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Full text of "Memoirs of Governor William Smith, of Virginia. His political, military, and personal history"

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Whose sublime devotion to Government — Constitutional and 
Republican — was stimulated and illustrated by the unceasing 
and heroic exertions of the subject of these Memoirs, for full 
half a century, by precept and example ; whose love and 
admiration for him through all his stormy contests on the 
Hustings, in the Cabinet and on the Field, was not surpassed 
by the depth of his political convictions, and his patriotism 
and love for the American Republic, 

These pages are dedicated by 

The Author. 


i. William Smith, aged fifty (50) ; when Governor first term. With auto- 
graph. Frontispiece. 

2. Governor Smith's Residence, at Warrenton, Virginia. 

3. Barn and Farm Yard, at Governor Smith's Residence. 

4. Diagram of Grounds at Fairfax Fight. 

5. Executive Mansion, at Richmond, Virginia. 

6. Mrs. E. H. Smith ; age, eighty. 

7. Governor Smith, when Governor second term ; age, sixty-sevea 

8. Florida and Virginia Flags. — Scene at Battle of Seven Pines. 

9. Ex-Governor Smith, of Virginia, with autograph ; age, ninety. 

10. Rules of Debate — autographic, p. 73. 

11. Bust of Ex-Governor Smith ; age, ninety. 

12. Tombs of Governor Smith, wife and sons at Hollywood. Richmond. 

13. Memorial Cottage, at the Soldiers' Home, Richmond. 




The Doniphans (A. W. and John) — Their Ancestors, Commanded Spanish Troops — 
Fled to Scotland — One Son Settled at Jamestown — Grants of Land from 
Charles II.— Fought in the Revolution in John Marshall's Company — Father of 
A. W. Doniphan, at Yorktown — Justice of the Peace at Alexandria — Judgments 
in Favor of Gen. Washington — Win. Smith's Birth — Col. Caleb Smith — His Sons 
and Daughters — William's School Days in Connecticut — Return to Virginia — At 
School at Nelson's — Studied Law — Success as Lawyer — Marriage. .Pages i-6. 


Contracts with the United States Government — Pioneer of the South — Countrv Im- 
proved — His Stage and Boat Lines — Great Competition — Free Passage and a 
Bottle of Wine — Brocks Virginians Pages 6-8 . 


Mr. Smith's Initiation into Political Life — His Political Principles — His Admiration of 
Jefferson and Madison — First Election to the Legislature of Virginia — Election of 
United States Senator — W. C. Rives — The Conservative, Whig and Democratic 
Parties — Mr. Rives a Candidate for U. S. Senator — Mr. Smith's Determined 
Opposition to Him — The Reason Why — Senator Smith's Speech against Him — 
Distinguished Whigs of that Day Pages 8-12. 


Mr. Smith's Second Term in the Senate — Without Opposition — His Resignation — Pres- 
idential Election — Mr. Rives Again — His Discussion with Mr. Smith — The "Hard 
Cider Campaign" — Henry Wilson's Log Cabin — Mr. Smith's Great Discussion 
with Governor Barbour at Staunton, Va Pages 12-14. 

Vacancy in Congress — Col. Banks Becomes a Candidate — Mr. Smith Urged to Run 
— Declines — His Letter on the Subject — The People Determined to Nominate 
Him — Elected to Congress — His Course in Congress — Speeches on the Tariff — 
"Attalus" Congressional District Re -arranged — Extract from his Letter to 
Col. Parker Pages 15-18. 

Mr. Smith Neutral between Mr. Calhoun and President Van Buren — Appointed Demo- 
cratic State Elector — Hon. R. E. Scott Whig Elector — Traversed the State as Dem- 
ocratic Elector — Mr. Rives once More — Discussion at Culpeper with Mr. Smith. 

Pages 18-21. 

Mr. Smith's Election of Governor of Virginia for Three Years by the Legislature — 
His Nomination for the Senate of the United States — His Defeat by a Combina- 
tion of the Whigs and Conservatives — Extracts from His Letter to Col. Parker as 
to His Election of Governor — His Administration as Governor — His Visit to and 
Sojourn in California Pages 21-24. 


Gov. Smith's Return from California — His Candidacy for Congress — The Failure of a 
Convention to Nominate a Candidate against Him — A Triangular Contest — His 
Election to Congress over a Democrat and a Whig — His Election to Congress in 
1853, 1855, 1857 and 1859— His Visit to Washington in the Winter of i86o-'6i— Pro- 
cured three Maynard Rifles — Brought two out of the City with the aid of a Lady's 
Dress Pages 24-28. 

The Ex-Governor's Visit to Fairfax Court House — The Surprise by the Federals and 
Fight on the Night of the 31st of May, '61 — Company B United States Dragoons — 
Capt. Marr's Company — Marr Killed — Col. Ewell Wounded and Turned over the 
Command to Smith — The Enemy Routed — Gov. Smith Raised a Regiment — Was 
Commissioned Colonel by Gov. Letcher— First Battle of Manassas — His Gallant 
Conduct there — Singular Order by Col. Smith to the 49th Virginia — Major Smith 
Severely Wounded — Col. Smith's Horse Shot Under Him — His Humane Treat- 
ment of a Federal Officer Pages 28-37. 

Col. Smith's Report of date July, 1862, of the Battle of Seven Pines of 25th June, 1862, 
to Gen. Mahone — Extracts from Gen. Mahone's Report Relative to 49th Virginia 
Volunteers, and Col. Smith, at Battle of Seven Pines — Extracts from his Report 
of June 30th, 1862— Gen. D. H. Hill's Report of Battle of Seven Pines of 31st 
May, 1862, as to Conduct of 49th Virginia — Gen. Huger's Report of July 21st, 1862, 
as to same — Inscription on its Banner for Distinguished Gallantry in a Fight 
at " Kings School House," Seven Pines and at French's Field — Col. Smith's 
Report to Col. B. G. Anderson, Commanding Brigade of same fight of 31st 
May, 1862 — Extract from Report of Col. Anderson, Commanding Gen. Feather- 
stone's Brigade — A Florida Flag Found in the Brush— Col. Smith Bears it at the 
Head of his own Regiment — Ordered by Commanding Officers to give it up — 
Seized by a Florida boy who bravely bears it through the fight — The Colonel and 
Lieut.-Colonel Severely Wounded— Three Captains and six Lieutenants Wounded, 
and one Killed — Col. Smith's Horse Fatally Shot Under him — Extract from Dr. 
Horseley's Letter to Col. Smith Pages 37-44. 

Col. Smith's Election to the Congress of the Confederate States — Took his Seat in 
Congress, February, 1862 — Gen. Johnston falls back from Manassas, 9th March, 
1862, to Clark's Mountain — Thither moved his Army to Yorktown — 49th in charge 
of Lieut.-Col. Murray — Congress adjourned — Col. Smith rejoins his Regiment at 
Yorktown and took command — Elected Colonel by the Officers of the Companies, 
under Act of Congress — Resigned his Seat in Congress — Evacuation of York- 
town — The Seven Pines again — The Colonel's Celebrated Order to "Flush the 
Game." Pages 44-46 

Battle of Sharpsburg — Col. Smith Assigned to the Command of Early's Brigade tem- 
porarily, by Gen. Early — Receives thre« Wounds in one Volley — Promoted 
Brigadier-General, and Assigned to Command of Fourth Brigade — Casualties in 
this Fight in the 49th Virginia— Gen. J. E. B. Stuart and Gen. Early's Reports of 
Col. Smith's Conduct in this Fight — Candidate for Governor — Made no Canvass — 
Did not leave his Brigade — Elected by a Large Majority — Retained Command of 
his Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign— Promoted to Major-General — Agreed 
to Qualify as Governor — Entered the Recruiting Service — Inaugurated Governor 
on the first day of January, 1864 — Delivered his Inaugural in the Hall of the 
House of Delegates Pages 47-55. 


Governor Smith's Administration of the State Government— His Bold and Energetic 
Executive Measures — Creation of the Home Guard — History of this Extraordinary 
Measure — Suspected Mutiny among the Troops — His Visit and Address to them — 
His Firm and Decisive Action on this Occasion — Effect upon them — Asks for an 
Appropriation to Purchase Supplies for Army and People of the City and Country 
— Bill Fails — Organized a Plan Despite its Failure, to Furnish them — Raised 
Large Sums of Money to Purchase Supplies— Organized and Procured a Railroad 
Train to Transport them to Richmond — Signal Success of the Plan — Reduced 
Prices for Necessaries of Life — Loaned Liberally to the Confederate Government 
in 1864— Great Relief to the People of the City and Country Pages 55-59. 

The Eventful Sabbath Day in Richmond— President Davis in Church— Dispatch from 
General Lee — The President Sends for Governor Smith — The President and Gov- 
ernor Leave the City — Mrs. Smith's Demeanor — The President Opens the Confed- 
erate Government at Danville, Va. — The Governor Opens the State Government 
there, also — The President Proceeds to Greensboro, N. C. — Trying Scenes at 
Danville — Governor's Speech to the Troops — Its Effect on Them— Outbreak Sup- 
pressed — Guerilla Policy Adandoned — Peace Resolutions at Staunton — He Deter- 
mines to Surrender Himself — $25,000 Offered for his Arrest — The Governor 
Leaves the Valley — Entreated not to Return to Richmond — His Sojourn at Charles 
W. Dabney's, Esq. — Safe Conduct to Richmond from General Patrick — Manner 
of his Reception — His Recall by the President of the United States — The Gov- 
ernor's Proclamation Pages 60-66. 

Gov. Smith at Home — Still Standing by the South — Precepts to his People — "A 
Bundle of Good Habits " — His determination to Remain in Virginia — Coinci- 
dence of Feeling and Judgment with Gen. Lee — Extension of his Parole — Proc- 
lamation of the President 29th May, 1865 — Reconstruction — Mingles Warmly in 
the Election for First Governor, Under New Constitution — Again Elected to the 
Legislature — Election for United States Senator — Devotion to his Wife and Chil- 
dren — Extracts on this Subject — Anecdote related by himself. . .Pages 66-71. 


Gov. Smith's Manners — His Habits, Public and Private — His Uniform Abstinence 
from Liquor and Tobacco — His Great Aversion to a Drunken Man — Temperance 
Speeches — His Abhorrence of Purchasing Votes with Money or Liquor— His 
Cheap Canvasses for Congress and the Legislature — Some Maxims or Rules of 
Debate — His Religious^Faith — Last Attack and Illness — His Death. 

Pages 72-75. 

Funeral Obsequies at Warrenton — Guard of Honor — Body lies in State — Bethel Cadets 

Body at the Church — Address of Rev. Lindsay— Cortege Leaves Warrenton — 

Proceedings at Richmond — Body in the Capitol, in State— Message of Governor 
Lee Proceedings of the Legislature— Judge Christian's Funeral Oration — Pro- 
cession to Hollywood — Eulogies on Governor Smith, by Captain Payne, Colonel 
Stribling and Major Heaton, in the Legislature of Virginia. . .Pages 76-122. 



Anderson, Sir Walter, of Wales 2 

Anderson, Sir Joseph, of Wales 104 

Alhambra, W. Irving's 3 

Academy, Waverley 4 

Amherst, Co. House, Va 6 

Adams, J. Q., Election of P. of U. S. . 8 

Attalus 17 

Archer, Wm. S 22 

Anderson, Col. B. G., Report of .37, 42 46 

Anderson, James M., Lieutenant 39 

Anderson, General Joseph 83, 84, 87 

Atkins, S. B. Gunner 88 

Alliance of Va., Temperance 93 

Appornatox, Surrender at 95 

Antietam, Gen. Smith, wounded at. 98, 99 

August, Col. Tom, Anecdote of 107 

Appornatox, Surrender at 117 

Brandywine, Battle of 1 

Boonesborough, Ky 1 

British Navy 2 

Brock, Dr. R. A., of Richmond, Va 27 

Bell, William 4 

Blackford, John 4 

Baltimore, City of, 5, 51 

Bell, J. M,. 6, 88, 91, 104 

Bell, Amelia 6, 91 

Bell, Elizabeth H 6, 90 

Bell, Parke, 

Baltimore, City of 7, 90, 98, 100 

Barbour, Ex-Governor, Va 10, 14 

Barbour, John S. M. C 10, 14, 106 

Baldwin, Judge B. G 10, 14 

Botts, J. M., M. Congress 10, 19 

Banks, Col. Lynn, M. C. 15, 16 

Bernard, A. H. H 19 

Bedinger, Henry, M. C 19 

Beauregard, General 29, 30, 32, 36 

Bull Run 30 

Brothers 31, 32 

Baggs, Private, 49th Va 34 

Boya, Lieutenant 41 

Bristol, Engagement at 44 

Bates, Federal Historian., 52 

Balcony Falls 64 

Bethell Cadets, Capt. Mclntyre 76 

Bridgeport, Connecticut 76 

Brooke, Hon. J. V., 78, 79, 80, 81 

Bell, Judge, J. W 82 

Bowles, Capt. T.J 87 

Brower, Major J. J. H 87 

Bosher, Lieutenant .88 

Ball, W. B. Gunner 88 

Barry, Wm.T., P. M.General U. S.,97, 100 

Blue Book 97, 101 

Broderick, David 97, 100 

Bull Run, the Second 99 

Blue Ridge 99 

Burnside, General, put in command — 
McClellan, Gen., removed 99 

Buchanan, James, President of the 

United States 101 

Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania 101 

Barr, Tom's, Hotel, in Limestone, Pa 101 
Bristol News, Va., on Gov. Smith. . . .103 

Harbour, James, of Culpeper 105 

Broadus, Edmund 106 

" Baltimore Sun," on Gov. Smith. . . .108 
Broderick, Senator, from California. . 109 

Burkesville Junction, Va 112 

Blackwell, J. D., Poem dedicated to 
Gov. Smith, by, of Fauq. Co 114 

Charles I. and II 1 

Cavaliers 3 

Culpeper, Va 4 

Connecticut, Plainfield 5 

Culpeper, C. Ho 6, 90 

Carolina, South 6, 30 

Carolina, North 7, 13 

Champion, Steamer 7 

Courts, U. S. at Washington 8 

Clay, H. Election of,8, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20/21 

Crawford, Wm. H., Election of 8 

Calhoun J. C 12, 18 

Caskie, John S., of Richmond 19 

Charlottesville, Va 22 

Covington, Va 22 

California 24, 25, 95, 97, 100, 104 

City, Washington 24, 32, 34, 35 

Carey, Assistant Q. M., U. S. A 35 

Cooke, Gen. Brigade 37 

Cabell, James C, Lieutenant, 49th Va. 39 
Christian, R. K., Lieutenant 49th. ..39, 40 

Cabell, R. S., Lieutenant, 49th Va 39 

Curry, Sergeant, 49th Va. Reg 39 

Colbert, Lieutenant, 49th Va 41 

Clarke's Mountain, Orange Co 44 

Chilton, Col. R. H., Chief of Staff. ... 49 

" Culps Hill" 51 

Claiborne, Major. 49th Va. Reg 58 

Church, St. Paul's 60 

Cartersville, Va 65 

California, State of 67, 95, 98 

Christian, Judge Joseph 82, 83, 84, 85 

Core, B. D 87 

Camp, R. F., Gunner 88 

Cole, J. H 88 

Chilton, Hon. Samuel M. C 90, 105 

Culpeper, Congressional District 90 

Culpeper, Ct. Ho., Va., began law prac- 
tice 97, 100 

Casserly 24 

Cedar Mountain, Battle of 99 

"Columbia (Pa.) Democrat" on Gov. 

Smith 102 

Columbia, Pennsylvania 102 

Cambria, Pennsylvania 102 

Capitol Square, Va 107 

City Point, Va Ill 

" Charleston News and Courier ". ... 120 



Doniphan, General A. W. and Colonel 

John i, 2, 104 

Doniphan, A.W., J. of P., Alexandria. . 1 

Doniphan, Dr 3 

Davenport, and Co 7 

Daniel, Judge Wm 19 

Daniel, John W., Letter of . . 19, 116, 117, 

[118, 119 

Dunnington, Capt 32, 34, 35 

Davis, President C. S. A 43, 60, 62, 64 

Douglass, Major, of Maryland 50 

DeNeuville, Painter 53 

Danville, 62, 63, 64 

Danville, Escape to 95 

Dabney, Charles Wm., Esq 65 

Demosthenes 93 

Danville, Pennsylvania 101 

Doniphan, Elizabeth 104 


Encyclopedia, Hardesty's, Historical 

and Geographical 2, 7 

Episcopal Seminary at Alexandria, Va. 4 

Edmonds, Davenport & Co 7 

Enquirer, Richmond, Va 10, 17 

Ewell, Col 29, 33 

Episcopal Church at Faixfax 33 

Early, Gen. J. A 44, 47, 52, 78, 79, 109 

Early's, Brigade 47 

Early's Report B 47, 4 8 

Early's Letter to Major Stiles 48, 49 

Ewell's Division 49 

Echols, General 65 

East, J. W., Gunner 88 

*' Evening Star Lodge" 92 

Eldorado, New, in California 97 

Espytown, Pennsylvania 101 

Early, Gen. Jubal A., Detour 'round 
Milroy's right flank, by Hays and 
Smith's Brigade 117 


Ferdinand, King of Spain 3 

Fairfax 6, 33 

Fairfax, Co. Ho , Va.6, 28, 32, 36, 6i, 112 

Fanquier Co., Va 17, 112 

Floyd, J. B., Ex Gov. of Va., Maj.Gen. 29 

Florence, the Picket 33 

Frank, Adjutant U. S. A 35 

' ' French's, Field' ' 37 

Featherstone, General 38 

Foot, Captain 39 

" French's House " 41 

" Frazier's Farm" 43 

Fredericksburg, Va 43, 48, 50 

Forrest, General 46 

Flournoy, Thomas S 50 

Fitzhugh, Major, Q. Master Va '58 

Francis, John A 81 

(Fredericksburg Recorder) 105 

Fisher's Hill 109 

Fort Jackson 117, 118 

Farley, John S 120 


Grenada, Battle of 3 

Goose Creek 3 

Green, Judge, of Fred'kb'g, Va. .4, 5, 90 
Galveston, Texas 7 

Gunnell, Mr 29, 32 

Garland, General 38 

Gibson, J. C, Lieut. Col. 49th Va. 

, Reg 39, 40-49 

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania .. 50,51, 117 

Gilham's Tactics 53 

Greensboro, North Carolina. . . .58, 62, 64 

Georgetown 76, 88 

Green, Hon. Charles, of Warrenton, 

Va 78, 79, 80, 81 

Gaines, Grenville, Major 81 

Green, M. M., of Warrenton, 81, 82 

Gladstone, of England '. . . 84 

Graves, J. M 88 

Gwarthmey, B. M., Gunner 88 

Gatewood, R. C, Gunner 88 

Gaines' Mill 89 

Georgia, State of 91 

Green and Williams, Law Firm at 

Fredericksburg, Va 95 

Gainsville, Fight at 99 

Groveton, Fight at 99 

Gazette, Alexandria 109, 1 10 

Grant, General U. S., at the Lincoln 

Club, Speech of 1 1 1, 112 

Giddings, Joshua R., of Ohio in 

Gracchi, Mother of 113 


Hanover, Co., Va 5' *4 

Holliday, John Z 19 

Hunter, R. M. T 22 

Hunton, Col. Eppa 30", 32, 37 

Harrison's Company 33 

Hunter, Federal Col 35 

Hill, Gen. D. H 37, 39- 42 

Huger, General, Report of 37, 42 

Horsely, Dr. William A 37, 39, 43 

Hill, .Samuel, Lieutenant 39 

Hill, Col. 48th North Carolina 41 

Hamilton's Crossings 44, 48, 50 

Hunter, George (Colored Servant) 48, 49 

Hagerstown, Maryland 50 

Hunter, Major Robert W., of Va. . .50, 51 

Howard, General 52 

Hardee, General 53 

Hope, William H 81 

Hilliary, William P 81 

Helm, William P 81 

Hunton, Eppa, Junior 82 

Heaton, Hon. Henry 82, 83, 87, 121 

Hollywood Cemetery 83, 85, 87, 113 

Howitzers, The 88 

Horner, Brother, Frederick, M. D 92 

Hope James Barron on Gen. Smith. .102 

Henry, Patrick 105 

Hunton, General Eppa, of Va. . . 105, 109 

Halifax, Virginia 105 

Heaton, Henry, Resolution by 121 


Irving, Washington 3 


Jamestown, Va 1 

[ohnson, Dr. 

Jackson, A., Election of 8, 59, 103 

fffferson, Thomas 8, 27, 74 

Johnson, Gen. Joseph E 36, 37, 44, 45 


Jacobs, Captain 39 

Jewell, Corporal 39 

Jackson, General 48, 52, 103 

Johnson, Gen. Edward 50, 51, 52 53 

Jones, J. M.. Brigade, General 51 

Jeffries, J. P.... 81 

Jackson, Rev. H. M., of R 85, 88 

Johnson, Dr., Chaplain Hampton's 

Brigade 100 

Jones, Col. Hilary 117 


King George, Co. Va 2, 25 

Keech, Alexander 4 

Kid well, Mr 36 

"King's School House " 37 

Kincheloe, Lieutenant 40 

Keith, Hon. James, Judge 82 

Killam, E. S., Gunner 88 

King George, County, Va. . . .89, 98, 104 
King and Queen, Co., Va 105 


Land, Grant, from Charles II 1 

Loudon, Co., of Va 3 

Lomax, Judge, John Tayloe 3 

Lyons, James 10 

Leigh, B. W, 10, 97, U. S. Senator. . . . 100 

Leake, Shelton F., M. Congress 19 

Lee, Gen. R. E..29, 51, 52, 58, 60, 61, 62 

[68, 69 

Letcher, Governor of Va 29, 95, 107 

Lewis House 30 

Lynch, Private 34 

Lynn, H. F 35 

Larkin, Wm. W., Lieutenant 39 

Leigh, Major 50 

Longstreet, General 52 

Lee, Stephen D 52 

Lucknow 52 

Lynchburg, Va 61 

Lincoln, President of the U. S. . . .67, m 
Lindsay, Rev. John S., D. D. . .76, 80, 88 

[82, 85, 81 

Lightfoot, Col. E. C 80. 82 

Latham, John S 81 

Lee, Julian P 81 

Lee, Gov. Fitzhugh 82, 83, 85, 87 

Lee, Camp 87 

Loudon Congressional District of Va. 90 
Lion House, A Memorial Meeting. ... 93 
Lexington, Va., 95, Escape to 95 


Moors in the Sixteenth Century 1 

Marshall, John's, Company. . . I 

Mason Co., Kentucky 2 

Moor in Chains 3 

Marengo 3 

Moore, Hon. Thomas L 5, 90, 95 

Milledgeville, Georgia 7, 91, 96 

Madison, James 8 

Madison County 15, 22 

Mexican Star 22 

Madison, Co. Ho., Va 28 

Marr, Captain.. .28, 29, 32, 33, 34, 35, 112 
Manassas, Battles of... 28, 30, 36, 44, 52 

Moss, Mr 29 

Murray, Lieut. Col 30, 44 

McDowell, General 32, 34, 99 

Max, Corporal 34 

Marders, F. W 35 

Mahone, General Wm 37, 40, 42 

Maddox, Corporal 39 

Mechanicsville 44 

Marye's Hill 44 

Millroy, General 44 

Munford, Col. George Wythe 50 

Meade, General 52 

McKimp, Randolph 52 

Meissioner, Painter 53 

McFarland, William H 57 

Minnegerode, Rev. Dr. of Richmond. 60 

Monterosa, Warrenton, Va 66 

Maryland, State of 69 

Mclntyre, Capt. Bethel Cadets 76 

McKay, L 81 

McKenney, Col. J. B 87 

Macfarlane, C. W., Sergeant 88- 

Meades, B. L., Gunner 88 

Manassas, 1st Battle 90 

Marathon 93 

Montezumas, Walls of 93 

Madison Chronicle, Nebraska 98- 

Maryland 99 

McClellan, Gen., Headquarters 99 

Mordansville, Mt. Pleasant Co., Pa. . .101 
McCaul, Patrick H, of Pulaski, Va. . .103. 

Mott, Margaret, (a Scotch Lady) 104 

Martinelli's, Lincoln Club at 1 1 1 

Meade, General 1 13. 

McGroirarty of Springfield. Anecdote 

of, by President Lincoln 112 

Memorial, Gov. Smith, and Resolution 

of the Va. Legislature 121 

Magna, Charta of England 121 

Medallion of 121 


Nelson, Rev. Thomas, School of 1, 5 

Nichols, General 51 

New York, State of 69 

Newman, George 81 

Nelson, Mayor of Warrenton 82 

Nicarauga, South America 88 

Ne?u York Sun, on Gov. Smith 98 

New York Herald, Sketch of Gov. 

Smith 100 

New Mexico 100 

A T ational Farm and Fireside, by Wed- 

derburn, on Gov. Smith 108 


Orange Co., Ho 6 

Ohio, State of 13 

Orangeville, Pennsylvania 101 

Ohio River 105 


Philip of Spain 1 

Pierce, President U. States 4 

Piedmont, Va 6, 67 

Pensacola, Florida 7 

Pendleton, J. S 10, 105 

Pennsylvania, 13, 50, 53, 55, 69 

Patton, J. M 15, 16 

Parker, Col. Jno. A. 15, 17, 21, 25, no, in 
Polk, J. K, President U. S 19 



Pitt William 27 

Pines, Seven, Battle of 37 

Peninsula 45 

Payne, Capt. A. D. .48, 82, 83, 85, 86, 87 

Petersburg, Va 5^ 

Packenham, General British 59 

Patrick, General 66 

Pollock, Rev. A. D, of Warrenton 75 

Payne, Capt. J. S 80, 81 

Payne, M. B 81 

Payne, Alexander 81 

Payne, Inman H 81 

Payne, J. Scott 82 

Phillips, Col. A. L 87 

Place, George D 88 

Pitt, H. L 88 

Perkins, J. L 88 

Plainfield, Connecticut 90, 100 

Platoea, Heroes of 93 

Pilcher, J. A., Chairman of Meeting of 

49th Va. Regiment 94 

Pope, General 98, 99 

Point of Rocks, Va 99 

Potomac 99 

Pollard, John 103, 104 

Pleasants, John Hampden, 105, Editor 

of R. Whig 105 

Pennybaker, Judge of Shenandoah- 

Circuit 105 

Payne, Gen. Wm. H., Letter to Col. 

T. Smith, of Va 115, 116 


Revolutionary Struggle I 

Richmond County 2 

Richmond, City of . . .7, 22. 36, 45, 55, 58 

[59, 64, 65, 69 

Rives, Wm. C, Election of.. .8, 9, 10, 11 

[13, 18, 19, 20, 21 

Ritchie, Thomas 10, 1 10, 1 1 1 

Richmond Enquirer 10 

Rockingham, Co. of 13 

Rail Road, Richmond and Louisa, Va. . 23 

Rail Road, Chesapeake & Ohio 23 

Ryan, John W 35 

Randolph, Captain 39 

Rapid Ann River 44 

River, James 45 

Rhodes, General 52 

River, James, Valley of 64 

Rosenberger, C. W 81 

Richmond Whig 83 

Rust, A. S 88 

Robinson, T. H., Address of 93 

Richmond Dispatch, Eulogy on Gov. 

Smith 94 

Richmond Howitzers 95 

Rambler of the "'State" 96, Anecdote in 
Rappahanock River, Engagements 

along 99 

Rohrsburg, Pennsylvania 101 

Richmond, D. & Western Rail Road.. 112 
Richmond Fell-[See, Daniel's Letter]. 118 
Resolutions on death of Gov. Smith. . 100 


Spanish Troops 1 

Scotland I 

Scotch Heiress 1 

Smith, Caleb 1, 2, 3, 89 

Smith, William 2 

Smith, Joseph 2 

Smith, Sir Sidney 2, 104 

Smith, Thomas 2, 3 

Smith, Martha 2, 3 

Smith, James Madison 4 

Smith, Maria 4 

Smith, Col. Wm. R., of Fanquier 4 

Scott, Rob't E., of Fanquier. . . .4, 10, 18, 

[44, 105 

Summers, Judge 10, 13 

Stuart, A. H . H 10, 14 

Slaughter, Daniel F 16, 25 

Seddon, James A 19 

Shacklef ord, Judge 25 

Scott, Gen. Winfield S 26, 34 

Smith, Major Caleb 28 

Saintclair, Private 34 

Star, Evening, Newspaper 34 

Sullivan, Private 34 

Spier, R. M., Lieutenant 39 

Stone, Corporal 39 

Spencer, Sergeant 39 

Savage Station 44 

Spotsylvania County 44 

Seven Pines, Battle of 46 

Sharpsburg, Battle of 47, 49, 117 

Stewart, Gen. J. E. B.'s Report. . . .47, 49 

Stiles, Major Robert 48, 49, 53, 54 

Smith, Miss Mary A 49, 91, 121 

Stewart, General 51 

Slocum, General 51 

Stonewall Brigade 51 

Swinton, General 52 

Smith, Lieutenant Colonel 61 

Smith, Mrs. E. H 61, 88, 89 

Staun ton, Va 64 

Smith, Col. Bell. . . .65, 66, 88, 104, 109 

Springs, Fanquier White Sulpher 67 

Smith, Col. Tom 70, 91, 105, 109 

Scott, John, Major 78, 81 

Spilman, John A 79, 80, 81, 82 

Spilman, John R 81, 82 

Smith, C. W 81 

Smith, Major A. G 81, 82 

Smith, A. D 82 

Stilling, Col. Artillery 82, 83, 84, 85 

[86, 87 

Stuart Horse Guards 87 

Siegel, H. L 88 

Starke, H. M., Sergeant 88 

Smith, J. F., Gunner 88 

Smith, Wm. Henry 88, 104, 109 

Smith, Judge James Caleb. . . .88, 97, 100 

[104, 109 

San Franciso, City of 88, 104, 106 

Smith, Austin C, Lieut. Col. on Gen. 

Whiting's Staff 89, 100, 104, 109 

Smith, Mary Waugh 89 

South Mountain 99 

Smith, Col. Tom, U. S. District At- 
torney 100, 109 

Sandwich Islands 105 

Scott, John, Judge 105 

Shackelford, John , .... 105 

Smith, Frank, Alexandria, Va 105 

Sacramento, California 109 

Smith, Col. Austin, Death of, by John 

S. Farley 120 

Smith, F. W 13 6 


Seal, State of Virginia 121 

Scott, Major Taylor 112, 113 


Troops, Spanish I 

Toledo, Ohio 2 

Tyler, John 9, 10, 13, 14 

Tippacanoe 13 

Thomas, Judge 25 

Tucker, Professor 28 

Tebbs, Col 30 

Tompkins, Lieutenant 33, 34 

Townsend, Col 34 

Turner, Corporal 34 

Trelawney 52 

Thomas, Henry W., Judge 61 

"True Index," Warrenton, Va 91 

Templars, Lodge of Good 92 

" Temperance Advocate " 93 

Tompkins, W. B., Secretary of Meet- 
ing of 49th Va. Regiment 94 

Texas Newspaper 96 


Upton, Tactics Military 53 


Virginia, General Assembly of 3 

Van Buren, Martin 12, 18 

Virginia, West, 19, 69 

Virginia 19, 69 

Vienna Road 33 

Vineyard House 33 

Virginia Military Institute 61 

Valentine, the Sculptor,of Richmond. 84 

Virginia Volunteers, 49th Va. Regt. . . 98 


Washington, Gen. Geo. 1, 2, Statue of 83 

Waugh, Mary 2 

William and Mary, 5th year of, 1693. .2, 3 

Westmoreland, Clerk's Office of 3 

Waverly Academy Maryland 4 

Winder, Gen. of Baltimore. .5, 90, 95, 100 
Warrenton, Va. . . .5, 6, 32, 65, 67, 76, 83 
Washington, City of . . .6, 7, 27, 32, 34, 69 

[91, 96 

Wise, Gov. Henry A 10, 29, 106 

Webster, Daniel 11 

Wilson, Henry, of Mass 13, 14 

Wells 53, 69 

Washington, Charles F 35 

Wright, Brig. General 41 

Winchester, Va 44 

Wilderness, Va 44 

Williamsburg, Va 45 

Walker, Gilbert C 69 

Warrenton Index 79 

Wyer, John P 81 

Williamson, W. W 82 

Whig, Richmond 83 

Wickham, Gen. Wm. C 83, 87 

White, Col. J. W 87 

Watkins, Captain B. M 87 

Warrenton Index, Newspaper, Va .89, 90 

Warrenton, Town of 90, 95, 99, 104 

" Warrenton, Virginia, " 91,98, 103 

Death of Gov. Smith 

Warrenton, Va., Board of Aldermen 

passed Resolutions on death of Gov. 

Smith 100 

Ward, R. D., in Richmond Whig, 

Sketch of Gov. Smith, by 

Willis, Col. John 105 

Wager, Charles, H., Tribute to Gov. 

Smith at Confederate Cemetery 67, 113 


Yorktown 44, 45 


In compiling the Index for the Appendix to this volume, the Author 
deems it unnecessary to do so to any considerable extent in the detail of names 
and places. The reader will be able readily to satisfy himself in whatever of 
interest or curiosity he may feel, at a glance of the eye over any page, to 
discover the name of his friend, or acquaintance, or any locality or incident 
relative to the subject of this work. 

Any other than a general reference to such, would be but a repetition of 
the Index to the main body of the Memoirs, except during the period of the 
Congressional life of Governor Smith. To particularize all the scenes and 
events and incidents in discussion with his numerous competitors in the 
House of Representatives, and mention their names, would be a profitless and 
well-nigh endless task. the author. 

Appendix — Introduction to pp. 123, 124, 125 
Tracing in a , compendious and rapid 
form, Gov. Smith's political life for forty 
years, from 1836 to 1876. His persistent 
adhesion to Democratic principles, his 
many heated and bitter contests with the 
old, able and distinguished Whigs of 
Virginia, his prominence and distinction 
in Federal and State Legislation, his 
masterly discussion of the U. S. Bank 
Tariff and Internal Improvements by the 
General Government, &c. — 123, 124, 125. 


Arlington, Gen. McDowell's Report of 
the Fairfax Fight, dated, June 1st, 
1861 138 

Address, Inaugural of William Smith, 
Governor of Virginia, on 1st day of 
January, 1864 152 to 168 

Articles of Confederation inadequate 
for the essential purposes of Gov- 
ernment 154 

Argues the rights of States and the 
right of Secession 152 

Amity, Spirit of, was indispensible. . .155 

Act of 1793, or the Fugitive Slave Act. 156 

Auction System Reprobated 163 

Alcoholic Liquors, urges their prohib- 
ition on the Legislature 163 

Army, to put Slaves into 194 

Anderson, Gen. Joseph R., Letter to, 
from Judge Campbell 204, 205 

Agreement, Synopsis of, between Gen 
Johnston (Jos. E.) and Gen. Sherman 
as to the Surrender of Confederate 
Forces 208, 209 

Address of Members of Va. Legisla- 
ture, yet in Richmond. . . .237/238, 239 

Anderson, Gen. Jos. R., Ckni., &c. . . .242 


Brock, R. A., Secretary to the Va. His- 
torical Society 127 to 136 

Tracing the descent, the direct and 
collateral kindred of William Smith, 
his paternal and maternal kindred, 
his own immediate family &c . 127 to 136 

Bonham, Gen., Report of „ 138 

Beauregard, Gen 144, 145, 146 

Battery, Rogers 145 

§ a !! ery ' r C ffi ett > S ' \ ^e Enemy's' ■ -'g 
Battery, Griffin's j J ....149 

Bull Run 14S 

Ball's Ford 145 

Bee's, Gen. Brigade 149 

Blockade running by private men or 
private enterprise to be prohibited 

by law 

Buchanan, President U. S., Gov. S.'s 

letter to 201, 202 

Bennett, J. M., Auditor, &c.,Va., Gov. 

S.'s order to him to issue warrant, &c. 225 
Brock, R. A., Sec'y Va. Historical So- 
ciety, to J. W. Bell, Letter of. .244, 245 
Bell, J. W., Letter to, by Thos. Ellett, 

Esq., Sec'y of Mechanics' Institute. 245 
Brown's, John, Will 408 


Cocke, General 144 

Cub-Run Brigade 148 

Carolina, South, Companies 146 

Compromise of 1850 157 

Conscription into the Military Service 

urged on the Legislature 164 

Currency, its reformation urged by 
the Governor on the Legislature, 

his scheme 164, 165 

Confederate Money, Table Showing 
Value of in Gold, in Richmond, dur- 
ing the war 179 

Currency to be improved, urges the 
Va. Legislature to take immediate 

steps to effect it 197 

Co-operation with the Confederate 
Congress on the subject, 197, and 

submits a plan for the purpose 197 

Congressional District, (Seventh) Ad- 
dress to the Voters of 200, 201 

Campbell, Judge J. A., Letter from. .205 
Campbell, Judge, His conference with 

President Lincoln 213 

Campbell, Judge, His interview with 
President Davis, Secretaries Breck- 

enridge and Benjamin 213 

Campbell, Judge, Letter to President 
Lincoln 213-216 


Congress of U. T ,S., Resolution of 22d 
July, 1861, Vote in favor and vote 
against 216 

Correction as to the meeting of the 
Members of Virginia Legislature, at 
Richmond 237 

Campbell, Judge, J. A., His concur- 
rence with the address, issued by 
some members of the Legislature. .237 

Campbell, Judge,Letter of, to General 
Anderson 242, 243 

" Call "of nth April, recalled 244 


Dragoons, U. S 138 

Dogan's House, at Manassa. . . .148, 149 
Dabney, Dr., Author of Jackson's Me- 
moirs of 151 

Dorr Constitution 188 

Davis, Jefferson, ex-President C. S. 
Pardon of, by the President of the 
Confederate States, spoken of by 
Lincoln, President 243 


Eminent Virginians by R. A. Brock, 

Sec'y Va. Historical Society 127 

Ewell, Lieut. Col. at Fairfax Fight 137 

Estimate of Forces 150, 151 


Fairfax Co. Ho., 31st May, 1861 137 

Falls, Church Road 137 

Fisher, Col., 148, Killed at Manasses 1st 
Faulkner Col., 145, 6th N. C. Reg't.. 

Federalist : 155 

France, Her Financial Policy 161 

Finance, Governor's Plan 165, 166 

Fields, Gen. J. G., Attorney Gen. Va.228 


Green, JohnS., Capt. Rapp. Cavalry. 137 

Gordon, David S., Federal Lieut 137 

Germantown 142 

Georgia, Legislature of 192 

Georgia, Governor of, 192, Legislature 
passed an Act in 1864 not to exempt 
her officers, members and agents 
therein mentioned from military ser- 
vice 192 

Governors, Meeting of, on the subject 

of enlisting the negroes in the army 196 
Gold, the price to be reduced, 197, 
Large surplus in the banks wholly 
unproductive, submits a plan to put 
it in circulation amongst the peo- 
ple, on the State's obligation to re- 
turn it at the end of the war 198 

Grant, U. S. Gen., Letter to Gen. Lee. 206 
Gold Cases, See Col. Munford's letters 

of Feb., 1870 and Feb., 1880 

Gold Cases again, see Major Stiles' 
Narrative of Gov. Smith's testimony 

in these cases 221, 222, 223 

Gold Cases, The result of 228 

Grant, U. S. Gen., His Memoirs 230 

Giddings, Joshua R., Gov. Smith's re- 
ply to, in Ho. of Rep 337, 343 


Harrison, Captain 142 

Hunton, Col. Eppa, at Manassas 144 

Hampton's Legion 150 

" Henry House" 145 

Heaton, Lieutenant 145 

Henry, Patrick 155 

Halleck, Gen., Letter to 203, 204 

Halleck, Gen., offering a reward of 
$25,000, for arrest and delivery for 
trial of Wm. Smith, Rebel Governor 
of Virginia 208 


Independence, Declaration of 158 

Incidents and Reminiscences. . . 199, 200 


Johnston, Jos. E., Gen., 147, (Army).. 

Jackson's Brigade at 1st Manasses. . . . 149 

Johnson, President United States, His 
permit to Gov. Smith to visit Wash- 
ington City, &c 209 

Johnson, Andrew, President, His pa- 
role to Gov. Smith extended to Vir- 
ginia and Maryland 209 

Johnson, President U. S., His parole to 
Gov. Smith enlarged to Pennsyl- 
vania, New York and West Virginia 209 


Kemper, of Kemper's Battery 148 

Kansas and Nebraska, Gov. Smith's 
speech in House of Representatives 

on 326, 337 

Kansas, Speech, Gov. Smith on Ad- 
mission of 426, 456 


Letcher, Gov. Va 144 

Lee, Gen. Robert E., Adjutant Gen. .144 

Leesburg, Loudon, Co., Va 144 

Lewis House, The 144, 145 

Latham's Battery 145 

Lightfoot. Lieut. Col., 5th N. C. Regt. 148 

Losses, Relative, &c 150, 151 

Lincoln, President U. S., Proclamation 

of April 15, 1861, for 75,000 men . . . 158 
Lawton, A. R., Confederate State's 
Quartermaster at Richmond, Va., 
Correspondence with Gov. Smith. . 178 
Legislature of Virginia, The Governor 
urges them to organize the whole 
male population to prevent raiding 
parties of the enemy from depre- 
dating upon the people, ravaging 
their fields, and to cooperate in the 
struggle, 192, He sends in a Bill for 

that purpose 193 

Letcher, John, Gov. of Virginia, His 
commission to Mr. Smith as Col. in 

the C. S. Army 202 

Lee, Gen., Order No. 9, April 10, 1865 


Lincoln, President of the U. S., His 
conference with Judge Campbell. . .213 



Lincoln, President, His order counter- 
manding the recall of the Legisla- 
ture 213, 214 

Lincoln, President U. S., his entry 
into the city of Richmond, Va. .215, 216 

Lincoln, President U. S., his In- 
augural, Mar. 4, 1861, Extract from. 217 

Lincoln, Inaugural sent to the U. S. 
Ministers at London and Paris 217 

Lamb, Mrs. Marth J. Magazine, &c. . .228 

Lincoln, President, his Restoration 
Policy for Virginia, by Major Stiles. 228 

Lincoln, President U. S., his soubri- 
quet of Gov, Smith, "Old Game 
Cock" 233 

Lincoln, President U. S., Landed in 
Richmond, 3 p. m. at "Rockets" 
under protection of Admiral Porter, 

" and walked to Gen. Weitzel's Quar- 
ters and returning same evening to 
the Gun Boat "Malvern." 236 

Lincoln, President, See Major Stiles' 
"Restoration Policy" as to the Presi- 
dent's "Call" 241 

Loan Bill, Speech of Mr. Smith in Ho. 
of Representatives 310, 320 


Marr, Capt. of Warrenton Rifles. 137, 139 
McDonald at Fairfax, Report of the 

Fairfax Fight, on June 1, 1861 

Marr, Captain, found dead 139 

McGee. Lieutenant 140 

Marr, Miss Fannie H., sister of Capt. 

Marr, and author of the poem "Our 

Fallen Brave " 143 

Manassas, Reminiscences of 1st Battle 

of, by Gen. William Smith 

Murray, Lieut. Col. Graduate West 

Point 144 

Manassas, 1st Battle 150, 151 

Mississippi Company 146 

Missouri, State of, Admission into the 

Union 157 

Message, Annual, of Gov. Smith to the 

Legislature of Virginia 180 to 192 

Exemption of State Officers and 

others from Military Duty. . . . 181, 182 
[183, 184, 185 

Mississippi, Legislature of 192 

Meade, Gen., Letter of 203 

Munford, Gen. Thomas T., his Stirring 

and Eloquent Order 21 1 

Munford, Gen. Thomas T., his Special 

Order No. 6, to his Division of Cav- 

airy 211, 212 

Munford, Gen., his Letter to Governor 

Smith 212 

Munford, Geo. Wythe, Letter to Gov.; 

Smith 217, 218, 219 

Munford, Col. Geo. W., Letter to Gov. 

Smith 219, 220, 221 

Missouri, Compromise Speech of Gov. 

