General U.S. Grant's Civil War Mentor

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Now to most folks outside of the US South. Just remember Grant if at all as the Guy on the $50 bill and maybe as a President.
But to a Southerner. He is well remembered with nicknames like “Butcher”, “That Drunkard Grant” etc etc. Since he is the main reason why Lincoln won the war between the states.
Now when the war started after the shelling of Ft. Sumter.Related image Grant was at the lowest point of his life. As he had failed at almost everything he had put his hand to.
But somehow he* was brought back into the Army as a Colonel of an Illinois Infantry Regiment. (The 21st Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry)
Anyways he quickly rose to Brig. General and then to Major General. When he was assigned his old Prof. from West Point.
Needless to say. Grant was at first intimidated by the Old Boy. Who was Old School Regular Army to the bone. But in the best traditions of the service.
Smith quickly became a friend and strong supporter of Grant. Which helped immensely in building Grants confidence and leadership skills.
He was to do his best work at the battle of Fort Donelson. It is a pity that he died so soon afterwards in a fluke accident.
*It was the fact that he was a West Pointer that made this so.
Here is some more information about the Old SoldierImage result for General Charles Ferguson Smith

Charles Ferguson Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Charles Ferguson Smith
Gen. Charles F. Smith - NARA - 528469 adjusted.jpg
Born April 24, 1807
Died April 25, 1862 (aged 55)
Place of burial Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1825–1862
Rank Union Army major general rank insignia.svg Major General
Commands held Department of Utah
3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment
2nd Division, AotT
Army of the Tennessee
Battles/wars Mexican-American War

Utah War
American Civil War

Other work Commandant of Cadets

Charles Ferguson Smith (April 24, 1807 – April 25, 1862) was a career United States Army officer who served in the Mexican-American War and as a Union General in the American Civil War.

Early life and career[edit]

Charles Ferguson Smith was born in PhiladelphiaPennsylvania, the son of Samuel Blair Smith, an army surgeon and a grandson of the celebrated Presbyterian minister Rev. John Blair Smith.[citation needed]He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1825,[1]and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Artillery. As he rose slowly through the ranks of the peacetime army,[citation needed] he returned to West Point as an instructor and was appointed Commandant of Cadets as a first lieutenant,[1] serving in that position from 1838 to 1843.
As an artillery battalion commander he distinguished himself in the Mexican-American War,[1] serving under both Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott, at Palo AltoResaca de la PalmaMonterrey, and Churubusco. He received brevet promotions from major through colonel for his service in these battles and ended the war as a lieutenant colonel in the Regular Army. In Mexico City, he was in charge of the police guard from the end of the war until 1848. During this time he became an original member of the Aztec Club of 1847.[citation needed]
He commanded the Red River Expedition (1856) into the future State of Minnesota in 1856–57, and served under Albert Sidney Johnstonin Utah (1857–60),[1] commanding the Department of Utah himself from 1860 to 1861, and the Department of Washington (at Fort Washington, Maryland) very briefly at the start of the Civil War.

Civil War[edit]

After the outbreak of the war and through the summer of 1861, Smith served on recruiting duty as commander of Fort Columbus, New York.[citation needed] He was commissioned a brigadier general of volunteers[1] (August 31, 1861), and as colonel in the Regular Army, commanding the 3rd U.S. Infantry regiment, as of September 9. He was soon transferred to the Western Theater to command the District of Western Kentucky.[citation needed] He then became a division commander in the Department of the Missouri under Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant, who had been one of his pupils at West Point. This potentially awkward situation was eased by Smith’s loyalty to his young chief.[1]
The old soldier led his division of raw volunteers with success at the Battle of Fort Donelson in February 1862.[1] During the attack on the Confederate right flank, which he led personally, he saw some of his men waver. He yelled to them, “Damn you, gentlemen, I see skulkers! I’ll have none here! Come on, you volunteers, come on! This is your chance! You volunteered to be killed for love of country, and now you can be!”[citation needed]
Smith’s experience, dignity, and unselfish character made him Grant’s mainstay in the early days of the war.[1] When theater commander Major General Henry Halleck became distrustful and perhaps jealous of Grant, he briefly relieved him of field command of the Army’s expedition up the Tennessee River toward Corinth, Mississippi and gave that responsibility to Smith. However, Halleck soon restored Grant to field command (intervention by President Abraham Lincoln may have been a factor).[a] Grant’s restoration was fortunate because by the time Grant reached Savannah, Tennessee,[citation needed] Smith had already met with an accident while jumping into a rowboat that seriously injured his leg, forcing him out of field duty.[1] His senior brigadier,[1] W.H.L. Wallace, led his division (and was fatally wounded) at the Battle of Shiloh.


Smith died of an infection following his foot injury and chronic dysentery at Savannah, Tennessee, and is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia.
The early close of his career in high command deprived the Union army of one of its best leaders, and his absence was nowhere more felt than on the battlefield of Shiloh, where the Federals paid heavily for the inexperience of their generals.[1] A month before his death, he had been made major general of volunteers.
Two forts were named in his honor. The first Fort C. F. Smith was part of the perimeter defenses of Washington, D.C. during the American Civil War. A second Fort C. F. Smith was located at the Bighorn River crossing of the Bozeman Trailin the Montana Territory during Red Cloud’s War.

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