The Writing Process — Eli Smith (Co. I) 7th Tennessee Infantry

Posted on Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

At Gettysburg, the men of the 7th Tennessee ranged in age between 17 and 48. Image by Tom Thompson http://www.facebook.com/#!/Alabamyman

The Writing Process — Eli Smith (Co. I) 7th Tennessee Infantry

I’ve had a series of communications with a descendant (a great-great-grandson) of a veteran of the 7th Tennessee.

Eli Smith was a private throughout the war. He was born in 1835 and raised upon his parents’ 40-acre farm in Green Hill, Wilson County, TN. Eli helped his family work the farm, which in 1859-60, produced 22 bushels of wheat, 400 bushels of corn, and 900 pounds of tobacco. The farm ‘s animals consisted of 2 horses, a mule, 2 milk cows, one beef cow, and 18 hogs. The farm was worth $14,300, and there were no slaves.

Eli joined Company I as a private, and served with the unit until his capture at Gettysburg on July 3rd, 1863. He was wounded at 2nd Manassas, and then again during Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, near the Emmitsburg Rd fence line. When Pickett’s Charge failed and the survivors retreated, Eli was left behind and gathered up by the Yanks. He then spent the rest of the war in as a POW.

Following the war Eli returned to Tennessee and married Mary Elizabeth Anderson. They had three children, and the couple lived together until her death in 1916. Eli passed in 1922.

Descendants of Eli Smith still own 15 acres of the original farmstead, and there remains one structure that was present at the time of the war.

The following is his service record:

Eli Smith Company I
DOB : 1/28/1835 Height: 5-9 Eyes: Black Hair: Brown
Family: Single, lived on family farm Home: Green Hill, Wilson Co. TN
Occupation: Farm worker Notes: Family farm worth $14,340
Organization (5/25/1861) Pvt
Seven Pines (5/31/1862) Pvt
Mechanicsville (6/26-7/1862) Pvt
Cedar Run (8/9/1862) Pvt
2nd Manassas (8/28-9/1862) Pvt; wounded (8/29/62)
Sharpsburg (9/17/1862) In hospital
Fredericksburg (12/11-15/1862 Pvt
Chancellorsville (5/1-6/1863) Pvt
Gettysburg (7/1-3/1863) Pvt; wounded and captured near Emmitsburg Rd (7/3/63)
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