Smith on Mr. Clay's Opinion on 344, 350 
Minnesota, Gov. Smith's Speech on the 

Admission of into the Union. . .350, 354 

Nebraska and Kansas, Speech of Gov. 
Smith on 326, 327 


Opposition to Enlisting the Negro 
Slaves in the Army as Soldiers. 196, 197 
Many able military men in favorof it 

Ordway, Lieut. Col., 24th Mass. Vol. 
Infantry, Provost Marshal, Va 209 

Organization of House of Representa- 
tives, Gov. Smith's Speech on. .355, 426 

Prince William Company 137 

Prices of bread-stuffs, meat, shoes, corn 
meal, &c, argued '60, '61, '62 &c. 
Maximum and Minimum prices. 160, 161 

Peace, Justices of, Exempt from Mili- 
tary service 190 

Proposes to the Gen. Assembly that 
none be elected under 45 yrs. of age. 191 

Pettigru, Hon. James L., Address be- 
fore the Virginia Historical Society 
at Richmond 245, 246 

Parker, Col. John A., Letter to. .257, 258 


Reminiscences of the War, by General 
Wm. Smith, from the "Historical 
Southern Magazine," by John Wm. 
Jones, Authorof "Memoirs of Gen. 
R. E. Lee," and Memoirs of Presi- 
dent Davis, sketching the skirmish at 
Fairfax C't House, in May, '61 . . 136, 142 

Rappahannock Cavalry 141 

Robinson House 145 

"Reserved Forces" of Virginia, urged 
by the Governor on the Legislature 

organization of 164 

Rhode Island, State of 188 

Resolution on the subject of enlisting 

the Negroes as soldiers 196 

Richmond City, Evacuation of General 

Order relative to 203 

Russell, A. H., Acting Prov. Marshal 
at Warrenton, Va. his certificate &c. 209 

Richmond, Surrender of 215 

Reconstruction Meeting, Some Mem- 
bers of Virginia Legislature, &c. . . .237 


" Stevenson's Clover Field" 139 

Stevenson's " Farm House" 139 

Shackelford, Lieut 140 

Sudley Mills 144 

Schenck, General 145 

Smith, Major Caleb, Wounded at 1st 

Manasses 148 

Spirits, Intoxicating, urged and ap- 
proved their prohibition 163 

Stock -Jobbing, buying and selling gold 
and silver, dealing in State or Con- 
federate Currency, he urges the 

Legislature to forbid by law 167 

Smith, Governor's response to General 
Assembly of Virginia, as to exempt- 
ing State Officers from military 

duty 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174 

Specimens of the prices of supplies 
purchased needed at Richmond for 
State of Virginia, citizens of Rich- 
mond, and others 174, 175, 176, 177, 178 


Slaves, Gov. recommends them to be 
armed and put into the field as 
soldiers 195 

Smith, Gov., Letter from, to General 
Grant 203 

Smith, Gov., Letter from, to Gen. Hal- 
leck 203 

Smith, Governor, Letter from, to J. R. 
Tucker, Esq., Attorney General of 
Virginia 204 

Shepley, G. F., Military Gov. Virginia, 
order of 207 

Smith, Governor, Letter to, from J. R. 
Tucker 207 

Smith, Gov., Letter from, to Gen Lee. 207 

Smith, Gov., Letter from, to General 
Halleck 207, 208 

Smith, Gov., his Parole 209 

Smith, Governor, his Proclamation at 
Danville 210, 211 

Slaughter, Gen. Edwin, his move vs. 
the enemy 210 

Smith, Gov., his parole of Honor by 
the President 209 

Smith, |Gov., his parole of Honor ex- 
tended 209 

Smith, Gov., his parole of Honor en- 
larged 209 

Smith, General Kirby, Issues his ap- 
peal 210 

Stiles, Major Robert, his narrative of 
Governor Smith's evidence, &c, in 
the gold cases 221, 222, 223 

Smith, Gov. ; his letter to Lieut. Gov. 
Thomas 223 

Smith, Gov., his statement in the gold 

cases ...223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228 

And his order to the Auditor to issue 
his warrant on Treasury, &c 225 

Stiles, Maj. Robert, the Truth brought 
to light as to " Restoration Policy" 
for Virginia by Stanton, Gen. Sec'y 
of War, U. S 228 10231 

Smith, Wm., Address before the Me- 
chanics' Institute of Va. . .246, 247, 248 
[249, 250, 251,252, 253 

Smith, ex-Gov. of Virginia, Letter of, to 
the President of the U. S. .254 255, 256 

Smith, ex-Gov., Letter of, to " L. C. 
M " 259, 260 

Smith, ex-Gov. of Virginia, Letters 

from, to Gen. D. H. Hill 260, 261 

Thomas Mehan, Esq 261, 263 

L. R. S., Esq 263, 264 

Texas, J. M. S. of 261, 262 

R. T. Daniel, Esq., Chairman of 

Executive Committee, Va 264 

Afterwards Attorney Gen. of Va. 

R. R. Collier, Esq 264, 265 

B. F. Berkley, Esq. . . .265, 266, 267, 268 

R. M. Collier, Esq. . . .269, 270, 271, 272 
[273, 274, 275 
Hon. D. C. Dejarrette, ex-member 

of Congress 

Hon. C. F. Suttle, J. V. Brooke, ex- 
members of Va. Legislature. . . . 
Hon. F. McMullen, ex-Governor of 

Hon. H. W. Thomas, ex-Circuit Court 


Hon. Ch. E. Sinclair, member of Va 


J. L. Strongfellow. .276 to 287 inclusive 

Smith, Wm., his Speech in House of 
Rep. in 1842, on the Tariff. . .289 to 310 

Smith, Wm., Speech of, on the Loan 
Bill 310 to 320 

Smith, Wm., Speech of, on the Pro- 
visional Tariff' Veto of 320 to 324 

Smith, Wm., Speech on Tariff. .324 to 326 

Smith, Wm., Speech on Kansas and 
Nebraska 326 to 337 

Smith, Wm., his Speech in House of 
Rep. in reply to J. R. Giddings of 
Ohio 337 to 343 

Smith, Wm., Speech on Mr. Clay's 
opinion on the Missouri Compro- 
mise 344 to 350 

Smith, Wm., Speech on the Admission 
of Minnesota into the Union. .350 to 354 

Smith, Wm., Speech on the Organiza- 
tion of the House of Rep. . . .355 to 426 

Smith, Wm., Speech on the Admission 
of Kansas 426 to 456 


Tompkins, Federal Lieut., Report of 
the Fairfax Fight in May, 1861, to 

General McDowell 138 

Thornton, Captain Company 137 

Thomas, Col. F. J.. (Johnson's StafF). .147 

Tucker, J. R., Letters from 207 

Thomas, Judge H. W., His letter to 

Judge J. W. Bell 224 

Tariff, Speech of Mr. Smith on, in the 
House of Rep. in 1842, from page 

[2S0 to page 310 
Tariff, Speech of Mr. Smith on, in the 

House of Rep. on the Veto of. .310, 324 
Tariff, Speech on 324, 326 


Virginia, Secession of, 17 April, 1S61 . 
Veto of the President U. S. of the Pro- 
visional Tariff Bill 320 


Wickham, Captain 142 

Ward,H.Clay, the49thVa.Regt. 
killed at 1st Battle of Manasses 

Washington Artillery 146 

Wells, James, Shot through the lungs, 
but survived 

Wells, John 147 

Washington, President of U. S. denied 
the benefit of the Fugitive Slave 
Act of 1793, was the first to claim 
the benefitof it, but yielded his right. 156 

War, between the States, see Inaugural 
unexpectedly protracted 194 

Weitzel, Major-General Godfrey, His 
order on entering Richmond City. .214 

Whepley, Geo. F., Brig. Gen., his or- 
der as Military Governor of > Rich- 
mond 214, 215 

Whepley, Gen., His order to protect 
private property 215 


Page 4 — 29th line should read : "Colonel Caleb Smith was brother of the late Colonel 
William R. Smith." 

Page 10 — 19th line should read : " he would fall to cursing like a very Drab." 

Page 10 — 26th line should read : " they are trusty and well beloved cousins all." 

Page 16 — 29th line should read : " many had no confidence in his strength." 

Page 16 — 38th line, "semi-colon after canvass." 

Page 19 — 19th line, change initial to Shelton F. Leake. 

Page 19 — 22d line, change name to Hon. James A. Seddon. 

Page 19 — 4th line quotation should read : "heard so oft in worst extremes." 

Page 23 — 2d line should read : " old Richmond and Louisa Railroad." 

Page 26 — 27th line should read : "two of which were brought out under a lady's 

Page 29 — 5th line should read : " if they were all trumps." 

Page 35 — nth line, "John " should be "James" McDowell. 

Page 37 — Last line, Chapter IX, ) parenthesis at end. 

Page 45 — 2d paragraph should read : " This was a rare instance, if not the only one 
in the whole army, where a man holding a high civic position, relinguished 
it for a military command in the field when exempt from military duty, 
and received only his salary as Colonel of his regiment." 

Page 48 — 30th line from top, change asiduous to assiduous. 

Page 49 — Casualties 49th Va. Infantry change total to "88." 

Page 54 — 7th line of Stiles letter, change "sixty-six" to "sixty-seven." 

In same letter, second paragraph of 4th line change to "so that often- 

Page 56 — 3d paragraph, 1st line insert word "even" so as to read "Surrounded by 
emergencies which, at this distant day, even can be well understood and 

Page 65 — 14th line from bottom, insert initial P, so as to read : Lieut. Col. P. Bell. 

Page 66 — Same change as on page 65. 

Page 68 — nth line from bottom change to read : "each labored with tongue and pen 
to pronounce," &c. 

Page 69 — 2d line from top add ] bracket at end of sentence. 

Page 69 — 4th paragraph, 8th line, comma after confidence. 

Page 70 — Last paragraph should read : " Age could not weaken nor sorrow dim the 
glow of his early vow ; in his eyes she was always young and beautiful." 

Page 82 — In 10th line from top, following the name of Judge Bell insert "Lieut. 
Thomas S. Bell of Washington City." 

Page 85— In letter "To the Legislature," 10th line, change to read : "he has ever 
discharged the duties of his position with great fidelity," &c. 

Page 99 — " The writer of this article is mistaken. General Smith never, during the 
whole war, put foot under his own roof after the abandonment of Manassas 
by the Confederates in 1861. He would not have compromised himself as 
soldier by placing himself within easy capture by the Federals, even for 
the tenderness and attention of wife and family, though dangerously and 
it was believed mortally wounded." 

Page 99— The last paragraph should be read before the extract from N. Y. Sun to 
page 98. 


In presenting these Memoirs of a man who had for a half century filled 
a large space in the public eye and whose history is in reality an important 
part of the history of his State, the author was fully sensible of the difficulties 
of the task, as well as of the criticisms his adventure would incur. 

The few fragmentary records found among the papers of Governor Smith 
furnish but meagre types of his individuality, and but little data on which the 
historian might found a biography. His letters to his friends and contempo- 
raries, a large number of which was stamped from the originals, can never be 
recovered, nor can the copies be utilized, by reason of their indistinctness. 
Doubtless they would make a volume of themselves of most interesting and 
instructive matter. Some of more recent date may be found in the appendix 
to this volume. 

The nervous activity and restless energy of his nature rendered him adverse 
to sedentary occupation ; and after the severe wounds received at Sharpsburg, 
his right hand was rendered powerless to wield his pen. 

To find the inner life of the man whose nature was cast in no common 
mould, we must mark the restless aspirations of his youth, the brilliant 
political triumphs of maturer manhood, and above all, the conspicuous part 
borne by him in that stern drama which enacted the birth and death of a 

When the author revives his recollections of the thousand romantic inci- 
dents, the battles and the storms through which the subject of these Memoirs 
had passed, it is a cause of the deepest regret that he left such meagre and 
unsatisfactory records of his eventful life. 

When the few of his contemporaries now living, and the many who have 
risen and flourished since he has retired from the political arena, shall con- 
template his history, they will acknowledge how signally he triumphed over 
all personal hostility and political hate, and the calm judgment of future years 
will proclaim his unselfish devotion and fealty to that fair land, 

"The page of whose story 
The brightest or darkest is linked with his fame." 

J. W. B. 

Note. — It is proper, though, as the author was partly the writer, not strictly necessary, to give credit for 
the use of an article published in the Democratic Review. 


Governor William Smith, of Virginia. 



The Doniphans (A. W. and John) — Their Ancestors, Commanded Spanish Troops- 
Fled to Scotland — -One Son Settled at Jamestown — Grants of Land from 
Charles II. — Fought in the Revolution in John Marshall's Company — Father of 
A. W. Doniphan, at Yorktown — Justice of the Peace at Alexandria — Inogments 
in Favor of Gen. Washington — Win. Smith's Birth — Col. Caleb Smith — His Sons 

and Daughters — William's School Days in Connecticut — Return to Virginia At 

School at Nelson's — Studied Law — Success as Lawyer — Marriage. 

Gen. A. W. and Col. John Doniphan came of a proud 
Spanish ancestry. Their primitive ancestor commanded the 
Spanish troops in the wars against the Moors in the Six- 
teenth century. Failing to obey the orders of the cruel 
Phillip, to destroy the Moorish towns which he captured, he 
fell into disfavor with the king and fled to Scotland, where he 
married a Scotch heiress, and came into possession of valu- 
able estates. 

One of his sons shared in the first settlement of James- 
town. His family had a large grant of land from Charles II., 
on account of loyalty to Charles I. 

From the Jamestown Doniphan descended three Doni- 
phans who fought in the Revolutionary struggle in the com- 
pany commanded by John Marshall, afterwards Chief Jus- 
tice of the United States. In the battle of Brandywine one 
of these brothers was killed. Another, the father of General 
A. W. Doniphan, being mustered out, went to Boones- 
borough, Ky., where, in 1779, he taught the first school in 
that state, composed of the children of the fort. He after- 
wards returned to Virginia, and was present with the conti- 
nental army at the surrender of Yorktown. He then married 
and was appointed a Justice of the Peace at Alexandria. His 
old docket is still in existence, in which several judgments are 

rendered in favor of George Washington, against his tenants, 
for so many pounds of tobacco, being the amount of rent due 
for the land rented of the " Father of his Country." 

In 1 79 1 he again moved to Mason county, Kentucky, where 
General A. W. Doniphan was born ; also the father of Colo- 
nel John Doniphan. Colonel Doniphan's father was a surgeon 
in the war of 1812, and spent the winters of 18 10 and 181 2 
three miles from the present site of Toledo, Ohio, then an 
unbroken wilderness. 

General A. W. Doniphan, for whom the county of Doni- 
phan was named, was, during his career, tendered many high 
positions of trust and profit ; but refused them all. for private 
reasons. He died on the 8th of last August, in the 80th year 
of his age. 

William Smith, the subject of the following biographical 
sketch, was the direct descendant of Alexander Doniphan, a 
Spaniard who, during the seventeenth century, emigrated to 
England and thence to Virginia in pursuit of religious free- 
dom. Alexander, second son of Alexander Doniphan, senior, 
married, first, Mary Waugh, and was the lineal head of the 
Smith branch of the family*. The Doniphans' are mentioned 
in deeds in King George county, Virginia, in 5th year of 
William and Mary — 1693 — with Gent, attached. Genealogy 
is only a subject of pride when it traces the course of honest 
and chivalric blood ; and to his Castilian descent William 
Smith may have been in part indebted for his dauntless cour- 
age in war, his wisdom in council and knightly courtesy in 
the domestic circle. 

Joseph Smith, born in 1741. in Richmond count)-, Virginia, 
son of Sir Sidney Smith, married a daughter of Sir Walter 
Anderson, of Wales, an officer of the British navy. The 
grandfather of the subject of these memoirs was issue of 
this marriage. They had issue Thomas, who was the father 
of Col. Caleb Smith, the father of William, afterwards the 
Governor of Virginia. The above names are still favorites 
with each generation. A very interesting account of the 

• Vide special Virginia ediiion of Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopaedia, written by 1 >r. K 
A. Brock, Secretary Virginia Historical Society, under the head of" Eminent Virginians,"— Appendix. 

gallantry of the Cavaliers — especial body-guard of Ferdinand, 
King of Spain, at the battle of Grenada, is given by Wash- 
ington Irving in his " Alhambra." For their great services, 
Ferdinand knighted all who were not already knighted, and 
presented each a medal, bearing upon its face, a Moor, in 
chains. One of these medals was still in the possession of 
Dr. Doniphan, of Lexington, Ky., about sixty years ago. 

The Records of the Clerk's Office of the county of 
Westmoreland, show deeds to many thousands acres of land 
to the ancestors of the Smith's, in the reign of William and 
Mary. One of them sold forty thousand acres lyino- on 
Goose Creek, in Loudoun county, for forty thousand pounds 
of tobacco, which was then the currency of the Colony of 

William, the third child of Colonel Caleb Smith, was born 
at Marengo, the old homestead of his father, in King George 
county, Virginia, on the sixth day of September, 1797. 
Col. Caleb Smith was one of a numerous and wealthy family, 
and wielded for many years an extraordinary influence over 
the people of his county. He acquired and maintained, 
through a long and useful life, the personal esteem and politi- 
cal confidence of his fellow citizens. He frequently occupied 
places of honor and profit voluntarily conferred on him by the 
people. The honor of a seat in the General Assembly of 
Virginia was repeatedly awarded him, unsought and unbidden. 

He amassed considerable wealth and was thereby enabled 
to afford his children superior educational facilities. He was 
blessed with a numerous familv of sons and dauehters. 
Thomas, the second son, was bred a lawyer, and rose to dis- 
tinction in his section of the state. So expert and successful 
did he become in the practice of the law that Judge John Tay- 
loe Lomax, of the Fredericksburg circuit, appointed him his 
prosecuting attorney, and Thomas accompanied him as such, 
to most of the courts in his judicial circuit. He accumulated a 
considerable fortune from the practice of the law; but preferring 

Note — The author regrets that the interesting sketch of his family on his paternal side and their genealogy, 
which the Governor, in his last years, became much interested in tracing, was destroyed by fire at Culpeper 
one year ago. This had resulted in reaching as far back as 1663. 

a more congenial and higher profession, graduated in the minis- 
try at the Episcopal Seminary at Alexandria, Virginia, and fol- 
lowed assiduously that sacred calling to the time of his death. 

James Madison, the third son, was also a lawyer ; graduated 
at the University of Virginia ; became a brilliant essayist 
and journalist, and in behalf of the Democratic party, took an 
active and aggressive part in the politics of the state. Later 
in life he emigrated to the West to fill a federal appointment 
conferred on him by President Pierce, and there died. 

Colonel Smith's daughters were of superior intelligence and 
several of them of masculine minds. 

Frances married Alexander Keech, of Maryland, who be- 
came a well-known and distinguished scholar and educator at 
Waverly Academy, near Washington City. 

Maria, married the Rev. Dr. Johnson, of Georgia, a learned 
and well-known Episcopal minister of that state. He was 
chaplain in the army and won the soubriquet of " the Fighting 

Martha married William Bell, of Culpeper, Va., who for 
many years held the responsible office of disbursing clerk of 
the U. S. Post Office at Washington. Refusing to take the 
additional oath of orifice required immediately anterior to the 
war, he abandoned his commission and vacated his office. 
He afterwards became one of the most expert and efficient 
prosecuting attorneys of claims against the government of 
the United States. 

Catharine married John Blackford, of Shenandoah county, 

Colonel Caleb Smith was brother-in-law of the late Colonel 
Wm. R. Smith,- a venerable and esteemed citizen of Fauquier 
county. It is worthy of remark here and literally true, that 
the lamented Robert E. Scott and himself, antipodal to each 
other in the politics of that day, were the only two men who 
could be elected to the Legislature at their volition without 

William, the distinguished subject of these memoirs, at the 
age of ten years was sent by his father to remain a short time 
in the family of Judge John W. Green, of Fredericksburg, 

Virginia, who was then a lawyer of extensive practice in that 
city and section, that he might be prepared to give his father 
an opinion with respect to the mental capacity of his son, 
and his ability to receive a classical education. 

The opinion of Judge Green was very favorable. 

In 1 8 r i William was sent to the town of Plainfield, Conn., 
then bearing some academic repute, to commence his studies 
of English and the classics. At this early age he is said to 
have been distinguished for zeal and mental vigor in the pros- 
ecution of his studies. But at this institution he was destined 
to remain a short time. When the war of 1812 was declared, 
the condition of things became more unsettled. Youncr Wil- 
liam became fired by that ardent and generous spirit of pa- 
triotism, which in his subsequent life formed a distinguishing 
trait in his character. He immediately and earnestly be- 
sought his father to procure for him a midshipman's warrant. 
In this perturbed condition of the country and the agitation 
of the public mind in which the ardent and enthusiastic youth 
greatly shared, it was deemed best by his father to recall him 
to his home. His father disapproving his ambition to enter the 
navy and deeming him too young for the army, determined 
to give his son the best education the country could then 
afford. Accordingly he entered William at the then cele- 
brated English and Classical School of Thomas Nelson, in 
Hanover County, Va. Here, and at a private school at his 
father's house, established expressly for the tuition of his own 
children, William acquired a liberal English and classical 

Encouraged by the flattering opinion theretofore expressed 
and destined for the profession of the law, he commenced its 
study in the office of Judge Green ; continued it with Hon. 
Thomas L. Moore, a lawyer of high reputation of the town of 
Warrenton, Va., and concluded it in the law office of General 
Winder, of Baltimore. He commenced the practice of the 
law in the County of Culpeper and resided at the County 
seat, in the month of August, 18 18, at twenty-one years of 
age. Endowed with a robust frame and vigorous constitution, 
zealous and enthusiastic in its prosecution, he soon satisfied 

the Courts of his legal acumen— the; juries of his great powers 
as an advocate, and the public with his fideltiy to his clients. 
The result was an increasing business and reputation in all 
the courts in which he practiced. 

Sometime thereafter, young Mr. Smith was united in mar- 
riage to Elizabeth H., the eldest daughter of the late James 
M. and Amelia Bell of Bell Parke. Capt. Bell was a wealthy 
and prominent citizen of Culpeper, who dispensed a 
" Virginia hospitality," well noted at that day for its uniform 
courtesy and affluence. 

Thus the young attorney found himself in the hey-day of 
prosperity and success. But that exhuberance of spirits and 
active mental energy that accompanied him through life, and 
which, if confined to his profession, must have contributed 
greatly to eminent success as a lawyer, would not suffer him to 
remain " cribbed, cabined and confined " in a dull country vil- 
lage. The little village of Culpeper sixty years ago — then 
called Fairfax — the home of Mr. Smith's adoption, was liter- 
ally in the " mountain fastnesses." With great natural ad- 
vantages of soil, beauty, scenery, much wealth and talent and 
a hard)-, spirited and intelligent yeomanry, that, in common 
with the whole Piedmont region, demanded an outlet to mar- 
ket and rapid communication with the world. 


Contracts with the United States Government Pioneer <>l the South Country Im- 
proved—His Stage ami Boat Lines Great Competition — Free Passage ami a 
Bottle "I Wine Brocks Virginians. 

Partly to improve his own fortunes ami partly to accommo- 
date the people, Mr. Smith contracted with the Government 
of the United States to establish a line of United States mail 
and passenger post coaches from Washington city to Lynch- 
burg, touching the towns of Fairfax, Warrenton, Culpeper, 
Orange Court House and Amherst Court Mouse \'a. This 
line proved to be a great advantage to the country through 
which it passed, and remunerative to the contractor. 

'.'leased with this result, he soon enlarged his contracts 

with the Government, and extended his lines of mail and pas- 
senger coaches through the States of Virginia, North and 
South Carolina, to Milledgeville, Ga., a distance of 65o miles. 
All along this line between the different termini, were estab- 
lished at points about equidistant, relay houses, hotels, stores, 
blacksmith shops, stables, etc., for the accommodation of the 
traveling public. 

The consequence was, the whole country rapidly advanced 
in material improvement, and developed its resources to a 
wonderful degree. At that day there were no railroads in 
these States, and Mr. Smith was emphatically called the Pio- 
neer of the South. January i, 1835, Mr. Smith was the suc- 
cessful bidder for the mail contract by steamboat and coach 
line between Washington and Richmond. Messrs. Edmonds, 
Davenport & Co., started a passenger line in opposition to 
the regular main line, and for a short time the opposition was 
so strong that free passage was offered on both lines, until 
finally the tradition was, that an additional inducement of a 
bottle of wine was presented to the passengers. 

This ruinous competition was soon terminated by the trans- 
fer of the latter contract to the former contractors. 

Mr. Smith also ran a line of steamers between Baltimore 
and Norfolk. This, however, was of temporary existence. 
But his restless and progressive temper would not let him 
stop here. His next enterprise of like character was to estab- 
lish a semi-weekly steamer called the " Champion " which 
ran from Pensacola, Fla.. to Galveston, Tex. This also was 
of temporary duration. 

For the general incidents and anecdotes occurring in the 
'early part of the life of this remarkable man, the reader is re- 
ferred to a sketch of his life in Hardesty's Historical and 
Geographical Encyclopaedia, under the head of " Eminent 
Virginians," by R. A. Brock, Esq., of Richmond, Va., Secre- 
tary of the Virginia Historical Society. This is a special Vir- 
ginia edition, giving a history of the two Virginias and bio- 
graphical sketches of the distinguished men of the States 
from a very early day in their history. It is an intensely in- 
teresting and valuable work, especially to all Virginians. 

Pending the prosecution of these different enterprises, Mr. 
Smith labored under an enforced absence from home, and 
hence, greatly to the neglect and detriment of his legal busi- 
ness and profession. Despite his protracted absence from 
the bar, when he did return to it and offered himself again a 
candidate for practice, his old clients and friends rallied to his 
support, and freely trusted him again with their dearest per- 
sonal and property rights. So great was their confidence in 
his ability as a lawyer and advocate at the bar, that he was 
often called to distant parts of the State, and to the United 
States Courts at Washington, in the line of his profession. 


Mr. Smith's Initiation into Political Life — His Political Principles — His Admiration of 
Jefferson and Madison — First Election to the Legislature of Virginia — Election of 
United States Senator — W. C. Rives — The Conservative, Whig and Democratic 
Parties — Mr. Rives a Candidate — Mr. Smith's Determined Opposition to Him — 
The Reason Why — Senator Smith's Speech against Him — Distinguished Whigs of 
that Day. 

Some years before his entrance regularly into political life, 
Mr. Smith had been a bold and outspoken co-laborer in the 
Democratic-Republican party. In 1824 he opposed the elec- 
tion of Clay and Adams, and preferred the election of Craw- 
ford over Gen. Jackson. In 1828 he warmly supported Gen. 
Jackson for the presidency. After his election he was a 
warm adherent of his administration in the main. He op- 
posed the proclamation and the Force bill however, and was 
very pronounced in his disapproval of the doctrines set forth 
in those State papers. He warmly approved the veto of the 
bill for re-charter of the United States Bank, and the removal 
of the deposits, and took bold and decided position on the 
French Indemnity question, sustaining the administration in 
its measures and policy on that delicate and dangerous 

Mr. Smith was a firm believer in the resolution of 'qS-'qo. 
as expounded by President Madison and Jefferson ; and on 
all questions of government polity closely adhered to the 
fundamental principles that, all powers not granted to the 

Government of the United States and not necessary to carry- 
out those that are granted, are reserved to the States or to 
the people respectively. 

In 1836 Mr. Smith was elected to the Senate of Virginia 
for four years. This body was then composed of experienced 
and talented members and who were among the best debaters 
in the State. He soon took the front in the Democratic 
party ; and on all questions of finance and banking and State 
internal improvements, showed himself thoroughly conversant 
and an able and ready debater. He was a bold and fearless 
thinker and became the master-spirit of the Senate. He 
waged a bold and determined war against the banks of the 
State, and denounced the whole banking system as inefficient 
and inherently corrupt. By reason of this radical and aggres- 
sive spirit, Mr. Smith was regarded by the Whig party as a 
dangerous politician and ahead of the age in which he 

In March, 1839, the term of service of the Hon. W. C. 
Rives, a Senator of the United States from Virginia, would 
expire. Several gentlemen of distinction were spoken of 
besides himself to supply his place. Senator Rives was an able 
and rising democratic statesman in the country, and was in 
fact the most popular public man in the State. But he had 
offended many of his friends and admirers by reason of a 
more defined disaffection towards the then Federal adminis- 
tration ; and doubtless his own party by its own action had 
eiven offense to him. The contest was absorbings and the 
election was an exciting one. Senator Rives's disaffection 
culminated in the formation of the Conservative party. 
There were three candidates for that high office. The Con- 
servatives were about fifteen in number. The Whigs counted 
about eighty. The Democrats were therefore in a minority. 
The policy, perhaps the plan, was for the Whigs to vote for 
Mr. Tyler, afterwards President of the United States, and the 
Conservatives for Mr. Rives. The Democrats of course sup- 
ported their own candidate. Then all rules of party action 
were to be reversed and the majority must give way to the 
minority. Party bitterness and factional animosity ran high. 


This was an anomalous condition of things at that day. In a 
speech of great power and force, Mr. Smith said : 

" Mr. Speaker — What train of reflection ought this extraordinary state of things to 
excite? Ought we to look at it as a subject of ridicule or regret? Ought we to laugh 
at the vows which the tongue utters 'when the blood burns, ' or mourn over the frailty 
of our nature which makes us forget them? You recollect, sir, how Mr. Rives was 
denounced. The human wit ranged the whole held of language to file the tongue 
with words of bitterness. You, sir, have no doubt often witnessed his revilers stretch 
out their arms to yon bright vault, and call God to witness their oath of eternal hatred 
to him. Sir, often have I heard one of his most eloquent champions now abuse him 
in highways and in byways in season and out of season — from the bar-room to the 
rostrum, in terms of bitterness only limited by his own happy powers of denunciation 
and the poverty of his mother tongue. Yes, sir, 

■• • He would drown the stage with tears, 

And cleave the general ear with horrid speech ; 
Make mad the guilty and appal the free ; 
Confound the ignorant, and amaze, indeed, 
'The very faculties of eyes and ears.' 

"At another time, and in another mood, he would ' fall a cursing like a very 
Arab.' Yes, sir, I have heard it declared by this eloquent Whig, that lie preferred Mr. 
Rives to any man living or dead — to Mr. Madison, if he were on earth, in the zenith of 
his fame, and in full possession of all his noble faculties. What a change has come 
over the spirit of his dream ! No more do we see the smile of scorn, or hear the howl 
of indignation for imputed sins yet unrepented. No more do we see the disposition 
to cut him oft", even in the blossoms of his sins, ' unhouseled, unanointed and uiian- 
nealed; ' but now, to use a quotation of Mr. Rives himself, ' they are trusted and well- 
beloved cousins all.' " * 

This election gave rise to much angry discussion and bitter 
heart-burninor S between the two great Whijj and Democratic 
parties of that day. The Whig party was represented and 
led in Virginia by the larger proportion of wealth and power, 
education and social family distinction. It had Leigh and 
Tyler ; the two Harbours, ex- Governor and John S., both bril- 
liant men and splendid orators. Judge Baldwin, Judge Sum- 
mers, A. H. H. Stuart, Henry A. Wise, R. E. Scott. J. M. 
Botts and that unique platform orator, John S. Pendleton. 
Senator Lyons, an elegant gentleman and distinguished law- 
yer, with several others, led the Whig part} - in the Senate. 

Unaided and undaunted by the allied powers against him on 
this occasion, Senator Smith's genius and courage did not 

* The Hon. John S. Pen J let on was the gentleman alluded to. He was .a that time a member of the Virginia 
House oi I) ..'legates from the County of Rappahannock. He was a devoted Whig and greal admirer of Mr. 
Rives. Of him, it was said by the celebrated ["homas Ritchie in the Richmond Inquirer, of that date, that 
he leil off in that elei tii in in .1 nominating speech of Mr. Rives of " surpassing eloquence, and 1 overed himself 
with glory." Mr. Ritchie was de idedly opposed to the re-election of Mr. Rives, Mr. Pendleton was after- 
wards a member of Congress and Charge </<' Affairs to Chili, 


forsake him. The line of his duty was marked out plainly 
before him. He did not believe that Mr. Rives ought to be 
re-elected to the Senate of the United States. He continued 
in the following graphic and eloquent strain : 

" Mr. Speaker," said Mr. Smith, " Let me here pause and for a brief space con- 
template the moral grandeur of our position. While the Whigs, greatly stronger than 
the party with which we act, are, as is supposed, about to commit an extraordinary 
act of political prostitution; while the Conservatives are ready and anxious for that 
unholy embrace from which no good can come, we, deficient in numbers, yet firmly 
stand upon our principles, recognizing no necessity for their abandonment. Conscious 
that our destiny may be defeat, and deeply anxious to conquer, yet we sternly resist 
all the seductions of temptation, confiding in the justice of our cause and the wisdom 
of the people, we fear not defeat, satisfied that it will enrich that victory, which, 
sooner or later, we must certainly achieve. 

'•Our principle, sir, the Democratic principle, must win favor as it is understood. 
It is a principle of humanity, benevolence and love. It seeks to abuse no man, but 
to elevate all. It seeks to alleviate human suffering, to bind up the broken-hearted, 
and to make us love one another as ourselves. It labors to purify the affections and 
expel from the human heart that selfishness which is the source of such innumerable 
woes. It teaches without ceasing, the lofty principles of unadulterated philosophy in 
order that man may be all that the creature should be who is made after God's own 
image. It is a principle of veneration and change, with ceaseless efforts for the hap- 
piness of man, and bears the same relation to the moral, that the Christian principle 
does to the religious world. The principles of both are love; for both seek the hap- 
piness of man. The one seeks to perfect the character of man here below; the 
other, in addition thereto, seeks to make him fit company for the society of just 
men made perfect. In fact, the only difference between these vital and glorious prin- 
ciples is, that the one is of earth, the other of heaven. Our principles teach us that 
all mankind are free and equal. Impress this doctrine upon the heart, and we must love 
our brother as ourself. Let us do this, and we must have charity and humility; and 
then sir, with our hearts thus purified and attuned to love, the Christian laborer has 
naught to do, but to invoke the regenerating principles of Divine grace. The Demo- 
cratic principle is the grand moral adjunct of the Christian principle; and it is the 
bounden duty of every son of heaven to spread it far and wide. Sir, the foe of the 
Democratic principle, is the aristocratic principle. 

"What are its characteristics? Pride, vain glory and ambition. It turns with loath- 
ing and disgust from the laboring millions. It considers the many as only fit to be 
'hewers of wood and drawers of water.' Its affections are only of this world, and 
it goes up into high places, and thanks the Lord it is not as that poor publican. 
What chance has the Christian laborer here ? 

" And such sir, is the principle which regulates the political conduct of a very large 
portion of our adversaries. Is it then wonderful, Mr. Speaker, that our principles 
should have borne us on conquering and to conquer ? Is it wonderful that under its 
rule we should have determined to bear our banner aloft, resolved as, I have before re- 
marked, 'to conquer or die' beneath its ample and imperishable folds." 

The purity of the principles and political tenets of the two 
great Democratic and Whig parties of former days are not 
to be discussed or passed on here. 

The relative merits of each were submitted to the great ar- 


bitrament of the people, and their judgment has passed into 
history. About the causes of its (the Whig party's) organi- 
zation and formation in this country, there could be many 
opinions and much discussion. Its organization was solid and 
compact. Its management was able and dexterous. Certain it 
is that, it was for years led and directed by some of the ablest 
men in America. The great Clay was the master spirit and 
genius of the Whig party ; and even the incomparable Web- 
ster and Calhoun would sometimes follow in his wake in op- 
position to the alleged usurpations of Presidents Jackson and 
Van Buren. They stood like a stone wall against the en- 
croachments of the Democratic party — and as has been said 
of the old Whig party of England, " with the steadiness of a 
great oligarchy," the Whigs " combined their characteristic 


Mr. Smith's Second Term in the Senate — Without Opposition— His Resignation — Pres- 
idential Election — Mr. Rives Again — His Discussion with Mr. Smith — The " Hard 
Cider Campaign" — Henry Wilson's Log Cabin — Mr. Smith's Great Discussion 
with Governor Barbour at Staunton, Va. 

So wide-spread was the distinction that Senator Smith had 
achieved in the legislature of Virginia during his first term, 
that he was unanimously nominated again for re-election in 
every county in his district in 1840, and was again elected 
without opposition. The Presidential election was soon to 
take place, and formidable opposition to the Democratic nom- 
inee was threatened by the Whigs. In consequence, Mr. 
Smith consented to be a candidate again, but on condition 
that he could resign at discretion. He served one term and 
did resign at the expiration of the first year of his second 
term. This was, in fact, an enforced resignation. It was in 
deference to the earnest demands of his profession as a law- 
yer, and the condition of his private affairs. 

In 1840 the Whig party had greatly increased in numbers, 
buoyancy and boldness. The people had tired of Van Bu- 
ren's administration, and the war-cry of the party was 
"change," " change " — change of men, and change of meas- 











ures. In the excess of their confidence, the Whigs boasted 
that they would carry the old Tenth Legion of Democracy, 
and actually sent out a challenge from old Rockingham, then 
the Gibralter of the Democratic party of Virginia, to meet 
them on a day fixed for the discussion of the great issues in- 
volved in the canvass. The Democrats of course accepted 
the challenge at once. This was just what such a bold and 
daring spirit as animated Mr. Smith's bosom desired. 

Mr. Rives by this time had left the Democratic party and 
given in his adhesion to Mr. Clay and the Whig party. He 
had traversed a portion of the State, addressing the people 
from the stump and bitterly denouncing President Van Buren 
and all the measures of his administration. He was an able, 
adroit, and fearless debater. He was a Senator of the United 
States, had been a minister to the Court of France, and his 
prestige and popularity were elements hard to withstand. 
Some Democrats became demoralized, and quailed before his 
coming. Then all eyes were turned to William Smith. 
Fearless, unflinching and intrepid, Mr. Smith, on different 
occasions, measured lances with Mr. Rives, and displayed an 
eloquence and ability theretofore unequaled by himself, and 
exciting the admiration and pride of friend and foe. 

In this great contest of 1840, Mr. Smith had acquired a 
fame and celebrity which impelled the people of the neigh- 
boring States of Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, to 
press him to visit them, and address them on the same issues. 
He was not a man to be confined to a sinele State. He met 
their best men in those States, and lost nothing in his tilts 
with them wherever he was invited to appear ; and for six 
months, toiled in the Democratic vineyard in those States, as 
well as in his own. 

This was the fiercest and bitterest contest save one, that 
ever took place in the United States. It was known as the 
"Hard Cider Campaign" — " Tippacanoe and Tyler too!" 
was the refrain sun^ throughout the United States. " 'Twas 
in that campaign that Henry Wilson of Massachusetts, a 
shoemaker by trade, constructed a coarse ox-wagon, loaded 
it with barrels of hard cider, and traversed his State, advocat- 


ing the claims of Harrison and Tyler. 'Twas in that campaign 
that Wilson conceived he possessed a " speaking" talent," drove 
his own wagon and made his own speeches, and afterwards 
became Senator and Vice-President of the United States. 

Mr. Smith frequently encountered such men as Ex-Gov. 
Barbour, J. S. Barbour, senior, Judge Summers, Judge Bald- 
win, Hon. A. H. H. Stuart, afterwards President Tyler's Sec- 
retary of the Interior, and other distinguished Whigs of Vir- 
ginia. The writer has often heard Governor Smith relate and 
comment with pleasure, upon the celebrated discussion he 
had with Gov. Barbour at Staunton, Va. He said, among 
other things of much interest, that Gov. Barbour spoke on 
that occasion for five hours, and made the ablest speech he 
ever heard from the lips of any man. 

Gov. Barbour had been the Governor of Virginia in the 
War of 1812, and Minister to the Court of St. James. He 
was called from his retirement on this occasion especially to 
combat with Mr. Smith and discuss the exciting and vital 
issues of the contest. Gov. Barbour was then about seventy- 
five years of age. He presented an imposing presence, with 
a striking face, long shaggy eyebrows, and head covered with 
silvery flowing locks ; with a majestic and sonorous voice, he 
filled one's conception of the grandeur of a Roman Senator 
in the best days of the Republic. 

But no fears entered the hearts of the Democrats when 
William Smith was at hand. With cool, calm, lofty bearing, 
with a magazine of facts at his command; with infinite dex- 
terity and resistless eloquence, he met the Ex-Governor at 
every point of attack, and gained bright laurels as one of the 
foremost debaters in the State. Although the Whig candi- 
dates (Harrison and Tyler) were elected, Virginia was saved 
to the Democracy. It was declared then and will be acknowl- 
edged now, that this result in Virginia was mainly due to the 
unresting energy and powerful influence of William Smith. 


Vacancy in Congress— Col. Banks Becomes a Candidate — Mr. Smith Urged to Run 
— Declines — His Letter on the Subject — The People Determined to Nominate 
Him — Elected to Congress — His Course in Congress — Speech on the Tariff — 
"Attalus" Congressional District Re -arranged — Extract of his Letter to 
Col. Parker. 

Hon. J. M. Pattern, who then represented the Culpeper 
Congressional District, resigned his seat in the House of 
Representatives. Mr. Smith was still a member of the Vir- 
ginia Senate. Col. Lynn Banks, who had been Speaker of the 
House ot Delegates for twenty-six years consecutively, an- 
nounced himseli immediately alter Mr. Patton's resignation 
independent of a convention, a candidate to supply the vacancy. 
He had always been a consistent Democrat from that brave 
old fortress of democracy, the County of Madison, then one 
of the counties of Senator Smith's district. Senator Smith 
was warmly urged to become a candidate also. A popular 
Whig had declared himself a candidate. Under these circum- 
stances Mr. Smith declined to run. He addressed a letter to 
the people urging concession and harmony, which, to some 
extent, allayed the dissatisfaction. Unfortunately this letter 
cannot be found; but, at a much later date, he wrote a letter 
to his friend Col. Parker, in which, among other things, he 
makes the following statement : 

Warrenton, Va., Dec i, 1873. 
Col. J. A. Parker, Tappahannock, Essex County. 

My Dear Sir: Although you may be familiar with the leading facts of my life, 
yet hoping to have your active support, I deem it proper to possess you of my state- 
ment, upon which you may implicitly rely. 

I was educated for the law, and commenced my professional career in the county 
of Culpeper, in August, 1818, and soon took part in the politics of the State, but 
never even desired to be a candidate. At length in 1836 a convention for our Senato- 
rial District was convened to select a candidate, and the choice fell upon me. I pro- 
tested I could not be a candidate ; that I was deeply in debt, and to enter public life 
would be my ruin, and so declined the nomination. It was then renewed, and my ac- 
ceptance demanded as a party duty, and I yielded. After an active canvass I was 
handsomely elected; so I commenced public life. 

Having served out my four years with some credit, I proposed to retire, but it 
was again insisted that I should run, which I finally agreed to do, with the under- 
standing that I might retire after serving the first year of my renewed term. I was 
elected without opposition, and as agreed, resigned. And this is my whole service in 
the Legislature of our State (five years.) 


" In the meantime Mr. Pattern having been elected a member of our State Coun- 
cil, resigned his seat in Congress, and Col. Lynn Banks announced himself a candi- 
date for the unexpired portion of Mr. Patton's term . Many of my friends insisted that 
I should run, and proposed to settle the difficulty through a convention, but Col. 
Banks declined, and insisted that he was in the field and would submit to no arbitra- 
ment whatever. This very naturally produced great dissatisfaction, taking advantage 
of which Mr. Slaughter, a Whig, announced himself a candidate. My friends urged 
that I too should announce myself a candidate, insisting that I could beat them both. 
This, however, I declined, reminding my friends that our Democratic majority in the 
district was 600 only; that our defeat would be inevitable, and that I would be 
held responsible for it. We, however, finally settled the question, and in some degree 
allayed dissatisfaction by my agreeing to run whenever the Whigs would not run a 
candidate. The contest was then left between Banks and Slaughter. I took an active 
part for Col. Banks, and notwithstanding all my efforts he was elected by a majority 
of, I think, only sixteen. The regular election coming off between the same candi- 
dates, Banks was elected by some three hundred majority. 

