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Birth: May 16, 1824, Florida.
Death: Mar. 28, 1893, Sewanee, Franklin County, Tennessee.
Burial: University of the South Cemetery, Sewanee, Franklin County, Tennessee.
Confederates States Army General. Edmund Kirby Smith was born on May 16, 1824, in St. Augustine, Florida. Son of Joseph Lee and Frances Kirby Smith, His father Joseph Lee Smith was a lawyer and a judge. Enrolled in the United States Military in 1841, graduating in 1845, and was commissioned a Brevet Second Lieutenant in 5th U.S. Infantry. He served in the Mexican War under General Zachary Taylor and General Winfield Scott and was brevetted for gallantry. After the war he taught mathematics at the Military Academy and served in the 2nd U.S. cavalry in Texas. When Texas seceded, Smith, now a major, refused to surrender his command to the Texas State forces and expressed his willingness to fight to hold it. In 1861 he resigned from the army to join the Confederate forces. He served as chief of staff to General Joseph E. Johnston at Harper's Ferry and helped organize the Army of the Shenandoah.
He was commissioned colonel of the cavalry and rose to the rank of general. While commanding a brigade in the army, he was severely wounded at Manassas (Bull Run). In January 1863, Smith was transferred to command the Trans-Mississippi Department (primarily Arkansas, Western Louisiana, and Texas) and he would remain west of the Mississippi River for the rest of the war. He surrendered the last military force of the Confederacy on May 26, 1865. After the war he went to Mexico and Cuba to avoid prosecution for treason, but returned in November to take the Oath of Amnesty. He was president of the Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph Company, co-chancellor of the University of Nashville from 1870 to 1875. In 1875 he left to become a professor of mathematics at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He died on March 28, 1893, at Sewanee, the last surviving full general of either army. He is buried University of the South Cemetery, Sewanee, Franklin Co., Tennessee.
Confederat Veteran Magazine, 1893, p. 372.
On Good Friday, March 31, 1893, Gen. Edmound Kirby Smith was laid to rest in the cemetery at Sewanee, Tenn., where for many years he had devoted his life to educational work as Professor of mathematies at the University of the South. No stone marks the grave of this noble and great man, faithful educator, and distinguished soldier. His name is honorably inseribed in the history of his county, and is dear, to the memory of his beloved south.
It is now desired to place a suitable monoment over his grave. The admirable design accompanying this notice, chaste, simple, and appropriate, has been obtained for a monumont, which can be erected coplete for the sum of $1,000. We expect to provide this amount by the aid of individual gifts from each of his comrades in arms, from the alumni, officers, and students of the University of the South, and from his many personal friends.
We trust that all these will deem it a pleasure to contribute $1, or more, if convenient, for the purpose as early as possible. It is desirable that the monument be contracted for at an early date, and that it should be unveiled, with suitable Commencement Day of the University of the South, August 1, 1895. Contributions may be sent to Mr. S. A. Cunningham, Nashville, Tenn.