from 1875 to 1893.


See biographies by A. H. Noll (1907) and J. H. Parks (1954); R. L. Kerby, Kirby Smith's Confederacy (1972).

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Smith, Edmund Kirby

(1824–93) soldier; born in St. Augustine, Fla. Resigning from the U.S. Army (1861) after 16 years—including service in the Mexican War and on the frontier—he joined the Confederate army. He led the advance into Kentucky (1862) and fought at the battle of Perryville; he was then reassigned to head the Trans-Mississippi Department. On June 2, 1865, he became the last senior Confederate commander to surrender. He was president of the University of Nashville (1870–75), and then he taught mathematics at the University of the South at Sewanee (1875–93).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.