" It thus became evident to the Whigs that the effect of their policy was to fasten 
Col. Banks upon the district indefinitely. And the next election approaching, a num- 
ber of prominent Whig gentlemen called upon me to know if I did not intend to become 
a candidate. I replied, you gentlemen know the situation. Your party can make or 
prevent me from being one. Therefore they pledged themselves to me that if I would 
become a candidate no Whig would. This pledge embraced on the part of the Whigs 
no obligation to support me; they were to be left to their own pleasure as to the part 
they might take in the election, their policy being to try the effect of a family quarrel. 
Satisfied with the honor and influence of those who gave the pledge, and in compliance 
with my promise to do so when I could without endangering Democratic ascendency 
in the district, I announced myself. It produced quite a sensation. Three years of 
acceptable service by Col. Banks had subdued much of the active opposition to him, 
which his conduct in the beginning had provoked; many had no confidence in his faith, 
and considered all was lost, while my ardent friends considered my election an assured 
fact, and thus relaxed their vigilance and exertions, which, on such occasions, nothing 
can excuse. The result was that Col. Banks got the return by four votes. I contested 
the election and without waiting for the judgment of the House, we agreed to run it 
over. It took place in November, and was morally only a continuance of the spring 
election. But my friend Slaughter thought otherwise, and considering the Whig 
pledge exhausted, declared himself a candidate. I was nothing daunted. Fully sen- 
sible of the peril of my position, that I would be held responsible for Democratic de- 
feat, I boldly entered the canvass, asked if I were a Virginian anion- Virginians, that 
any should be so bold as to call upon our people to become aiders and abettors of the 
foul wrong now being attempted in this district, etc. The result was my triumphant 

At the next election for Congress the same circumstances 
confronted Mr. Smith, and he again refused to imperil the 
unity or harmony of his party, and declined to become a can- 
didate. A third election coming around, the people's anxiety 
had ripened into a well-settled determination to nominate 
Mr. Smith and run him for Congress. This determination, it 
was plain, could not be restrained. A Whig and a Democrat 
were still in the field, but Mr. Smith became a candidate, made 
a short, but energetic and powerful canvass, and triumphed 


over both competitors by over 400 majority. This election 
clearly tested his great popularity and power among the 

This was his first term in Congress. The Tariff Bank Dis- 
tribution of the proceeds of the sales of the public lands among 
the States, Internal Improvement by the General Govern- 
ment and the Loan Bill, were the absorbing topics of discussion 
in Congress and amongst the people. They were great ques- 
tions of Government policy. Mr. Clay was the author of the 
American System, and advocated all these measures with 
great ability and had acquired a tremendous following in the 

The questions of Banks, Banking and the Tariff were Mr. 
Smith's specialties. His speech on the Tariff was one of 
masterly ability. This speech was used in the celebrated 
contests of '44 in Virginia and other States, as one of the 
principal campaign documents in these elections. 

Mr. Smith was the author of a series of articles which 
appeared in the Richmond Enquirer over the signature of 
" Attalus," advocating the establishment of the Independent 
Treasury Scheme. His active participation in the discussion 
of these measures was enough to show that he was as able 
and efficient in the Councils of the country, as he was power- 
ful before the people. 

To prevent his re-election and to effect his exclusion from 
the House of Representatives in the next and future Con- 
gresses, the Whig - Legislature re-arranged his Congressional 
district, so as to ensure a Whig majority of 900. Upon this 
point Mr. Smith thus speaks in a letter to his friend Parker, 
under the aforesaid date : 

"It was during my term the State was re-districted for Congress and my district 
was portioned into three parts, literally made a Poland of, and made parts of three 
districts. Under this arrangement I had been left in a district hopelessly Whig, and I 
quickly accepted these arrangements as the final close of my political career. 

" Having previously concluded to move to Fauquier, a fine field for my profes- 
sion, and where superior advantages for the education of my children existed, and 
even before my arrangements were completed, I was called upon to run for Congress, 
in the district to which I have before referred. I frankly stated to the gentlemen my 
situation, and that it would be almost a crime against my family to think of it; they 
replied that the canvass would be short and that I was the only man in the district 
•who could rally the party. I then most unexpectedly became a candidate, and in a 


canvass of three weeks reduced the usual Whig majority of 1,200 to 265, exciting a 
large amount of apprehension and alarm. 

" Bear in mind, I beg you, that debt had long borne heavily upon me, which just 
culminated; that my firmness and character had been subjected to tests from which 
few escape without injury, and that at the most trying moment of my troubles, gen- 
tlemen called upon me again to enter the political arena, stating that I alone could or- 
ganize and arouse the Democratic vote of the district, thus telling me, in effect, that T 
had not suffered from the fiery ordeal through which I had passed. I was greatly 
gratified at it and cherish the memory of it with infinite satisfaction." 


Mr. Smith Neutral between Mr. Calhoun and President Van Buren — Appointed Demo- 
cratic State Elector — Hon. R. E. Scott Whig Elector — Traversed the State as Dem- 
ocratic Elector — Mr. Rives once More — Discussion at Culpeper with Mr. Smith. 

In 1843 when Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Van Buren each had 
his warm admirers and adherents for the Presidency, Mr. 
Smith attached himself to neither side. He had been the 
warm supporter of the latter's administration, and cherished 
homage for the great South Carolinian. Mr. Smith was de- 
cidedly in favor of the annexation of Texas from the initial 
agitation of that question. 

In 1844, Mr. Smith was appointed by the Democratic State 
Convention, presidential elector for his Congressional District, 
the Loudoun district, the only Whig district then in the State. 
He was thus put in competition with one of the most talented 
and popular Whig electors in the State, the Hon. R. E. Scott 
of Fauquier. He was blessed with a splendid physique and 
was a prodigy in oratory and power before courts and juries. 
When they " locked horns," it was indeed the " war of the 
giants." It was the manly, brave old custom then for the two 
great parties of that day to meet by appointment on day and 
place, divide equally the time and discuss the great issues of 
the contest— a custom which should be now more honored in 
the observance than in its breach — a custom which always 
met with the approval and pleasure of William Smith ; one, 
which, on all occasions generated the true guadia ccvtaminis 
in his bosom, and always proved him the great tribune of the 

In the great contests of 1844 as in those of 1846, Mr. Smith 
was again looked to by the people 


" As their liveliest pledge 
Of hope in fears and dangers." 

He was not permitted to confine himself to his own district, 
but was often called to a distance to meet the best men of the 
Whig party all over Virginia and West Virginia. The great 
Clay was again a candidate versus James K. Polk, who was 
comparatively undistinguished in the councils of the country. 
The Whigs were bitter and denunciatory in the extreme, and 
scouted the very idea of their great commoner's defeat. 

The campaigns of 40-44 were very similar to the Western 
campaigns in song and revelry, in wassail and spectacular. 
The Whig banners were emblazoned in capital letters with 
the couplet : 

"Walk along John, you can't stay, 
The people's choice is Harry Clay." 

On the other hand, the Democrats sported the refrain : 

"Walk along John, you can't stay, 
The people's choice is Jimmy K." 

In the meantime the Democratic party had recovered from 
their disastrous defeat of 1 840. They were able to bring to 
the front some of the most brilliant and talented debaters in 
the State. There was William Daniel, afterwards Judge of 
the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and father of the great ora- 
tor, John W. Daniel, at present Senator of the United States. 
Shelton H. Leake, afterwards member of Congress ; John S. 
Caskie,* afterwards Judge of the Circuit Court of Richmond, 
Va., and member of Congress ; John Z. Holliday, A. H. Ber- 
nard. Henry Bedinger, Hon. James A. Leddon, afterwards 
Secretary of War of the Confederate States, and others on 
the Democratic electorial ticket not now remembered. But to 
William Smith, whose voice had been 

"heard so oft 
In most extremes," 

they again looked, 

"In all assaults their surest signal." 

It was in the spring of 1844 when Mr. Rives's defection to 

*Judge Caskie beat J. M. Botts for Congress, from the Richmond district. Mr. Botts was one of the 
most consistent and powerful Whig orators in Virginia. 


the Democratic party had become known of all men. He 
had by this time openly and boldly espoused the nomination 
and election of Mr. Clay to the presidency. They were then 
both in the " firmament of their power." The Whig leaders 
of Virginia were radiant with confidence; and the advocacy 
of their Henry of Navarre by the ablest and most popular 
man in the State, was a valuable accession to their strength 
as well as to their audacity and aggressiveness. 

Mr. Rives had invaded the territory of the old Tenth Le- 
gion of Democracy — had as was represented, made a great 
speech to the Democrats of Rockingham, at the town of Har- 
risonburg without opposition or response. The effect upon 
the Whigs was exhilarating, upon the Democrats it was de- 
pressing. He was called at once to Culpeper to repeat his 
speech. His conquest it was declared, would be easy and but 
a repetition of what had attended his effort at Harrisonburg. 

Mr. Rives came according to appointment. Arrangements 
were made for the discussion. It was the old Culpeper 
County Court day. The crowd was very great. Intense in- 
terest was felt by both Whigs and Democrats. Party spirit 
rose upon the crest of the wave. Great issues were involved, 
and ereat men were to discuss them before that tribunal that 
at last must hold the destinies of our Republican government 
in the hollow of its hand. 

Mr. Rives arrived in the morning. A large deputation im- 
mediately waited on Mr. Smith, and both gentlemen were 
conducted to the platform. The crowd being so large, a 
stand was at once improvised in the rear of the old Court 
House. Both gentlemen were fully prepared and the people 
" eager for the fray." At that day, all parties were invited 
and free to attend, and reap what advantages they could from 
a bold, brave and manly discussion of men and measures. 

What a sad contrast at this day ! and how it grated upon 
the feelings of the grand old commoner, before his death, that 
a large portion of his old friends, whom he had so often 
taught the first principles of government, and on whose elo- 
quent and persuasive lips they had so often hung, should be 
deprived of that popular privilege and right. 


Mr. Rives being a stranger to the people and non-resident 
of Culpeper, was introduced by Hon. John S. Pendleton in a 
laudatory and unusually eloquent style. The discussion was 
able and courteous, and worthy of the two great champions 
and riveted each in the affections and admiration of their re- 
spective parties. 

Again the Democratic party triumphed over the Whigs, 
and Virginia passed through the " battle and the storm " the 
" Flag-ship of the Union." 


Mr. Smith's Election of Governor of Virginia for Three Years by the Legislature — 
His Nomination for the Senate of the United States — His Defeat by a Combina- 
tion of the Whigs and Conservatives — Extracts from His Letter to Col. Parker as 
to His Election of Governor — His Administration as Governor — His Visit to and 
Sojourn in California. 

In December, 1845, Mr. Smith was chosen Governor by 
the Legislature of Virginia, for three years from the 1st of 
January, 1846. He thus speaks of that election ; 

"Having accepted my defeat in perfect resignation, as the final close of my po- 
litical career, I devoted myself to my profession and was prosecuting it with ardor and 
success, when walking on the Main street of Warrenton, with saddle-bags on my arm, 
having just returned from Prince William Court, a friend addressed me as Governor 
Smith. I asked him what he meant by addressing me by such a title. He said he 
had so addressed me, because I was the Governor-elect of Virginia. I replied that I 
hoped it was not so, for I at once saw that I would have to give up my profession, and 
as the Governor's salary would barely support a family in a very moderate way, I 
would at the close of my term be utterly destitute. It turned out as stated. I had 
been nominated in caucus the preceding night, and as that was equivalent to an elec- 
tion, so I was duly elected. It was a severe trial to me. To be elected Governor of 
Virginia under any circumstances was no light honor, but to have that great distinc- 
tion tendered me not only without request, but also without expectation, overpowered 
me with emotions I had no language to describe. But the personal sacrifices I would 
have to make would be too great, and I determined to decline the position. This 
purpose was communicated to some of my leading friends, who had been most active 
in my election; who stoutly resisted it, representing that by doing as I proposed, I 
would delight my enemies and deeply mortify my friends who had staked themselves 
upon the wisdom of my selection. Suffice it to say, I yielded to my friends and be- 
came Virginia's Governor. How I bore myself is a matter of history to which I fear- 
lessly refer the curious, satisfied that they will find but little complaint of my admin- 
istration. My election occurred in December, 1846, and was for three years." 

Gov. Smith had been warmly urged by his friends some 
time before the next election for United States Senator, for a 
seat in that body. In a mass meeting by the people held by 


the leading- and influential men of Madison Count}-, Mr. 
Smith was nominated for the next vacancy. In January, 
1846, a day was fixed by the Legislature for the election of a 
Senator to succeed the Hon. William S. Archer, whose term 
of service was to expire on the 4th of March, 1846. Accord- 
ing- to the usage of parties, a caucus of the Democrats was 
held in the Capitol. In violation of the uniform rule, a reso- 
lution was passed, requiring the nominee to receive a ma- 
jority of all the members present and the members of both 
houses who were absent. 

The preference for Gov. Smith for a seat in the Senate of 
the United States had been made manifest long anterior, in 
different parts of the State, then consisting of East and West 
Virginia. Gov. Smith filled even the requirements of this 
resolution. His friends believed his election was assured. 
The day of election arrived and he received seventy votes on 
the first ballot ; his competitor received twenty- three. On a 
subsequent ballot, R. M. T. Hunter, with the aid of the 
" allied powers " had increased his vote from twenty-three to 
a number sufficient to elect him ; and through the aid of the 
Whigs the voice of a large majority of the people was stifled. 
In the succeeding election of members of the Legislature, but 
three of the twenty-three who were candidates for re-election 
were returned. 

To show how ardently Gov. Smith's defeat for the Senate 
was desired by the leading Whigs of the State, it is worthy 
of a memorandum here, that pending the canvass and election 
of Senator, a prominent Whig politician came to Richmond 
and urged his defeat, saying, " you have got the lion chained, 
for God's Sake keep him so." 

Gov. Smith's defeat for the Senate by party disloyalty did 
not abate his fidelity to and zeal for his party. As Governor, 
his administration partook largely of his characteristic energy 
and progressive spirit. The Mexican war was then in pro- 
gress. Gov. Smith's messages to the General Assembly on 
matters connected with the war, were fervid and glowing with 
a characteristic zeal and patriotism worthy the best and ablest 
of his predecessors. On all matters of State policy they were 


always original, bold and aggressive. He recommended in the 
strongest terms the extension of the old Richmond and Lou- 
isana Railroad, one of the first railroads projected in Virgi- 
nia, now the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, to the town of 
Charlottesville and across the Blue Ridge, on to Covington to 
connect Richmond with the Southern and Western States, so 
as to ensure the trade and travel through Virginia to that city, 
This scheme at first was rather coldly received, as on too 
large a scale and too expensive. It was, however, plain if car- 
ried out and completed, it would be of immense advantage to 
the capital city of the State, putting her at once in competi- 
tion with the largest Southern cities. The Governor was still 
regarded as too radical and ahead of the a^e. Of course it 
met with strong opposition from the Anti-Internal Improve- 
ment party in Virginia, of whom there was then no inconsid- 
erable number, especially in " Tide-Water " Virginia, where 
nature had supplied ample means of transportation. 

But some years after Governor Smith had retired from 
office, his views and recommendations had obtained a good 
foot-hold and assumed important proportions. The Legisla- 
ture at last took hold of the subject, and many years before 
his death, the Governor enjoyed the pleasure of seeing this 
grand work accomplished, and his loved State and her beauti- 
tiful capital city receiving into her lap, daily advantages there- 
from. Upon all subjects of public improvement which had 
been neglected and permitted to languish, he was outspoken, 
original and pronounced. He projected and executed valuable 
changes and reforms on the capitol square and public grounds, 
the utility and beauty of which may be seen to this day to 
captivate the eye and please the taste of resident and visitor. 

On the first day of January, 1849, Gov. Smith retired from 
office with a credit and eclat not surpassed by any one of his 
most distinguished predecessors. Although party rancor had 
been deep and bitter, he was accorded on all hands a degree 
of popularity of the most flattering and pleasing character. 
He was esteemed a statesman of broad and liberal mind, 
always ready to grasp the condition of things before him, and 
become master of the situation. 


When his term expired, he straightway betook himself to 
his profession again, and just here, he speaks for himself again : 

"My term of office having expired on the 31st of December, 1848, I returned to 
my residence in Fauquier. My situation was one of great embarrassment and re- 
quired prompt action. With but little delay I resolved to try my fortune in Califor 
nia. But to do this a considerable sum of money was indispensable to pay a descrip- 
tion of debts which I could not leave unadjusted — to provide something for my family, 
and to defray the indispensable expenses of my proposed adventure. And to this 
end, I applied to my friends, without hesitation, for small contributions, with a dis- 
tinct notice that they would lose them if my enterprise should prove a failure, but if 
otherwise, that they would be returned with interest. I soon raised S2.000 — the 
amount required — completed my arrangements, and leaving my family behind me, 
got off in April, 1849, for the land of promise. On reaching California, in May follow- 
ing, I at once commenced the practice of the law and prosecuted it and some other 
enterprises with considerable success, and on the istof December, 1852, left for home, 
which I happily reached on the 31st of the same month. I had not fully accomplished 
the object of my visit to California, ability to pay my debts, but much had been effected, 
and I had so arranged matters I thought, that time would do the rest. Besides, I 
could no longer bear separation from the endearments of home. Nearly three years 
of absence I could but think would satisfy the most exacting, and home I came. 

" I was received with cordiality in California. I was called to preside over the 
first Democratic Convention which was ever convened in the State. I was put in 
nomination in caucus for the United States Senate, and was assured that I would be 
elected, but as soon as apprised of it, I promptly put a stop to it, for I could not for- 
get, that Virginia was ' my own, my native land.' Nor was this all. I soon found 
that Southerners and Virginians especially, at once enjoyed the confidence of those 
around them. Sitting one day in the office of Mr. Casserly, recently one of the United 
States Senators from California, he remarked, that it was a remarkable fact that the 
Southern gentlemen, and especially those from Virginia were, on their arrival among 
them, received with cordiality and treated with confidence, while it took Northern 
men, say from his own State, New York, a full year of exemplary conduct to reach 
the same gratifying position. He said he could not understand it, it fretted him that 
it should be said; and yet he found himself sharing in a prejudice which accorded to 
Southerners, a trust and confidence denied to Northern strangers." 


Gov. Smith's Return from California — His Candidacy for Congress — The Failure of a 
Convention to Nominate a Candidate against Him — A Triangular Contest — His 
Election fo Congress over a Democrat and a Whig — His Election to Congress in 
1853, 1855, 1857 and 1859— His Visit to Washington in the Winter of iS6o-'6i— Pro- 
cured three Maynard Rifles — Brought two out of the City with the aid of a Lady's 

The incidents and events in this chapter of Gov. Smith's life 
from the time when he ceased to be Governor from the ist 
day of January, 1849, to the spring of 186 1, were perhaps the 
most exciting and interesting of his political career. It may 
be that, in the judgment of some, the two memorable presiden- 


tial contests of 1840 and 1844 may be considered exceptions. 

What exemplified the courage and moral heroism of the 
man as much as any other act of his checkered life, was his 
voluntary separation for three years from the wife whom he 
worshipped. His removal to California, to improve his fortune, 
to enable him to pay off his debts (heavy from his postal op- 
erations), and to dispel those clouds of mortification that ever 
hang" heavily over every honest and proud man, were acts of 
self-abnegation and probity of intention, which must excite 
the admiration of all unprejudiced and liberal minds. 

The following extract from his letter to Gol. Parker will be 
read with interest by his old friends and acquaintances in 
Virginia : 

"Having reached home hopeful and happy, and mixed awhile among old constitu- 
ents and friends, I soon found a disposition rife among them to restore me to my former 
position in the Federal Congress. It was not my wish to go to Congress. , It was but 
little better than a bear garden in the House, and I really had no wish to share in its 
stormy deliberations. My wish was our State Senate, where I had spent five years of 
the happiest portion of my public life, and where I knew I should have the society of 
gentlemen. But I was not left free to consult my will, and the course of an interest 
hostile to me, constrained me to declare myself contingently, a candidate for Con- 
gress. About this time, the spring of 1853, the Legislature had to re-arrange the State 
into Congressional Districts. My friends insisted that I should gp to Richmond to 
provide myself with a suitable district as others were doing. I declined, however, to 
do so, stating that if Loudoun was a part of the district it would be Whig, and I cer- 
tainly would not embarrass an undoubted majority in the untrammeled right of se- 
lecting their representative; but if Loudoun was not a part of my district it would be 
Democratic, and no matter how composed, I was a candidate. Well, Loudoun not 
being a part of the district, I finally announced myself a candidate. In the meantime 
a convention had been called to nominate a candidate. Out of ten counties compos- 
ing the district four only appointed delegates, and one of them, my native county, 
King George, instructed their delegates to withdraw from the convention after under- 
standing I was a candidate. I was elected, and so in 1855; and so in 1857. In 1859 I 
had a trying contest. Both Judge Shackleford a Democrat, and Judge Thomas a Whig, 
announced themselves. And as the Democratic majority in the district was only 
about three hundred, many thought that all was lost and that my star must now set to 
rise no more. But I did not share in the despondency of friends. The very difficul- 
ties of my situation inspired confidence and aroused exertion. I saw plainly before 
me, a new edition of my contest with Banks and Slaughter, with the like result. The 
effect of the Democratic candidacy was to divide the Democratic party; it was an offense 
to party fealty and intelligence, and, of course, must fail. It has always been my for- 
tune to receive a scattering Whig vote, when a candidate; and the effort of Judge 
Thomas to unite the Whig vote upon himself was greatly embarrassed by the appear- 
ance of foul play which the canvass necessarily assumed. Without dwelling upon this 
subject or needlessly extending this letter, I will merely say, that I was triumphantly 
elected, beating the Democrat by an overwhelming vote, and Thomas by a handsome 
majority. I thus entered Congress for the last time. I warned the House of the 
calamities it was bringing upon the country, implored it to pause in its mad career be- 


fore it was too late. IIa<l an affecting interview, even unto tears, with Mr. Buchanan. 
Had quite an exciting interview with General Scott, who while lie did not say so, left 
me to infer that he would take side against our Mother State. And quite unwell as I 
had been all the winter, amid the deep mutterings of the coming storm, I took my de- 
parture on the 4th of March, 1861, for home, unalterably resolved, come weal, come 
woe, to share the fate of my beloved State. 

".My public life, I had good reason to suppose, was now brought to a close. I 
had been called before the people in 1836, surely against my will, and elected to the 
Senate. I had retired from my position the lirst moment my friends would permit me to 
do so, was pressed to run for Congress, but positively refused to do so as long as 
Democratic ascendency in the district might be jeoparded thereby — became a candi- 
date as soon as such danger disappeared and was triumphantly elected — was elected 
Governor in 1845 without being a candidate or even consulted about it; after serving 
out my term, went to California to mend my fortune— returned in December, 1852, 
and in the following spring became a candidate for Congress and was elected in 1853, 
again in 1S55. again in 1857 and again in 1859 — in every position which I have held 
since the commencement of my career, giving satisfaction to my constituents and 
growing in the estimation of my State. 

" During the winter of i860 and 1861, I was very unwell; but rapidly recruited as 
spring approached. Early in April I visited Washington city to settle the accounts of 
my nephew, who had resigned his rank in the Federal army, to visit my niece near 
Bladensburg, and to look around me. The city was full of Federal troops, and it was 
considered the height of folly for me to go among them. But as the communication 
between Alexandria and Washington was uninterrupted, a single sentinel only being 
posted at the northern entrance of the long bridge, I determined I would not forego 
my purpose — made my trip and accomplished my wishes, including three beautiful 
Maynard rifles, two of which were brought out under a lady's petticoat and all with 
ammunition to suit." 

From what the reader has seen in the preceeding pages of 
these imperfect memoirs of this remarkable man, he must be 
satisfied that Gov. Smith's civil and political life was one of 
intense and passionate struggle ; of upward and onward pro- 
gress from the date of his first mail contract with the United 
States Government to the close of the late war. Of robust 
and powerful frame, healthy and vigorous constitution, he en- 
joyed with one or two intervals, uninterrupted physical and 
mental vigor. 

Bold, self-reliant and aggressive— conscious of his own in- 
herent powers, in all his political enterprises and elections, 
he scorned the tricks of the intriguante; repudiated the man- 
agement and finesse of the demagogue ; and presenting him- 
self before the great masses, like the immortal Henry before 
him. he boldly and fearlessly proclaimed his principles and 
his faith, and asked their free and unpurchased support, and 
like that incomparable man, was rarely ever disappointed. 

Some author has said that " we must si and away from the 


mountain, if we would see its magnitude." Not so with Gov. 
Smith. In his manners he was plain, simple, accessible and 
courteous to all. Without parade or the semblance of osten- 
tation, with a fine descriptive talent and conversational 
ability, it was to see and well know him, to measure and ad- 
mire his charming personal and domestic qualities and virtues. 
On the hustings before the people, he was always courteous 
and polite, and often deferential. He condemned pomp and 
parade — was simple and inartistic, but as an English author has 
said of Pitt, " wielded the strength of a resistless eloquence." 
In all his speeches and letters he adhered closely to his subject 
and indulged but little in quotations. As the same author says 
of the same great man, his was '• the eloquence of the states- 
man and not the rhetorician." 

Gov. Smith's wonderful influence as a public speaker, rested 
not in Congress nor the Legislature, but before the people. 
Before the great masses he was always superb and supreme. 
He was literally semper paratus with his facts and his argu- 
ments. He enjoyed a degree of popularity and public favor 
never excelled in the country by any public or representative 
man. Superadded to this he could now employ a ceaseless 
stream of fluent and persuasive eloquence, and then when de- 
manded, a torrent of passionate invective. 

It is upon Gov. Smith's political and domestic life that the 
author of these memoirs would delight to dwell and enlarge, 
but time and space will not permit. He was emphatically called 
the " great commoner," the peoples' man. In political nom- 
enclature, a Democrat of the "most straitest sect," as well 
as in the most extended sense of the term. He was the poor 
man's friend at the bar and on the hustings. He was a Jeffer- 
sonian Republican, and fought for the rights of the many 
against the few. He esteemed Mr. Jefferson the wisest and 
greatest American statesman that ever lived. In all his 
speeches and in all his colloquial discussions his standing text 
was one of Mr. Jefferson's himself, " Power is always stealing 
from the many to the few." 

He would warn the people, the politicians and their leaders, 
to beware of the centralizing- tendencies of the Federal Gov- 


ernment, and invoked them to the day of his death, to adhere 
to the State Rights doctrine of the Resolutions of '98-99 as 
set forth by Madison and Jefferson and enlarged and treated 
of by Professor Tucker in his series of lectures at the Univer- 
sity of Virginia. 

In his speech at Madison Court House, on the occasion of 
his nomination in mass meeting for a seat in the Senate of the 
United States, might be found a model synopsis of the articles 
of his political faith — unfortunately this paper cannot be found. 
It was in tabulated form, and succinctly defined the respective 
rights of the States and those of the United States Govern- 
ment. It was the chart by which he steered throughout 
his whole political life, without " variableness or shadow of 


The Ex-Governor's Visit to Fairfax Court House — The Surprise by the Federals and 
Fight on the Night of the 31st of May, '61 — Company B United States Dragoons — 
Capt. Marr's Company — Marr Killed — Col. Ewell Wounded and Turned over the 
Command to Smith— The Enemy Routed — Gov. Smith Raised a Regiment — Was 
Commissioned Colonel by Gov. Letcher — First Battle of Manassas — His Gallant 
Conduct there — Singular Order by Col. Smith to the 49th Virginia — Major Smith 
Severely Wounded — Col. Smith's Horse Shot Under Him — His Humane Treat- 
ment of a Federal Officer. 

In 1 86 1 Gov. Smith had reached his three-score years and 
four. He was wholly exempt from military duty ; but in the 
vigor of his manhood. Impelled by that same ardent patriot- 
ism of his youth, and burning with indignation at the Presi- 
dent's Proclamation, Gov. Smith at once determined to raise 
a regiment of volunteers, present it to the Governor, and ask 
for his commission of Colonel. The ex-Governor raised his 
regiment and promptly received his commission. His own 
rehearsal of the initial fight at Fairfax Court House and of 
the first Manassas on Sunday the 21st of July. 1S61, will be 
found below and read with thrilling interest. 

"A company was raised about the month <>t May from and around Warrenton, by 
Capt. J. O. Marr, which had been moved to Fairfax Court House, and was quartered 
in the Methodist church at that place. Feeling sufficiently well, I concluded to visit 
my boys, as I called Marr's company, and thoroughly armed and mounted, reached 
the command the p. M. of the 31st of May, 1861. After the usual interchange of civili- 


ties, I went to a Mr. Gunneli's to spend the night. I was aroused the m-xt morning a 
little before day, by a scattering fire of small arms. I had sprung from my bed and 
was rapidly dressing when my host rushed into my room informing me that the 
enemy was upon us — that he was off for the woods, but that I could do as I pleased. 
I replied that I would see them out, if they were all tramps. I dressed and fixed my 
Maynard with all despatch, and hurried to Marr's command. In the meantime the 
enemy, consisting of Company B, 2d United States Dragoons, about ninety strong, had 
charged through the village, firing at random, to the right and left, and scattering a 
small body of our cavalry encamped on the turnpike. On reaching Marr's command, 
I found only about forty-five remaining, the balance having no doubt been taken off 
by our scattered cavalry. I asked for their Captain — they replied, that they knew 
nothing about him. He was lying about thirty yards off, in the clover lot around his 
quarters, where he had taken his stand to receive and form his men as they reported, 
and where he was killed without a struggle, by a concussion over the heart, by one of 
the enemies random balls, which did not, for I saw it, disturb the continuity of the 
flesh, as I am fully satisfied. I then asked for his lieutenant and received the same 
reply. It is right I should say here, that I subsequently ascertained that he spent the 
night at the house of Mr. Moss, no one entertaining any apprehension of the enemy's 
approach. Knowing that the men did not care for their other officers, I said to them 
boys, you know me, follow me. They sprang with alacrity over the fence against 
which they were leaning, when I, without the slightest knowledge of tactics, and 
guided by instinct alone, commenced rapidly to form them into two lines. Having 
nearly completed this duty, Col. Ewell, without hat or uniform and bleeding, having 
been struck in the fleshy part of the shoulder by a pistol shot as he ran across the 
enemy's line of march, came up. We soon completed the little command and 
moved it at quick step to the turnpike; then wheeled to the left, and at a short distance, 
met the enemy returning from the run in a very disorderly condition. This was most 
fortunate for us — fenced in, both on the right and left, by high board fences and 
armed only with carbines, we could neither escape nor resist a dragoon charge, ex- 
cept with the contents of our guns. These we promptly gave them, which so stag- 
gered them that they came promptly to the 'about face,' and returned to the run to 
reform. Then Col. Ewell said to me, ' Governor you seem to have a taste for such 
matters, take the men and move them forward, while I dispatch a courier to bring up 
some cavalry which is at Fairfax Station.' I moved the men promptly, and on reach- 
ing a wagoner's shop, halted them, seeing a strong post and rail fence on each side 
of the turnpike over which the enemy was expected to return. I at once divided my 
command, posting each half on the inside of the fences, opposite each other, my 
object being to protect my men against a charge of cavalry and to concentrate upon 
the head of the column such a heavy fire as to arrest its forward movement, throw it 
into confusion and prevent an attempt to charge by us in the darkness and excite- 
ment. Our arrangements were scarcely completed before the head of the enemy's 
column loomed up in the dark. I had given general orders that every man should 
fire at the head of the column when the command to fire was given. At about 
seventy yards the word was given. The enemy reeled under the blow, and after 
three rounds broke and fled. Thus I may claim to have planned the battle, fought 
and routed the enemy in the first fight of the war, for Col. Elwell did not join us until 
the affair was over. 

"My next movement was to raise a mounted company of old men for home de- 
fence, to be known as "The Silver Grays." But meeting with little encouragement 
I soon gave it up. 

"With fine health and great physical vigor, I could not bear to be idle, although 
in my 64th year. Wholly unused to arms, I thought I knew how to take care of men. 
Wise and Floyd already had brigades. I could not see why I could not take care of 
a regiment. Accordingly, I applied to Gov. Letcher to commission me as Colonel of 
the 49th. With my commission and Gen. Lee's order to Gen. Beauregard to make 


up my regiment out of the companies as they reported, I returned to Manassas and 
commenced earnestly the new duties I had undertaken. I had only been able to get 
half of my regiment together when the battle of Manassas was fought. I was posted 
at the foot of a bluff with my companies and on the bluff" had two pieces of artillery. 
It was due north from the Lewis House on Bull Run, and my duty was to check any 
flank movement which might be attempted in that direction. 

"While thus waiting for events, the firing being very heavy at the front, two regi- 
ments swept by us in order and to the rear. I galloped to their front and arrested 
their retreat, and had scarcely reached my position before they were again moving. 
Again I stopped them. And again as soon as I left them they started. For the third 
and last time I stopped them, and on the line of a farm road brought them to a rest. 
The'enemies' shell were occassionally passing over us and the firing at the front still 
continued heavy. 

" I had scarcely returned to my post when I received an order that every man not 
in front of an enemy should move into action. Promptly forming my command into 
two lines I moved them by the flank at quick step to the front. While on my march 
a South Carolina company crossed my line, I ordered them to fall in on my rear. 
Immediately thereafter two companies of Mississippians crossed my line of march, 
to which I gave the same order. These companies were lost and gladly obeyed the 
order to fall in. As I passed the woods near the Lewis House, Lieut. Col. Tebbs of 
Hunton's regiment, who was posted with three companies in the edge of the woods, 
begged that I would let Col. Hunton, who was posted on the opposite side of the 
woods, know my order. Placing my command in charge of Col. Murray with orders 
to proceed, I dashed through the woods with all practicable despatch, delivered my 
order and soon overtook my command. I found Gen. Beauregard not far from the 
Harrison House, with several of his staff, no troops, no firing near him and things 
looking unpromising. I reported for orders with about 600 men. What can you do, 
Colonel, was the General's reply. I promptly answered, put us in position and we 
will show you. I then said, General, Col. Hunton with a gallant regiment is posted 
near the Lewis House, and burning with impatience to join in the battle. He 
promptly issued the requisite orders, placed himself by my side, at the head of my 
command, and we moved, soon reaching our line of battle, opposite the Henry 
House, and as I inferred re-forming in the edge of the pines, I know not why, but 
when we reached our line of battle I announced Gen. Beauregard; up went three 
rousing cheers. We then moved off to the left in the rear of our line, and after 
marching some 80 yards I again announced Gen. Beauregard, and again the cheers 
went up. And again, and again. And when we had nearly reached the extreme left of 
our line, and the General having given me orders to form on the extreme left, and 
had said that he must go to the right without further delay, and had proceeded some 
distance, a confused mass of soldiers in front of me cried out that they would see 
Gen. Beauregard. Therefore I called the General back, who courteously returned. 
I announced him to the men, up went the usual cheers, the men fell into line, the 
General left us, and I formed my command on the extreme left, thus extending our 
line of battle. My command consisted of eight companies, five of Virginians, two of 
Mississippians and one of South Carolinians, and aggregated some 600 men. I may 
here pause and remark that the cheers of which I have spoken produced quite a sen- 
sation in the enemies lines. At least, I so infer, for their letter writers spread it 
throughout the Northern States as the evidence of our receiving heavy reinforce- 
ments. It was known that I was in Gen. Beauregard's command, and the cheers 
were for the General and not for the men I led. 

"I had scarcely posted my men as ordered in the edge of the pines when I observed 
at a considerable distance to my left a heavy force of the enemy advancing in mass, 
with colors flying, along the crest of the long hill on one side of which our lines of 
battle rested. As my part of the line would be the first the enemy would reach I 
thought it probable that 1 would have an excellent chance to be thoroughly cut up. 


Rut just at this moment, the two regiments of which I have spoken, and whose re- 
treat I had stopped, came up on my left and filled the whole space between me and 
a distant body of timber. In the mean time the enemy came on, in beautiful order, 
apparently unconscious of our proximity. And when he had passed these regiments 
so that the head of his column was not more than 80 yards from the left flank, a pri- 
vate in the North Carolina regiment to my left, who doubtless recognized me, called 
to me, saying " that is the enemy, shall I fire," I replied, "don't fire upon friends, 
don't be in a hurry." Rut, a puff of wind at the same instant, catching their flag 
and spreading it, I added, "there can be no mistake give them h— 11." And thus the 
battle then and there began, near the bridle way from the Lewis House where it 
crosses the ridge to the Sudley road, a short distance from where it crosses the War- 
renton turnpike. The fight soon became obstinate immediately in my front. My 
men and the Stonewall's charged and took and lost as often as three times as I re- 
member, and finally kept three pieces of artillery. I know the Stonewall's take this 
achievement to themselves, but it is not right; we charged together and I had two 
men, by the name of Wells and Rrothers, who were wounded on one of the guns. This 
was about the last of the fight; a number of my men had been wounded, and the 
dead were buried where they fell. My Major had his thigh broken, my horse was 
shot in the neck. And after getting all my wounded in my part of the field and made 
a Yankee captain as comfortable as I could, for he was badly wounded, by giving 
him my saddle blankets and leaving with him my servant, instructed to remain with 
him and to get him off to the hospital by the first wagon that passed. I then, about 
9 o'clock P. M., having been in the saddle since sunrise, left the field, amid the 
groans, cries for water, and other relief of the wounded and dying Yankees, to whom 
it was impossible to render immediate assistance. 

"This ended my connection with this famous battle. I was wholly unused to 
arms, I had just joined the army; I had but half a regiment, andjwith the exception of 
two or three of my officers my command was as green as I was. In this extremity, 
I may term it, I saw I must rely upon my knowledge of men and my own instincts. 
Accordingly, my men having lost a night's sleep and being otherwise much fatigued, 
I ordered they should have a full night's sleep preceding the expected battle and a 
hearty breakfast before they were moved next morning. My commissary assuming 
that we were to be defeated enquired of me if he should destroy his stores. I replied, 
no, issue them to my men according to regulations. "Rut sir, the enemy may take 
them." To which I warmly replied, " Sir, as long as you are a part of my command, 
never think of defeat." Having been posted as stated, before, I went upon the bluff 
to see about the battery that was to support me, I found but one gun, " Why, Lieut. 
(Heaton,) Isaid, where is your other gun?" "Yonder, posted there by Gen. Cocke," 
he replied, pointing to it some half mile off and near the Lewis House. I answered, 
"I will have it here in ten minutes." And putting spurs to my horse dashed at the top 
of his speed to Cocke's position. As I passed the gun, I hollowed, "Re ready to 
start in a gallop for the bluff, when you see me returning at the top of my speed." 
Dashing up to the General I said, "pardon me, but I respectfully suggest that, 'that 
gun,' pointing to it, would be of infinitely more importance by its mate, than it can be 
where it now stands." He replied, "well, if you think so." Touching my hat and 
rapidly wheeling my horse, returned at an accelerated pace. The gunners, seeing 
my speed, was in motion in a trice, and we made quick time to the bluffs to the great 
delight of its gallant Lieutenant. I thus strengthened my position. 

"This duty was scarcely finished before a new and more difficult question was 
before me. Two regiments in order, swept by me, in retreat. I knew I must be 
junior to their commanding officers, but I was also satisfied that I must look to be 
their senior and I resolved to save them for the exigencies of the day, if possible. 
It was done-— how, you know. 

In moving to the front, it was my good fortune to pick up these companies as 


stated, nearly doubling my command and to carry them into the fight, and also to get 
Gen. Hunton's regiment up in time, by reporting to Gen. Beauregard its position. 

"And when we reached the rear of our lines of battle, the impulse which induced 
me to announce General Beauregard to the men and which, successfully brought 
forth that series of world-renowned cheers, of which I have spoken, and which un- 
doubtedly inspirited our own men and caused a corresponding depression of the 
enemy, it must be conceded produced a happy effect. 

"And finally, when I was posted, and the advance of the enemy threatened me 
with destruction, it seemed to be an act of Providence that the two regiments whose 
retreat I had stopped, should appear, most unexpectedly, on my left, interpose be- 
tween me and the enemy, and somewhat equalize the coming conflict, and stranger 
still, recognizing me, that I should be called to form their ranks to know if they 
should fire, and that I should order them to do so. 

" Whether we made the most of our great victory is a mooted question, and will 
probably ever remain so; I think not. Our cause was just, our men were tired with 
enthusiasm, our graneries were full, and the enemy which "had lately attached" 
us "with audacity," were now flying in terror, before us, abundantly supplied with 
every necessary we could possibly want. It would have been glorious, had we 
known, that nothing had been effected while there remains anything to be per- 

"Well, we returned to our old position, to complete our organization and improve 
our decipline. My regiment was filled and my organization completed. Doubtless 
our drill was improved and our knowledge of tactics greatly enlarged." 

[For some reason Governor Smith seems to have broken off quite suddenly the 
narration of his experience in the field, which, however, he continues in his letter 
of the 28th of March.— Ed. Lance.], 

We follow up this affair at Fairfax Court House with an 
interesting account of incidents by Gov. Smith himself; 
a short note from Capt. Dunnington, of Washington city, a 
participant in the fight, and who was captured that night ; 
also, Gen. McDowell's official Report of same, and some 
details appearing in a city paper of that date. In the ap- 
pendix will be found a corrected statement of the first skirm- 
ish or fight of the war in Northern Virginia, in consequence 
of some recent publication by the United States Government 
of the Official Records of the United States and Confeder- 
ate Armies : 

Warrenton, October 23, 1881. 
If I understand the diagram correctly, it makes the enemy charge entirely 
around the Court House or jail lot, at hast it would appear so, from the dotted 
lines which indicate, as the diagram says, the route of the enemy. Now, 1 was 
at Gunnells, was aroused by the first firing at our pickets, nearly a mile below 
town; as soon as ready, run over to the church to look after Marr's company, 
found a put <>l it, some forty-five, leaning on the fence, which enclosed the 
church lot and at tin' same time formed, in part, the street the diagram says, 
the enemy passed over. It was just at the corner formed by this fence and that 
on the walk leading from the Church to the Court House, that I commenced 
forming Marr's men into double tiles. I hail marly finished the formation, when 
I heard an altercation at the head of the column. 1 immediately moved up to 

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it to learn what was the matter, and there found Lieut. -Col. Ewell, who had just 
come up; he was without hat or uniform coat, bareheaded, bald and bleeding, 
very little like an officer. I announced him to the men, they not having seen 
him before, and the trouble ended. Col. Ewell told me that as he ran across the 
road from the hotel in the direction of Marr's quarters, iust ahead of the enemy 
as he charged through town, and that Lieut. Tompkins had fired upon him, as 
he had done so, striking him on the fleshy part of the shoulder; that he had 
jerked off his uniform and thrown it over in a lot, that the enemy might not discover his 
rank and so make a special effort to capture him. So that it is plain the enemy 
did not go around the Court House lot as the dotted lines of the diagram indi- 
cate. Besides, Florence, our picket, who was captured and made his escape, 
says to me, through a letter I have just received, that the enemy charged through town, 
neither turning to the right or left, and firing at random, he thought, merely to 
alarm. Again, from the dotted lines it would seem the enemy returned and went 
from town on the Vienna road. This was not so. The enemy after passing 
through, and no doubt watering their horses at the branch west of the town, re- 
turned as far as the Court House lot. In the meantime having moved Marr's 
company to the turnpike and Ewell having placed it under my charge, while he 
went to procure a courier to carry a dispatch to bring up Harrison's company at 
Fairfax Station, I turned west and had just got cleverly on the turnpike when 
the enemy appeared in disorder, we fired upon him, when without returning the 
fire, he came to the right-about and returned to the branch — I had no doubt to 
re-form and charge through town, in order, and so recover the road by which he had 
come. As Marr's men had no bayonets, and the position we held on the turnpike 
was wholly untenable against a charge of cavalry, I followed the enemy quickly 
until I got to the wagon shop. I there found a strong post and rail fence on 
each side of the turnpike, both of which I promptly occupied, a moiety of my 
men in rear of each fence, so that all were protected against a charge of cav- 
alry. As soon as the men were posted, I told them the enemy would, doubtless, 
soon appear — that all they would see would be the head of the enemy's column, a 
dark moving mass, the individuals composing which, they would be unable to 
distinguish, as it was dark — that my object was to crush in the head of the 
column, throw the enemy into confusion and get another deliberate fire upon him 
before he could become aggressive; that when I gave the word to fire, each man 
must fire into the head of the enemy's column; and I had scarcely finished these 
directions before the enemy, as I had expected, appeared. I let him, for awhile, ad- 
vance; when, a little east of the Episcopal church, I gave the word to fire. He was 
thrown into great confusion — two or three irregular fires were exchanged, when he 
broke, crossed the branch, pulled down the fence near the Mt. Vinyard House, crossed 
the plantation and entered the Vienna road. This ended this affair between the 
veteran Company B, Second United States Cavalry, and a volunteer force of but 
little over half their number, and that, too, without their officers, and for the first time 
under fire. And it was all done in a hurry, and while Col. Ewell was getting his 
courier and sending off his despatch for Harrison's company, and that without a 
scratch on our part, in the fight. It is true Ewell had been wounded, as stated, and 
Marr killed by a spent random ball. It is known that some of our cavalry fled by 
the road near which Marr was found and took off quite half of Marr's men. My 
theory is that Marr was struggling to stop the flight of his men with his face to the 
foe and that a spent ball, fired from the turnpike, a distance in a straight line of 
some 300 yards, either at random or at our fleeing cavalry, struck him upon his heart 
and killed him instantly. I examined him carefully, his wound was over his heart, 
the skin was not broken nor a drop of blood shed, but there was a suffusion of blood 
under the skin of the full size of a Spanish milled dollar. It was the shock which 
stopped the machinery of the heart, and I have no doubt killed him instantly. I 
make these hasty remarks to assist in getting a correct version of this little affair. 
Please correct and return the enclosed. 

Yours, very truly, William Smith. 


1202 F Street, N. W., Washington, D. C, Jan. 31, 1882. 
Governor Smith: 

Dear Sir — I received, a few days since, a postal card from Cap*. Davis, of 
Brentsville, asking, for your use, my recollection of the skirmish at Fairfax Court 
House, on June 1, 1861. I delayed replying to the request until I could search for 
an extract taken from the Evening Star of that date, which, there was reason to be- 
lieve was somwhere among my papers. Herewith you will please find them, and 
barring some few corrections which will at once be understood by you, the ac- 
count is reliable. 

The loss on our side was Capt. Marr, killed — and the four mentioned in 
McDowell's report captured. The treatment received by the captured at the hands 
of the enemy, was not such as is usual in so-called civilized warfare, but, con- 
sidering that all of us, at that time, were "amateurs," better was scarcely to 
have been expected. 

Hoping that the extracts may be of benefit to you, and with the best wishes 
for your continued health and welfare, 

I am, very respectfully, C. A. DUNNINGTON. 

Official Report of Gen. McDowell of the Fight at Fairfax Court House. 

The following is the official report of Gen. McDowell to Gen. Scott, of the fight at 
Fairfax Court House. Lieut. Tompkins, who commanded the company, was severly 
wounded, so much so that he was unable to make his report: 

Headquarters, Department Eastern Virginia, Arlington, June 1, 1861. 

Col. E. D. Townsend, Assistant Adj't General, Headquarters of the Army, Wash- 

Sir — The following facts have just been reported to ine by the Orderly Sergeant 
of Company B, of the Second Cavalry, commanded by Lieut. Tompkins, the com- 
manding officer being too unwell to report in person. 

It appears that a company of the Second Cavalry, commanded by Lieut. Tomp- 
kins — aggregate number 75 — left their camp at half past 10 o'clock last night on a 
scouting expedition. They reached Fairfax Court House about 3 in the morning, 
where they found several hundred men stationed — Capt. Ewell, late of the U. S. 
Dragoons, said to be in command. A skirmish then took place, in which a number 
of the enemy were killed — how many the Sergeant does not know. Many bodies 
were seen on the ground, and several were taken into the Court House, and seen 
there by one of our cavalry, who was a prisoner in the Court House for a short time, 
and afterwards made his escape. 

The following is the report by the Sergeant of our loss : 

Private Saintclair 1 


Corporal Max, ball through the hip 1 

Corporal Turner, ball in the ankle 1 

Private Lynch, ball in the hand 1 

Private Baggs, ball in the foot 1 


Private Sullivan I 

Total casualties 6 



Five prisoners were captured by our troops, their names being as follows : 

John W. Ryan, private of the Old Guard. 

H. F. Lynn, Prince William Cavalry. 

Charles A. Dunnington, Prince William Cavalry. 

F. W. Marders, Prince William Cavalry. 

Chas. F. Washington, son of the late Col. Washington, of the U. S. Army. 

Having no good means of keeping prisoners here, they are sent to headquarters 
for further disposition. 

As soon as Lieut. Tompkins recovers, a less hurried report than this will be sub- 
mitted by Col. Hunter, commanding the brigade. 

John McDowell, Brigadier-General commanding 

Further Details of the Fight at Fairfax Court House.— Three Dragoons 
in the Hands of the Secessionists.— A Midnight Alarm.— The wounded officers 
-engaged in the fight at Fairfax Court House, last Saturday morning, have been 
removed to the hospital in this city, where they are doing exceedingly well, and will 
be able to get out to their camp again in a short time. The company left three pri- 
vates in the hands of the Virginia forces— one wounded, the others probably dead, 
but of this they are not positive. Their names are Sullivan, Hartison and St. Clair. 
The prisoners captured by the cavalry were armed with Allen's new revolvers, 
sabers and the German yager, one of which was loaded with thirteen pistol balls. 

The cavalry lost nine horses, six shot down in the engagment and three so badly 
wounded as to render it necessary to kill them shortly after leaving the village. The 
shot from the Union Hotel was fired by a man in his own room, and the lighted 
candle upon the floor made him a good target for one of Uncle Sam's rangers. 

The troops at the Court House were composed of the Prince William Cavalry, 
Capt. Thornton, 60 men; Waraenton Rifles, Capt. John Q. Marr (arrived the previous 
evening), and a Rappahannock horse company— about 40 men. 

Last night, about 12 o'clock, the pickets discovered several suspicious looking 
characters prowling about their outposts, and immediately fired upon them. They 
scampered off, and succeeded in escaping in the bushes. The report of the muskets 
aroused the neighboring camp, and the Sixty-ninth, together with a portion of the 
New York Eighth, with six field pieces, were on hand in a trice. The Twenty-eighth 
were under arms until morning, but no rebels made their appearance, and all quieted 


Capt. Marr, who was amongst the killed in the skirmish, was one of the two 
delegates from Fauquier county in the late Virginia Convention, and was one of the 
first and most popular men of his county. He had been an Unionist up to the passage 
of the seccession ordinance. Extra Billy Smith had been making speeches to the 
men on the day previous, and took command (of Marr's company) when Marr was 

^jhot down. 

The officers say they could have easily taken the field piece, but as they had no 
means of bringing 'it with them they did not attempt it. From the Court House they 
returned to their camp, having no difficulty at all in the way, the rumor of an attack 
on Vienna station being entirely unfounded. The men all speak very Inghly of 
Lieutenants Tompkins and Gordon, whose coolness and bravery alone brought them 
through with so little damage. The officers of the New York Fifth, Quartermaster 
Fearing, Assistant Quartermaster Carey and Adjutant Frank, did good, are 
also highly complimented by Lieut. Tompkins. 

The prisoners are at the navy-yard and do not seem to realize their pos.tion, 
most of them appearing entirely unconcerned, and having a jolly time with cards, etc. 
Dunnington is a son of C. W. C. Dunnington, formerly chief of the Capitol police. 
Washington, son of the late Col. Washington, U. S. Army, has been released, having 
taken the oath of allegiance. 


A gentleman coming from Richmond, via Fairfax Court House, assures us that 
he positively saw five or six dead bodies there on Saturday afternoon, and believes 
that numerous others were laying dead there. 

The Fight at Fairfax Court House. — From residents of Fairfax county, who 
visited this city yesterday, we glean the following further details of the fight at the 
Court House on Saturday morning : The U. S. cavalry left the village just at daylight, 
and proceeded quite leisurely along the road with their five prisoners strapped on 
behind, and about three miles from the Court House stopped and watered their 
horses at a well, the property of Mr. Kidwell. Here they shot two of their horses, 
which had become much weakened from loss of blood occasioned by wounds received 
in the engagement. After spending a short time at this place to rest, they came on 
down to their camp. About fifteen minutes after they had left the Court House, two 
large bodies of secession cavalry followed out after them, but they did not venture 
out of sight of the village, and after a conference they returned to their quarters. 
They were armed with sabers and fowling pieces, a few having double-barreled shot 
guns. A darkey, who was at the Court House during the engagement, states that 
" he could not tell how many were killed, but the dead were lying around mighty 

It must be admitted that this initial fight or skirmish, of 
what proved soon after, one of the most bloody and gigantic 
battles of the war, was, all things considered, one of astonish- 
ing success. 

A " high private," as it were, with no other tie to the com- 
mand than that of a common sympathy, wholly undisciplined 
and undrilled in military strategy, to be placed in command of 
companies of raw volunteers, to beat back a superior force of 
United States Dragoons on a surprise in the night, was indeed 
a wonderful feat. But it was a foretaste of that courage, in- 
trepidity and readiness of resource that were more fully de- 
veloped and conspicuous in his subsequent career in the war. 

In the first Battle of Manassas on the 21st July, 1861, he 
again won fresh laurels for gallantry and courage in the 
adroit management of his regiment, as well as other troops 
in the field. His daring and success on that memorable day, 
were honorably mentioned in the regular reports of Gens. 
J. E. Johnson and Beauregard, to the War Department, at 

In his report of August 26th, (October 14th) 1S61, of the 
Battle of (first) Manassas, dated Headquarters First Corps 
Army of the Potomac, General Beauregard says : 

"Col. William Smith was as efficient as self-possessed and brave. The influ- 
ence of his example and his words of encouragement, were not confined to his 
immediate command ; the good conduct of which is especially noticeable inasmuch 
it had been embodied but a day or two before the battle." 


Gen. J. E. Johnston in his report of October 14th 1861, 
dated Fairfax Court House, says : 

"Col. (late Governor) Smith with his Battalion, and Col. Hunton with his regi- 
ment, were ordered up to re-enforce the right. I have since learned that Gen. 
Beauregard had previously ordered them into the battle ; they belonged to his corps. 
Col. Smith's cheerful courage had a fine influence, not only upon the spirit of his 
own men, but upon the stragglers of the troops engaged." — (See Official Records of 
the Union and Confederate Armies, Series i, vol. 2, p.p. 475, 500. 

"In this fight Col. Smith's Battalion lost one officer and nine men killed, and one 
officer and twenty-nine men wounded, making forty men killed and wounded. 

"Col. Smith's Battalion at this time belonged to Cocke's Brigade, Beauregard's 
Corps." — (See page 570, vol. 2, Official Records, etc. 


Col. Smith's Report of date July, 1862, of the Battle of Seven Pines of 25th June, 1862, 
to Gen. Mahone — Extracts from Gen. Mahone's Report Relative to 49th Virginia 
Volunteers, and Col. Smith, at Battle of Seven Pines — Extracts from his Report 
of June 30th, 1862 — Gen. D. H. Hill's Report of Battle of Seven Pines of 31st 
May, 1862, as to Conduct of 49th Virginia — Gen. Huger's Report of July 21st, 1862, 
as to same — Inscription on its Banner for Distinguished Gallantry in a Fight 
at " Kings School House, " Seven Pines and at French's Field — Col. Smith's 
Report to Col. B. G. Anderson, Commanding Brigade of same fight of 31st 
May, 1862 — Extract from Report of Col. Anderson, Commanding Gen. Feather- 
stone's Brigade — A Florida Flag Found in the Brush — Col. Smith Bears it at the 
Head of his own Regiment — Ordered by Commanding Officers to give it up — 
Seized by a Florida Boy — Bravely Bears it Through the Fight — The Colonel and 
Lieut. -Colonel Severely Wounded — Three Captains and six Lieutenants Wounded, 
and one Killed— Col. Smith's Horse Fatally Shot Under him — Extract from Dr. 
Horseley's Letter to Col. Smith. 

It is manifest from the heading of this chapter, and the 
reports of the Commanding Generals of the brigades, that 
these were among the hottest contested and bloodiest battles 
of the war. We have inserted below in full, the reports of 
Col. Smith to Col. Anderson, commanding Special Brigade, 
Third Division, Army of the Potomac, of the part he bore in 
the battle of Seven Pines and French's Field, and his report 
to Gen. Mahone, to whose brigade the 49th Virginia Volun- 
teers was then attached, of the fight of June 25th, 1862, as 
they came from his own hands of that date. 

His alternate successes and defeats were of the most trying 
character ; and his chivalrous and admirable conduct on those 
occasions, elicited the warmest commendation of those of the 
most distinguished generals of the army of Northern Vir- 


No. 93. Reports (2) of Colonel William Smith, 49th Virginia Regiment, (Battles 
of Seven Pines and French's Fields, Virginia). 

Headquarters 49TH Virginia Volunteers, 

Special Brig. 3d Div., Army of the Potomac, 
June 5th, 1862. 

Colonel : In consequence of the lamented illness of our brigade officer, General 
Featherstone, it was your good fortune to command our brigade in the fight of 
May 31st. To you, therefore, and in compliance with general orders from head- 
quarters of the division, I proceed with pleasure to give you a narrative of the part 
taken by my regiment in the battle of the 31st ultimo, and of the 1st instant. 

On the morning of the 31st ultimo, I received your orders to move by the left 
flank, file right, preserving such a distance from the 4th North Carolina regiment on 
my right, as would afford me room, promptly to form in line of battle. I accordingly 
moved, and unfortunately had to make my way through a trackless forest, encoun- 
tering at almost every step brush, bramble and ponds, and after a most exhausting 
march of upwards of a mile, we cleared the woods and entered the open field. 
Passing through this field to the right, we, with the previous orders renewed, 
entered the next body of timber, which was either occupied in common by, or sep- 
arated us from the enemy. The 4th North Carolina was on my right, and the 27th 
and 28th Georgia on my left. Dressing by the right, we were ordered carefully to 
preserve our distances, that not a moment might be lost in forming in line of battle ; 
I endeavored to obey this order literally, and in so doing was brought in contact 
with an enormous abattis, and with rifle pits, all right in front, and with a redoubt 
on my right flank. Here I met with General Garland, who, stating that his brigade 
had been cut to pieces, urged me forward. I gave the order and my gallant boys 
dashed into the abattis, pressing forward with every possible dispatch. My men 
were falling fast from the fire of an unseen foe — indeed, several had fallen in the 
timber through which we had just passed, from the shell of the enemy, and yet they 
gallantly pressed forward, and had more than half perforated the abattis — had passed 
the rifle-pits, and were under a galling fire, front and flank, before I opened fire. 
Never did men behave more like veterans under such trying circumstances. We 
were under heavy fire upon both of my flanks, and direct in front of the enemy, 
and also from the rear by our friends ; some of whom skulked behind the brick 
ruins, some three or four hundred yards in my rear, and some from the bush, and 
galled us with their fire, until finally, I had to dash back to the fellows before I 
could be relieved of their annoyance. Nor was this all. The 28th Georgia, by 
pressing to the right oblique, had entirely lost its place in line of battle, cut through 
my line and fell in on my right, except about two companies, which lapped my 
right, and was a source of great annoyance and of some loss of time. Through the 
activity of my Adjutant and of one of the officers of the Georgia regiment, whose 
name I do not know, this embarassment was removed by placing it fully on my 
right. I do not particularly know what became of this regiment afterwards, but, 
from what my Adjutant informs me, it advanced from the rifle pits, which it had 
occupied, fell into line with my command, and gallantly for an hour performed its 
duty until we fell back. Still pressing forward, my regiment soon cleared the abattis 
and entered the open field ; my left flank sheltered somewhat by the woods, and my 
right fully exposed. As I have since learned, the 27th Georgia had fallen back, 
leaving my left also entirely exposed. 

We had been under fire for three and a half hours, a portion of the time under 
a combination of four opposite fires. Our brigade had promptly relieved Garland's 
shattered columns, yet during my long and protracted struggle of three and a half 
hours, I had received no succor, and no command as to my progress and manage- 
ment. My regiment, which went into action three hundred and ninety strong only, 
had been cut down to a mere handful. My men were without ammunition, having 


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exhausted their sixty rounds. We had no supports at hand or in prospect, as far as 
I saw or was informed. The enemy was before us in force and moved with a cheer, 
to turn my left. 

In this state of things I regarded it as a military necessity that we should have 
fallen back, and to the order which was directed by my gallant Major, I firmly 
believe I am indebted for the preservation of the remnant of my regiment from 
capture and destruction. I had not recovered the ground I had lost when I went 
back to suppress the fire in my rear, when I met my command falling back, I am 
proud to say, in perfect order. Finding that my men were retiring with sullen 
reluctance, and ascertaining that they were without ammunition, I ordered my 
Adjutant to promptly report to General Hill, ascertain if he could supply us, and ask 
for orders. In reply I was informed that the General could not supply us, and that 
we must fall back upon my ordinance wagon and there replenish my empty boxes. 
This was done in order — most leisurely order. The boxes were filled, the pocket 
supply secured, and then I moved my regiment back to the field, and finally to the 
ground on the edge of the battle field, which was selected for our encampment after 
it was clear. The fight was over for the day. 

Early on the morning of the 1st instant, your brigade, including my regiment 
as a part of it, was moved and placed in line of battle on a new and exposed position 
as was supposed, where it remained until we fell back, early on the 2d instant. 

I have said, Colonel, but little of my neighbors in the field, and what little I have 
said may be unjust, for, ordered to move to the front, and having confidence that my 
superiors under any new and unexpected combinations would see that all was well, 
my attention was strictly confined to the duties of my own command ; but, there was 
an incident I will mention. In pressing through the abattis, I crossed a battle flag 
lying in the brush ; I took it to be my own ; I called to some one to take it, but in the 
din of the battle, and the excitement of the forward movement, I was unheard. 
Bidding my Adjutant, who was near by, to hand it to me, I seized and bore it until 
your kind and thoughful consideration transmitted me an order through Captain 
Foot to give up the flag. At the time a youthful stranger was hard by, probably not 
twenty years old, and heard the message delivered. He stepped promptly up, stated 
that he belonged to the 2d Florida, had lost his regiment, and would like to join 
mine for the fight, and with my permission would gladly bear the flag, and, if need 
be, plant it in the cannons' mouth. Without a word I handed it to him and nobly 
did he bear it ; and curiously enough, it turned out to be the flag of his own regi- 
ment, and how it reached the spot where I found it is still veiled in mystery, and 
probably will ever remain so. 

I have said that we went in the battle with about three hundred and ninety, rank 
and file. I will now add that I had twenty-nine company officers, and five field and 
staff officers, also. Of this number, I received from a minie ball, a severe contusion 
of the thigh ; Lieutenant-Colonel Gibson received a very severe contusion of the 
side, and quite a severe flesh wound on the left forearm. Of the Company officers 
three Captains were wounded. Captain Horsley, supposed mortally, and not heard 
from since the battle ; Captain Jacobs slightly, and Captain Randolph in the arm, 
severely. Of the Lieutenants, six were wounded, and one killed, to wit : 1st Lieuten- 
ant James M. Anderson, commanding Company "A"; ist Lieutenant James C. 
Cabell, Company "C"; 2d Lieutenant R. K. Christian, Company "B"; 2d Lieu- 
tenant R. M. Spicer, Company "D"; 3d Lieutenant R. S. Cabell, Company "K"; 
3d Lieutenant William W. Larkin, Company "F"; and Samuel Hill, 1st Lieutenant, 
Company "K" (killed). 

The color-sergeants and color-guard consisted of Sergeants Curry and Spencer, 
and Corporals Sutphin, Stone, Jewell and Maddox, who behaved with distinguished 
gallantry, and all of whom were either killed or wounded. Corporal Jewell was 
killed in line. Sergeant Curry, it is (eared is mortally wounded, while the others were 


all more or less severely wounded ; notwithstanding all, they nobly bore the flag for- 
ward throughout the day, never receding for a moment until ordered to fall back 
about 5 p.m. 

Of the rank and file, 32 were killed, 158 wounded, and 22 missing. 

Recapitulation : 
At opening of the fight, my regiment in rank and file consisted of men, 390 

Company officers in fight 29 

Field officers, commissioned and non-commissioned 5 

KilleJ. Wounded. 

Field officers . . 2 

Company officers 1 9 

Rank and file 32 158 

33 l6 9 

Total 202 

Number in command at beginning , 424 

Missing in action 22 

It will be observed, Colonel, that I lost of my regiment in killed, wounded and 
missing, over one-half of the entire command, which was still further weakened by 
the necessary details to take off the wounded, so you can readily see how severely 
that portion of it which remained in the field was cut up, and when it is remembered 
that six of my companies had never been under fire before, that all steadily advanced 
through great and unusual difficulties, and that, too, under most trying circumstances, 
that my regiment promptly responded to every command; that I was but little afflict- 
ed with that curse of an army, stragglers, you will pardon me I am sure, if I dwell 
with some complacency upon the valor, steadiness, and effective discipline of my 
command, the 49th Regiment, Virginia Volunteers. 

The more difficult duty now remains of specifying those who have won the claim 
of special merit. Among my field and staff officers I cannot discriminate. Lieut. - 
Col. Gibson, as I have stated, was twice wounded, and had his horse shot, but not so 
badly as to be unable to bear him from the field, which he refused to leave (although 
I urged him to do so) until the regiment fell back. Major Christian had to dismount 
on the outskirts of the abattis and proceed on foot with the command, which he did 
most gallantly. He escaped unhurt. My Adjutant, Kincheloe, always calm and 
collected, yet prompt and ready, contributed much to the steadiness of the command 
and cheerfully obeyed all my orders. He himself escaped, but had his horse badly 
shot. My Sergeant-Major led the advance, rifle in hand, displaying the valor, and 
perhaps sometimes the rashness of youth. My horse was badly shot and died about 
seven p. m. on the day of battle. 

Of my Company officers I have no language or praise which I might not safely 
bestow, but I have no power to discriminate between them. Where all behaved so 
well, discrimination is difficult and would certainly be unjust. I commend them, 
Colonel, most cordially to your favorable consideration. 

Colonel, I close this report, sending herewith a list of the killed and wounded; 
sending also a list of those, in a few instances, commended for special merit, and 
tendering you herewith my cordial gratulations, under the exposure to which you 
were constantly subjected, at your escape from the dangers of this bloody field. 

I am, sir, most respectfully, your obedient servant, 

William SMITH, Colonel 40th Virginia Volunteers. 


To General William Mahone, Akmy of the Potomac. 

Headquarters, 49th Virginia Volunteers, | 
2d Brigade, Huger's Division, July 1862. j 

General : In consequence of the degree of importance attached to the battle 
of June 25th, within the lines or front of Brigadier-General Wright, and of your order, 
I respectfully report as follows : On the morning of June 25th, a considerable firing 
having been heard on your left, or rather on the right of General Wright's position, 
you ordered me to move my regiment, consisting of about one hundred and fifty, 
rank and file, being the number not on other duty. Approaching the scene of con- 
flict, you ordered me to take a position in the woods, to arrest a movement which 
you thought the enemy might make to flank one of our regiments, the 4th Georgia, 
which had laid down in the wheat near French's house, or to flank the enemy, 
should it at any time prove judicious to do so. Having ordered the 41st Virginia to 
support me, I remained in my position some hours, when shortly before sunset a 
large regiment, the 48th North Carolina, Colonel Hill, appeared upon the field in 
line of battle, and opened upon the enemy with spirit and effect. Just before doing 
so, I received your order to flank the enemy. The order was promptly obeyed ; 
I was moving by the left flank, and ordered the 41st Virginia to keep close to my 
right. Before, however, my flank movement was completed, by being within a sat- 
isfactory distance of the enemy, the North Carolinians broke and precipitately 
retired, the enemy persuing them. 

With but a fragment of my own regiment, and unsupported by the 41st Virginia, 
which had been unaccountably (at the time) detained in the woods, in the presence 
of a greatly superior force of the enemy, and without assurance of support from any 
quarter, I was in great doubt for a moment as to my line of duty ; but it was for a 
moment only. I ordered my left wing to open upon the enemy, (the right having 
already secured a most favorable position) which was promptly obeyed. The effect 
was magical ; it arrested the persuit of the North Carolinians instantly. The enemy 
broke in dismay, with but little effort at resistance, and the field was soon our own. 
But for the unfortunate detention of the 41st Virginia, we must have realized much 
more complete results ; as it was, we recovered all the ground we had lost, killed and 
wounded a number of the enemy, took a few prisoners, (whom their guard was 
ordered to report to you) and closed the day very differently from what the enemy 
anticipated in the morning. 

I had not time to give the field a close examination as it was getting quite late, 
and my time was occupied in forming a new line of battle of the various regiments 
as they came up to receive a new attack of the enemy, which was expected. 

I am glad to inform you that my loss was not heavy. Lieutenants Boyd and 
Colbert were severely wounded. Lieutenant Boyd being permanently disabled, and 
six men were wounded, some of them dangerously. 

All which is respectfully submitted. 

William Smith. 
Col. 49th Virginia Volunteers. 

P. S. —I had commenced my report before I received your order to prepare it, 
hence the character of my first paragraph. 

W. S. 

Enough to paralyze the stoutest hearts of most men, he 
rose to the exigency of the great occasion, and accomplished 
ends and purposes which none but a man of extraordinary 
resources could command. 


We give below an extract of Gen. William Mahone's report 
of an artillery duel on Monday, June 30th, 1862, in which he 
says : 

" The 49th Virginia, occupying like relations to the Battery, with the same com- 
mendable firmness, stimulated by the characteristic coolness of its fearless com- 
mander, Col. William Smith, also suffered heavily under this fire, losing, in killed, 
two men, and twenty-eight wounded." 

Following that, is Gen. Mahone's account of the fight on 
the 2 5th of June, 1862, referred to in Col. Smith's report to 
him. Speaking of the Colonel of the 49th Virginia Volun- 
teers, as well as the Regiment itself, he says : 

"Meantime, Col. Smith, of the 49th, with that of the 41st and the 2d Battalion of 
the 6th, had been placed in a skirt of woods leading out on the enemy's left flank, 
most opportunely moved forward and attacked him upon his rear and flank. Thus 
pressed, simultaneously upon front and flank, the enemy fled precipitately," etc. 

Again, Gen. Mahone says ; 

"The timely appearance of Col. Smith with his regiment, his deliberate and judi- 
cious direction of his actions, rendered the combined movement of our forces at this 
point, eminently successful. His report to me is herewith forwarded as an interest- 
ing paper in connection with the engagement."* 

Gen. D. H. Hill, in his report of the battle of Seven 
Pines, fought May 31st, 1862, says : 

" The Yankee column was almost in musket range of the gallant Col. William 
Smith (ex-Governor of Virginia), 49th Virginia, and his noble regiment." 

Gen. Huger, in his report of July 21st, 1862, recommends 
that the 49th Virginia be authorized to inscribe on its banner, 
" 49th Virginia Volunteers — King's School House," for having 
distinguished itself in the fight at that place. 

Col. George B. Anderson, of the 4th North Carolina In- 
fantry, commanding Special Brigade, in his official report, 
June 5th, 1862, of the battle of Seven Pines, or Fair Oaks, 
says : 

"Col. William Smith, 49th Virginia, was conspicuous, as I can testify from my 
own observation, for coolness and courage. His exposure of his person was perhaps 
almost a fault." 

For reasons obvious to some who were officers and soldiers 
in Col. Smith's regiment, then in the 2d brigade, Huo;er's 

* See the Report above, dated July, 1862. 


division, I have thought it appropriate to insert in these 
memoirs a short extract from a letter from Dr. Horseley, of 
the 49th Virginia, to Col. Smith. The letter was of a per- 
sonal as well as of an official nature, and speaks for itself. It 
was particularly gratifying to the old hero when living, and is 
a graceful tribute to his virtues and fidelity as an officer : 
*************** * 


" Gen. William Smith. — Your letter, though unexpected, was not the less gladly 
received. Apart from that feeling of attachment which every soldier must entertain 
for his old commanding officer in a struggle like that of ours, there exists in this in- 
stance of yourself, an intensified interest growing out of the fact that at one time, 
your valuable services and personal sacrifices to our cause were by some of your 
command not pioperly estimated; which want of appreciation was for a moment, 
through undue influences, shared by myself. Long, however, before you ceased to 
be our regimental commander, I learned to value rightly your real worth, and can 
truly say with all sincerity, that I do not believe that of all the many noble men who 
devoted themselves to the ' lost cause,' that a single one labored within his special 
sphere with greater zeal and efficiency than yourself. 

" I hope you will pardon this digression and possibly inappropriate allusion to 
the past, but cannot fail to avail myself of a long wished for opportunity to make 
known to you my regrets, for having for a moment, entertained or given expression 
to sentiments which I believe so unjust. 

"lam gratified to know of your intention of writing your autobiography, and 
with numbers of others, will anxiously await its forthcoming. There are some inter- 
esting incidents in your military history that I am afraid your modesty will prevent 
special mention to be made of. One of these happened during the battle just re- 
ferred to (Seven Pines), in which engagement, after several of the color-bearers of 
our regiment had been, in rapid succession, shot down, you dismounted from your 
horse, seized the colors already pierced by a number of bullets, from the hands of 
the dying sergeant, remounting your horse, sat waving it in line of battle as long as 
I had sight of you. 

" Another incident, with which I was specially struck, happened at Sharpsburg. 
I was standing by you in line of battle when you received the severe wound in your 
shoulder, which afterwards gave you so much trouble. Though unexpressed, I saw 
that you were suffering greatly from the effects of the wound. I approached, and 
insisted upon your retiring to the rear, and allowing a sergeant to be called to your 
aid; both of which you refused to do, but remained with your command until the 
enemy had been driven back. 

"I remain very truly and sincerely yours, 

"William A. Horseley." 

Col. Smith's gallantry and adroit and judicious management 
of his regiment in the fights spoken of in the different reports 
above, had so impressed his superior officers and President 
Davis, that his promotion was determined on at Richmond, 
and it was only a question of time, with due reference to 
other promotions and existing circumstances and facts, when 


his commission should be made out. In due time it came, 
and without solicitation from him directly or indirectly. 

Many other interesting facts and incidents of this battle of 
the Seven Pines, I might mention Mechanicsville, Savage 
Station, Frazier's Farm, Marye's Hill, Fredericksburg, Hamil- 
ton's Crossings, Second Manassas, Engagement at Bristol, 
capture of the Fort at Winchester and expulsion of Millroy 
by Gen. Early, and the fights in the Wilderness and Spotsyl- 
vania, and other minor affairs in Virginia, speak with emphasis 
of the great efficiency and heroism of Col. Smith as an officer 
and soldier in the Army of Northern Virginia. But, that 
would involve more history of the War than is quite compat- 
ible with the original purpose of these memoirs, and we will 
hasten on to other matters and to the next grand drama in 
which he bore a conspicuous part. 


Col. Smith's Election to the Congress of the Confederate States — Took his Seat in 
Congress, February, 1862 — Gen. Johnston falls back from Manassas, 9th March, 
1862, to Clark's Mountain — Thither moved his Army to Yorktown — 49th in charge 
of Lieut. -Col. Murray — Congress adjourned — Col. Smith rejoins his Regiment at 
Yorktown and took command — Elected Colonel by the Officers of the Companies, 
under Act of Congress — Resigned his Seat in Congress — Evacuation of York- 
town— The Seven Pines again— The Colonel's Celebrated Order to "Flush the 

In the fall of 1861, while the army was stationed at Man- 
assas, Col. Smith was elected to the Congress of the Confed- 
erate States, to assemble at Richmond, then the Capital of 
the Confederacy, over R. E. Scott, Esq., of the County of 
Fauquier, one of the ablest men of Virginia, without leaving 
his regiment for a single day, but assiduously performing his 
duties as Colonel of the 49th Virginia. When Congress 
met in February, 1S62, Col. Smith qualified as the member 
from his district, leaving his regiment in charge of Lieut.-Col. 
Murray, a competent drill officer, and recently an officer in 
the U. S. Army. On the 9th day of March, 1S62, General 
Johnston evacuated Manassas and fell back to Clarke's Moun- 
tain, south of the Rapid Ann River and thence to Yorktown. 
On the 1 6th day of April following, Congress adjourned, and 


Col. Smith immediately rejoined and took command of his 

In the meantime, the Legislature of Virginia having passed 
an Act turning over her Volunteers to the Confederate Gov- 
ernment, to take effect on the first day of May following, with 
the privilege of reorganizing, it became necessary for Col. 
Smith to elect which of the positions he then held, he would 

By the arrangement of the reorganization, the field officers 
were to be elected by the officers of the companies, and they 
were chosen by the men or privates of their respective com- 
panies. The election came on and Col. Smith was elected 
by an almost unanimous vote. Making his election, he re- 
tained the Colonelcy of his regiment and immediately resigned 
his seat in Congress. This was a rare instance, if not the 
only one in the whole army, where a man holding a high 
civic position, relinquished it for a military command in the 

Col. Smith's Regiment was posted on the left wing of the 
army, which stretched across the Peninsula, its right wing 
resting on the James River. The enemy was in close prox- 
imity to our entire line, and in great force. Gen. Johnston 
soon determined to evacuate Yorktown and retire his army 
in the neighborhood of Richmond. This movement, it was 
plain, was full of peril and difficulties. To the 49th Virginia, 
among other troops noted for their steadiness and courage, 
was assigned the onerous duty of covering the rear. The 
Colonel's 49th Virginia was, therefore, the last to leave York- 

The Peninsula narrowing here and its roads concentrating 
at Williamsburg, the left of the army at Yorktown, took the 
lead here. The enemy pursued and made a fierce attack 
upon our retiring army, and, after several hours of severe 
fighting, were handsomely repulsed. Meanwhile, night ap- 
proached, and it being thought the enemy would renew their 
attack in the morning, we were recalled and again ordered to 
the rear. Then the 49th resumed its position, and so close 
to the enemy in the woods, the Confederates could hear them 


talk, and so remained the whole night under arms and in a 
drenching rain. But the attack was not renewed, and about 
day-break our army resumed their march undisturbed. 

On the 31st of May, 1862, the battle of the Seven Pines 
took place. That fight has been sufficiently spoken of in the 
next preceding chapter. It was, perhaps, so far as Col. 
Smith's regiment was concerned, at that time a part of G. B. 
Anderson's brgiade, the most disastrous battle of the war. 
The brigade was ordered to keep on the left of the Williams- 
burg road. In obeying this order, the 49th Virginia was con- 
strained to encounter a formidable abattis of heavy felled tim- 
ber a half mile in extent, and a row of rifle pits, and also a 
formidable earth-work, held by the unseen enemy. The 
enemy, however, could see the Confederates. It was on this 
occasion, and in this embarrassing condition when the Colonel 
eave his celebrated order, to " flush the crame." This order 
gave rise to many pleasant newspaper comments on either 
side. This was a murderous advantage the enemy possessed; 
but, the brave 49th quailed not. The order was obeyed at 
once — the " game was flushed." Under a heavy fire from 
the enemy, our men steadily advanced, and drove them from 
their fastnesses, and captured and pillaged their camp. 

It was related of the late chivalrous General Forrest, of one 
of the Western commands, that when going into battle he 
always called out to his men, " Forward, boys, and mix with 
them ! " 

It was in this desperate battle of the Seven Pines, spoken 
of in the next preceding chapter, that Col. Smith found two 
flags flying at the head of the column at the same time, in a 
bloody fight ; a phenomenal occurrence without a parallel in 
the history of the war. 

GOV. SMITH IN 1864. 

AQE 67 



Battle of Sharpsburg — Col. Smith Assigned to the Command of Early's Brigade tem- 
porarily, by Gen. Early — Receives three Wounds in one Volley — Promoted 
Brigadier-General, and Assigned to Command of Fourth Brigade — Casualties in 
this Fight in the 49th Virginia— Gen. J. E. B. Stuart and Gen. Early's Reports of 
Col. Smith's Conduct in this Fight — Candidate for Governor — Made no Canvass — 
Did not leave his Brigade — Elected by a Large Majority — Retained Command of 
his Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign — Promoted to Major-General — Agreed 
to Qualify as Governor — Entered the Recruiting Service — Qualified as Governor 
on the first day of January, 1864 — Delivered his Inaugural in the Hall of the 
House of Delegates. 

Early's brigade, of which Col. Smith's regiment formed a 
part, held the key of the position at Sharpsburg on the i 7 th 
of September, 1862. The 49th Virginia constituted the right 
of Early's line of battle. The 49th was at the foot of a long 
wooded slope with an ascending grade from their position 
some three or four degrees for three hundred or four hundred 
yards. The growth on this gentle slope was not such that 
they could not easily see every movement upon it. The 
crown of this slope was occupied by the enemy in great force, 
and seemed moving and massing upon the 49th with a slow 

At this movement, a regiment much superior in numbers to 
our own, moved out from the body of the enemy at quick 
step to turn the flank of the 49th, the main body moving 
slowly as if desiring first to see the effect of the flanking 
movement. In his own language, written sometime after the 
war, we find in some of his war reminiscences a short graphic 
narrative of his movements against the enemy on that occa- 

* * * * " As the enemy swept around my flank, one of my men cried out from 
the ranks, ' Colonel, they are surrounding us !' My answer was, ' Men, you conquer or 
die where you stand. I will not yield the rascals an inch — but remember, everything 
depends upon steadiness and courage. Obey orders, and I'll answer for the result.' 
At this time the enemy in front were only ten or twelve minutes in time distant, and 
finding that their flankers had reached my rear, in a line diagonal to my own line of 
battle, and at a distance of seventy or eighty yards, I gave the order ; about face' — 
around came the whole command, when I cried out, 'take aim — cover your objects — 
the man who pulls trigger without an object under his sight, ought to be drummed 
out of camp after this fight is over — fire.' My great necessity was a crushing volley, 
and such a volley, I never heard ! It is to this day with me one of the rich memories 
of the war. The Yankees did not even return the fire, but with quick step retired on 
the line of their advance, and rejoined their advancing columns. 


" The temptation to cut off the retreating enemy was great, but the close prox- 
imity of the advancing columns, and the possible effect upon the balance of our line 
of battle, forbade the attempt. Under the exhilaration of the moment, I exclaimed, 
'there they go, boys, just as I expected ; it is a sore temptation, but we must not 
break our line of battle — about face.' Perceiving before me, about thirty feet off, 
and immediately between my regiment and the advancing enemy, a remarkable out- 
cropping of rock, about hip high, I determined to avail myself of the great advan- 
tage it would give me. I moved my regiment up to the obstruction, and then halting 
it, said : ' Boys, you hold now an important position, and it is essential you should 
maintain it ; the enemy outnumber you, but in every other respect you have the 
advantage. I repeat, everything depends on your steadiness and courage. Now 
take your position ; fire at will, and give them h — 11. Dropping down behind this 
line of rocks, every man, no doubt, had resolved ' to do or die.' They awaited the 
enemy. At this time, Capt. Payne (A. D. ) dashed up with orders from Gen. Jackson, 
for our gallant General (Early), ' to hold his position at all hazards !' — but missing our 
General, he delivered this order to me. I replied: 'Tell General Jackson that is 
just what we are going to do.' 

"A few minutes after this, the battle began ; for a short time it was fast and 
furious — a few volleys from our gallant boys, from their protected position, at a rela- 
tively small loss to them, into the masses of the enemy, soon covered the ground 
with their dead and wounded. The enemy finally broke, leaving, besides their 
killed and wounded, 350 prisoners on our hands." 

In this terrific and ever memorable conflict of arms, the 
Colonel and Lieut.-Colonel of the 49th Virginia were severely 
wounded. Col. Smith received three wounds in one volley ; 
the one in his shoulder being thought mortal for some months, 
being much shattered, and three pieces of the bone having 
been taken from it. For some time these wounds were con- 
sidered mortal, and no one thought he could possibly recover. 
But, contrary to all expectation, through the skill of the sur- 
geon and the asiduous nursing and attention of his beloved 
wife, and servant, George Hunter, after an absence of eight 
months from the army, he returned, and found himself pro- 
moted to Brigadier-General, and assigned to the command of 
the Fourth Brigade, Early's Division, then resting at Hamil- 
ton's Crossings, near Fredericksburg, Va. 


In speaking of the situation after the battle, Gen. Early 
says : 

" I found Col. Smith standing by himself in a lime-stone ledge ; I rode up to him 
and said to him : ' Colonel, get your men together and re-form your regiment as soon 
as possible, the enemy may come back again,' He answered, • General, is he gone ?' 
'Yes,' I said, 'but he may come again, and we must be in condition to receive him.' 
He replied, 'you will observe, General, I am very badly wounded, and can't do any- 
thing more.' I looked at him and saw the blood streaming from his left shoulder, 


which indicated a very serious wound, and I was not advised that he was shot in 
another place, the leg, I believe. These wounds were in addition to the one inflicted 
by the ball which struck him in the arm, which was, I believe, but a bruise. It was 
very evident he was very seriously wounded, and I saw he was unable to move, 
though he was standing up. He was subsequently carried from the field in a helpless 
condition, and was confined with his wound for a considerable time. 

11 1 have always said, in speaking of him, he was as brave a man as I ever saw, and 
seemed always insensible to fear. 

"You will find my report about the battle of Sharpsburg in the second volume of 
the Operations of the Army of Northern Virginia, 1862, printed by the Confederate 
Government in 1864, pages 189- 195. I think the book can be had from the Archives 
of the Southern Historical Society. 

" If you communicate this to Miss Mary Smith, I wish you to assure her of my sin- 
cere sympathy with her in the loss she sustained in the death of her father, and of my 

high respect for his memory. tat? >> 

" Very truly yours, J- A, Early. 

"Maj. Robert Stiles, March 5, 1888." 

Of this brigade, he took charge in April, 1863. While 
here his wounds were still discharging. Here his faithful col- 
ored servant, George Hunter, so often and feelingly spoken 
of by him, extracted the ball and the last piece of the shattered 
bone from his shoulder, which, from that moment healed with 
magical quickness. 

The casualties in the 49th Virginia Infantry at the battle 
of Sharpsburg were : Killed, 8 ; wounded, 8 officers, 64 
men ; missing, 8. Total, 85. 

Major-General J. E. B. Stuart, commanding Cavalry of 
Operations, September 2, 20, in his report of February 13th, 
1864, to Col. R. H. Chilton, Chief of Staff, Army Northern 
Virginia, says : 

" Brigadier-General Early behaved with great coolness and good government, par- 
ticularly after he came into command of his division ; and Colonel (since General) 
William Smith, 49th Virginia Infantry, was conspicuously brave and self-possessed." 

The report of Brigadier-General Early, C. S. A., command- 
ing Ewell's division, September 3, 27, of January 12, 1863, 
says : 

"Col. William Smith, 49th Virginia, and Lieut. -Colonel Gibson, were seriously 
wounded, the former receiving three severe wounds, but remaining on the field in 
command of his regiment after the close of the fight." 

On this occasion Gen. Early directed Col. Smith to take 
command of his (Gen. Early's brigade), and resist the enemy 
at all hazards. 

Notk.— See Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Vol. XIX., Part 1, Reports. 


About this time, yielding to the solicitations of friends and 
the exigencies of public affairs in the State Government, 
which called for a vigorous and intrepid executive, General 
Smith announced himself a candidate for Governor of the 
State. Thomas S. Flourney and Col. George Wythe Mun- 
ford, gentlemen of high character, and great popularity, one 
of whom had been connected with the administration of the 
State Government as Secretary of State and Clerk of the 
House for forty years, and the other as a member of the 
House and former candidate for Governor, also declared 
themselves candidates. Gen. Smith never entered the can- 
vass or left his command for a single day. His brigade was 
then lying at Hamilton's Crossings, near Fredericksburg, Va. 
He was elected over both competitors by a very large ma- 

Great solicitude was then manifested that Gen. Smith 
should retire from the army, and thus escape the casualties 
of the field. Although it was morally certain that he was 
elected Governor to take effect on the first day of January, 
1864, no official returns having been made, Gen. Smith de- 
termined to participate in the Pennsylvania campaign. This 
was against the earnest protest of both people and army. 
The old hero said that although he had suffered many " hair- 
breadth escapes " he could not " resist the romance of the 
campaign before him ;" and he retained charge of his brigade 
in the Gettysburg fight. Returning from this expedition, so 
perilous and disastrous to us, while stationed a short time at 
Hagerstown, Maryland, he received conclusive evidence of 
his election. 

The following brilliant and classical sketch, is from the 
pen of that gifted writer, the Hon. Robert \V. Hunter, of 
Virginia. He was an eye witness of the incidents therein 
related, and cognizant of all the surroundings. 

Major Hunter was appointed on the staff of Gen. Edward 
Johnson, in the midst of the battle, after the death of Maj. 
Leigh, and wounding of Maj. Douglass. 

At Hollywood, Richmond, Va. 



The biographer of Governor William Smith will be at no loss for rich materials, 
if only a part of what is worthy to be recorded of him, can be gathered from the 
different fields on which he was a conspicuous actor. 

Rich as our old Dominion is in historic treasures and noble names, there are but- 
few in the long catalogue, whose careers are as replete as his, with varied and pictur- 
esque interest. 

Achieving prominence at a very early peroid of life, he maintained his place 
among the foremost public men of the State, long after the great majority of his 
youthful contemporaries, had been cut down by death, or retired to the repose of 
private life. 

His ardent temperament and indomitable pluck, saved him from the enervation 
of idleness, while his temperate habits and chaste associations made him proof against 
the ravage of dissipation. 

It was this wonderful reserve of vital power that enabled the old Governor to 
"renew his youth like the Eagles " and spring to the front, as it were with a bound, 
when the war-cloud burst over the land, and the call to arms came to all the old and 
the young, who could bear the fatigue, the hardship and deprivations of active service 
in the field. There is not less of value than interest to the youth of the land in the 
story of such a life, and I am glad it is to be told by one who knew and loved him. 

I can only contribute to it a single incident in his career as a Soldier, at the battle 
of Gettysburg, which made an impression on my mind that remains as vivid as if it 
had occurred but yesterday. 

I thought then in the midst of the War, when deeds of valor and heroic deaths 
were of daily occurrence ; and I think noiu after the lapse of a quarter of a century, 
when the great conflict has gone into history with its unsurpassed record of martial 
achievement that there was no more lustrous example of personal prowess and patri- 
otic devotion, on any of our battle fields, than Governor Smith exhibited on that 
memorable occasion. 

It was on the morning of the third day's battle. 

The significance of the incident, however, cannot be appreciated, without a 
reference to the antecedent conditions of the struggle, which are here given in brief 
by way of introduction. 

On the evening of the second day, after a tremendous contest between Andrews' 
artillery and that of the enemy on the height opposite, Gen. Edward Johnson, whose 
division was on the extreme left of our wing advanced to the assault of the East face 
of Culp's Hill a natural fortification, held by a strong force, and rendered more 
formidable by deep intrenchments and thick abattis. Only three brigades, Steuart's 
Nichols' and J. M. Jones' participated in this assault. As the Stonewall brigade was 
about to advance the enemy made a demonstration on our left flank which Gen. 
Walker was ordered to repulse. The opposing force was larger, and the time con- 
sumed in driving it off, longer, than was anticipated so that Walker could not join the 
other brigade till early the next morning. This night assault was very spirited and 
vigorous. Speaking of it in his official report Gen. Lee says : 

"The troops moved steadily up the steep and rugged ascent under a heavy fire, 
driving the enemy into his intrenchments, a part of which were carried by Steuart's 
brigade and a number of prisoners taken." 

The position gained was of great strategic importance. Its capture made a breach 
in the enemy's lines near the Baltimore pike, within musket range of his reserve 
artillery and ammunition and the headquarters of Gen. Slocum, the commander of 
the right wing of their army. 


The Federal historian, Bates, says the lodgment effected was " in dangerous prox- 
imity to the very vitals of the army;" and Swinton declares "it was a position, which, 
if held by him, would enable him to take Meade's entire line in reserve." 

It is probable, as Gen. Howard says, that owing to the rough ground and thick 
wouds, our Generals did not realize till morning what they had gained ; but it is 
improbable, even if the situation had been fully realized, that anything more could 
have been accomplished under the circumstances, as Gen. Edward Johnson, one of 
our sturdiest fighters, testifies in his official report that this night attack "was as suc- 
cessful as could have been expected considering the superiority of the enemy's force 
and position." 

With the first streaks of the dawn, however, there was an unmistakable rev- 
elation of what had been lost on the one side and gained on the other, from the 
mouths of a powerful artillery, which had been concentrated in our front during the 
night, with the double purpose of resisting the farther advance of our troops, or 
co-operating with their infantry in an effort to recover their lost works. 

A little after sunrise the enemy charged in heavy force and with great determin- 
ation, but were repulsed with great slaughter. Then, in accordance with General 
Lee's plan of battle, General Johnson, reinforced by two brigades from Rodes' 
division, again assumed the offensive and assailed the enemy's right with terrific 
fury. It was expected that Longstreet, whose corps was the right wing of our army, 
and whose position was on the other side of the ridge, nearly opposite ours, would 
attack at the same time ; but, unfortunately, for reasons which have never been 
satisfactorily explained and need not here be discussed, there was a failure of that 
concert of action upon which General Lee depended for success. 

Johnson's assaults were met by overwhelming odds and the splendid valor of his 
troops was of no avail. Eighteen hundred of his own division lay dead or disabled 
upon the field. Capt. Randolph McKim, of Steuart's staff, who was with the Mary- 
land men in the fore-front of the fighting, describing the terrible carnage, says: "It 
was as if the sickle of Death had passed along the line and mown down the noblest 
and the bravest." 

While this desperate struggle was at its height, a large force of the enemy 
advanced upon our left and rear, of whose approach, there being no cavalry at hand 
to give warning, we were not aware until it was in very dangerous proximity. 
Unless it could be checked disaster was inevitable. Not a man could be spared from 
the front ; and any attempt to withdraw men from there would precipitate the enemy 
upon us in such force as our already weakened lines could not possibly resist. 
Never was situation on battle-field more critical. As a forlorn hope, the Second 
Virginia Regiment, which was on the extreme left, was deployed with orders to arrest 
the enemy's advance at all hazards, and, at the same time, a staff officer was des- 
patched to notify General Smith (whose brigade was at a considerable distance to the 
right in reserve) that our left wing could only be saved by an immediate reinforce- 
ment. The men of the Second Virginia, posted at wide intervals behind rocks and 
trees, contested stubbornly every inch of ground, firing with a rapidity and precision 
that materially delayed and disconcerted the enemy ; hut there was no expectation 
that this thin skirmish line could hold back for many minutes the serried ranks of a 
force fifty times greater than its own ; nor was it thought possible that any reinforce- 
ment could reach the ground in time to prevent a catastrophe. Meantime, the fiery 
cordon was contracting its fatal embrace, and the issue hung, as it were upon a thread. 
"The bravest held their breath for a while." At this supreme moment was heard 
the voices of Smith and his men dashing forward to the rescue. The rumble of 
Longstreet's approach and thunder of Stephen D. Lee's guns were not more welcome 
sounds to Jackson's hard pressed veterans in the Railroad cut at Second Manasses. 
The Scotch bagpipes, heralding relief, were not sweeter music to the ears of the 
starving garrison of beleagured Lucknow. 

They stood not upon the order of their coming, but came with a rush, the old 


Governor in the lead, his voice rising above the din of battle, more potent than a 
blast from the bugle horn of Trelawney. Taking the highest position he could find, 
reckless of shot and shell, with bare head and sword in hand, pointing to the enemy, 
he harangued each regiment, as it double-quicked past into the arena of blood and 


I connot recall his exact words. All that I know is that they were not in the con- 
ventional forms prescribed by Hardee, Upton or Gilham. Like Wellington, when 
the moment came for the death-grapple at Waterloo, the old Governor either could 
not recall the "orders" as laid down in the books on Tactics, or deemed them too 
insipid for such an emergency. Such, however, was the emphatic muscularity of his 
military dialect that there was never a moment's doubt or hesitation as to what he 
meant. His "boys," as he affectionately called them, knew and understood him, 
and off they dashed with a spirit and a vim that soon drove back the enemy. 

It was dune so handsomely ; the old Governor's bearing was so superbly gallant ; 
his voice so ringing and inspiring ; the reinforcement he brought so opportune, so 
welcome and so effective, that the troops in that quarter, rejoicing in their deliver- 
ance, in heartfelt tribute to that "good grey head that all men knew," and with a 
spontaneous impulse such as only soldiers in such a plight can feel, with one accord 
raised the shout : "Hurrah for Governor Smith," which went along the lines like an 
electric current, mingling with the sullen roar of the enemy's cannon. 

The Federal Generals, in their official reports of this engagement, speak of 
Johnson's "heavy reinforcement," but the fact is, that, besides the two brigades of 
Rodes' division, already spoken of, which had been with him on the right of his line 
all the morning, not a man came to his assistance, except Smith's small brigade of 
Early's division. The impressiveness of the incident we have attempted to describe 
was intensified by the Governor's age, then upwards of three score and seven years ; 
by the fact that he was then Governor-elect of Virginia for the second time ; and 
furthermore, because he was still suffering from a severe wound in the shoulder, 
and, had doubtless, disregarded the injunction of his Surgeon in exposing himself to 
the hardship and excitement of such an active campaign. If ever a soldier had 
honorable and unquestionable title to retirement upon his laurels, surely it was 
Governor Smith. His election as Governor was a summons from the field to the 
Capital, with the plaudit of "well done " by his people, and would have amply 
sufficed for any man cast in a less heroic mould. But such was the ardor of his zeal ; 
such the abounding and unstinted wealth of his love for his State and people that he 
could not lag idly in the rear while there was strength left in his arm to wield a sword 
among his brave boys in the front. 

The General Assembly of Virginia, recognizing the eminent appropriateness of 
the loving tribute to one who had served her so long and well, authorized the plac- 
ing of Virginia's coat of arms on the beautiful bronze shield that marks his grave in 
Hollywood's sacred shades. The cottage in the grounds of the Confederate Soldier's 
Home at Richmond, will keep alive memories in the hearts of our scarred veterans, 
which will be as sweet incense to the departed spirit of their illustrious comrade, in 
whose honor it was erected. But it seems to me that something more remains to be 
done. There ought to be in our State Library (alongside of the ante-bellum portrait of 
Governor Smith already there) a battle-picture by some artist with the genius of a 
De Neuville or Meissonnier, which would represent, in a way that words can at best 
but feebly do, how a Governor-elect of Virginia, despite the weight of years and the 
drain of wounds, dashed at the head of his men into a storm of battle, unsurpassed in 
its fury, at Gettysburg, and averted what otherwise would have been an irretrievable 

The following is from Major Robert Stiles, then of the Con- 
federate Army, now a prominent lawyer of Richmond, V a, 


It vividly portrays some of the salient points in Gen. Smith's 
army life. 


"No one who ever knewGov. Smith, could fail to be impressed with his absolute 
fearlessness. It was perhaps, the most prominent characteristic of the man, and 
distinguished him even among Confederate officers. That doughty old soldier, Gen. 
Earlv, who, as we all know, had almost a monomania on the subject of personal 
intrepidity, and was himself characterized by it to such a degree, that the mere 
prudence of most men, savored to him of timidity, in a private letter to the 
writer, after speaking of the heroism with which Gen. Smith (then sixty-six years 
of age) received and bore three wounds at Sharpsburg, adds: 'I have always said 
in speaking of him, that he was as brave a man as ever I saw, and seemed always 
to be insensible to fear.' 

"Gen. Smith's courage was not only marked in degree, it was also very peculiar 
in quality. It was so natural, so ingrained, so thoroughly characteristic of him, that 
it was never strained, and seldom passionate, but almost uniformly simple, easy and 
unaffected, so that ofentimes the very highest exhibitions of it did not even break his 
customary manner of hearty and cheerful courtesy. I recall a very extreme instance 
of this, when Early captured Milroy's forces at Winchester in 1863, an instance which, 
in almost any other man I ever knew, would have suggested, from its very simplic- 
itv and naturalness, the idea of affectation. 

"Gen. Smith was standing on the right of a long line of infantry, lying fiat on 
their faces under a terrible fire, and erect, with his folded arms, securing his horse's 
bridle rein, and, save the artillery men following their guns, just then changing 
position at a gallop, he was the only human being I saw erect upon that field. 

"As the cannoniers dashed by with faces blanched, lips pressed against the teeth, 
and eye-balls straining out of their sockets, I saw Gen. Smith bow politely, and 
heard him greet each one as he passed, in a rich, smooth, full, clear voice ; 'How do 
you do, Sir! how are you to-day, Sir! ' and I noted, too, the effect upon the men ; 
for each lifted and threw back his head proudly as if he felt — 'Gen. Smith must have 
noticed me, specially ; I certainly meant to do my full duty in this fight, at least.' 

" Although sixty-seven years old during this, the Pennsylvania campaign of 1863, 
it was yet a matter of constant interest to observe him on the march, as well as in 
battle ; he was so brimming over with life and spirit, and being in a somewhat inde- 
pendent position, I always tried to be somewhere in his neighborhood. 

"I remember one day while we were marching north, and not very far from the 
Potomac, I heard a great cackling and shouts of laughter at the head of the column, 
and riding forward to see what it ment, found Gen. Smith dismounted in the road, 
surrounded by a bevy of pretty girls, every one of whom he was kissing, despite 
very vigorous sham resistance, and, as he performed the ceremony in each case, 
he would comfort his blushing, laughing victims, by the reflection, 'Never mind my 
dear, its all right ; you just tell your father it was Extra Billy did it. and he'll say it's 
all right.' 

"On another occasion, after we had crossed into Pennsylvania, Gen. Smith's 
brigade being in the advance, as we approached a considerable town, with a smile of 
genuine fun and good humor, he directed his son 'Fred' to put the band in front, 
and order them to play 'Yankee Doodle' 

"He himself road at their head, and as the town's-people thronged the side-walks, 
he bowed first to one side, and then the other, saying, ' How do you like this mode of 
coming back into the Union ; you see we've come in force, and, I hope, come to 
stay. I trust you enjoy it as much as we do.' And gradually riding more slowly, 
and the band ceasing to play, his brigade at last halted, and resolved itself into a 
sort of political meeting. The General was in his element, and made from the saddle, 


one of the raciest stump speeches I ever heard. His grizzled veterans fraternizing 
good naturedly with the sleek Pennsylvania Dutch burghers, and both shouting 
wildly at his many happy hits, until 'Old Jube,' with difficulty forcing a way for 
himself and his horse through the motley crowd, broke up the love-feast, and the 
column formed again, and marched laughing through the town, and out beyond to 

He then applied for and obtained a leave of absence for 
ninety days. He repaired at once to Richmond, when and 
where he found a higher compliment than he had ever yet 
received — he had been promoted to the grade of Major- 
General in August, 1863. It was then determined he should 
accept the office of Governor, and in the meantime, until his 
term should begin, he should canvass the State in aid of the 
recruiting service. These were pronounced and emphatic 
acknowledgments to him for his °reat services and talents as 
civilian and soldier. 

On the first day of January, 1864, Gov. Smith qualified as 
Governor of Virginia ; delivered his Inaugural in the Hall of 
the House of Delegates, and immediately entered upon the 
regular duties of his office. 


Governor Smith's Administration of the State Government — His Bold and Energetic 
Executive Measures — Creation of the Home Guard — History of this Extraordinary 
Measure — Suspected Mutiny among the Troops — His Visit and Address to them — 
His Firm and Decisive Action on this Occasion — Effect upon them — Asks for an 
Appropriation to Purchase Supplies for Army and People of the City and Country 
— Bill Fails — Organized a Plan Despite its Failure, to Furnish them — Raised 
Large Sums of Money to Purchase Supplies — Organized and Procured a Railroad 
Train to Transport them to Richmond — Signal Success of the Plan — Reduced 
Prices for Necessaries of Life — Loaned Liberally to the Confederate Government 
in 1864 — Great Relief to the People of the City and Country. 

I cannot attempt a minute detail of his executive action 
during his brief administration of the State Government in 
those stirring and tumultuous times. The utmost I can hope 
to do toward that end is to gather from the meaner civil and 
political history that has been preserved to us of that day, and 
rescue from oblivion a few of the leading and conspicuous 
measures of his administration. In that highly excited and 
reactionary period of the war, when great numbers thought 
they were entitled to exemption from duty, and the hardships 


of the war, and to some peculiar privileges, it was universally 
acknowledged that Gov. Smith was the right man in the right 
place, and the choice of the people and the army was soon 

The first great want was, men for local defense. The au- 
thor of these memoirs well remembers with what boldness 
and energy the Governor applied himself, night and day, to 
effect this difficult work. Determining to utilize every availa- 
ble means, he formed two regiments out of the exempts, to 
wit : those discharged from military service for age and disa- 
bility, and those who had contracts with the Government, 
unnaturalized foreigners, etc. To each of these regiments he 
attached a small company, for the purpose of scouting when 
the regiments were on duty, and also to enable the rank and 
file to have communication with their homes. These regi- 
ments were well organized, armed and equipped, and well 
drilled by their commanding officers ; but all orders for serv- 
ice emanated from the Governor. These forces were well 
understood to be strictly for home defense. 

Surrounded by emergencies which, at this distant day can 
be well understood and appreciated, the Governor saw the 
necessity of exercising exclusive authority. He did so in a 
parental way, which, however, would tolerate no disobedience 
or insubordination. When called out to fill a gap in the line 
of circumvallation around the city, which once did occur, for 
three weeks continuously, the required number was at hand. 
The Governor looked well after their comfort, and they un- 
derstood he would be on hand when a collision with the enemy 
should take place. In a short narrative respecting this extra- 
ordinary measure, the Governor best speaks for himself : 

"We had, in one of these regiments, about twenty Italian foreigners, unnatural- 
ized, who, while acknowledging their international obligations, insisted they were dis- 
charging them when ready to defend their own hearth-stones ; and it was reported to 
me that they had avowed that in the event of a collision with the enemy they would 
not fire upon them. Considering a crisis had come involving the fate of the whole 
command, I determined to deal with it decisively. Mounting my horse, I rode to the 
front, where my regiments were then posted, and ordered them to turn out and form 
into line of battle. This was promptly done. I rode up and down the line informing 
the men of what had been reported to me. I told them the alleged fact was of grave 
import, and must be unmistakably ascertained, and when established, must, in these 
times, be dealt with promptly and without delay. All men in line then who had made 


up their minds not to fire upon the enemy in action, will, when the word of command 
is given, march ten paces to the front, and then halt; but not a man moved, to my 
great gratification. Pausing a moment, everything profoundly still, I raised my hat 
in salutation to the whole line ; ordered my Colonels to return to their former positions, 
and retired. 

'• These regiments were organized shortly after my inauguration. They rendered 
frequent and valuable service, with ready and cheerful obedience, and never gave me 
the slightest trouble afterwards. They disappeared from the scenes of their patriotic 
services when the fall of Richmond rendered them no longer necessary." 

The next great want that presented itself to the Governor 
was, perhaps, greater than the first. It was of the most im- 
perious and vital character. It was food for man and beast — 
supplies of every description for citizen and soldier. Desola- 
tion marked the march of the armies of the enemy. The 
upper and lower valleys of Virginia, the great granaries of the 
State had been laid waste ; what they did not consume, they 
wantonly destroyed, and the women and children in their 
merciless tread were left to suffer and to starve. 

To meet such exigencies, County Committees had been 
formed, whose duty it was to supply the destitute with bread. 
But it frequently happened that the corn was not in the coun- 
try — the authorities were then obliged to draw from those 
sections which were better supplied. Then clothing was in 
great demand for the State Guard and our public charities, 
and for the people generally ; and to supply such wants it was 
necessary to work up materials in our own Penitentiary. The 
Governor, equal to this great occasion, digested a plan for 
such necessities. He at once applied to the Legislature, then 
in session, for an appropriation to carry it out. Such an act 
required the concurrence of both Houses, by a two-thirds 
majority of each. The House promptly passed the bill, but it 
failed in the Senate. That body gave it a numerical but not 
a constitutional majority of two-thirds ; it being a bill to ap- 
propriate money, failed. 

" Deeming the measure of the greatest consequence and as sanctioned by a heavy 
majority of the Legislature, I determined to carry it out with such means as I could 
command. I drew from the civic and military contingent fund $40,000 each, and from 
Wm. H. MacFarlane, President of the Farmers' Bank, Virginia, with the proper ex- 
planation, $30,000 — so that I started with a capital of $110,000. I employed an agent 
to run the blockade to procure such supplies as could only be had abroad, supplying 
him with cotton to make his purchases. I also organized a railroad train — obtained 
from the Government a formal protection against all interference on the part of its 
subordinates— placed it in charge of an efficient agent, with the necessary funds, with 


instructions to proceed South and purchase corn, rice and other needful supplies — to 
proceed with despatch, and so continue delivering his cargoes to my Quartermaster in 
Richmond, Ya. 

" These operations were conducted with the most signal success. I supplied all 
State institutions with corn, at $10.00 per bushel, and rice at 50 cents per pound, when 
corn could only be had from private hands at $60.00 per bushel and rice at $3.00 per 
pound. I also supplied all country applications for the poor at same rates, and all 
other recognized claims. Indeed, I put rice on the general market at Richmond at 
50 cents, and practically drove the retailer out of the market. At these prices, I was 
enabled to preserve my capital and have a margin of 10 per cent, also, with which to 
cover losses. My supplies were such that I was enabled to make occasional loans to 
the Confederate Government. At the time Richmond was evacuated, that Govern- 
ment, at Confederate prices, was indebted to the State, on such accounts, at least 

" The last loan of 2,500 bushels of corn, was under quite exciting circumstances. 
Sitting in my office, engaged in the dispatch of the public business, with quite a crowd 
around me, I saw my Quartermaster step in ; in a few moments, two Confederate 
officers stepped in ; satisfied that there was something of more than ordinary interest on 
hand, I invited them to seats, saying, they should have my attention as soon as the 
business on hand was disposed of. Being soon at leisure, I said to the crowd, that I 
was sorry to postpone them, but that the officers who had just come in, were doubt- 
less on public business, and must have first attention. Turning to them, I said to 
them, 'Gentlemen, what can I do for you?' whereupon one of them drawing his 
chair close to mine, said in a low voice, which was doubtless heard by all in the room, 
' I am Major Clairborne of the commissary department ; I find that you have a train 
of corn to arrive this morning.' 'Yes,' said Major Fitzhugh, ' My Quartermaster and I 
have come to report its arrival, and to receive your order as to its disposition.' 
' Well,' said the Major in a low tone of voice, ' When I saw it arrive, I thought it was 
a Godsend, and I have come to see if I cannot borrow it of you, promising to 
return it in a few days.' ' Ah ! Major ' I replied, ' that corn is for the starving women 
and children of Virginia.' 'Well' replied the Major, 'all I have to say is, that this 
day, Lee's Army around Petersburg, has but a pound of meat to the man, and 
to-morrow they will have none, without your corn.' Although usually under self- 
control, I was so appalled at this revelation, that I lost all command of myself, sprang 
from my seat, walking the floor in my wrath and in fiery indignation, demanded the 
management which had Wrought a great cause to such a crisis, as a chance arrival 
of a train of corn ! Recovering myself, I resumed my seat ; I directed my secretary 
to make out at once, an order to my Quartermaster, in view of the exigency of the 
public service, to turn over the train of corn in question to the Confederate Govern- 
ment. During all this time, not a word was spoken except by myself, and when 
this transaction was finished, I bowed the gentlemen out, and resumed the business 
they interrupted. 

" This incident took place about two weeks before the evacuation of Richmond. 
Having ample funds with which to carry on my operation, and to pay all debts they had 
made necessary, and desirous of relieving myself of the personal responsibility I had 
assumed, exclusively for the public good, as I feared that the end was near, I con- 
cluded at once, to pay into the treasury the $So,OCO I had drawn from my contingent 
fund, and to pay the Farmers' Hank the $30,000 I had borrowed from it, which was 
done ; and thus, my adventure was out of debt. 

"I had supplied a large amount of public and private wants, controlled to a con- 
siderable extent the rapacity of private traders ; kept Lee's Army in the field as 
before, and at the collapse, had cleared for the state, the large debt due by the Con- 
federate Government of $75,000 in currancy, burnt in the great tire, according to the 
Quartermaster's report ; $40,000 in the hands of an agent, the proceeds of a sale of 
leather, atGreensboro, N. C, besides considerable supplies of food in Richmond, forthe 


various State agencies, most of which were destroyed by the great fire, but of which 
I can give no particular account ; the whole aggregating at Confederate prices from 
three to five hundred thousand dollars. This large amount was made by an 
unauthorized enterprise in about ten months, through the advance of ten per cent., 
or cost prices, which was not intended for profit, but to cover probable losses, as I 
was bound to preserve my capital intact ; but there were no losses, and the whole 
enterprise was most actively and successfully conducted. To this view, may be 
added the speculative advantages to suffering destitute humanity, the values of 
which cannot be estimated." 

The bare recital of the above facts imprint Gov. Smith as 
a man of rare administrative and executive ability — of extra- 
ordinary resources and originality, courage and intrepidity, 
both as stateman and soldier. These two last named conspic- 
uous measures of his administration, standing alone, would 
signalize his conduct as Governor, and hand down his name 
and fame with historic glory. 

It must be admitted that both measures were of doubtful 
authority ; perhaps both ultra vires ; but the whole country 
was in the midst of a Revolution, a gigantic and bloody War 
was racing between the North and the South. The South 
had staked her all upon the result of the conflict. The Capi- 
tal of Virginia and the Capital of the Confederacy was be- 
sieged. If Richmond fell, all was lost ! Gov. Smith fully 
appreciated this momentous crisis. He well knew that the 
spirit of the times had grown to turbulence and insubordina- 
tion — that there were some in the capital and some in the 
country who would fain see the best blood of our people 
poured out freely in the trenches and on the field, whilst they 
were playing the parlor knights and coining money out of the 
blood of the soldier. He determined to submit to this condi- 
tion of things no longer, but following the splendid example 
of Gen. Jackson, at Orleans, when Packenham was besieging 
the city, he would put a musket in every man's hands who 
could bear arms, and order him to defend his own property. 



The Eventful Sabbath Day in Richmond— President Davis in Church — Dispatch from 
General Lee— The President Sends for Governor Smith — The President and Gov- 
ernor Leave the City — Mrs. Smith's Demeanor — The President Opens the Confed- 
erate Government at Danville, Va. — The Governor Opens the State Government 
there, also — The President Proceeds to Greensboro, N. C. — Trying Scenes at 
Danville — Governor's Speech to the Troops — Its Effect on Them — Outbreak Sup- 
pressed — Guerilla Policy Adandoned — Peace Resolutions at Staunton — He Deter- 
mines to Surrender Himself — $25,000 Offered for his Arrest — The Governor 
Leaves the Valley — Entreated not to Return to Richmond — His Sojourn at Charles 
W. Dabney's, Esq. — Safe Conduct to Richmond from General Patrick — Manner 
of his Reception — His Recall by the President of the United States. 

Passing over other interesting cotemporaneous measures of 
his administration, we are brought at once to the catastrophe 
in the great drama of the war. 

On the eventful Sabbath Day of April 2d, 1 865, when the 
people of the capital felt comparative repose, and man}' attend- 
ing Divine service in their respective churches, Governor 
Smith was sitting in his pew in St. Paul's Church, (Rev. Dr. 
Minnegerode), when a dispatch was handed to President 
Davis by a special messenger. Glancing at the paper for a 
moment, the President left the church immediately. All eyes 
were at once turned to him ; but the emotions of the congrega- 
tion were subdued and the services proceeded without further 
interruption. At their conclusion, the Governor proceeded at 
once to the Executive Mansion. When arrived, he received 
a message from the President requesting his personal at- 
tendance at the President's house, without delay. On his 
arrival, the President handed him the dispatch he had re- 
ceived in church. It was from Gen. Lee, expressing the fear 
that he would not be able to hold his lines of defense around 
the city, and that he (the President) should be ready to move 
at a moment's notice. 

After a brief conversation, the Governor informed the 
President that he would be governed by his movements, and 
that when he evacuated the city he, with the State Govern- 
ment, would, as far as practicable, do likewise. About this 
time, the President had ordered a train to be in readiness to 
move, and invited the Governor to take a seat in his car. To 


this invitation the Governor returned thanks, but said that he 
was the Governor of Virginia, and must share her fate, and 
that all his arrangements would have an eye to the protrac- 
tion of the war, if practicable. 

The Governor then determined to transfer the State Gov- 
ernment to Lynchburg, and ordered all arrangements neces- 
sary to that end. The officials and public records, and the 
officers and students of the Virginia Military Institute, were 
to proceed up the canal (James River and Kanawha), and he 
and Aid, Lieut. -Colonel Smith, and servant, were prepared to 
go through the country, on horseback. The Second Auditor, 
H, W. (since Judge) Thomas, of Fairfax, was put in charge of 
the Capitol and contents, and other public buildings, and re- 
quested to make the best arrangements with the enemy to 
save them from injury and destruction. 

By this time night had fallen in, and no orders from Gen. 
Lee. Repairing to the War Department, and finding the 
way open, he at once communicated with the General, and 
asked if the " City is to be evacuated to-night ? " The reply 
was, " By all means !" The President left by 10 o'clock p. m. 
on his train. The Governor having seen his boats off, left at 
the foot of the canal at i o'clock that night, taking, with his 
Lieut. -Colonel and servant, the tow-path, for Lynchburg, Va. 

This condition of things may be imagined, but hard to be 
appreciated by one on whom rested no responsibility, domes- 
tic or public. The unhappy end of the Confederacy was at 
hand. As has been beautifully said by the author of Long's 
Lee, I beg leave to reproduce it here : 

"After four years of courageous sacrifice and patriotic devotion, the city of Rich- 
mond was compelled to yield to the decree of fate, and bow her proud crest to the 
victor. But she felt no shame or disgrace, for her defense had been bold and chival- 
rous, and in the hour of her adversity her majestic fortitude drew from her conquerors 
respect and admiration." 

On this eventful Sabbath there was, of course, unusual ac- 
tivity and confusion. The Governor's family — his wife and 
daughter and two lady friends — were at the Executive Mansion. 
Mrs. Smith, who was a woman of marvellous decision of 
character, firmness of purpose and will, and on whom her 


husband had often relied in many a dark hour before, in a 
tranquil and composed manner approached him and said : 
" Smith, I may feel like a woman, but I can act like a man. 
What is the matter ? " There were no secrets then. The 
dreadful disclosure must be made, and instantly, as ever be- 
fore, she was his counselor and help. She said to him : 
" Attend to your public matters, and I'll make my own ar- 
rangements to evacuate the Governor's house, to-morrow 

During- the whole of these trying scenes, not a tear or 
tremor was seen, usually affecting her sex in such an ordeal ; 
but she displayed a calm and heroic firmness, worthy of all 
admiration. After a thrilling episode in his journey to Lynch- 
burg he reached the city. 

On his arrival he learned the President had halted at 
Danville, and opened the Confederate Government there. 
He proceeded to that town at once. Then and there he 
learned of the surrender of General Lee, and found the Presi- 
dent preparing to leave for Greensboro, N. C. 

Still confronted with reverses and revulsions, enough to 
depress and discourage the stoutest heart, yet, true to his 
manhood, to his own native resources and intrepidity, he de- 
termined to remain in Danville as long as he could, to exert 
all the power and influence he might possess to preserve the 
good order and well-being of society ; and he met these 

On this occasion the Governor shall speak for himself: 

" I opened my office as Governor of the state, and am gratified to believe that I 
materially contributed to the peace and good order of the community. On going 
about the city, I discovered that the Commissary and Quartermaster Departments 
were busily engaged in shipping their stores to Greensboro ; I went to the officers in 
charge, and remonstrated against it. I represented that our men on their way to their 
homes in the South, would, of course, be in want of everything, and would make for 
Danville as the nearest railroad point for transportation and supplies ; and if they 
did not find them here, as they had a right to expect, would, being in a bad humor at 
least, more than likely sack the town, if they did not burn it to ashes : and, that I 
hoped that they would not only stop all further shipments, but would have their stores 
ready for prompt delivery, upon requisition, according to army regulations, which, 


I would have them to insist upon, as by doing things in order, discipline would 
insensibly resume its sway, and with that, order and safety would be assured. These 
counsels prevailed. A day or two afterwards, while in my office, the Mayor, in 
much agitation called upon me, and informed me, that there was a great crowd of 
soldiers at the depot, in a very dangerous mood, threatening to burn the town 
because they were not supplied with shoes ; they being made to believe that the 
supply was ample, but that the citizens had got them and hidden them for their 
private use ; when, in fact, they had all been shipped to Greensboro, under orders, 
before it had been concluded to stop the further shipments of the public stores ; and 
begged that I would go to the depot and pacify them, and thus save the town from 
its impending peril. Mounting my horse, I rode to the depot, and found an excited 
crowd of some 3,000 of Lee's late army ; I rode into their midst ; I saw, I was known 
to many of them. I addressed them. ' Attention, men ! ' The noise was hushed. 
'I am the Governor of Virginia, your late compatriot in arms. You seem to be in a 
bad humor ! What is the matter ? ' The answer came promptly. 'We are barefooted — 
want shoes, and can't get them, the citizens having proclaimed them to be for their own 
use.' I replied, 'this is a grave charge against a people heretofore distinguished 
for their sacrifices and their patriotism, and should not be made except upon the 
clearest testimony — what is your evidence? (a pause) speak out.' Then, some one 
cried out from the crowd ; 'We have evidence which satisfies us of the fact.' I, at 
once, replied, 'speak out, and do not leave us to infer that you have been listening 
to the whisperings of the mischief-maker, whose only aim is to plunder with impunity 
during the confusion he may produce. I say to you, men, there are no shoes in 
Danville ; and her people are not to be found who would deny to the soldier an 
article so essential to his comfort.' A single contradiction was heard ; and thereupon, 
a deepened voice came up from the crowd, saying, 'let no man, at his peril, contra- 
dict General Smith — we know him.' I then said, 'Men, when I came here some days 
ago to do what I could in the performance of my duties, I soon saw that the public 
stores were being rapidly removed ; knowing that you would soon be here, hungry 
and almost naked, I remonstrated against it, and by my influence, your wants, so far, 
have been supplied. Have you not had your rations?' 'We have plenty to eat,' was 
the reply. ' Have you not had your clothing?' I asked. 'We have everything we 
want to wear, ' was the reply.' And yet, with this conclusive evidence of the desire of 
the authorities here to supply your wants, you are ready to believe that they connived 
at the pilfering of the stock of shoes, which they knew you would need so much, by 
the noble people of Danville. If there be a man among you who can name the base 
defamer, let us bring him before Judge Lynch, and hang him as high as Haman. 
But, men, the shoes are ahead of you. In three hours, your train will be ready to 
receive you ; in three hours more, you will be in Greensboro, where shoes will be 
issued to you, and whence, in your anxiety to reach your homes, you will soon 
forget the fever and injustice of this hour. And now fellow citizens and friends, 
fellow soldiers no longer, wishing you a safe and speedy trip to your families and 
friends, I bid you an affectionate farewell. And raising my hat to the cheering crowd, 
quietly returned to my office, satisfied, that all was well." 

The coup de main was truly characteristic of Governor 
Smith. It had the desired and happy effect of suppressing 
the outbreak by the troops so much feared by the citizens of 



State of Virginia, Executive Department, | 
Danville, April 20, 1865. I 

In consequence of the occupation of the Capital of the State by the forces of the 
United States and the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, numerous evil- 
disposed persons, associated in bands and small parties, embrace the unhappy oppor- 
tunity to inflict upon the persons and property of the good people of the Common- 
wealth such outrages as threaten the destruction of all social order. This deplorable 
makes it indispensable that all good citizens should thoroughly organize 
for the suppression of lawlessness and for the enforcement of the laws. 

Therefore. I. William Smith, Governor of the Commonwealth, do hereby com- 
mand the Sheriffs and other civil officers of the several cities, towns and counties to 
proceed, with all despatch, to organize the citizens thereof, with a view to the mainten- 
ance of the laws and the preservation of order. It is enjoined upon all persons to 
be active in the performance of all these duties. The Sheriffs are authorized and 
required to collect from citizens and others, in their respective counties, such public 
arm-, as they may tind necessary for the purposes indicated. 

■ :.> passing through the country are advised to demean themselves in a quiet 
and orderly manner and to return to their homes without delay : there to await further 
developments and information. And in the meanwhile, all citizens are enjoined to 
resume their ordinary avocations and pursue the same with energy and industry. 

Never in the history <>f Virginia have such claims been made upon the fortitude, 
love of order, '^ood sense and courage of our people, and it is hoped and confidently 
believed that those high qualities will not be wanting on the present trying occasion. 

William Smith. 

After an unavailing conference with the Secretary of War, 
at Danville, and with President Davis, at Greensboro, as to 
the policy of maintaining a guerilla warfare, the Governor re- 
traced his steps. Still unwilling to yield absolutely, he deter- 
mined to go amongst the people ; mingle with them, and as 
far as he could ascertain their feelings and sentiments as to 
the guerilla policy and the further conduct of the war. Trav- 
eling as far North as Staunton, Va., he discovered the people 
adverse to any such purposes, and they had a mass meeting 
and passed resolutions counseling the " policy of peace." 
Fully satisfied that all further efforts would be futile, he deter- 
mined to make his way to Richmond, and there to surrender 
himself to the Federal authorities. The Governor then, with 
no one but his aid and servant, George, passed into the James 
River Valley, crossed tin- river at Balcony Falls, and again 
took the tow-path of the canal, in which he came near losing 
his lite on his retreat from the citv. 

All along the line of his travel, the Governor was persuaded 
and urged not to think of returning to Richmond at that time. 


General Echols, on his way from Richmond, most earnestly- 
remonstrated with him ; told him that the enemy was ex- 
tremely bitter in their feelings toward him, and if he got there 
in safety, he would be " roughly handled." He also informed 
him that a reward of $25,ooo had been offered by the United 
States authorities for his arrest. 

One Qfentleman accosted him while crossing the river at 
sunrise next morning near Cartersville, and told him : " Gov- 
ernor, I am just from Richmond — $2 5,ooo is the reward 
offered by the United States Government for your head, and 
I tell you, you had better kee*p a sharp look-out." The Gov- 
ernor replied with his accustomed nonchalance, " No difficul- 
ty, my friend, no difficulty," that he apprehended no ill-treat- 
ment at the hands of the Federal officers or soldiers ; and 
that when he surrendered, he would do so under protection, 
and would not be captured with a reward of money thereto 
attached. This view was eminently proper, high-toned and 
honorable. Thanking these several orentlemen and friends for 
the interest they felt in his welfare, he resumed his journey 
and duly reached the Forks of Hanover. 

This was then one of the most retired and secluded por- 
tions of that section of the State. Here was the handsome 
residence of his friend Charles Wm. Dabney, Esq. Here the 
Governor sojourned for three weeks, in company with his 
son, Col. Bell Smith, and servant, who were treated with the 
greatest hospitality, and of which the Governor often spoke 
with suitable gratitude, At Col. Dabney 's he was within 23 
miles of Richmond and within 7 miles of the Federal posts. 
Many citizens in this vicinity knew who he was and his local- 
ity. As a general thing the people were quite poor. They 
knew, also, that a large reward was outstanding for his arrest; 
yet, not a man was found who would make his fortune by be- 
traying him to the common enemy ; a rare, phenomenal in- 
stance of personal self-denial and patriotic duty, worthy of 
the highest admiration and praise. 

Determining to bring his wanderings to a close, and put a 
stop to this distasteful and disagreeable suspense, Governor 
Smith addressed, to the Provost Marshal at Richmond. Gen. 


Patrick, a communication, stating that it was his purpose to 
surrender himself, and asked his written protection against 
arrest. This note was transmitted and handed to General 
Patrick by Lieut.-Colonel Bell Smith, the former Aid to the 
Governor. This protection paper was promptly supplied for 
ten days from its date. The Governor soon set out for Rich- 
mond and reached the city without interruption of any kind — 
reported to Gen. Patrick, and rejoined his family ; was paroled 
from day to day, until finally he was allowed to return to his 
home at Warrenton, Va., in company with his family, having 
been treated throughout this trying exigency by the Federal 
authorities with all proper respect and consideration. 

During his sojourn in Richmond his demeanor was quiet 
and sedate and characteristically conciliatory. He was re- 
ceived by the citizens of all classes and grades with the great- 
est cordialty. His conspicuous efforts in their behalf in de- 
fending them from the incursions of the enemy, and his 
wonderful success in supplying them with bread and meat, 
and often with a small modicum of luxuries, were green in 
their memories and are cherished to this day. So manifest 
did it appear to the President of the United States on his 
arrival in Richmond immediately after the city was invested, 
that the official presence of Governor Smith in the city was 
most desirable in many regards, that it was then reported and 
is yet believed, that President Lincoln, on his own motion, as 
Commander-in-Chief, issued an order, recalling the Governor 
to his post. But his Cabinet overruled him, and the order 
never reached the Governor. 


Gov. Smith at Home— Still Standing by the South— Precepts to his People— " A 
Bundle "I Good Habits" His determination to Remain in Virginia ^Coinci- 
dence of Feeling and Judgment with Gen. Lee— Extension of his Parole— Proc- 
lamation ..f the President 29th May, 1S65— Reconstruction— Mingles Warmly in 
the Election f..r First Governor, Under New Constitution— Again Elected to the 
Legislature Election for United States Senator Devotion to his Wife and Chil- 
dren Extracts on this Sub j ed Anecdote related by himself. 

In June, 1S65, Governor Smith returned to his little farm 
Monterosa, near the town of Warrenton, Va., after a con- 


AGE 80. 


tinued absence of four years, from the time he entered the 
army as Colonel of a regiment in the Confederate service, at 
an age when the strength of man is altogether vanity, but 
with that glowing ardor and elasticity of spirit which always 
attended his remarkable career through life. He found his 
little home unenclosed, not wantonly damaged by the enemy, 
but from time and neglect, greatly dilapidated, and requiring 
thorough renovation. A new system of labor was then to be 
inaugurated ; agricultural implements and horse-power sup- 
plied, and all things readjusted. Here, again, was a fair field 
for the exercise of his ever suggestive and recuperative 

Fortunately, at this period, he ascertained something might 
be saved from the wreck of his affairs in California. Through 
the business talent and fidelity of a friend and relative, he was 
enabled to realize a sum sufficient to pay off pressing debts 
and rehabilitate his home to a considerable extent. 

That he did not return to the practice of his profession was 
always with him a subject of regret. But the improvement 
and restoration of his farm monopolized his energies, and he 
applied himself to its development with the enthusiasm of 
youth and the judgment of mature years. The natural fertility 
of the soil, the excellence of the society of Warrenton, its 
proximity to the celebrated Fauquier White Sulphur, and its 
hourly communication by rail and telegraph with the marts of 
the world, rendered it one of the most elegant and valuable 
homes in Piedmont, Va. Here the fiery energies which had 
impelled him as statesman and soldier, grew calmer if not less 
potent, and in the peaceful pursuit of agriculture, he exhibited 
that ceaseless activity which always marked his eventful life. 

Though embarking- in his new life with vigor and enthusi- 
asm, and regarding agriculture as the noblest pursuit of man, 
Gov. Smith lost no opportunity of promoting the material and 
political good of the people. His acknowledged abilities and 
his pursuasive eloquence were wielded for the grand aim of 
reconciling and reconstructing the Governments, both State 
and National, to their original integrity. Though defeated in 
the great struggle for political and property rights and constitu- 


tional liberty, his heart was ever stout and brave, and he in- 
sisted that all was not lost. Returning from the stricken field 
crowned with the warrior's wreath of splendid daring, he stood 
proudly erect, and in the gloom which shrouded his own be- 
loved banner of the South, he never forgot its glory. 

True to first principles and his original convictions, he soon 
became again the great Commoner of the people's rights. 
Everywhere he encouraged them to be of " good cheer," to 
'• bear up against defeat with a manly pride," and " never 
despair of the Republic." He would invoke his old friends 
and neighbors, and especially the young men, to " go to 
work ;" to " practice economy ;" " have no bad habits ;" make 
" no bad debts," and " live within their income." We think 
we can hear him on the rostrum and in the Legislature, quot- 
ing his old axiom that " a bundle of good habits was equal to 
a bundle of good principles." 

Gov. Smith had made up his mind never to leave his native 
State, as so emphatically expressed at the evacuation of Rich- 
mond, but to remain and share the fate of his own people. 
In all his conversation and intercourse with them and in his 
public addresses, he expressed the same unfaltering and 
patriotic love for his native Virginia. 

It is a pleasing coincidence and worth recording in this 
connection, that the ex-Governor of Virginia and the ex- 
Chieftain of the Confederate forces, without knowledge of 
each ethers resolves, were engaged in the same labor of love. 
Both impressed on their comrades in arms the necessity and 
duty of standing by their stricken country ; both labored with 
tongue and pen to pronounce desertion under such circum- 
stances as abhorrent to his feelings. 

' .'-n. Lee implored his tried and trusted friends then in vol- 
untary exile, to return, and those who meditated leaving their 
native State by example and precept, to remain in the South 
with their own people, who needed the presence of her sons 
more than at any period of her history, and to share their 
fortunes, as the course indicated by true patriotism. These 
two great men had shown themselves soldiers and statesmen, 
and read\- to make the last sacrificial offering for the relief 


and salvation of their devoted country. — [See Lee's Letters 
in Jone's Lee. 

Under these convictions Governor Smith procured from the 
President of the United States an extension of his parole 
granted at Richmond June 13th, 1865, dated 30th August, 
20th September and 9th November, 1 865, respectively. He 
also subscribed to the oath prescribed by the President of the 
United States in his proclamation 29th May, 1865. These 
extensions permitted him to visit freely the States of Virginia, 
West Virginia, Maryland Pennsylvania and New York. 

Gov. Smith strictly observed the terms of his parole, and 
attended no political meetings until the first election for Gov- 
ernor under our present Constitution. He was warmly in 
favor of the "expurgation" of the obnoxious clause therein 
which disfranchised so many thousands of our best citizens. 

This period formed a great crisis in the history of Virginia. 
All things were in a state of dislocation, and the State was 
suffering the throes and pangs of reconstruction ; moral and 
political elements were involved ; right and wrong were again 
to be adjudicated, and the patriotic sentiments of the people 
appealed to. Time's rapid march was making many and vis- 
ible changes in the political, economic and social polity of the 
Government. Internal taxes, higfh taxation and illegal exac- 
tions were the orders of the National Government. 

Superadded to this, the presence of " visiting statesmen " 
was well calculated to exasperate the people and enhance 
their dissatisfaction with their own situation. In this unset- 
tled condition of the public mind, Gov. Smith's voice was again 
most skillfully applied to quell apprehension, and to harmonize 
as well as might be, " District No. 1 " with the Government 
at Washington. He intuitively took in the situation, and his 
knowledge of men, his firm hold upon the public confidence 
greatly mollified the general sentiment, and assimilated it to 
the actual condition of thines. 

Gov. Smith entered the canvass between Walker and 
Wells, in favor of the former, with an energy and enthusiasm 
only commensurate with the importance of securing the defeat 
of the latter. 


In the year 1877 he was again called by the people from 
his retirement, and elected to the Legislature of Virginia for 
two years, after which he never entered political life. 

In the winter of 1878 he was warmly pressed by his friends 
for election to the Senate of the United States. Several dis- 
tinguished Virginia statesmen were candidates for the same 
position. Gov. Smith came within a few votes of an election 
in this obstinate and animated contest. Both Houses, how- 
ever, in joint caucus united in nominating the incumbent. 

Love of agriculture and the charms of domestic life, 
strengthened with his declining years. In the improvement 
of his farm and the pleasures of his beautiful home, he spent 
a retired life the rest of his days. It was the seat of the most 
generous hospitality, and graced by the attentive manners of 
wife, daughter and son, Col. T. Smith, was second to none in 
elegance and beauty. 

We cannot close this imperfect sketch without adverting 
briefly to the dominant traits of his nature in the social and 
domestic circle. Prominent among these was his knightly 
courtesy and reverence for woman. An exalted sense of 
female purity and virtue lent a refinement to his salutations, 
a delicacy to his attentions, as touching as it was sincere. 
Woe to the luckless wight who transgressed these laws in his 
presence. Swift justice, in stern measures, was dealt out to 
him on the spot. 

Of his relations to his children it is only necessary to say, 
that not one of that household band would have hesitated to 
imperil his own life, nay, to have poured out his heart's blood 
for him. Three, of that once numerous household yet live, 
and on their hearts are written in characters which cannot 
fade, the memorial of their father's worth. But the feelino- 
which more than all else moulded his ambition and irradiated 
his life, was his devotion to her who, through the storms and 
sunshine of sixty years, had stood by his side to counsel and 
to comfort. 

Age could not weaken nor sorrow dim the glow of his 
early vow, in his eyes. She was always young and beautiful. 
And at last, when deprived of his beloved partner, so over- 


whelming was his grief, it seemed for a time that death could 
not sever the perfect union of their lives, and that one grave 
would receive them both. 

As age and infirmities increased, it was touching to see the 
white-haired old man, each Sabbath morning, wending his 
way with faltering footsteps to place an offering of fresh flow- 
ers on the crave of her who he had loved so well. 


No words of ours could more forcibly illustrate the chival- 
rous nature of his tenderness for his wife than the following, 
extracted from a page of his fugitive writings taken from his 

"Marrying early in my twenty-fourth year, I never, during my long married 
life of nearly sixty years, forgot the troth I plighted to my dear wife — never failed 
to reach my home at the appointed time, except on three or four occasions, when 
I was in a heated canvass. Never allowed her to enter the room in which I was 
seated, without rising to receive her, impressing her with the sweet conviction that 
it was my happiness to treat her always with the tenderness of the lover, and also 
the gallantry of a knight. In short, that she was ever young to me ; if she ever 
neglected a duty, it dwells not in my memory. 

"Sometimes she would come to the library door and say, 'Smith, if you will 
keep your seat, I will come in.' Springing from my seat, I would be at the door 
in a trice, and handing her in, would playfully rebuke her, by asking how she could 
have the heart to deny me the luxury of playing the gallant. Sometimes she would 
say, ' Smith, you are too fond of the girls.' I would reply, 'not too fond dear wife, 
I trust, but very fond I acknowledge ; how could it be otherwise with so fine a 
sample of her sex ;' putting my hand tenderly upon her shoulder, or more likely 
giving her a kiss ; but notwithstanding my long and repeated absence from home, 
in consequence of business demands, she was always present to receive me on my 
return, except, on occasions when her health required me to take her to the Springs, 
where I would sometimes leave her to attend to indispensible duties elsewhere ; and 
on one other occasion, when I reached home three days ahead of the time I had 
fixed for my return." 


Gov. Smith's Manners — His Habits, Public and Private — His Uniform Abstinence 
from Liquor and Tobacco — His Great Aversion to a Drunken Man— Temperance 
Speeches — His Abhorrence of Purchasing Votes with Money or Liquor — His 
Cheap Canvasses for Congress and the Legislature — Some Maxims or Rules of 
Debate — His Religious Faith — Last Attack and Illness — His Death. 

It may be proper here to say a word of the manners and 
habits of Gov. Smith. Through sixty years of his manhood, 
as testified to by his contemporaries and others, his personal 
manners amongst his fellow-citizens were uniformly courteous 
and urbane. 

Sometimes, in the heat of discussion, he might be thought 
to have departed from that rule ; but this was exceptional. 
In a few moments he would resume his wonted politeness to 
his competitor, and all would proceed as smoothly as before. 

His passions and temper were strong and deep, but always 
under the control of his judgment and better feelings. In 
discussion at the Bar and on the rostrum, he was always calm 
and self-possessed. He could always wield complete mastery 
of himself. He never stooped to petty, vulgar slang, too fre- 
quently indulged in in modern days, and thereby altogether 
ignoring the real matter in debate. 

He was always an advocate for open public discussion be- 
fore the people in all matters that interested them directly or 
indirectly on which they were to pass. To prejudices he 
never yielded. To defamation and abuse he would not con- 
descend. His tastes and judgment seemed to soar above all 
paltry matters, and marched up directly to his subject in hand 
and in that line, 

" He trod his stately course. 
Like the proud swan conquering the stream by force." 

He was gifted with unusual system and order of mind. 
Sagacious and well balanced, with great powers of logic and 
analysis, a versatility and genius for debate what the school- 
men would call a gaudium certaminis to an extraordinary de- 
gree. It is fitting just here to insert a few rules of debate 
drawn out and observed by himself, recently found in papers 
left in his library. For wisdom and sententiousness of ex- 



^»vVi • ^^\t£3& *\ ^ 


pression they can scarcely be surpassed. The following is a 
fac simile : 


His habits from the earliest of his business life for sim- 
plicity, sobriety, economy and virtue, were simply marvellous. 
Immersed in business for many years, often of a multiform 
and harrassing character, often embarrassed almost beyond 
endurance, mingling with people of every grade and race, in 
conflicts and contests at the Bar, as stage contractor in four 
States and one district, as candidate for Legislature and Con- 
gress, as member of both for years, actively engaged in a 
four-years war — through all these trials of fiery temptation, 
Gov. Smith came out of them all with the purity of his habits 

He was an open advocate of temperance for sixty-eight 
years ; made temperance speeches repeatedly, from twenty- 
four to an older age. He abstained from all intoxicants, 
tobacco and all unnecessary luxuries through his whole life. 
He had the Greatest aversion to a drunken man, and always 


avoided such. He was inexorably opposed to the use of 
liquors in elections, and cordially despised the use of money 
in purchasing votes. We have often heard him declare that 
of his numerous canvasses, he never purchased a vote directly 
or indirectly in his life, and that the most expensive he ever 
had, was for necessary traveling expenses, and did not amount 
to over fifty dollars. He abhorred everything that tended to 
corrupt and demoralize the yeomanry of the country ; and 
often he would exclaim, with burning enthusiasm the old 
distich : 

"An honest yeomanry, the country's pride, 
When once destroyed can never be supplied." 

But in the zeal of his conviction, upon the isolated question 
of " total abstinence," he ever maintained a liberal tolerance 
and conservatism ; but preferred in this case, as in all other 
matters of doubt and difference of opinion, moral or political, 
the well-known maxim of Jefferson, that "error ceases to be 
dangerous when reason is left free to combat it ;" and that 
other, equally true, that " the world is governed too much ;" 
and in that other grand old religious sentiment of the Holy 
Catholic Father, which he was so fond of quoting, " in non- 
essentials let there be liberty ; in essentials, unity ; and in all 
things, charity." 

Gov. Smith, in early life, imbibed the precepts and example 
of Thomas Jefferson, believed him to be the great apostle of 
American liberty, and followed him and his precepts, as such, 
to the day of his death. 

I could not dare to enlarge upon the religious and spiritual 
condition of Gov. Smith's mind as indicated by himself. I 
have therefore remitted that pleasing task to one that had 
been intimate in his family and far more able to give expres- 
sion to those utterances which fell from his lips a short time 
anterior to his death. 

" It was the voice of God speaking," in the dying appeal 
of his wife, which first led Governor Smith to give his 
thoughts to the subject of revealed religion. How patient 
and constant his search for the truth as taught in the Holy 
Scriptures ; how fervent his prayers for light, are attested 


fully by those of his own household. Of a mind naturally 
combative, and adverse to receiving any but demonstrable 
facts, the doctrine of a three-fold union of the God-head, was 
to him a dark problem. Always approaching the subject with 
reverence, and realizing that his footsteps were on holy 
ground, he failed, for a time, of that blessing which, in the end, 
is always given to the earnest and patient seeker after spiritual 
truth. But the answer he had so yearned for came at last ; 
and a short time before his death, during a conversation with 
Rev. A. D. Pollock, he said that he was ready to yield his own 
pride of opinion to an humble belief in that sublime plan by 
which alone Mercy and Justice can " meet each other." 

But the shadows were lengthening and the weary feet were 
nearing eternal rest. Of this fact he was calmly aware, and 
remarked, a few days previous to his death, "though friends 
congratulate me on my health and strength, I feel within my- 
self that I am now passing ' within the shadows,' and that a 
few months at most are all that remain to me of life." 

On the evening of May 16th, 1887, while occupying his 
favorite seat on the piazza, he complained of a congestive 
chill, which, after some hours, was followed by slight nervous 
excitement. Then followed, quickly, an eclipse of all mental 
perception ; and for the first time the endearments of love 
and the passionate cry of filial grief met no response. At 7^ 
a. m., on the 1 8th day of May, in the room which had been 
the scene of his happiest hours, among the books which had 
been the eloquent companions of his declining years, and the 
manuscripts which bore the last impress of his pen, the old 
hero lay dead. The life which had been spent amid the stern 
conflicts of the forum and the tented field, passed away as 
gently as " dies the wave along the sunset shore." 


Funeral Obsequies at Warrenton— Guard of Honor — Body lies in State— Bethel Cadets 
—Body at the Church— Address of Rev. Lindsey— Cortege Leaves Warrenton— 
Proceedings at Richmond— Body in the Capitol, in State— Message of Governor 
Lee— Proceedings of the Legislature— Judge Christian's Funeral Oration — Pro- 
cession to Hollywood— Eulogies on Governor Smith, by Captain Payne, Colonel 
Stribling and Major Ilc-aton, in Legislature. 

When the Governor's death was announced, though not 
altogether unexpected, it was received by the whole com- 
munity with the deepest feeling. The Town Council was 
convened immediately, and the solemn tolling of the church 
bells crave signal that a great man and a leader had fallen. 

Warrenton, which had been the arena of his best and 
strongest years, claimed the right of holding his body in 
State, and appointed a Guard of Honor to bear the remains 
to the Hall, and to maintain their vigils beside him until the 
dawn of the coming day. 

Far into the night, friends thronged the building; to take a 
last look at the calm, strong face of the dead. Early on 
Friday, the Bethel Cadets, Capt. Mclntyre, who had so often 
listened to words of cheer and warning from the lips that 
never more might hail them the "boys in gray," and types of 
those with whom he had bled and suffered, received the 
sacred charge of escorting the body to the church. With 
arms reversed and muffled drum, they slowly and sadly fol- 
lowed the bier, while each young face bore the impress of a 
filial grief. 

The church was thronged with youth, manhood and old 
age ; and as the grand words sounded through the edifice, 
" I am the Resurrection and the Life," every head was bowed 
in sorrow. The beautiful, and true as beautiful, extempore 
address of the Rev. John S. Lindsay, D.D., his former Rector, 
then of Georgetown, and now of Bridgeport, Conn., was as 
follows : 

By the Rev. John s. Lindsay, D. D., Rector of St. John's Church, Georgetown, D.C. 

We pause in our march to the silent city of the (had. with the mortal remains 
of our distinguished fellow citizen, to pay him a simple tribute ; just and moderate, 
but sincere and heartfelt. 


There were salient points in the nature and life of Governor Smith, that even a 
casual observer would not fail to note, and which deeply impressed all who knew 
him well. 

As his friend, pastor and neighbor for a good many years, I enjoyed an intimate 
acquaintance with him, and was naturally an interested student of one who had been 
conspicuous for so long a time in this community, in this state and in the whole 

His abounding health and vigor, that preserved the exuberant spirits of youth, 
down to the closing period of his life ; his fine physique, his temperance and his 
industry, often excited my admiration. 

Till recently, he had the springy step of a boy, and he hardly ever lost the ruddy 
countenance and the sunny smile that bespoke health and happiness. I have often 
seen him, at an early morning hour when many younger men were asleep, walking 
rapidly to the post office with letters that he had spent the first fresh hours of the 
day in writing. A walk over his farm, or several hours work at his desk, was no 
unusual prelude to his breakfast. 

Devoting his bodily and mental energies industriously to the service of his people 
who so often placed him in responsible positions, he naturally acquired great pop- 

Conspicuous amongst his virtues, was courage. It sustained him in the political 
arena, under the fiery ordeal of hostile criticism, and it bore him through the war, 
which he entered voluntarily when over three score years and a half of age, to high 
and honorable distinction. 

His was the courage of a fine physical organization ; of a mind that perceives 
clearly the sharp line between truth and error, and holds its convictions with a firm 
grasp. I lay stress upon this characteristic, because no noble nature can be without 

I might, if I had time, speak of other phases of his moral character. While i 
can not claim him as a communicant of the church, I can say, that he was not an 
irreligious man, and that he threw the weight of his influence on the side of chris- 
tanity, as far as he could do it without identifying himself with the church. He ever 
spoke with scorn and contempt of the men who sought to rob society of the influence 
of the christian faith. 

He was a thorough believer in God, he acquired the teachings of the Bible — its 
moral teachings, heartily and without hesitation. In the very last interview that I 
had with him, he told me what he fully believed as to the doctrines of the Bible, and 
then added : "I suppose we must take the rest by faith" — that he read the sacred 
Scriptures, and prayed in private. I know you who are here to-day remember him 
as a constant attendant upon the services of this church. 

It was certainly at one time, his habit to remain in church during the celebra- 
tion of the holy communion. I have often seen him witnessing that solemn service, 
with his face bathed in tears. Now that he has gone from among men, we leave 
him with the God and Father of all, who "sent not as man sent ; for man worketh on 
the outward part, but God worketh on the heart." 

Some think that our judgments of the dead are too lenient, and our laudations 
fulsome. While it is true that the closest friends, and nearest relatives of the 
departed, may give them extravagant praise, it is equally true that the justest esti- 
mate of a man's life is formed when that life has closed. 

There is something in daily contact with a fellow man, that makes us see only 
the commonplace in his nature, while diverse opinions and conflicting interests 
excite antagonisms that too often conceal what is admirable in his life and character, 
from the generation of his cotemporaries. Death lifts him above, and away from 
us, and we contemplate his character in a calmer, clearer light, taking in its lines 
and its proportions impartially and completely. 

I do not doubt that we who knew Governor Smith, and believed that we appre- 


ciated him, will look back upon his long life, and consider his remarkable character 
with ever increasing admiration for his tine sense, his sturdy honesty, his courage, 
fidelity and patriotism, and for those sweet domestic graces which are so sacred in 
their manifestations, that I have not felt at liberty to lift the veil that conceals them 
from your gaze. 

As I look upon this man to-day, gone from us forever on earth, he rises before 
me like a pillow of granite, hewn from the mountains of his own native Virginia, 
lofty, massive and well proportioned, chiselled by a firm and steady hand, rugged 
and yet graceful, whose very strength is its beauty. 

God help us to emulate his virtues as a man, a citizen, a husband, a father, and 
a friend. And having served God in our generation, may we be gathered to our 
fathers' in the confidence of a certain faith, in the comfort of a reasonable, religious 
and holy hope, in favor with our God and in perfect charity with the world. 


LADIES anlj GENTLEMEN: It gives me heartfelt pleasure, however sad the 
occasion, to lay an ivy leaf upon the honored ashes of my departed friend. Friend 
I am proud to call him, and so he was. It was our fortune more than once to enter 
the list of political antagonism, upon opposing sides. It may have been that some- 
times excitement got the better of calmness and moderation ; but if these contests 
left in his heart or mine any thorn to rankle, I know it not. On the contrary, I 
believe that the links of personal friendship were rather strengthened than weakened 
by them, and grew more strongly cemented as the years went by. His kindly 
solicitude, in my behalf, when a short time since, it was thought that I was about "to 
cross the river," has been and will be treasured in grateful remembrance, and the 
tears which I now shed about his honored remains, is the honest tribute of a heart 
that could appreciate the virtues that clustered about his venerable head. 

The poet has said : 

"Come to the bridle chamber, Death! 

Come to the mother when she feels, 
For the first time her offspring's breath ; 

Come where the blessed seals, 
Which bind the pestilence are broke, 
And crowded cities wait its stroke ; 
Come in consumptive's ghastly form 
The earthquake shock, the ocean storm, 
And thou art terrible !" 

But thus it doea not seem to me to be, when life's work is well rounded, and 
nothing is left for one to do, save to watch the approach of decrepitude and decay. 
Then death comes as a white-winged messenger of love, and the drama of life seems 
to be fitly and beautifully closed. Such has been the experience of our lamented 
friend. So may we live that the sinking sun may not go down in clouds and dark- 
ness, but in a bright refulgence, that shall be the harbinger of a dawn of eternal joy! 

[ have the honor to present the following preamble and resolutions, and move 
their adoption. ^Resolutions drawn by Capt. Brooke to be found on page Si.) 


I have listened with pleasure to the eulogies passed upon the career and charac- 
ter oi I k>V. Smith, who li< in his bier, and I concur in every word which Mr. 
Brooke and Mr. Green have spoken. Hut it seems to me they have left out the hero 
in failing to view Gov. Smith, in connection with.the State Rights principle in our 
government, to which he devoted himself from his first manhood. In the courage 

and constancy which he displayed in that respect, there is no example in ancient 
knighthood by which it is surpassed. In every theatre of debate throughout the 


length and breadth of Virginia, lie defended by argument and eloquence the cause 
which lay so near to his heart. He saw clearly that unless the centralizing tendency 
of the system could be successfully resisted in the measures of the government, that 
the fate of Virginia would be fixed as a mere department of a vast Federal Empire, 
instead of being what she intended in the outset to be, a Sovereign State, with the 
right to seek better government elsewhere, if her sense of self-protection decided her 
so to act. 

But neither the young man, nor the middle-age man, nor the old man, could 
control the impetuous tide of Federalism which the system engendered ; and he was 
soon limited to the choice either to abandon the contest in the union, or secede and 
renew it with perhaps better success out of the union. And now began an era in 
this distinguished gentlemen's career, which was as extraordinary as it was brilliant. 

With no scintilla of military training, at the age of sixty-five he recruited a Reg- 
iment of infantry ; "he who had never set squadron in the field," and threw them 
into the first battle of Manassas, and at the decisive point at the "Henry House,'' 
fought them with unsurpassed valor and success. 

Col. Smith ordered a charge of bayonets ; it was the first in the war ; and it was 
said there was never made a more gallant charge. 

He rose to the position of Major-General, winning his promotion by hard fight- 
ing and superior generalship. Gen. Early, with whom Gen. Smith had served, told 
me that he "had never known a braver man ;" and no one knew better, the metal 
of a soldier. 

His cause of State Rights, was lost too, in the field of war ; for Gov. Smith could 
no more control the red tide of battle, than the turbid current of politics. He fought 
life's battle valiantly, and he was tried in its fiercest fires ; but he came forth like 
a strong man, glorying in his strength, and in taking his long farewell of us, and 
as he descends to the grave, a dark door to another and more glorious life, he leaves 
behind a character to cherish and admire, and a memory to love. 

I knew Gov. Smith as the people saw him, and liked him; I saw that he was a 
man of a large mould. Until we are summoned by the dread angel to follow him, 
we will all remember his bright smiles, and cheerful greeting ; for he was too brave 
in life's battle to allow its crosses and troubles to casta shadow on his brow. 

[From the Warrenton Index.] 


Wednesday, 18. — Hon. William Smith died at his home this morning. The news, 
preceding salutation, is borne from lip to startled ear throughout the town before the 
breakfast hour. No one asks who was this State Senator of the olden time, this grand 
Commoner, this citizen, twice filling the Gubernatorial Chair, and four terms a seat in 
the halls of Congress ; this untrained soldier, holding undisciplined troops to posts of 
duty under deadliest fire by force of a magnetic presence and sight of the snow- 
white plume beneath his chapeau. And why ? Because he was ever knightly to 
woman, ever pleasing to childhood, approachable to the lowliest as well as the most 
exalted — always the old Virginia gentleman to every one. Our town and vicinage 
feel moved to pay honor to the memory of this noble old man. Hence we find our 
City Fathers promptly assembling and passing the following resolutions submitted by 
its committee, Messrs. Brooke, Campbell and John A Spilman ; 

Whereas, the Council having been apprised of the death of ex-Gov. William Smith, 
and having assembled for the purpose of voicing the feeling of our community upon 
this occasion, we do now resolve : 

That we recognize in the long life now closed lessons of wisdom and virtue that 
the living should not ignore ; that we recall with inspiring pleasure the purity that 
adorned, and the ability that guided his public service ; his patriotic devotion to his 
people, to which the dark days of late civil war bear eloquent testimony ; and that we 


hold up to the rising generation his stainless character, so remarkable for qualities 
that lead to domestic happiness and public good. 

That the Mayor present a copy of the above resolution, with the sympathy of this 
town, to his bereaved family, and that the same be published. 

The Council meeting is followed up at night by a meeting of citizens, who appoint 
a committee consisting of Hons. James V. Brooke, C. T. Green, Col. E. C. Lightfoot, 
(apt. I. S. Payne and Mr. John A. Spilman to report to an adjourned meeting at 
Town Hall at a II (/clock to-morrow. 

THURSDAY, 19.— The Hall is thronged at II o'clock this morning by town and 
country folk, neighbors and friends of Gov. Smith. Rev. John S. Lindsay, late rector 
of the Episcopal church here and chaplain to Congress, at motion from Mr. William- 
son, chairman of the adjourned memorial meeting, opens the proceedings with an 
impressive prayer. That ended, the Chair calls for report from the Committee on 
Resolution^ when Hon. James V. Brooke advances to the dais and reads the follow- 
ing paper, eloquent in every line : 

The Hon. William Smith is no more! His familiar form, so erect beneath the 
pressure of many years, has vanished from our sight ! His clarion voice, ever potent 
to sway the impulses of his follow-men, is hushed in death! The place he so long 
filled, with signal prominence in public and private life, is vacant forevcrmore ! 

In view of this event, si) sad and startling, it seems fitting that we, his surviving 
friends and neighbors, should give expression to the sentiments it has awakened, and 
unite in paying some humble tribute of respect to the memory of the departed. 

Governor Smith (as we used to call him), was no ordinary man. This fact is 
abundantly attested by a review, however cursory, of his long and varied career. 

inning life without the external advantages which often elevate mediocrity into 
a false prominence, he won his way to distinction by the innate power of an iron will 
and an energy of purpose that recognized no possibility of failure. And then in spite 
of obstacles that would have damped a less courageous spirit, he was enabled "to 
climb the heights where lame's proud temple shines afar," and to engrave his name 
in no mean characters upon the enduring tablet of his country's history. Peculiar 
gift-, with which he was endowed by nature, secured to him the fealty and devotion 
ot those who sympathized with him in sentiment ; ami early in life he was recognized 
as a leader in the heated contests so long waged for political supremacy. 

The hustings were his favorite arenas, and there were few of his opponents who 
did not find in him "a foeman worthy oJ their steel." 

Services so valuable were speedily recognized as worthy of appropriate reward ; 
and from time to time, the voice of the people called him to offices of honor and trust, 
Stat.- ami Federal, and twice to the elevated position of Chief Executive of this Com- 
monwealth. In all these official relations, and notably during his last incumbency of 
the Gubernatorial Z\*axc, flagrante /'./.'.>, he brought to the discharge of his duties a 
tenacity of purpose, a promptness of action, and a fidelity to the obligations of 
patriotism which challenged the respect even of those who might disapprove the 
policy of his measures. 

The late war found him a man of sixty-five years, but at the first call of his 
native St..;.- ■• t.. arms." h<- sprang int.. the fight with all the alacrity an enthusiasm of 
youth. He was not learned in the art ol war, but he found promotion. For his 
courage was conspicuous, his devotion to duty unswerving, and his spirit unconquer- 
able through all the vicissitudes of suffering, disaster and defeat. 

The war over, he Bought the quieter scenes ..I domestic lite, and found in rural 
pursuits food t..r his still undiminished energy and habitual industry — and to these, 
with slight interruption, he devoted the remnant of his life. 

He was a man of exemplary habits a stranger to the vices which so often 

del. .in. the character oi the political leader— a champion of temperance— an earnest 
advocate ol moral reform and in himself a striking illustration of the efficacy ol a 
virtuous life in securing to its votary the blessings of a ripe and vigorous old . 


We may not enter the sanctuary of domestic life, but the most superficial observer 
could not fail to perceive that in all its relations his deportment was not only above 
reproach, but marked by an all-pervading sentiment of true affection. 

That the deceased had his faults and frailties none can deny. Who is without 
them? But whatever they may have been, let them be buried in his grave — and let 
only that which was true, and good, and beautiful, and brave, survive in memory. 

But the measure of his usefulness was full ; and while as yet the grass hopper had 
not become a burden, while his eye was still undimmed and his natural force 
unabated by the decrepitude of age, Death, with his gentle finger, touched him and 
he slept. 

And now that full of years and full of honors he has been gathered to his fathers, 
we, his surviving friends and neighbors, do resolve as follows : 

First, That while we bow in submission to the will of Divine Providence in 
removing from our midst our venerable and esteemed fellow-citizen, the Hon. 
William Smith, we cannot fail to recognize the fact that in his death the country has 
lost one of its most distinguished citizens, our State a truly devoted and patriotic son, 
and the community in which he lived, its oldest resident, one whose walk in and out 
amongst us has always been characterized by urbanity of manners, constancy of 
friendship, cheerfulness of spirit, devotion to duty and integrity of life. 

Second, That to the family of our deceased friend and neighbor, who will sadly 
miss the presence and counsels of a loving and tender parent, counsellor and guide, 
we hereby extend our cordial sympathy in their severe bereavement. 

Lastly, That a copy of the foregoing preamble and resolutions be transmitted to the 
family of the deceased, and that the same be published in the papers of the town. 

Mr. Brooke follows up the report of his Committee with a speech most beautiful 
in diction and studiedly true in every utterance. When seated, Hon. C. T. Green 
will not let the occasion pass without giving expression to his admiration for the life 
and character of the late living link between the fathers of the Constitution and the 
present generation — and he evidently speaks from the abundance of the heart. Mr. 
Green is followed by Major John Scott in a pertinent endorsation of all read and 
spoken ; supplements his remarks by a call for "the question" on the resolutions. 
This motion was put to a rising vote and the vast audience responds "aye." Here 
the Chair said he was authorized to state that the remains of Gov. Smith might be 
seen at his residence on Culpeper street for a few hours after 3 p. M. ; whereupon at 
the suggestion of Mr. John R. Spilman a motion is carried that a committee be 
appointed by the Chair to confer with the family of the deceased and request consent 
to have the remains lie in state at the Town Hall in charge of a "Guard of Honor" till 
removed to the church. This committee is John R. Spilman, J. S. Payne and James 
V. Brooke. The additional motion is put and carried that the Mayor of Warrenton 
and three associates be appointed by the Town Council to accompany the remains to 
Richmond. The family assenting to the request of the meeting of citizens, the 
Mayor appointed the following "Guard of Honor": Major Grenville Gaines, M. B. 
Payne, C. W. Smith, L. McKay, John A. Francis, John S. Latham, J. P. Jeffries, Alex. 
Payne, C. W. Rosenberger, W. H. Hope, George Newman and John P. Wyer. The 
body is taken to the Hall after 5 p. M. and to a late hour in the night it is viewed by 
friend and stranger. 

Friday, May 20th. — At an early hour Bethel, a pet child of the dead soldier's age, is 
astir. A march of 4 miles and the sacred duty is at the end of it before the cadets. 
They take rations under the belt and are off' at 6 o'clock. On the way the march is 
at will ; in town they close ranks and touch elbows, catch the stop and bear them- 
selves with the clock-movement of veterans. Thus before 8 o'clock the old com- 
mander of volunteers has a military guard, and of "boys in gray." 

Now bell answers bell like minute guns on sea and shore. As they toll, the 
following pall-bearers take their places: M. M. Green, William P. Hilleary, William 
P. Helm, Julian P. Lee, John A. Spilman, Inman H. Payne, Major A. G. Smith, W. 


W. Williamson, Col. Lightfoot and A. D. Smith. The procession promptly forms at 
the Hall— hearse, pall-bearers, cadets, with guns at reverse arms, and citizens. It 
moves with measured step along Main and Culpeper streets to the church. The 
church is packed; it cannot accommodate all who have gathered to honor themselves 
by doing honor to a revered fellow citizen. Here funeral service is read and a touch- 
ing eulogy delivered, the Rev. J. S. Lindsay officiating. The fact is revived that the 
old Governor was ever a defender of the Christian faith although not a communicant 
of the church. 

The hour has arrived for the remains to be shipped on the cars for Richmond. 
Major A. G. Smith, Eppa Hunton, Jr., Judge Keith. M. M. Green and Judge Bell go 
as an escort on the part of the family ; while Mayor Nelson, John A. Spilman, J. K. 
Spilman and Captain J. Scott 1'ayne go on the part of our citizens. 

At the conclusion of the services, the body was escorted by 
his family, the Bethel Cadets, the Guard of Honor, and a large 
concourse of citizens to the cars, which, at 8:30 a. m., moved 
out of the depot for Richmond. 

The funeral cortege reached Richmond at 3:30 p. m., where 
it was met by an additional Guard of Honor, headed by Gen. 
Lee, Governor of the State, many members of the Legisla- 
ture, then in Session, and a lar^re concourse of citizens. The 
procession moved at once to the Capitol, and deposited their 
sacred charge, where thousands viewed the body of the dead 

He laid in state, in the rotunda at the base of Washington's 
Statue, between the doors of the Senate and House of Dele- 
gates, until the hour of the final obseques arrived. Gov. Lee 
had sent a special message to the Legislature announcing the 
death of ex-Governor Smith. Meanwhile both Houses of 
the Legislature were observing every honor and respect to 
the distinguished dead under the sound of fifteen-minute 

Captain A. I). Payne, of the " Black Horse" and Colonel 
Stribling of " Stribling's Battery," delegates from Fauquier, 
and other members, made feeling and eloquent speeches, 
while the Hon. H. Heaton, of the Senate, was alike happy in 
the resolutions and remarks submitted by him on that oc- 

Though not a member of either House, Judge Christian, in 
right of his intimate personal relations with Gov. Smith, was 
called on to pay his tribute of respect and esteem to the 
memory of his dead friend. It is related that Pliny, the 


younger, reckoned it as the last addition to the happiness of 
a great man, that he had the honor to be praised at his 
funeral by the most eloquent Tacitus, then Consul. So it 
may be said of the subject of these memoirs that he had the 
honor to be eulogized over his dead body in the Capitol, by 
one comparable in virtue and eloquence to Tacitus himself. 

After Judge Christian's oration, the procession took up the 
line of march to Hollywood in the order prescribed by the 
military authorities. 

The military companies of the city, with furled banners and 
muffled drums, preceded the funeral cortege. As the shad- 
ows of twilight were darkening, the hearse reached Holly- 
wood, and as the sublime words of the Burial Service were 
spoken, the body of William Smith was placed in its last 
resting place. 

After " life's fitful fever," he sleeps beneath the shadow of 
his own Virginia's loved Capitol and by the waters of her 
historic River. No fitter grave could earth furnish the Patriot 
and Soldier. 

Below will be found a faithful narrative of the proceedings 
at the Capitol, and thence to the cemetery : 

[From the Richmond Whig.] 



As previously announced would be done, the body of ex-Governor William 
Smith was brought to this city from Warrenton yesterday afternoon on the 3:05 train, 
Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. It was accompanied by the Mayor and a delegation 
from the City Council of Warrenton, and was met at the train by the pall-bearers, 
consisting of Governor Lee, General Anderson, General Wickham, Senator Heaton, 
and Delegates Payne and Stribling. It was at once escorted to the Capitol, where it 
lay in state in the corridor between the statue of General Washington and the Senate 


The lid of the coffin was removed soon after its arrival, and the body was found 
sufficiently well preserved for the features to be exposed. The face was very 
natural, and with the exception of the waxy appearance peculiar to the dead, was 
quite life-like. Thousands viewed the remains during the time that they were open 


to the public gaze, and many were the expressions of regret that another of the ante- 
bellum statesmen of Virginia, who reflected honor, credit and dignity on the old com- 
monwealth— a race of men fast vanishing into the past — had forever passed away, 
and that the places which knew them so well on earth would know them no more 
again forever. 


About 5 o'clock a plaster cast of the face was taken by Mr. Valentine, the well- 
known sculptor of this city, assisted by an Italian workman engaged with Mr. 
Valentine. While this was being done the doors were closed, and no one was allowed 
to be present. The operation lasted about three-quarters of an hour, and is said to 
have been entirely successful. 


At 6 o'clock preparations were made for taking the body to its last resting place 
at Hollywood. The Capitol grounds and the Capitol itself were crowded with an 
immense concourse to do honor to the illustrious dead. Before the body was removed 
the hall of the House of Delegates was filled to repletion with an audience to hear 
eulogistic remarks on the deceased, to be delivered by Judge Joseph Christian, an 
old friend of the ex-Governor, and who had been familiar with him for many years. 


Dr. Stribling, member from Fauquier, the home of ex-Governor Smith, arose 
and said : "There is a distinguished gentleman present who was a life-long friend of 
Governor Smith," and he requested Judge Christian, late President of the Court of 
Appeals, to address the audience. Judge Christian, who had no notice that he would 
be called on, promptly came forward and said : 

It gives me great pleasure to take a humble part in these ceremonies commem- 
orative of the life and death of one of the noblest and greatest men of Virginia. 1 
am glad to see that this whole city has turned out to carry with civic and military 
honors this grand old man, who for more than half a century has been, in one way or 
another, connected with the history of this State, and of the whole Union. 

There are two men octogenarians who on both continents have filled the public eye 
—Gladstone, of England, and William Smith, of Virginia. Both have been the advo- 
cates and defenders of civil liberty and local self-government. 

One fought in a cause that did not succeed, but not the less honorable for want 
of succc^-. The other, now about eighty years of age, is still fighting for the freedom 
of Ireland. God spare Gladstone until Ireland is free. 

Governor Smith is a man whose memory can never pass away from the minds of 
the people <>f Virginia. He was twice Governor of the State; for more than ten years in 
the Cong: ess of the United States. He was there when there were such men as Webster, 
and Clay, and Benton and Calhoun, and he was the peer of any of these bright men. 

During the unhappy civil conflict he took the side of his State, which he loved 
with the devotion of a patriot, and although beyond the military age, went to the 
front and fought for a cause which he believed to be right, and I say here in this pres- 
ence, that with all the civic honors that have been heaped upon him, the greatest 
and most honorable title of all is that of Major-General of the Confederate States of 

Now, what does the life and character of such a man teach ? What does it say to 
posterity ? What does it say to the youth of the country? What would you put on 
his monument? I say this : Courage, Fidelity, Truth, Integrity, and Here Lies a 
Man who discharged faithfully every Duty, Public and Private. 

The honors which we pay to him to-day are the honors deserved by a noble life, 
and that lite, public and private, is an example to be followed by those who still live. 
Virginia, in honoring William Smith, honors herself, and lure in the Capital of the 
State he loved SO well, his body shall be guarded and his tomb be sacred to all lovers 
of liberty and patriotism. 



At the conclusion of Judge Christian's remarks the body was taken from the 
Capitol, placed in the hearse, and the line of the funeral march was formed, as 

f ° UOWS Squad of Folice. General Anderson and Staff. Stuart Horse Guards. 

The First Regiment, headed by the Bugle and Drum Corps. 

The Richmond Light Infantry Blues. Lee Camp in Carriages, as a Spe C1 al Escort. 

The Pall-Bearers, in Carnages. 

Carriage containing Rev. Mr. H. M. Jackson, of Grace Church, this city, and 

Rev. John S. Lindsay, formerly Rector of the Episcopal Church atWarrenton, 

who accompanied the remains to Richmond. 

The Hearse. 

Special Friends of the Deceased. Members of the Legislature. 

The General Line of Carriages. 


The procession marched up Grace street, which was thronged with spectators on 
both sides as far as the eye could reach, and proceeded on its mournful way to Holly- 
wood. There the military formed in line and came to « present arms as the body 
was taken from the hearse, and passed before them. On reaching the ^ grave, the 
solemn and beautiful funeral rites of the Episcopal Church were read, and the last of 
one of the most remarkable and distinguished sons of Virginia was consigned to the 
tomb, in the Bosom of the State he loved so well, there to remain until the sound of 
the last trumpet. The grave was filled in solemn silence, and when the las clod of 
earth was thrown upon the mound, the First Regiment fired a military salute as a 
farewell to him who had served his State and Country with honor and fidelity, both 
on the forum, in her councils, and on the tented field. 


As the train arrived in the city with the remains, a detachment of the Richmond 

Howitzers-Battery A, First Battalion Artillery-stationed with two guns , „ _ the 

Capitol Square, began firing fifteen-minute guns. This was kept up until the body 

was removed from the Capitol, when the firing was changed to two-minute guns for 

During the morning the Governor sent a communication to both Houses of the 
General Assembly, officially notifying that body of the death of ex-Governor Smith, 

as follows : /-w„„™ 1 

Commonwealth of Virginia, Governor s Office, | 

Richmond, Va., May 20, 1887. ) 

To the Legislature : 

The painful duty devolves upon me of officially communicating to the General 
Assembly the intelligence of the death of General William Smith, ex-Governor of 
Virginia, who died at his home in Warrenton, Fauquier county, Va, on the morning 
of the 18th instant. His funeral will take place from the Capitol at 6 P M. his after- 
noon The long public life and eminent services of this distinguished citizen and 
soldier has been closely interwoven with the history of his native State for over a 

half century. , .. 

As its honored Chief Executive for two separate terms, or as a representative 
in legislative halls, State and National, or upon the battle-field, he has ever discharged 
the duties of his position with great ability, conspicuous courage, and rare ability. _ 

Now when Fame's trumpet is sounding everywhere his many virtues, it is emi- 
nently proper for the legislative branch of the Government to mark, by appropriate 

action, its respect for the memory of the dead hero. 

^ Fitzhugh Lee. 



As soon as the above letter was read. Mr. Payne, of Fauquier county, offered the 
following resolutions : 

Whereas, the Governor has communicated to the General Assembly the melan- 
choly intelligence of the death of the venerable William Smith, who during his long 
public career served this Commonwealth and his Country with distinguished patriot- 
ism, fidelity, and ability, twice as Governor of Virginia, many times as a represent- 
ative in the Congress of the United States, and as a member of the two branches of 
the General Assembly of Virginia, and successively as Colonel of the Forty-ninth 
regiment of Virginia volunteers, Brigadier-General and Major-General of the Con- 
federate States Army in the late war between the States ; and, whereas, by his death 
this Commonwealth has lost a citizen whose eminent services entitle his memory to 
be revered as one of her most illustrious sons, the qualities of whose mind and heart 
were commensurate with his preeminent ability as a public leader, soldier, and 
statesman ; therefore. 

Resolved, By the House of Delegates (the Senate concurring therein), 

1. That he who has passed death's portal full of years and honors carries with 
him the love and reverence of a grateful people. 

2. That the General Assembly respectfully tenders its sympathy to his family in 
their bereavement. 

3. That these resolutions be spread upon the Journal of each House and be 
communicated to the Governor, with the request that he impart them to the family 
of the deceased. 

4. As a further mark of respect, that upon the passage of these resolutions that 
both Houses of the General Assembly attend his funeral in a body. 

The House unanimously adopted the resolutions, and eulogistic speeches were 
made by Delegates Payne and Stribling, of Fauquier. 


Mr. Payne, in offering these resolutions, said : The announcement which has 
just been communicated by the Governor will be heard by every member of this 
House with heartfelt regret. At his home at Warrenton, on Wednesday last, surround- 
ed by friends, full of honors and in the consciousness of a well spent life, Governor 
Smith went to his long home, and the humble tribute which I shall pay to his mem- 
ory and the recognition I shall ask of this House, is but due to one who in a long 
and useful life endeared himself to the hearts of his follow-citizens. Born in 1797, 
in the life-time of Washington, during the administration of the second Adams, and 
in the infancy of his country, he would, had he lived until the 7th of September, his 
next birth-day, have attained the age of ninety years, or ten years longer than the 
three score years and ten spoken of by the Psalmist as the allotted period of man's 
existence. And during his long life he tilled every position of trust and honor to 
which he was called with unswerving fidelity, and so acceptably as to command the 
applause of all classes of citizens. In 1S36 he was elected a member of the State 
Senate, and was afterwards re-elected. He Served his State in Congress, and was 
twice chosen her Chief Executive ; and during the dark days of the war, after he had 
attained an age when must men would have sought rest and retirement, and sought 
to put their houses in order tor another world, he enlisted as a soldier, and displayed 
the zeal and vigor of a young man. He was also a member of the Confederate 
Congress, and was known afterwards as the War Governor of Virginia. And when the 
conflict was over and the war drum throbbed no longer, he retired to private life, and 
pursued his occupation as a farmer with the same energy that had always marked 
his character. In the discharge of his public duties he was able, faithful and honest ; 
in war he combined the wisdom of age with the vigor of youth ; in private life he 
was a devoted husband, fond father and most exemplary citizen. I now ask that 
these resolutions to his memory be adopted by this House. 


Mr. Stribling, of Fauquier, also arose at the conclusion of Mr. Payne's remarks, 
and said : 

It is not my purpose to go into a history of the public career of the distinguished 
dead. That has already been outlined, and his record is embalmed in the archives 
of the State and the hearts of the people. I speak because my fortunes were con- 
nected with his in the old Forty-ninth Regiment, his regiment, and the regiment he 
organized and led with distinguished courage. During the long, protracted, and 
desperate struggle which ended at Appomattox, the Forty-ninth regiment never broke, 
and he was proud of its record. We know full well how his heart swelled with pride 
whenever he recalled the deeds of daring of that regiment, which he loved with the 
love of a father for his child. And now he is gone to join his noble comrades who 
passed away to their eternal home before him. 

"On Fame's eternal camping ground. 

Their silent tents are spread, 
While Glory guards with solemn sound, 
The Bivouac of the dead." 

The resolutions were then adopted by a rising vote. 


The joint resolutions introduced by Mr. Payne in the House, were communicated 
to the Senate. 

Mr. Heaton made a pathetic address in reference to the death of Governor Smith, 
reviewing his history and commenting upon the many virtues that made him beloved 
and famed. The resolutions were adopted by a unanimous rising vote, and the 
Senate adjourned forthwith to meet the remains when they arrived on the evening 

[ From the Richmond Dispatch.] 


Gov. Lee, Gen. Wickham, Captain A. D. Payne, of Fauquier, Col. R. M. Stribling, 
of Fauquier, Gen. Joseph R. Anderson and Senator Henry Heaton of Loudoun. 
Active— Col. A. L. Phillips, Col. J. W. White, Col. J. B. McKenney, Captain B. M. 
Watkins, Captain T. J. Bowles, Mr. J. J. H. Brower, and Mr. B. D. Core. 

All the active pall-bearers were members of Lee Camp, and were in uniform. 


While the cortege was forming in the Square the military part of the procession 
was also getting into position. Under orders from Brigadier-General Anderson, the 
cavalry was to form with its right resting on Ninth street ; the companies from the 
regiment on the left of the cavalry, the Blues on the left of the regiment. The latter 
company was promptly on the ground, but the others were not. About fifteen 
minutes after the appointed time the Blues were directed by the Brigadier-General 
to move out on Grace street and take position on the left of the regiment, which 
they did. 


About half past 6 o'clock the procession moved off in the following order : 
Detachment of Police. Stuart Horse-Guards. Regimental Drum Corps. 
Detachments from Companies of the First Regiment. 
The Blues. 
Pall-Bearers in Carriages. 
Friends, Legislators and Citizens in Carriages. 
After going several squares up Grace street the procession moved into Franklin 
and thence continued to Cherry and to Hollywood. 'J 


The remains were interred in Gov. Smith's vault, on Midvale avenue, in Holly- 
wood, where lie his wife and several sons. The services were conducted according 
to the services of the Episcopal Church by Rev. J. S. Lindsay, of St. John's Church, 
Georgetown, who used to be the Governor's pastor at Warrenton, and Rev. M. 
Jackson, of Richmond. 

The coffin was covered with a mass of flowers which came with it on the train- 
A beautiful Moral harp, from the members of the House of Delegates, was 
placed on the grave. 


All the afternoon two sections of the Howitzers, with two pieces, fired a gun every 
fifteen minutes, on the square. From the time the procession left the Capitol until it 
reached the cemetery a gun was fired every two minutes. 

T lie following men composed the sections, under the command of Lieutenant 
Bosher : First -un— Sergeant, C. \V. McFarlane ; Gunner, R. F. Camp ; I, A. S. Rust; 
2, |. M. ( Graves : 3. 1 leorge D. Place ; 4. II. L. Siegel ; 5, H. L. Pitts ; 6, J. L. Perkins; 
7- J- H '"ud i;un- Sergeant, H. M. Starke; Gunner, B. M. Gwathmey I 

I, J. W. East : 2. P. L. Meades ; 3, W. B.'Ball ; 4, J. F. Smith ; 5, S. B. Atkins ; 6, E. 
S. Ktllani ; 7. R. C. (iatcwood. 


Gov. Smith's section is on Midvale avenue, about fifty steps from the stone 
bridge. Most of the processions going from old Hollywood to the recently added 
grounds pass the spot. Within the inclosure is a vault of Virginia granite, and over 
it is a shaft of the same material, thirty feet high. Near-by is a marble shaft mark- 
ing the resting-place of two sons. The vault has three apartments ; in one is the 
body of Mrs. Smith, in another I'.overnor Smith was placed yesterday afternoon, and 
tin- third is left for their daughter. Upon the slab in the vault is the following 
inscription : 

Elizabeth H. Smith, 
Porn March 10, 1800. Died January 7, 1879. 

And upon the granite shaft is the following: 

I i IZABETH II. Smith, 
Beloved wife of ex-Governor William Smith, of Virginia, 
and daughter ol Captain James M. Bell, of Culpeper county. 
Born March 10, 1S00. Died January 7, 1879. 
One day of a long life brought sorrow to her friends— the last ; a Christian, sublime 
in faith; a wife, tender in love, wise in counsel, strong in support— a woman 
of rare gifts of person and manners. This cherished dust waits the hour when 
the Lord shall make up His jewels. 

On the right-hand (west) side of the shaft over the vault is : 

To passed Midshipman 
Wii.i.iam Henry and Judge James Caleb, 

First and Second Sons ,,t ex-Governor William and Elizabeth II. Smith, 
Pom November 5, 1822. 

William Henry: Post at Sea September, 1850. 

A Virginian in whom, as a citizen, son and brother, were blended the noblest 

qualities of lofty manhood. Born June 24, 1824. 

lames Caleb : Died in Nicaragua, South America, May 2, 1856. 
Gifted and winning, he was at an early age elevated to the Supreme Court of 

Sail Francisco. 
Purer officer never wore the ermine. 


The northern face of the shaft is without inscription, and so is the western ; but 
on the base of the shaft on the northern side are the words -William Smith. 

Beneath the marble shaft, standing near the vault, rest the remains of two of 

ex-Governor Smith's sons, and upon it is the following inscriptions, north side : 

Here repose the remains of Austin E. and P. Bell, 

Beloved sons of William and Elizabeth H. Smith, of Fauquier county, Virginia. 

To the memory of their virtues their stricken family, in their deepest sorrow, 

dedicated this monument. 

On the eastern side of this marble shaft is : 

Lieutenant-Colonel Austin E. Smith, C. S. A., of California. 
Died on the 27th day of June, A. D., 1862 ; aged thirty-three years, of a wound 
received at the battle of Gaines's Mill. As a son and brother he filled the hearts 
and hopes of his family ; as a man of exalted virtues and gifted talents he had 
a high place in the admiration and confidence of his State, and as a patriot he 
illustrated all the attributes of the most elevated devotion to his native Virginia. 

Peace to his noble soul. 
On the western side of this marble shaft is : 

Lieutenant-Colonel P. Bell Smith, of Virginia. 
Died 1863 ; aged twenty-seven years. 
He knew no emotion above love for his family, no motive but honor ; and his life 
was an exemplification of justice and manliness. With an able mind highly 
elevated, the fruition of his future would have been useful and brilliant. 
Heaven bless his gentle spirit. 


[Frum the Warrenton True Index ] 


Ex-Governor William Smith passed away quietly and peacefully on the morning 
of Wednesday, May 18th, at 7.30. " 

Although his health was precarious and he was subject to attacks of nervousness, 
yet his death was entirely unexpected because of his very favorable condition for 
some weeks past. On Sabbath last he walked to church, quite a distance and ex- 
pressed himself as feeling stronger and better than for some time past. On Monday 
he became chilled from sitting in his front porch. On Tuesday morning he was un- 
conscious, and remained so until his death, from nervous prostration, at 730 
Wednesday morning, as stated above. . 

He will be buried in Richmond in the family vault erected there, in which his 
wife and other members of the family are laid. 

We cannot content ourselves with this brief notice of one who has filled so many 
positions of honor and usefulness, and whose example and precepts have ever been 
in favor of all that is noble, just and honorable. It may well be said that his voice 
was never raised in favor of anything that he did not believe was for the ^pub he good, 
and his hand was ever ready to defend his own rights and the rights of his State 

William Smith was born in King George County, Virginia, September 6th 1797. 
and consequently would have been 90 years of age September 6th, 1887. He was 


the son of Caleb Smith and Mary Waugh Smith, whose ancestry it is not our purpose 
now to trace. We will merely say he did them no discredit, and they were worthy of 
such a son. In hia boyhood he walked several years six miles to school. He was 
then -tut to Judge Greed, of Fredericksburg, afterwards of the Court of Appeals of 
Virginia, an intimate friend of his father, that his capacity for receiving an education 
might be determined. Judge Green reported favorably, and he was sent to Plainfield, 
Connecticut, to be prepared for college. The war with England occurring about this 
time, the subject of our notice was exceedingly anxious to get into the navy, but he 
was ordered borne. His father died in 1815, when he began to study law with Judge 
I ' • en. He next moved to YVarrenton and became associated with Thos. L. Moore, 
then a leading lawyer with a large practice. This was of great advantage to the 
young lawyer, as he had charge, practically, of all the office work; and when he be- 
came an applicant for business found himself fully equipped. After staying a short 
while in the office <>! < Jen. Winder, of Baltimore, he returned to Virginia, and in 1818 
comment ed the practice of law at Culpeper. It was about this time he became en- 
ed in extending mail facilities fromCulpeper, which, in the end, reached Milledge- 
ville, Georgia. Every time the line was extended extra pay was granted, hence the 
sobriquet •• Extra Billy," a name to which he never objected, and a name which his 
friends used as a term of endearment and pride. Unfortunately for his pecuniary 
interests, about this time he was brought into politics, much against his own inclina- 
tions; but true to the rule of his life, never to flinch from any duty, he consented to 
Berve hi- district in the State Senate. This was the beginning of a long and success- 
ful political career, in all of which it was his boast, that he never sought or obtained 
votes by appealing to anything else than the reason of his fellow-citizens. He won 
lav., 1 by the use of neither money nor drink, and ever scorned the misrepresentation 
of fa. t-. In all his contests he upheld Democratic doctrines and in all things was for 
State Rights and a strict construction of the Constitution. 

In 1838 Ik- was elected to Congress from the Culpeper District, but a change 
being made, in 1840 he was an opponent of Samuel Chilton in the Loudoun District, 
and reduced the 1.200 majority to 265. He took an active part in the Presidential 
campaigns ol lS-joand 1S44, having refused to be a candidate for Congress in his 
own district because of two Whig candidates being in the field, giving as a reason 
the district was Whig and he was too good a Democrat to seek to deprive a majority 
<-f their representation. Tin's is strange reading in view of the present condition of 
politics. In 1845, without his Knowledge or consent, he was elected Governor of the 
State for three years, an honor indeed, yet, one he sought to avoid, because of his 
very straightened circumstances and the total inadequacy of the salary to support the 
'on. While Governor he was the caucus nominee of the Democratic party for 
Senator, but was defeated by a coalition of Hunter Democrats and the entire Whig. 
vote. Having served his term, he returned to his home in Warrenton in 1849. Dis- 
satisfied with the prospects of recovering from the sacrifices he had made for his party 
in time and money, he went to California in 1S51, where he presided at the first Dem- 
OCratic Mate < onvention ever held there. He was very successful in his law practice 
and returned to Virginia in 1853, with enough to make him comfortable for life. He 
* raa ' " ' ; ' " l8 53. again in 1855, and again in 1S57, the last Congress 

ioua to the war. In the debates and trying times in Congress he was firm, con- 
servative and 1 onsistent, ami when it was seen that a war must come, he retired with 
the Southern members who had not before done so. Although sixty-four years of age he 
was at the first skirmish upon Virginia soil at Fairfax Court House, became Colonel 
40th Regiment, remarkable for its discipline and efficiency. He was made 
Brigadier G neral shortly before he was called from the field to again become Gov- 
which position he held at the close „! ,1 K - war. He was complimented for 
the cheerful courage and efficiency at the first Manassas; he held position of honor 
treme Kit at Sharpsburg, where he was severely wounded, and in all things 
proved himself as valuable in war as he had been in the councils of his State and 


Country. Thus we might fill pages in giving an account of his public life; yet, he was 
best known and most admired as husband, father and friend. 

In 1821 he married Miss Elizabeth H. Bell, daughter of the late Captain James M. 
and Amelia Bell, of Culpeper; raised a family of twelve children, and all of them 
who reached maturity showed the same indomitable will, gallantry and fearlessness 
of danger in the discharge of duty. Of all this numerous family but three survive : 
Miss Mary Amelia, the comfort of his manhood's life and the solace of his declining 
years, his wife having preceded him several years ago; Col. Thomas Smith, and 
Capt. Fred. Smith, both of which sons are now in the Southwest, filling responsible 

Governor Smith was noted for his gallantry and high appreciation of the female 
sex. Age could not dim either, and the former added greatly to his interest in young 
men. For fifteen years or more he attended the Bethel Academy Final Exercises, 
distributed the honors among the students, and always accompanied awards with 
words of cheer and good advice. The last words ever uttered to the writer were 
" that he had never done anything he knew to be wrong, nor had he ever avoided 
the discharge of a known duty." Another fixed principle was, " never to create a 
want ;" and he never did, thus keeping clear of all the bad habits which incur expense 
and too often embitter life. We would say more but time and space forbid. Shall 
we ever look upon his like again, and who will supply the place once filled by him? 

[From the Warrenton Virginian.] 


On Wednesday morning, May 18th, 1887, at twenty minutes of eight o'clock, 
ex-Governor William Smith departed this life at his home, in Warrenton, after an 
illness of only two days. He was born in the year 1797, and early in life commenced 
the practice of law. 

It was before the age of steam, when all the coach lines ran east and west, that 
he conceived the idea of opening a line that would run north and south, crossing 
those that went from the Blue Ridge eastward. The line at first extended from Wash- 
ington city to Culpeper. He increased its distance from time to time until it reached 
Milledgeville, Georgia, and was for its day and generation as important a route as 
that of any railroad at the present time. He had a contract for carrying the United 
States mail. As he increased the length of his route he was entitled to extra pay. 
and his application to Congress for extra pay became frequent and won for him the 
sobriquet of "Extra Billy." 

With the advent of steam cars his coach line, with others, faded from sight, as 
it has since nearly faded from memory, and his restless, active nature found relief in 
the practice of law and in politics. He was elected four times to Congress and was 
twice made Governor of Virginia. On the hustings he was invincible. He made 
hosts of friends, true and warm, who stood by him in every emergency. 

At the outbreak of the war he entered the Confederate service and rose to the 
rank of General. The lack of military training was made up by personal bravery 
that never paled in the face of the foe. 

Let it be said to his credit that during his long and eventful life, money was never 
an object to him. He lived on what he made and died comparatively poor. 

Of all that can truly be said in his honor, the most beautiful lines that will record 
the history of his life, will be those that describe his admiration of and his chivalrous 
bearing towards the opposite sex. He looked upon woman as she deserves to be, 
the equal of man in all things, and his superior in most. Even when age had made 
his step unsteady and his hand scarcely able to reach his head, he lifted his hat and 
bowed with gallantry alike to the aged woman and the rosy-cheeked school girls that 
he met in his walks. Of the stormy scenes that he often encountered not a trace re- 


mained in his countenance when he entered the precincts of home. Of the fierceness 
with which he could turn on a foe, his wife and children saw nothing. They knew 
him only as tender and loving. If nothing else could be said of him this would be 
enough to make his death lamented and his memory cherished by all. 

A mass meeting of our citizens is being held to pay respect to his memory at the 
time of this writing. 

We also extract the following from The True Index, 
a paper published in his own town : 


Ex-Governor Smith was laid to rest with the setting sun of the beautiful 20th of 
May, after having received the highest civic and military honors at the hands of the 
noble people <>t Fauquier, and the noble city of Richmond. It will be gratifying to his 
friends, the people of Fauquier, indeed, the people of the State generally, but espe- 
cially his comrades of the gallant old 49th, whom he led and so loved, to learn that 
every attention was paid him : that the Governor and other good citizens were hon- 
orary pall-bearers, that gallant Confederates in full uniform tenderly handled the 
casket, that both houses of the Legislature adjourned out of respect for one so worthy; 
that eulogies were pronounced in the Hall of the House, and that his remains lay in 
State in the rotunda of the Capitol, and were visited by thousands ; that the cavalry 
and a large body of infantry furnished an escort to the cemetery, followed by a long 
procession of carriages, while the houses and the side walks from the Capitol to 
Hollywood were tilled with respectful, sympathizing friends and admirers, among 
the women and children whom, as war Governor, he had made every effort to feed, 
not being able to withstand their cry for bread ; that the Richmond Howitzers from 
the time his remains reached Richmond until placed in the vault, boomed at intervals 
in honor of one who had so often smelled the smoke of battle ; and that when laid 
away, the last sad Christian rites of burial having been performed, the soldiers fired 
over his resting place the parting volley, and all returned to their homes, having 
thus honored themselves in honoring one who had never other than the highest 
motives of patriotism, and who had spent a long life in the service of his Country 
and State. The entire proceedings were most gratifying to his friends and relations, 
for having been out of public so long, it was feared that his services might have been 
forgotten ; but a grateful people could never so far forget themselves, and the recep- 
tion was as heart-felt and spontaneous as inspiring. The fact remains impressed 
upon the people that it is well to do well for one's country. If we may suggest any- 
thing it would be that the old 40th. with whom he fought and so often won, pass 
some resolutions that may be treasured among the relics of their old Chief, who ever 
spoke of them with pride and doted upon them with the fondest affection. Too much 
praise cannot be given those who had charge of the ceremonies, everything being 
conducted as quietly as gracefully. 

Also, the following from the Temperance Advocate : 

Resolutions offered by Bro. Frederick Horner, M. I)., and adopted by District 
Lodge ■ ! Good Templars, in session with "Evening Star" Lodge, June 7th, 1887: 

WHEREAS, in the decease of ex-Governor William Smith, of Virginia, the Inde- 
pendent Order 01 Good Templars and the Friends ..f Temperance of this county, have 
lost an able advocate <>t the principles of total abstinence, and one who never failed 
to raise his voice against the iniquities of the liquor traffic, and also one of the 


founders of the Temperance Alliance of Virginia, and often plead eloquently in this 
behalf at the annual Bush Meetings of Good Templars of Fauquier county; therefore 
be it 

Resolved, That we would earnestly commend to our fellow-citizens of Virginia 
to imitate the example, and to heed the teachings of the illustrious dead on the sub- 
ject of the dire consequences of drunkenness and the importance of the total prohi- 
bition of the liquor traffic, and that we shall ever cherish a most grateful recollection 
of the ex-Governor, who, during his evenlful official life — in the Halls of Congress, 
twice Governor of Virginia, and a distinguished General in the Southern Army dur- 
ing the late civil war — for a period of sixty years inclusive was never known to 
indulge in ardent spirits, nor as a candidate for public office sought to obtain the 
suffrage of the people through the bribery of the bar-room or at the social board. 

Resolved, We cordially tender our united sympathies to the bereaved family 
of ex-Governor Smith and hereby instruct the Secretary to have the above resolu- 
tions published in the two county newspapers and the Temperance Advocate. 


[A representative number of the 49th Virginia Regiment met last Monday by 
appointment at the Lion House and resolved themselves into a memorial meeting. 
It is worthy of remark that fifteen out of the eighteen veterans present bore honor- 
able scars of battle upon their bodies, and that all of them speak from personal 
knowledge. We append the stirring address of their orator, T. H. Robinson, and 
the resolutions they unanimously adopted. — Index.] 

Comrades of the 49TH Regiment : I am unaccustomed to speak in public, and 
feel greatly embarrassed in getting up to do so now. But I feel I would be derelict 
in duty should I refuse to raise my voice on this occasion. 

We are here to-day to express sorrow over the departure of our old Commander, 
General William Smith, and also to express, if possible, our high appreciation of the 
noble example he has left us. He has gone, not as the world goeth, but as the noble, 
the true, and the brave go. 

To follow him through his political and military life would be to repeat the 
history of Virginia for half a century. 

He was a man that was true in every phase of life — true in peace, true in war — 
true in the cabinet and true in the field. When the clouds of war burst over his 
native State, the land he loved, well do you remember how his hoary locks amid the 
storm and smoke of battle marked the spot where deadliest conflict raged, and that, 
like a Ney, with uniform riddled with bullets, he often beat back the tide of battle. 

The great Cheronaea of the South has been fought, and the constitutional rights 
of Virginia, like the rights of Athenians, have been violently outraged ; but the prin- 
ciples for which we fought still live, and will live on as long as the mind is capable 
of appreciating the blessings of liberty and justice. 

Comrades, though no monument may mark the final resting place of our old 
Commander, yet when a future bard shall touch his harp to sing a requiem over the 
fading nations of earth, the figure of William Smith will appear dim in its dizzy niche 
among the highest in the temple of Fame. 

Comrades, Demosthenes swore by the names of the heroes of Marathon and 
Pketcea. Let us swear by the memory of our dead Commander never to forget the 
example he set us, and to hand it down as a precious legacy to our children's chil- 
dren to the remotest generations. 

The war of the Revolution is over ; the heroes of Yorktown and New Orleans 
sleep within the grave ; the small remnant of the gallant army that placed the Ameri- 
can flag upon the walls of the Montezumas have been provided for ; but to-day, for 
the first time in American history, do we find a class of old, feeble and disabled 


soldiers within our borders without paternal Government to extend to them the least 
aid in their declining years. God grant. Comrades, that the aegis of Virginia may 
ever protect yours and mine, until we, like our old Commander, shall be called from 
earth to greet the spirits of Lee, Jackson and Steuart. 

We, the surviving members of Company C, 49th Virginia Regiment, deem it meet 
to express our appreciation of our friend and beloved Commander, the late Gen. 
William Smith, who endeared himself to the hearts of his countrymen not only in 
peace but in war, and who ardently espoused the cause of the South in council, and 
when the time for action was forced upon us was found in the ranks bravely battling 
for our rights. In his fidelity to the land and people he loved, he poured out his 
blood to consecrate the principles he taught, and offered to lay his life on the altar 
of liberty. Grand old hero ! Nobly performed he the duties of life, and cherished 
will be his memory, his example, his fame. In his sacred ashes Hollywood holds an 
inspiring shrine. Be it therefore resolved : 

First. That in the death of Gov. William Smith we feel that we have lost a dear 
friend whom we delighted to honor, our country a valued, useful and most distin- 
guished citizen, our State one of her most eminent leaders, brightest orators and 
truest defenders. 

Second. That we tender our sympathy to his bereaved family, and direct that the 
original of these proceedings be presented to them as our testimonial, and that a copy 
be furnished to the county papers for publication. 

W. 15. TOMPKINS, Secretary. J. A. PlLCHER, Chairman. 

It is not extravagant to say that the above tribute is a 
representative expression of the reciprocal affection and ad- 
miration that existed between commander and soldier of 
regiment and brigade as lon^r as those relations subsisted be- 
tween Gen. Smith and his officers and men. They ever after 
cherished the warmest esteem for each other. 

The following editorial sketch from the Richmo?id Dispatch 
of May 19th, 1887, of the life and career of Governor Smith, 
by a political contemporary, is as accurate as it is elegant : 


A great man has fallen in Virginia. A statesman, soldier, and patriot has passed 
to his rest. Ex-Governor William Smith died at his home, near Warrenton, yester- 
day morning, aged four-score years and tin. thus closing a life than which few have 
been more crowded with incidents, and fewer still have been fuller of honors. It is 
notour purpose to attempt a biography of Governor Smith. That would involve 
attempting a review oi the political history of Virginia for two-thirds of a century. 
Within the period named there is hardly an important event bearing upon the poli- 
tics of the State with which his name is not associated prominently and honorably. 
We therefore give only the principal data in his career, leaving it for the Virginia 
political historian to build in its grand proportions that monument to his memory 
which his influence in shaping the destinies of the Commonwealth entitles him to. 
We furnish only a few threads to aid in weaving the chaplet of cypress and laurel- 
leaves which t" day Virginia, the mother he so loved and honored and served, would 
lay upon his grave. Governor Smith was born in King George county, Va., Septem- 
ber 6. 1797. In 1S11 he was sent to Plainheld, Conn., in order to commence an 


academic career, but in December of the following year he was ordered home in con- 
sequence of his application to his father to get for him a warrant in the navy. For 
several years he went to fine classical schools. After becoming well grounded in the 
classics lie began the study of law, reading first with Green and Williams, of Fred- 
ericksburg, then with T. L. Moore, of Warrenton, and finally with the elder General 
Winder, of Baltimore. In August, 1818, when in his twenty first year, he settled in 
the county of Culpeper and commenced the practice of law. Culpeper was closely 
divided in politics, with the speaking talent, as a rule, in the ranks of the opposition 
party. Governor Smith was an ardent and devoted Democratic Republican. At 
that early age he formulated what he called his political trinity, from which he never 
swerved to the hour of his death. That trinity was "strict construction, frugality in 
the public expenditures, and honesty in the public servant." He was soon called to 
take the stump, and his aggressiveness and talents as a speaker almost immediately 
raised him to the position of a leader. For eighteen years his voice was heard in 
every canvass, but during all that time he never sought to be a candidate for any 
office. It was along in this period of his life that he undertook contracts for carrying 
the United States mails, which finally led to his sobriquet of "Extra Billy" Smith. 
This grew out of his perfectly legitimate demands of extra pay for extra services. 
In 1836, however, in the face of his earnest protest he was nominated for the State 
Senate. He declined, but was re-nominated, his acceptance demanded, and he was 
elected. He served out his term of four years, and was again nominated, and after 
serving one year of his second term resigned. In 1841 he was elected to Congress. 
His term expired in 1843, and having been, under the congressional reapportion- 
ment based on the census of 1840, thrown into a district hopelessly Whig, Governor 
Smith announced his retirement from politics and moved to Warrenton for the pur- 
pose of educating his children and resuming the practice of law. But it was not des- 
tined that his political career should terminate here. Virginia had other and higher 
honors for him. His party had other battles for him to fight. There were other vic- 
tories for him to win. In 1845 he was elected Governor of the State by the Legisla- 
ture, his term commencing January 1, 1846. He served in the gubernatorial office for 
three years, and in 1850 went to California, where, soon after his arrival, he was 
elected president of the first Democratic convention ever held in that State. In 1852 
he returned to Virginia, and in the year following was a candidate for Congress, was 
elected, and served four successive terms. When the war broke out, although Gov. 
Smith was sixty-four years of age, he offered his services to the State, and was com- 
missioned by Governor Letcher colonel of the Forty-ninth regiment of Virginia vol- 
unteers. Governor Smith's regiment was known to every man in the army of North- 
ern Virginia as one of the most remarkable organizations in that army. The old 
hero had no idea of discipline and less of military tactics, but a braver commander 
and braver man never faced an enemy. His "Come on, Forty-ninth," has become 
historic. His leonine courage inspired both devotion and confidence, and where the 
Forty-ninth would not go no other set of men would dare go. The writer once heard 
a member of the Richmond Howitzers remark : "I saw the Forty-ninth follow the old 
man into a place where I did not think a mosquito could live." Governor Smith 
was elected from camp a member of the Confederate Congress, but stayed in that 
body only one session. He was eager to get back to the field. He returned to his 
regiment in 1862, was shortly thereafter made a Brigadier-General, and subsequently 
promoted to a Major-Generalship. He was severely wounded in battle, and in 1863 
was elected by the people of Virginia Governor of the State, which position he held 
when the flag of the Confederacy went down in darkness and tears and despair at 
Appomattox. After the war the Federal Government put a price upon Governor 
Smith's head. He escaped to Danville, thence to Lexington, and finally came to the 
neighborhood of Richmond. Having remained in this vicinity about two weeks he 
concluded, as he remarked, that he would not strain the virtue of his follow-citizens 
any further, and rode into the city and gave himself up. We believe, however, that 


he was immediately given his liberty, and that no action was taken against him by 
United States authorities, as indeed there certainly ought not to have been. Since 
the war he served one term in the Legislature. 

Governor Smith was a man of firm religious convictions, of granitic integrity, of 
courtly manner, and the most chivalrous instincts. He gave to whatever cause he 
espoused his every energy. He was a generous foe, and his admiration for woman 
amounted to worship. This latter was the most beautiful of his many splendid attri- 
butes. Never was there a time when the word woman was powerless to bring from 
his lips some pure and reverential sentiment : never was there a time when this nine- 
teenth-century knight would not have risked his life and broken a lance for the hum- 
blest of the weaker sex. He was a Virginian of Virginians. To him his mother 
State was all that was good and great and noble. His last years were a beautiful 
reminder that "age is not all decay ; it is the ripening, the swelling of the fresh life 
within, that withers and bursts the husk." He went down to the grave leaning upon 
" a staff of honor" jeweled with his own good deeds, his public services, and the 
admiration and respect of his follow-men. 

Among the interesting and gossipy incidents gathered by 
the Rambler of The State, there appears the following charac- 
teristic anecdote : 

Since the death of the lamented ex-Governor Smith, the newspapers have pub- 
lished many interesting stories about the great commoner. I heard a soldier 
relate one to-day which I have never seen in any of the sketches of the old man's 
life. At the battle of either the first or second Manassas the ex-Governor, who had 
not then won the high military title which he afterwards earned, was in the thickest 
of the fight. It was an exceedingly hot day, and he sat upon a white horse holding 
above his head a big umbrella. The commanding officer, who was a short distance 
away, spied the white horse and the big umbrella, and instantly inquired, "Who is 
that officer with the umbrella raised?" "It is Lieut. (!) Smith," came the answer. 
"Go tell him to lower that umbrella, and that I say he is making himself a target for 
the whole Vankee army." 

The order was carried, and the umbrella went down. Presently it was raised 
again, and immediately afterwards the order was again given by the general in com- 
mand : "Direct Col. Smith to lower that umbrella." The old Governor received 
the order, but added, after saying, " I can't tell what's going on for the sun; tell Gen. 

I will lower my umbrella, but I do it under protest." The umbrella was 

laid aside, and the brave old ex-Governor sheltering his eyes from the burning sun 
with the brim of his hat stood there in the thickest of the fight, and nerved up his men 
by his own bravery. 

The following article is from a Texas paper : 

Slowly but surely the old landmarks of our political life are passing away. The 
men who made OUT history tor the past fifty years, with its lights and shadows, its 
wisdom and folly and its gravity and eccentricities are, one by one, falling into the 
grave and leaving behind them only memories of what they have been. One of the 
last and most prominent figures was ex-Governor William Smith, of Virginia, who 
was known popularly as " Extra Billy," who died at his home at Warrenton a few days 
ago. He had nearly reached his ninetieth year, and the history of his long and busy 
life is full of incident. The pseudonym "Extra Billy" was earned when he was a 
mail contractor between Washington city and Milledgeville, Ga., an enterprise 
beginning in 1S31, in which he amassed a snug fortune. In 1S34 a noted attack was 


made upon the administration of W. T. Barry, then Postmaster-General. In the 
rapid development of the postal facilities of the Southern country, the expenditures 
of the department were largely increased. In the Blue Book, or official register of 
the United States Government, the salaries or compensation of its officers or contract- 
ors' compensation, for instance, of additional service ordered to be performed, is 
indicated by an asterisk. Every extra allowance beyond the stipulations of the orig- 
inal contract was thus designated. As the route of Mr. Smith was one of rapid devel- 
opement, his entries of service were abundantly thus marked. The circumstance 
was noted in debate by Benjamin Watkins Leigh, from Virginia, who, without calling 
the name of Mr. Smith, yet affixed upon him the life-long sobriquet of "Extra 

Y His history is not confined to the mail contracting business. In 1818, when he was 
twenty-one years old, he settled at Culpeper and began legal practice. At the same 
time he eagerly entered the political arena as a vigorous and favorite exponent of 
Democratic doctrine. He was a firm believer in strict construction, frugality in 
public expenditure and honesty in the public servant. During eighteen years he took 
active part in all political campaigns without being a candidate for any public position. 
In 1830, against his own wishes, he was elected a member of the State Senate for four 
years. He was re-elected for another four years' term, but resigned after serving 
one year. He was the representative of his district in the Congress which expired in 
March, 1843. Under the reapportionment of that year the district was so arranged as 
to give it a large Whig majority. Mr. Smith then removed to Warrenton and re- 
sumed active wo"rk in his profession. I a letter written three years ago Governor 
Smith thus describes his first election as Governor of the Old Dominion: "Everything 
was going well with me, when, in December, 1845, having just returned from one of 
my courts, I was addressed by one of my friends as Governor Smith. I asked him 
what he meant by thus addressing me. He said that I was the Governor-elect of Vir- 
ginia. I replied that I trusted it was not so, but so it proved. The Legislature at 
that time elected our Governor, and, without having the idea suggested to me by a 
human being, I found myself elected Governor for three years from January 1, 1846. 
The salary was wholly inadequate to support the proper hospitalities of the position. 
I had no private fortune to supply the deficiency, and public opinion would not allow 
the Governor to practice his profession. I wrote to my friends that they had placed 
me in a cruel dilemma ; that I wanted bread and they gave me a stone ; that I should 
have to decline the high position to which they had elected me. There was no help 
for it. But I did accept, served out my term and returned to my home. "In April, 
1852, Governor Smith sailed for California, and on reaching San Francisco an- 
nounced himself ready for legal practice. He was, without previous notice to him or 
solicitation on his part, made president of the first Democratic State Convention held 
in the new State. David Broderick, afterward United States Senator from California, 
became jealous of Mr. Smith's influence in the party. The quarrel resulted in a duel 
between Broderick and James Caleb Smith, a son of the Governor, who had pre- 
ceded his father in emigrating to the new Eldorado. It took place at Sacramento and 
was witnessed by 5,000 people, Governor Smith being one of the spectators. Accord- 
ing to the rules of the code each was to surrender all articles from his pockets. 
Broderick, drawing his watch from his fob pocket, offered to surrender that if Smith 
so desired, but Smith intimating that it was immaterial, Broderick restored it to his 
fob. Smith put four balls through Broderick's watch and cut the chain with another. 
Smith was untouched and Broderick uninjured. The watch was hung up in a public 
place in Sacramento. Governor Smith returned to Virginia in the autumn of 1854. 
In March, 1855, he was elected to Congress and served four successive terms. In 
June, 1861, he was commissioned Colonel of the Forty-ninth Virginia Confederate 
Volunteers, and was soon after elected from his camp a member of the Confederate 
Congress, in which he served one session, resigning in May, 1862, to return to his 
military command, being soon after promoted as Brigadier and Major-General. In 


1863 he was elected by the people Governor for a term of four years, from January 
I, 1864. Since the war he has served one term in the State House of Delegates for a 
special purpose. At the age of sixty-four he entered the Confederate service and 
among a host of brave men distinguished himself signally by his coolness, courage 
and bravery on the battle-field. He will be long remembered as one of the most re- 
markable men of the century. 

[From the New York Sun.] 



Warrenton, Va., May 18. — Ex-Governor William Smith, popularly known as 
"Extra Billy" Smith, died at his home, near this place, to-day, in the 90th year of 
his age. 

Governor Smith was born in King George county, Va., on Sept. 6, 1797. After 
receiving a classical education in Connecticut and Virginia schools he studied law, 
first in Virginia and later in Baltimore. In 1818 ho began to practice his profession 
in Culpeper county, in his native State, and immediately interested himself in politics. 
After serving the Democracy as a stump-speaker in a dozen campaigns, he was 
elected to the State Senate by his party in 1836. There he served five years, next 
entering the political arena in 1841 in a triangular contest for a seat in Congress. He 
was elected and served his term ; but at its close found that a reapportionment had 
made his district strongly Whig. Then he removed to Fauquier county, where, in 
December, 1845, having just returned from one of his courts, he was addressed by 
one of his friends as "Gov. Smith." He asked what was meant by this, and was told 
that he was Governor-elect of Virginia. The Legislature had elected him Governor 
for three years from the first of January, 1846, without even consulting him. The 
salary was wholly inadequate to support the proper hospitalities of the position. He 
had no private fortune to supply the deficiency, and public opinion would not allow 
the Governor to practice his profession. He accepted the honor, however, and filled 
out his term of three years. 

In 1852 Governor Smith went to California, and was president of the first Demo- 
cratic Convention held in that State. Within a year he was back to Virginia, and in 
1855 he was elected to Congress, where he remained until 1861. In June of that year 
he was commissioned Colonel of the Forty-ninth Virginia Volunteers, and soon after 
was elected to the Confederate Congress. He resigned his seat a year later for the 
more active duties of the field, and was promoted to the rank of Major- General, re- 
ceiving a serious wound at Antietam. He was elected Governor again in 1863 for a 
term of four years. After the war Governor Smith's connection with politics was 
less active, but he served one term in the Virginia House of Delegates. During his 
long life he was prominent in many other ways than as a politician, one of his 
achievements while yet a young man being the establishment of a line of post 
coaches through Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. He contracted to carry the 
mails in these coaches, and his demand for extra compensation gave him the nick- 
name of "Extra Billy," which clung to him until his death. 

[From the Madison Chronicle, Nebraska.] 

Ex-Governor William Smith, of Virginia, who on Sunday entered upon his nine- 
tieth year, is in the full enjoyment of his mental and physical powers, and personally 
superintends operations on his 300-acre farm at Warrenton. — Ex. 

Reading the above item brings to mind some old war reminiscences which have 
never been published, and which may be of interest to our readers. When General 


Pope took command of the armies of Virginia, and was re-organizing the same, Gen. 
McDowell's corps (the old first army corps) was quartered in the vicinity of Warren- 
ton, and McDowell's headquarters were established in ex-Governor Smith's resi- 
dence—occupying the library, which was a large front room on the lower floor, just 
to the left of the main hall entrance. The building was a large, plain, substantial 
two-story brick, and about the last building on Culpeper street. At that time " Extra 
Billy," as he was familiarly called by the old inhabitants, was Colonel of the 49th 
Virginia Confederate Infantry. We occupied this library while the corps remained 
in the vicinity of Warrenton, while the family occupied the balance of the mansion. 
The writer hereof was then on detached duty, among others, at headquarters as clerk. 
While there one of the clerks was taken sick, and Mrs. Smith, learning of the fact, 
insisted on his being taken to a room, put into a comfortable bed, and properly cared 
for. (The clerks were sleeping on the floor of the library, with their army blankets 
for bedding.) The patient, under the kind and attentive nursing of Mrs. Smith and 
her attendants, was soon convalescent. When the army was ordered to advance, 
and we were packing up, Mrs. Smith came out to bid the " boys " good bye, and said 
if we ever happened in Warrenton again we must be sure and call on her. We asked 
her in a half joking manner, if she would not like to see us coming back with Stone- 
wall Jackson after us ? " No " said she, "I really wish no harm to you ; you have all 
acted like gentlemen while here, and when I meet gentlemen I always treat them as 
such." Thus we bid Mrs. Smith a pleasant good-bye, and moved onward. The army 
advanced. The battle of Cedar Mountain soon followed. Then came the flank 
movement of General Lee, the retreat of Pope's army, the series of engagements 
along the Rappahannock, the battles of Groveton, Gainsville, and Second Bull Run, 
in rapid succession, the final retreat within the fortifications of Washington, the cross- 
ing of the Potomac into Maryland at Point of Rocks by Lee's army, the rallying of 
the Army of the Potomac under General McClellan, the battles of South Mountain 
and Antietam, and retreat of Lee up the Shenandoah Valley, while McClellan's army 
advanced on the east side of the Blue Ridge. At Warrenton the army again halted, 
where McClellan was removed and Burnside put in command. During this halt 
some of the clerks who were formerly at McDowell's headquarters, accepted the in- 
vitation previously extended by Mrs. Smith and called on her. They were cordially 
received, but ascertained while there that Colonel Smith, her husband, had been se- 
verely wounded at Antietam, and was then in the house, perhaps on his death bed. 
Mrs. Smith requested that nothing be said by "our boys " of the presence of her hus- 
band, for fear he might be taken prisoner by the "Yankees," and die from exposure 
or want of proper nursing. From a sense of high esteem the boys held for Mrs. 
Smith in her kindness to them a few months previous, her request was complied with. 
Colonel Smith's presence at home was not reported to the Union officers, and under 
the tender care of a loving wife he was nursed back to health. 

He afterward (we believe the following year) was again elected to the Governor- 
ship of Virginia— having served a term in the gubernatorial chair before the war. 
This is thekist we have heard of him until the above item caught our eye, which 
brought up all these old war recollections. 

We have nothing but the kindest feelings for the old hero, and for Mrs. Smith, 
whether she be living or dead, we shall ever remember as one of those human angels 
who could so overcome her personal prejudices as to minister to the wants and com- 
forts of her "enemies " while they were her unwelcome guests. 

While there was much retaliation for cruelty and insult during that unfortunate 
struggle, there were also many acts of kindness extended and reciprocated which 
have never been told. 

The following just tributes from the Nebraska, New York 
and Pennsylvania papers deserve an insertion in these 


memoirs to show the character and extent of the name and 
fame of Governor Smith in those States, as statesman and 

[From the New Y'.rk Herald.] 

a noted Virginian's extraordinary public career — civil 
and military service — state senator, governor, member 
of congress and confederate general. 

Ex-Governor William Smith, of Virginia, long familiarly known as " Extra Billy," 
died at his home in Warrenton, Va., yesterday morning at twenty minutes to eight 
o'clock. If his life had been spared until September 6 he would have completed the 
ninetieth year of his age. For three score and ten years he has been very promi- 
nently identified with State and National politics and excelled as a debater upon the 
hustings. He was twice Governor of his native State, his second term covering the 
notable last years of the civil war. At the age of sixty-four he entered the Confed- 
erate army and distinguished himself for his sublime daring on the battlefield. He 
was badly wounded at Sharpsburg, and afterward made Brigadier-General, achieving 
for himself and his brigade great distinction. 


Governor Smith was born in King George county. At the age of fourteen he 
was sent to Plainfield, Conn., to commence his academic career, but was ordered 
home a year later in consequence of his expressed wish to secure a position in the 
Federal navy. He subsequently attended classical schools in Virginia. His legal 
studies were prosecuted at Fredericksburg and Warrenton, Va., and finished in the 
office of General Winder, of Baltimore, Md. In 1818, when he was twenty-one years 
old, he settled at Culpeper and began legal practice. At the same time he eagerly 
entered the political arena as a vigorous and favorite exponent of Democratic doc- 
trine. He was a firm believer in strict construction, frugality in public expenditure 
and honesty in the public servant. During eighteen years he took active part in all 
political campaigns without being a candidate for any public position. In 1836, 
against his own wishes, he was elected a member of the State Senate for four years. 
He was re-elected for another four years' term, but resigned after serving one year. 
He was the representative of his district in the Congress which expired in March, 
1843. Under the re-apportionment of that year the district was so arranged as to give 
it a large Whig majority. Mr. Smith then removed to Warrenton and resumed active 
work in his profession in order, as he said, to educate his children and rebuild his 
fortune, which had become impaired during his previous political career. 


In a letter written three years ago Governor Smith thus describes his first election 
as Governor of the < >ld Dominion : '• Everything was going well with me, when in 
December, 1845, having just returned from one of my courts, I was addressed by one 
of my friends as Governor Smith. I asked him what he meant by thus addressing 
me. He said that I was the Governor-elect of Virginia. I replied I trusted it was 
not so, but so it proved. The Legislature at that time elected our Governor, and, 
without having the idea suggested to me by a human being, I found myself elected 
Governor for three years from the first of January, 1846. The salary was wholly in- 
adequate to support the proper hospitalities of the position. I had no private fortune 
to supply the deficiency, and public opinion would not allow the Governor to practice 
his profession. I wrote to my friends that they had placed me in a cruel dilemma ; 
that I wanted bread and they gave me a stone ; that I should have to decline the high 


position to which they had elected me. There was no help for it. But I did accept, 
served out my term and returned to my home." 


In April 1851, Governor Smith sailed for California, and on reaching San Fran- 
cisco announced himself ready for legal practice. He was, without previous notice 
to him or solicitation on his part, made President of the first Democratic State Con- 
vention held in the new State. David Broderick, afterward United States Senator 
from California, became jealous of Mr. Smith's influence in the party. The quarrel 
resulted in a duel between Broderick and James Caleb Smith, a son of the Governor, 
who had preceded his father in emigrating to the new Eldorado. It took place at 
Sacramento, and was witnessed by five thousand people, Governor Smith one 
of the spectators. According to the rules of the code each was to surrender all arti- 
cles from his pockets. Broderick, drawing his watch from his fob pocket, offered to 
surrender that if Smith so desired, but Smith intimating that it was immatenal, Brod- 
erick restored it to his fob. Smith put four balls through Broderick's watch and cut 
the chain with another. Smith was untouched and Broderick uninjured. The watch 
was hung up in a public place in Sacramento. 


Governor Smith returned to Virginia in the autumn of 1852. In March, 1853, he 
was elected to Congress, and served four successive terms. In June, 1861, he was 
commissioned Colonel of the Forty-ninth Virginia Confederate Volunteers, and was 
soon after elected from his camp a member of the Confederate Congress, in which 
he served one session, resigning in May, 1862, to return to his military command, 
being soon after promoted as Brigadier and Major-General. In 1863 he was elected, 
by the people, Governor, for a term of four years, from January 1, 1864. Since the 
war he has served one term in the State House of Delegates for a special purpose. 


Mr Smith was given the prefix "Extra Billy" while he was a mail contractor 
between Washington citv and Milledgeville, Ga., an enterprise beginning in 1831, in 
which he amassed a snug fortune. In 1834 a noted attack was made upon the admin- 
istration of W. T. Barrv, then Postmaster-General. In the rapid development of the 
postal facilities of the Southern country the expenditures of the department were 
largely increased. In the Blue Book, or Official Register of the United States Govern- 
ment the salaries or compensations of its officers or contractors' compensation, for 
instance of additional service ordered to be performed, is indicated by an asterisk. 
Every extra allowance beyond the stipulations of the original contract was desig- 
nated As the route of Mr. Smith had one rapid development, his entries of service 
were abundantly thus marked. The circumstance was noted in debate by United 
States -Senator Benjamin Watkins Leigh, from Virginia, who, without calling the 
name of Mr. Smith, yet affixed'upon him the life long sobriquet of » Extra Billy. 


Two sons and a daughter survive Governor Smith. The elder son, Colonel 
Thomas Smith, is United States District Attorney of New Mexico. Captain Fredenck 
Smith the other son, is a prominent citizen of Arizona Territory. William Smith, his 
eldest' son, was, while serving as a midshipman in the United States Navy, lost in the 
Pacific Ocean. Another son, Colonel Austin Smith, was killed in the battle of Seven 
Pines. A sister, Mrs. Maria Johnson, the wife of the Chaplain of Hampton's brigade, 
died in South Carolina last week. 

The remains of Governor Smith will be carried to Richmond on Friday and 
placed in the family vault at Hollywood cemetery. The Board of Aldermen of 
Warrenton yesterday afternoon passed resolutions of respect to his memory, and last 


night the citizens generally met at the Court House to testify their high appreciation 
of his services as a citizen, statesman and patriot. The State Legislature, in session 
at Richmond, adopted resolutions in honor of his great public services and private 


[ From the Columbia 'Pa. Democrat, Oct. 11 .] 


This able champion of Democracy and honored representative of the old Domin- 
ion, has been spending a few days in Columbia and speaking to her people. Gov. 
Smith, is one of the most estimable men in all the social and political relations of lite 
with whom it has ever been our fortune to associate. Frank, fearless and intelli- 
gent, plain of speech and honest of purpose, he is at once a model specimen of the 
true Virginia gentleman. Nor is this all. He is without exception the most logical 
reasoner, ablest debater and finest orator we have ever heard in Northern Pennsyl- 

Old Virginia may indeed be proud of her cherished son and patriotic statesman, 
upon whom she has bestowed the highest honors within her gift, and who now holds 
his seat in the National Legislature by a majority of over 6,000! Never have we 
heard a man before treat more fully and fairly all the issues of the day, than did Gov. 
Smith in all the thrilling speeches he delivered in Columbia. He supports Mr. 
Buchanan, not because he is /re-slavery or <7////-slavery, but in the name of Democ- 
racy of the Old Dominion asks only the preservation of the Constitution and the 
Union. Proudly and truthfully can he point to the history of his State to prove that 
she has done more for the cause of freedom than all the fanatics who revile her. 
She voted in the Federal convention to abolish the slave trade in 1800, while Mass- 
achusetts and other New England States voted to continue the traffic to 1808, that they 
might make money in propagating slavery by their commerce. She gave the North- 
west Territory to the cause of freedom, and it has since made five free States. 
She petitioned, when yet a colony, to the British Parliament for the abolition of the 
slave trade out of which the New Englanders made their wealth. 

Gov. Smith labored assiduously, whilst with us, and did yoeman's service in the 
Democratic cause. The thousands who heard his instructive discourses and impress- 
ive eloquence, will long cherish the recollection as a treasured reminiscence. He 
spoke on Friday afternoon at Rohrsburg ; on Friday evening he addressed a large 
meeting in the Court House at Bloomsburg. On Saturday afternoon he addressed a 
meeting at Cambria, and in the evening another one at Orangeville. On Monday 
afternoon he spoke at Berwick, and in the evening at Espytown. On Tuesday he 
addressed a large meeting at Mordansville in Mount Pleasant, and on Wednesday, at 
Thomas Parr's Hotel, in Limestone, Montour county. In the evening before leav- 
ing for Virginia, the Governor addressed the citizens of Danville, in the Court House, 
which was rilled to overflowing, in one of the most eloquent and telling speeches ever 
delivered within that Hall of Justice, and which was received with rounds of cheers 
and applause. 

The following- is from the pen of the distinguished poet 
and scholar, James Barron Hope. 


The death of ex-Governor William Smith, at a good old age, has already been 
announced to our readers and to what has already been said, it is not necessary to 
add much more. The deceased had been a prominent and noble figure in making 
history, and there was little need of any biography of him within the limits of his 
native State. He was a man of singularly frank and manly spirit, and his personal 


valor was of a heroic type. Nothing appalled him, and while he despised military- 
technicalities, there never was a better soldier in any army for fortitude, dash and 
staying power than Major-General Smith. In civil as well as in military life he was 
an honor to the commonwealth, and his ashes most appropriately have been 
consigned to the bosom of beautiful Hollywood, among the sleeping statesmen and 
soldiers by whose remains they are surrounded. 

[From the Bristol News, Dec 14, 1875.] 

A good humored rivalry exists between ex-Governor Smith, of Fauquier, and 
Patrick H. McCaull, of Pulaski, as to which is the junior member of the House. Both 
of them are serving for their first time as Delegates, and although the former is aged 
seventy-eight and the latter twenty-three, the Governor asserts that he is actually the 
younger. He is as straight as an arrow, as buoyant as a game cock and full of useful 
labor. His Democracy is purer than that of Andrew Jackson ; his bravery and dash 
were not surpassed by those of Stonewall Jackson during the war, and although he 
celebrated, several years since, the golden anniversary of his wedding, he says the 
honeymoon is not yet over with him. He bids fair to celebrate his centennial birth- 
day, and if he does, the historian will record that, while his was the longest, it was 
one of the most useful and brilliant of the lives of the public men of Virginia. 

Virginia's governors. 

In an interesting contribution to the Richmond Dispatch 
styled " Virginia's Governors," signed " X," we find the fol- 
lowing relating to our highly esteemed and venerable towns- 
man, ex-Governor Smith. — Warrenton Virginian. 

Of the ante-bellum Governors of Virginia, William Smith, of Fauquier, is the only 
survivor. His life has been one continued illustration of benevolence, high principles, 
able purposes and stern devotion to what he held to be right — in peace and in war — 
at home and abroad— at the family fireside and in the political arena. Past the 
period allotted to the reach of man, even "by reason of great strength," he is as 
straight as an arrow ; walks nimbly as a youth, with mind clear as a bell. For more 
than fifty years he has held a prominent position in the politics of the State — again 
and again serving the people in their councils ; and when long passed the years of 
military service, he led his old constituents in many hard fought battles, in one of 
which he was desperately wounded. Bright and shining as his public record has 
been, his home record is yet more beautiful. Never father loved his children more 
devotedly than he. No man was ever more wrapped up than he in the wife of his 
bosom — his comforter in the toils and vicissitudes of his earlier life, the misfortunes 
of maturer years, and the sharer of his prosperity and honors. He was always as 
tenderly attentive to her as mother to her babe. He was proud of her for her many 
virtues, and as the vein of his heart he hallows her memory. Pure as an angel she 
lived, happy as a saint she died, and in the spirit land awaits reunion with the pride 
and love of her soul. X 

In the same paper, a few days later, we find the following 
from Mr. John Pollard : 


To the Editor of the Dispatch. 

"X gives us in your paper a very interesting account of the Governors of Vir- 
ginia from the times of Lord Delaware to the present day. Very handsome and very 


just is his tribute to the venerable William Smith, of Fauquier, who walks among us 
as the sole representative of those eminent citizens occupying the gubernatorial chair 
before the war between the States. In enumerating the jewels that appear in this 
statesman's civic crown, it is surprising that "X" should have failed to notice one 
which is as resplendent as any other — I mean his temperance. In his earlier days he 
was often before the people as a candidate, always secured the office for which he 
ran, and yet never found out, what some are accustomed to allege, that no man can 
carry an election without treating the voters to intoxicating liquors. According to 
a communication that recently appeared in your columns, at his receptions when 
Governor the intoxicating bowl was conspicuous for its absence. I have myself 
heard him say that he has refused — and refused without [offense — to drink with a 
President of the United States. Before many an assemblage in Virginia and elsewhere, 
he has pleaded eloquently for temperance, and he has repeatedly made the public 
declaration that he regarded it as the highest honor of his life to be permitted to 
devote to this good cause his declining years. Whoever shall write the life of 
William Smith, or pronounce his eulogy, or prepare his epitaph — still distant be the 
day when the tomb shall bear his name — will leave the task very incomplete if no 
allusion is made to his practice and advocacy of temperance through a long and 
eventful career. John Pollard. 

We understand that Gov. Smith, was born in the county of King George, Vir- 
ginia, on the 6th day of September, 1797; that his father, Col. Caleb Smith, was also 
born and died in the same county, as his father was born before him, although the 
county was then called Richmond. Gov. Smith's mother was Mary Waugh Smith, 
and was born in the county of Fauquier, Virginia. Her mother was Elizabeth Doni- 
phan, a lineal descendant of Alexander Doniphan, it is believed in the family, a 
Spaniard by birth, who having married Margaret Mott, a Scotch lady, settled in the 
Northern neck of Virginia prior to 1663, with his wife's father, uncle and four sisters. 
The Smith branch of the family did not come into the country until 1720, when Sir 
Sidney Smith, a British naval officer and family, and Sir Joseph Anderson and 
family of Wales, settled in Richmond county then, but King George now. These 
families intermarried and thus the parents of Gov. Smith, both Smith's became related. 

The following admirably written article is from the ready 
and fluent pen of a gentleman well known in the social and 
political circles of Richmond, and deserves a prominent place 
in these memoirs : 



[Written for the Whig.] 

The golden chain of Virginia's representative men which connects the past with 
the present time, is growing shorter every day. One by one the links have dropped 
out, until now scarely a single one remains. We have now the melancholy duty to 
perform of recording the loss of one who was perhaps the most shining and prominent 
link of this glorious group of Virginia's worthies in this generation. 

of Fauquier, is no more. He departed this life, at his residence in Warrenton, on the 
18th of May, 1887, at the ripe old age of ninety years. He was born in the county of 
King George in 1797, reared to manhood in that county, but soon after receiving his 
license to practice law. he removed to the county of Culpeper, where he pursued his 


profession in addition to other occupations for many years, until about thirty years 
ago, he removed to Warrenton, where he has ever since resided, with the exception 
of a few years spent in California. He married in early life a daughter of Capt J. M. 
Bell, of Culpeper, and reared a family of five sons and one daughter only wo of 
whom have survived him. His oldest son, William, was an officer of the United 
States Navy, and was lost at sea in 1850, in the Pacific Ocean, between San Francisco 
and the Sandwich Islands. His second son, J. Caleb, became a Judge in Cal.forn.a, 
and was a prominent man in that State for several ;years. Austin Smith was a law- 
yer and died of wounds received in battle during the war. Col. Peter Bell Smith, 
who was his father's private secretary during his second term as Governor, died in 
Richmond, and lies in Hollywood. His only living son, Col. Thomas Smith, is a law- 
yer, and was a prominent member of the Virginia Legislature, and is now United 
States District Attorney in New Mexico. 

It will be seen from the successful career of his boys, that their father must have 
instilled in their youthful minds some of those qualities of mental activity and physi- 
cal energy which he possessed in as high a degree as I have ever known in any man 
whose fame and acts have made their possessor prominent in the world. William 
Smith, in his early manhood, was fairly successful at the bar, and had he chosen to 
have given his whole unremitted attention to his profession of the law, I have no 
doubt he would have reached eminence as a lawyer. He had qualities of mental dis- 
crimination, indefatigable energy and perseverance, fine address and very great foren- 
sic power, and he evinced his ability to contend successfully at he bar against 
such men as Judge John Scott, John Shackelford, John S. Pendleton, Robert E Scott 
Sam. Chilton, and others, who adorned the bar of Culpeper and Fauquier and were 
forever worthy of any man's steel. But Governor Smith's inclination led him into 
the stormy field of politics, which was, perhaps, better suited to the energetic activity 
of his mind; and upon that theatre he had the opportunity to display his highest 
powers. His political career was eminently successful. He was elected to the Leg- 
islature many times, to the Congress of the United States, to the Governorship twice 
-the only man except Patrick Henry so distinguished in all the annals of Wgima 
Indeed, so bland and insinuating was his demeanor, and so popular and powerful 
were his speeches on the stump in his canvass, that he was hardly ever beaten in a 

popular election. . . ,, ,• „ 

I recollect that after his return from California he arrived in Fauquier just before 
the canvass for the election of a member of the House of Representatives rom he 
Eighth district. John Willis, of Orange, James Barbour, of Culpeper, General Hunton 
and others, of Fauquier, Frank Smith, of Alexandria, and other younger Democrats 
were candidates for the nomination, all of whom urged against the Governor that he 
was a Californian, and the people ought not to select him as their candidate but the 
Governor took the stump against the tremendous odds, and his old constituents could 
not withstand the power and influence of his eloquent voice, and they elected him o 
Congress against such tremendous opposition. In 1845 he was a candidate for the 
United States Senate before the Legislature of Virginia, but he was defeated by Judge 
Pennybacker, of Shenandoah. Upon that occasion, John Hampden Pleasants, in he 
Whig, thus speaks of him, which from a political enemy of such distinction, is the 
highest compliment that could be paid to any man : 

-The man does not breathe to whom its party in Virginia owes the heavy debt it 
does to Mr. Smith, of Culpeper. In 1840 and 1844 no one of them fought the battle 
with so determined an energy and throughout so extensive a range of count, £ ^ e 
dreaded the harm that Smith could inflict upon the Whig party b y hMene ^" d 
clodian talents more than all the silk-stocking orators from the towns put ^gether. 
The result, we believe, justified our fear and our sagacity. From Culpeper to tt e 
Ohio, from Halifax to King and Queen, Smith was omnipresent and wielding more 
influence than all the successful orators united. We speak not this in comphment .W* 
speak what we do know. We feel rather relieved that this champion-this Smith ot 


the wynd ' — this fighting Smith — is not to be sent to make head against the Whigs in 
the Senate, and that the mantle is to devolve upon one less uncompromising, more 
conciliatory, tractable and manageable. We can well imagine how the friends of 
such a man, strong and ardent, as he is strong and ardent in all his relations, must 
feel rather taken aback at the perference given to an inferior over him." 

The Fredericksburg Recorder (Democratic), then conducted by a very able editor, 
thus speaks in his behalf for the Senatorship : "William Smith is our man ; and in 
behalf of the thousands of Democrats in this region, who have for years witnessed 
his noble, gallant, manly, and sacrificing course, we call upon the Democratic party 
in the Legislature i<> BE JUST, No man in Virginia can present stronger claims than 
Mr. Smith for the Senatorial office, we care not whether talents, integrity, or hard ser- 
vice, shall constitute the obligation. He is a politician who can neither be corrupted 
nor coerced. His metal has often been proved, and his friends may justly boast of 
his valor, his prowess, and his success. Indeed, his enemies, or his rivals, if he has 
them, will fully accord to him, the distinguishment of having saved Virginia in one 
campaign, and carried her to a more brilliant triumph in another. Is that nothing? 
Then indeed are republics ungrateful." 

Thus spake the great Whig editor, in the highest terms of him as a man, but in 
fear and dread as a Democrat. Thus the Democratic editor voiced the universal 
opinion of the people of Virginia, evidencing the high regard, favor and affection he 
was held in by them. King caucus oftentimes, before and since, committing great 
iniquities, defeated him. But the people remindful of his great services to his party, 
immediately elected him Governor of Virginia, and on the 2d of January, 1846, he 
took charge of that high office. Before that time Governor Smith was known all over 
the State by his firm, undeviating attachment to the Democratic party, and by his 
powerful speeches in its behalf. He was perhaps the "best stump speaker in Vir- 
ginia," and that is high praise, when we consider who were some of the men who 
were often-times his antagonists in debate. 

Between the years 1840 and 1850, there were political giants in the land. In his 
own county of Culpeper, there lived three men who were the peers of the best in 
their eloquence and influence over the masses. John S. Barbour, a man of the 
noblest presence, and possessing all the power of an orator; John S. Pendleton, 
" the Lone Star of the Virginia Whigs in Congress," whose strong sonorous voice, 
uttering smooth and eloquent sentences, would always deeply interest and affect the 
people ; and Edmund Broadus, whose logical mind and earnest manner of speech, 
from whom always emanated close, compact sentences of power and truth, for many 
years largely controlled the legislation of the State, and others in other parts of the 
State, who, in comparison with most of the leading men in Virginia politics to-day, 
were as Hyperion to a Satyr. 

At the forum and on the hustings, William Smith met such men as these, and held 
his own with them. Indeed, in a very large degree, it was owing to his indomitable 
energy and earnest, persistent, eloquent advocacy of the Democratic party that it was 
so constantly victorious in Virginia politics. Of course he was a terror to the Whigs, 
and John Hampden Pleasants gave him the title of "Extra Billy," which has stuck to 
him like the shirt of Nessus, and which, although it may have been given him origin- 
ally by way of belittlement, has ever since been used by his friends and foes alike as 
an epithet of endearment and compliment. The name originated thus : Many years 
ago Governor Smith was a contractor with the United States Government to carry the 
mail from Washington city to Milledgeville, in Georgia, by stage coaches, and it seems 
he took the contract at too small a consideration ; at any rate it did not pay him, for 
the records of Congress will show that oftentimes during his term, he applied for extra 
compensation, and he had the talents and influence to constrain Congress to grant it. 
His stages ran through the little village where the writer was raised, and when he was 
a little boy, it was the delight of him and his playfellows often to go a mile or two to 
meet the stage and ride back in the boot of it. Often has he done so when the future 


Governor of the State was the driver, who would kindly stop and take US in. He was 
a kind-hearted, affable, amiable man, as he was diligent and ~-^»«* £ 
charge of all his public duties in the high offices which he afterwards filled The 
people of Richmond ought especially to be grateful to him, for every day then- eyes 
behold evidences of his efforts to beautify the city. To h.m .s due more, perhaps 
than to any other Governor, save one, the present beautiful appearance o our lovely 
Capitol Square. He had the trees planted, the walks laid off, the In Is cut down and 
the landscape grading generally done, which, under the regime of Governor Wise, 
was continued and improved until the Square has received its present ornate beaut, 
ful appearance. 

In 1850 Governor Smith, in order to recuperate his shattered fortune, removed to 
San Francisco to practice law. He remained there several years, and was very suc- 
cessful in acquiring a sufficient amount of money to pay his deb s He was akc e^y 
prominent in that State as a politician, and was a candidate for the United btates 
Senatorship, but was defeated in the Legislature by only one vote. He ^n returned 
to Virginia and ran for Congress from the Eighth district and was elected as I have 
already stated. Being a true Democrat throughout his whole career, he was a ^e» 
sionist, and acted with that party in bringing about the separation of Virginia from 

the Union. 

When the war began he at once entered the army as Colonel of a regiment and 
was in almost the first battle. At Fairfax Court House a story ,s ^ upon »nm wtoch 
illustrates his courage and bravery. He knew nothing of military tactic and had had 
no experience in military affairs; so when the enemy appeared in battle ^yand 
ready for the onslaught, he had not at his command the proper word of command to 
be given in order that his regiment should be put in the proper line of attack and 
therefore discarding all military rules, he put himself at the head of his regiment he 
gave the unusual but effective order -Boys, follow me, and let's lick em . and 
away they ran towards the enemy. 

Governor Smith reached the rank of Major-General in the Confed erato army but 
in !86 3 Governor Letcher's term of office having expired he was elec ted _ to succeed 
him, and thus became the war Governor, and remained in office un U his term was 
abruptly terminated by the downfall of the Confederacy. Since thai : time the ^ov 
ernoi has served one term in the Legislature, but for the balance of the time until 
death he has remained at his home in retiracy in the enjoyment of good health 

Governor Smith was all his life a temperate man-which cannot be said of all of 
our public men. Upon one occasion, Colonel Tom August attended a levee at : the 
Govenior's Mansion" and being asked by a friend the next day how he enjoyed him- 
self replied : " First-rate ; all we did was io promenade and lemonade. 

'Governor Smith was universally beloved by the Democratic party, , » ^ ja* 

universally hated by the Whig party, for the harm *^ al f VTraverv c'ou re y 
stump-speeches did them, but they always admired him for his , b a- y co arte y 
gallantry and extraordinary talent for public speaking Indeed, his whole : ca 
ffiustrates in its effects of acquiring for him the love of his friends the ad— 
his enemies, and the esteem and appreciation of all what a character f up nghtnes^ 
courtesy, gallantry, courage and popular talents can effect. He was , the ^ at C 
moner of his day. The people loved him as one of themselves and tos etoquenc 
could control them like the wind controls the motion of the leaves He has 
from us to "the undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns and 
whatever of hatred and animosity may have existed in the hearts of any man will be 
buried in his grave. The State of Virginia will mourn for him as one o er greatos 
men. He discharged his public and private duties well, and may we not hope 
now, since " life's fitful fever is o'er, he rests peacefully over the river, under 
shade of the Tree of Life ! " R. D. W. 


We also find the following notices of the Governor, in the 
National Farm mid /^i reside, and the Baltimore Sun: 

[From ilir National Farm and Fireaide, May 28, 1887 ] 
This venerable and patriotic citizen died at his home in Warrenton, Fauquier 

county, last wok. Il< was born in King George county, September 6, 1797, and was 
therefore neai ly ninety years oi 

Me was closely connected with the political history of Virginia for forty years 
prior to the war, and was twice elected Governor ljy the people of the State who 
trusted and delighted to honor him. 

At the close ol the war, although constantly working for the best interest of the 
people when occasion required, h<- retired from participation in political life and for 
ten years past has lived quietly the life oi a farmer at his home. Although living 
beyond the allotted term ol four-score years, he was hale and active t<< the last, 
and withal a devoted patriotic citizen. We honor Governor Smith's memory because 
he practiced what he preached. Nearly seventy years of age, when the war broke 

Out, be winl into the army as he advised others to do, in defence of what lie con- 
Sidered Ins liberties and those of hia State; he was shot down, and on recovering 
again entered tin- army and was again wounded, lie recovered and entered the 
army again and remained with his command until called by the suffrages of his 
"fellow countrymen" to fill for a second term the exalted office of Governor of 
Virginia, lb- was deposed win -n the Confederacy failed and has held no public posi- 
tion Since that time eX( epl that he served one term in the Legislature. 

In the death oi Governor Smith, Virginia loses a man of large heart and great 
brain, and on.- who never tailed to do what he believed to he his duty. 

A gentleman of the old School, whose example oi patriotism should be remem- 
l'< 1 1 d and emulated. 

1 1 r..m ihr Baltimore Sun] 


Warrenton, Va., Sept. 4- Ex-Governor William Smith, of Virginia, enters his 
ninetieth year Sunday, the 6th inst. He passes Ins time industriously and pleasantly 
at his beautiful suburban home at Warrenton, Virginia, superintending his three 
hundred broad ax res, whii h stret< h oul for a mile from his home. The ex-Governor, 
although he has passed considerably the "by reason oi length oi age" oi ton: 
of Scripture, yel is only venerable in years, his speech being as emphatic, his carriage 
as prompl and erect, and his facultii 1 .: • ear as any man oi sixty. He is up at 
dawn every morning, and has always led a busy life, not overstrained with work, 
allowing nothing to depress him or n tard him in the realization Oi his plans ill life. 
This, together with a wise temperance, is the >- ■< ret ol the prolongation oi his days. 
In his age he is probably more entitled to the cognomen oi "Extra Billy "than in 
his prime, when it was .1 name l>y whi< h he was known all over the United States. 

From an early period in this century the ei Governor has been the recipient oi 
many distinguished honors from the people <>i Virginia. Twin- Governor ol the 
Stat< 1 ■ ;■•■ ■ 1 itive from Virginia in Congress foi several terms, and Majoi Gen- 
eral in the Confederate Army, w< re among the notable positions <>f trust to which he 
has been called. He volunteered at th>- commencement of the war at sixty five, 


was wounded twice, and left the field with a high record to assume his second term 
of service as Governor of Virginia. 

Only three of a large family of children are living. His only daughter pre 
over his delightful home with pleasing grace, and extends to a host of friends an 
elegant hospitality. She associates with the care of her lather's declining years a 
sad watching over the graves and memories of the Confederate dead. 

Col Thomas Smith and Capt. Frederick Smith are the only sons surviving. 
The latter lives in New Mexico, and is very prominent in that territory. < ol. I homas 
Smith is a leading lawyer of the Warrenton bar, and the recent and prospective 
Delegate in the Virginia Legislature from Loudoun and Fauquier. He was a great 
pet of Gen. Early's during the war. He had a splendid regiment, made so by h.s 
discipline It is claimed for him that he saved Early's army at Fisher's Hill, as h.s 
rejrfment never broke, and kept Early's rear intact until he could rally Ins routed 
troops. Col. Smith's commission as Brigadier-General was made out at the time ot 

the surrender. ...... .. ,, r 

James Caleb Smith, who went to California with his father, the ex-Governor in 
l8 5 died there some years afterwards a prominent citizen. Gov. Smith and h.s son 
became at once prominent leaders in the Democratic party of California. James 
Caleb Smith became involved in a duel with Senator Broderick. The duel took place 
at Sacramento and was witnessed by five thousand people ; Gov. Smith being one of 
the spectators. According to the rules of the code each were to surrender a articles 
from their pockets. Broderick, drawing his watch from his fob pocket, offering to 
surrender that if desired, but the second intimating that it was immaterial, Brodenck 
restored it to his fob. Smith put four balls through I'.roderick's watch and cut the 
chain with another. Smith was untouched and Broderick wounded in the abdomen 
which was entered by half of a ball, the other half remaining in the watch. The 
watch was hung up in a public place in Sacramento. William Smith the oldest son, 
was a midshipman in the navy and lost in the Pacific Ocean. A portrait hanging in 
his father's parlor shows him to have been a splend.d looking man. 

His son Austin Smith, was killed at Seven Pines a few days after being exchanged 
from Fort Warren, where he had been confined a political prisoner from the first 
outbreak of the war in California. He was shot soon after he appeared upon h.s 

first battle-field. 

Peter Bell Smith, a prominent member of the Warrenton bar, was accidentally 
killed soon after the war by a pistol which dropped from his hand and exploded 

The ex-Governor has been most methodical in preserving the records of his 
official life They afford material for a valuable and interesting historical work, and 
his friends entertain the hope that he may at an early day be induced to give to the 
public from his own pen a volume or more of his reminiscences. 

The following letter, written by Governor Smith in 1874, 
to the Alexandria Gazette, contains a sound and logical view 
of the evils attending elections twelve months or more before 
the expiration of the incumbent's term: 


To the Editor of the Alexandria Gazette : 

Warrenton, Va., March 26, 1874.-I notice, with surprise, in our county paper, as 
taken from yours, the announcement that a large number of gentlemen whose 
names are given, are candidates for this Congressional District now so worthily and 
ably represented by General Eppa Hunton. Among those mentioned I find my name. 
Now as I have not and do not entertain any such purpose, will you please withdraw 


my name from the crowd, to which you ascribe, to say the least of it, such premature 

It was only a few months ago that General Hunton was selected, by a Conven- 
tion of this District as our candidate for Congress, and in November last was triumph- 
antly elected ; and, already, it would seem, machinations are at work to oust him. 
What means this ? It has been the custom of Virginia to give a generous confidence 
to her public servants and to manifest it by re-elections, so long as they demeaned 
themselves in a manner becoming their respective positions ; and it will not, I am 
persuaded, be departed from in this district. We owe to this policy our great influ- 
ence in the Federal Councils in the past, securing thereby Representatives of superior 
wisdom and experience. Other States have been induced to adopt this policy to the 
great improvement of their standing and reputation, and it will never do for us to 
abandon it. 

Conventions may be, and undoubtedly are, sometimes necessary, in fixing up a 
candidate for the first time, in harmonizing a divided party upon a great question of 
Constitutional power, or upon an important measure of public policy, for instance. 
They should be the expedient, and not the rule of party organization — to be resorted to 
in exigencies and not as a matter of course in all elections. A man once selected by 
convention and elected by the people and assured of his re-election, if he deserved 
it, would devote himself to the public service, even at the sacrifice of his private 
business, and assiduously endea%'or to establish himself in the confidence of his con- 
stituents, and to win a high position in the country at large. The obligation to elect 
the nominee of a convention is regarded as imperative — surely, the re-election of 
such nominee cannot be less so, if, without any supervening objection, he unites to 
the considerations which gave him his first nomination, and increased ability to per- 
form the duties of the office. A different policy rapidly corrupts the people. We are 
told that in New York it is a regular business to get out and manage conventions, 
and to give their nominations to those who will pay the price fixed for them. How 
any good citizen can desire such a state of things here I cannot conceive ; and yet it 
is the sure and certain consequence of the general adoption of the convention 

It has been the custom of Virginia not to elect to any political office until it was 
vacant. In this way she retained her influence and control over her representative 
to the end of his term, and with a full knowledge of his record, could wisely decide^ 
as to the propriety of his re-election. But the act of Congress, which directs the elec- 
tion for Congress to take place in November, months before the expiration of the ex- 
isting term, compels the people, if they re-elect their member, to do so without his 
complete record, or if they supercede him by the election of another, then their rela- 
tion with their member must be most unpleasant ; while he, offended and indignant, 
would be too apt, for the residue of his term, to consult only his own interests. Now, 
I can see no occasion for the election taking place before the Spring, and I beg your 
influence in favor of the change. 

Most respectfully yours, 

William Smith. 

We take the liberty of making a few extracts from a letter 
from his old tried and trusted friend, Colonel Parker, of Vir- 
ginia, to . The letter speaks for itself : 

TaPPAHANNOCK, Va., November 15th, 1875. 

I pray you to excuse me for saying, that from the time Governor Smith entered 
the Senate of Virginia — upwards of thirty -five years ago — up to the close of the war 


I have been perfectly familiar with all of his public acts, and perhaps have seen and 
known more of them than any one person now living, and I can safely say, that no 
man, in or out of the State, has done more, if as much, to sustain the true principles 
of the Democratic party. Principles upon which the very existence of Republican 
Government must rest — this is now conceded by three-fourths of the American peo- 

It was a departure from these principles which led to the late civil war and all its 
misery, horrors, woes and ruin ; and has cast a pall over the whole land. And if these 
principles are not restored in 1876, the downfall of the Government must soon become 
a matter of history. 

In all the varied offices Governor Smith has held — State Senator, Governor of the 
State twice, and member of Congress for many years — he has proved himself faithful 
to his trust, faithful to the Constitution. No better evidence can be given of this than 
the fact that he has on every occasion when his name has been before the people re- 
ceived more than the vote of his party. He has always been warmly supported by 
those who know him best — his immediate neighbors. This is sufficient evidence of 
the purity of his private character. 

The late venerable Thomas Ritchie often assured me that in 1840 and 1844 we 
should have lost the State but for the extraordinary efforts of Governor Smith. It was 
carried on each of these occasions by less than 1,500 majority. 

In 1853 on the floor of the House of Representatives the writer was present and 
occupied a seat near Governor Smith and was an eye-witness to one of the greatest 
triumphs he has ever seen of one man standing alone and unaided over a combined 
attack of abolitionists and free-soilers, led on by the notorious Giddings. 

They had selected him as the object of attack. Their purpose was to destroy his 
influence. They believed he was more in their way than any man in the House. 
Ever after that they kept out of his way, and gave him a wide berth. 

With Governor Smith's military history each of you must be acquainted. Gal- 
lantly on all occasions did he fight ; freely was his own blood and that of his noble 
sons' shed for the cause he so dearly loved. One of his sons now rests in a patriot 
soldier's grave ; and he (Governor Smith) was often wounded and taken from the 
field, supposed to be mortally. He will carry to his grave on his own person the 
evidence of his bravery. 

He has grown gray and poor in the service of his country, unlike many of the 
public men of the present day 

We clip the following from a New York paper, extracted 
from a speech of Gen. Grant's, at the eleventh annual dinner 
of the Lincoln Club, which took place at Martinellis, to 
celebrate the seventy-first birthday of Abraham Lincoln. 

I never met Mr. Lincoln until I came East in March, 1864. Although when the 
war broke out in 1861 I was a citizen of the same State that our then President 
belonged to. I had never met him until I came East in 1864 to take command of all 
the armies. (Vociferous applause.) I had heard very much of him. I had heard 
very much of his fund of anecdote. I was led to suppose he was a man who passed 
his time in telling funny little stories ; in fact stories that it would hardly do to tell in 
the company of ladies and hardly in society composed entirely of gentlemen — 
(laughter). I can say this : I met him a great deal after I came East. He spent a 
good deal of time with me at City Point, and I saw him on intimate terms, and I can 
say I never heard a word from Mr. Lincoln that could not be uttered in the society of 
any lady. He had a fund of anecdote, but it was always used to illustrate a point. 


I scarcely ever heard him talk in my life, but that after he stated the case very 
clearly he did not add some little anecdote to illustrate exactly what he meant and to 
give a point to it. I will give you one of his little stories that I heard him tell as an 
indication. After the surrender at Appomattox I went to Washington to give 
necessary orders for the paroling and releasing of prisoners, and I had ordered Gen- 
eral Mead to re-march the army to Burkesville Junction, on the Richmond, Danville 
and Western Railroad. I started for Washington to stop enlistments and the expenses 
of the army. (Applause.) The Confederate Government and the State Governor of 
Virginia left Richmond about the same time, ^reat applause.) When they left 
Danville they were not pursued. They stopped for a time. I was supposed to be 
with the army, but I had gone to Washington. After I left the field and while in 
Washington, I received a telegraphic letter forwarded by Gen. Meade. The letter 
had been written by Gov. Smith, of Virginia, in which he said he was the Governor 
of the commonwealth of Virginia and as such he had temporarily taken the State 
government to Danville. He wished to know whether he would be permitted to 
carry on the functions of his office unmolested. If he was not permitted to do so, he 
wished to know whether he and his friends would be permitted to leave the country 
unmolested. (Laughter.) I referred the matter to Mr. Lincoln a few moments after- 
wards and he said : "Well ! Now I am just like my friend McGroirarty, of Spring- 
field. He was very fond of drinking. He would drink a great deal, but finally his 
friends persuaded him to join the temperance society, but he was so much in the 
habit of drinking that he would go through the motion of drinking by taking soda- 
water. (Laughter.) For two or three days he held to soda-water, but he held the 
glass behind his back and said: 'Doctor, can't you put a drop of whiskey into it 
unbeknowst to myself?' " (Great laughter.) I knew then just as well what I was to 
reply to Gov. Smith's letter as if Mr Lincoln had made a speech as long as the speech 
of ex-Senator McDonald. (Laughter and great applause.) 

The following is an extract from a beautiful address by- 
Major Taylor Scott, the orator on memorial day at Warren- 
ton, Virginia, June 4, 1887. 

I speak upon the invitation of the Lady President of the Memorial Association of 
Fauquier. Von beautiful monument is her work, its crowning glory woman's form. 
In the circling years, see to it that this day is kept ; perpetuate it as your birthright ; 
this is your Association. God made you helps meet for man and has crowned you 
with a triple crown, mother, sister, wife, three blessed names ! Wear them as your 
mothers wore them in the days that tried men's souls. They are "the peculiar 
jewels of your souls." My task is finished, my message delivered, and my work 
done. No, not yet. Why am /here? Another was expected to make this address. 
With words of wisdom and eloquent tongue he would have stirred your souls. 
Where is he ? Vesterday he walked among us an aged man. Had he been spared 
a few months longer his years would have been four-score and ten, but God's finger 
touched him and he slept, his hoary head a crowning glory. William Smith twice 
Governor of Virginia, and Fauquier's distinguished son, is dead. He was a man of 
kindly heart and gentle spirit, a man of convictions ; he had opinions and dared 
maintain them ; he was refined, courteous, brave— a knightly man. When the war 
cloud burst upon his State he was over sixty years of age. On a visit to Fairfax 
Court House, then an out-post, there was a night attack. A fateful bullet laid low 
the Captain of that post, John Quincy Marr, whose monument in yon cemetary com- 
memorates a brave man, the first blood of the war. Disorder reigned and defeat was 

Amid the darkness, the cheery, ringing voice of an old man was heard. William 
Smith took command, rallied the soldiers, and repelled the attack. He was not 


educated to arms, nor had he learned military tactics ; but he had genius, and his 
heart was in the struggle. As Colonel of the 49th Virginia Regiment, Brigadier-Gen- 
eral and Major-General, he won and wore the honors of camp and field. Wherever 
placed, William Smith fulfilled every duty, and bore himself like a Roman— no, no, 
as a Roman, but like the great Virginian, that he was! He was just and considerate 
of others, so just that the bitter rancor of political parties, as it existed forty years 
ago, did not burn against him ; but in its place was admiration for this brave old man. 
He had opponents, but no enemies ; and he did what few men, if any, before him 
ever did, lived down political enmity. The people of this town sorrow for him and 
did him homage when his body lay in their public hall, and Virginia mourned for 
him as his body lay in state in the Capitol at Richmond. Yes, "the memory of the 
just is blessed " and "the path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more 
and more unto the perfect day." Crowned with civic wreath and warrior's laurels, 
he sleeps in Richmond's city of the dead — beautiful Hollywood. 

"Sleep, soldier, sleep, thy warfare o'er ; 
Sleep the sleep that knows no breaking 
Dream of battle fields, no more 
Days of danger, nights of waking." 


On a similar occasion, at the Confederate Cemetery, at 
Culpeper, the following feeling tribute was paid to the memory 
of Governor Smith by the orator of the day : 

My Countrymen : A few days since, in the neighboring town of Warrenton, 
passed from life to eternity a grand old soldier, statesman and patriot, who had 
passed far beyond the age allotted to man, and perhaps was the Nestor of our Con- 
federacy. He voluntarily entered the army after he had passed beyond the age of 
three score years. He became commander of the invincible Forty-ninth Regiment 
of Virginia ; soon rose to the rank of commander of a division, and was then called, 
by the almost unanimous vote of the people of his native State, to become her Chief 
Magistrate for a second time. This grand old soldier was no less distinguished in 
the tented field than in the councils of the country, both State and Federal, and his 
mother State, Virginia, like the mother of the Gracchi, when asked for her jewels, 
can point to him as one of her sons. This beloved old patriot now sleeps in Holly- 
wood Cemetery, beneath the sacred sod that contains the ashes of so many of his 
gallant comrades. Whilst he lived, he was honored and revered ; and now that he is 
dead, his grave will be watered by the pious tears of a grateful people. And now, 
conscious of our incompetency to portray before you his life or rightly to delineate 
his character, we leave the task of eulogy to some more able and eloquent successor. 
For ourself, we have said the least our feelings would permit. We rejoice in the 
consciousness of knowing that as detraction cannot impair, so eulogy cannot add to 
his eternal fame. 



[From a Published Volume.] 

The noon'of life is past with thee, 
The summer time hath flown ; 

And thou art as the yellow leaf 

When autumn's blasts have blown. 

But yet undimmed thy burning eye, 

Unbent thy rugged form ; 
And thou art as the brave old oak 

Which still defies the storm. 

Oh ! warm beneath thy whitening locks 
A youthful heart still glows, 

As Hecla's quenchless fires burn on 
Beneath eternal snows. 

Thy life, old hero, was not passed 
Mid sunny bowers of ease ; 

For, like Old Ironsides, thou's braved 
The battle and the breeze. 

And thou canst look upon that life, 

Nor blush at the review ; 
Thy heart in sunshine and in storm 

Was to Virginia true. 

Thy actions now are with the past, 

All measured, numbered, weighed, 

Thy struggles like the conflict's clash, 
Which proved the battle blade. 

The passing clouds may dim the sun 

When skies are overcast ; 
But bright, far o'er our mountains blue 

He sets in light at last. 

And as that sun will oft descend 
Sublime as when he rose, 

So will thy life, when near its end, 
Sink, like him, to repose. 



The following sympathetic and affectionate tribute is from 
the pen of a chivalrous officer and brilliant man, who speaks 
with his accustomed frankness and stern sense of justice and 
truth : 

Warrenton, October 30, 1888. 
Dear Tom : 


"I have observed with great interest the efforts which you and your sister have 
made to ' Honor your Father and Mother,' and to erect some memorial of their worth 
and usefulness. That he should have a conspicuous place amongst Virginia's public 
men, whether the assemblage be one of statesmen or soldiers, is a matter of course. 
But I have been particularly struck at the happy thought of associating him with the 
maimed and neglected veterans of our grand war. To that cause the good old man 
gave his whole heart, as he offered his life, and had fortune blessed him, his hand 
would have been as open as day. 

"What a career his was ; running from the birth of the union to beyond, what I 
fondly hoped, would be its grave, and how well he bore himself in all vicissitudes. 

" You know I was born a Whig of the straightest sect, and although I entered 
life as a Disunion Democrat, I carried with me, and retained for a long time, many 
of the prejudices of my early education. 

"For many years I lived under the shadow of your father's roof, and in his 
daily presence, and was yet too dull to know him. Indeed, until the war, that great 
detective and pitiless exposer of shams, broke upon us; I had no idea what manner 
of man he was. It was not until I saw him refusing the exemptions of a seat in 
Congress, and the legitimate repose of advanced years, seeking hardships and 
dangers from which others blenched — the whitest head and the lightest heart that 
marched under the Confederate colors — did I know that a piece of as genuine metal 
as was ever forged from English loins, was beside me. You know how reverently 
and humbly I sought to atone for my misjudgment ; with what scorn I recalled the 
admiration I had wasted upon the wretched vaporers who, 'Roared so loud and 
thundered in the Index,' who proving incompetent as soldiers, sought consolation in 
carping, until mortified vanity was only appeased by defiling the cause in which they 
had failed to achieve distinction; and you will recall how pleased the old man was 
with my repentance, when I gave honor where honor was due. 

" Noble as was his bearing during the war, it did not surpass his conduct after. 

" When the whole earth seemed hung with black ; when the heavens like brass, 
echoed, not answered, our prayers ; when we were a lost people without a friend on 
the planet and life was one vast 'Sea of sorrow without one single star,' with what 
a strong heart and uplifted brow, did the old man confront fate. How often in my 
despair, have I laid my head upon his shoulder and caught hope and inspiration from 
his heart. I am consoled to think that he went to his grave under the happy delusion 
that ' the wisdom and virtue of the people ' would redeem a lost nation. 

"What a true Virginian was he, rendering her not, 
" Mouth-honor, health ; 
but his whole allegiance ; it could as truthfully be said of him as of John Randolph: 

" 'Too honest or too proud to feel, 
A love he never cherished, 

Beyond Virginia's border land 
His patriotism perished. 

Whilst others hailed in distant lands, 
The eagle's dusky pinion ; 

He only saw the royal bird, 
Stoop o'er his old Dominion.' " 


" Our post bellum intimacy revealed another trait to me. Your father was the 
poorest hater I ever knew. Although no man passed through fiercer conflicts, 
I do nol believe he carried one unhealed wound. The uniform kindness with which 
h% spoke of his adversaries, the lurking affection with which he seemed to regard 
most of them, used to amaze me. I have tempted him into talk of those whom I 
knew had done him injustice, but could never extort one bitter word. I thought 
him the most amiable man I ever knew. 

" It must be a great and proud consolation to you, that treading so many paths 
in life, he left no stain behind his footsteps. As soldier, citizen and husband, he 
won universal admiration. That every son he had has offered his life to avenge, 
even a breath, which might have sullied his name, is conclusive evidence that he 
must have been the best of fathers ; and now, after life's fitful fever is over, he 
' sleeps well,' leaving behind him all 'Which should accompany old age as honor, love, 
obedience, troops of friends.' 

• Hoping that I may soon see you restored and fixed upon 'the sacred soil,' I 
am, dear Tom, very faithfully yours, 

"William H. Payne." 

The following is from the pen of the Hon. John W. Daniel, 
now Senator of the United States, the son of the late William 
Daniel, Judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia, who was 
the son of Judge William Daniel, of the General Court of 

Governor Smith and Judge William Daniel, the younger, 
were contemporaries and co-laborers in the great cause of 
Democracy and Constitutional Government ; and the writer 
has heard Governor Smith speak with glowing admiration of 
the great power and brilliant eloquence of Judge Daniel as a 
debater on the hustings : 

Colonel Thomas Smj i h : 

My Dear Colonel. — It was very gratifying for me to learn that there is in course 
of preparation a memorial volume of your father's life, and I wish indeed that a full 
\phy of him could be written. 

He (William Smith) lived and served his State in stirring times. He was always 
in the front of her battles. His career as statesman, soldier and citizen, was distin- 
guished by the highest qualities of intellectual, patriotic and courageous manhood. 
lie was of a type of character that belonged to an era when patriotism burned 
warmly, when chivalrous virtues were highly valued, and when the conflicts of the 
forum and the field put the metal of the public men to the severest test. Representa- 
tive in Congress for several terms, twice Governor of the Commonwealth, and Gen- 
eral in the Confederate Army ; he was long conspicuously before the people, and he 

ived at their hands every honor that could attest their confidence. His devotion 
to his State, his unflinching and unchanging adherence to fundamental Democratic 
principles, his serene, firm and undaunted courage, was displayed throughout his 
public career, and these virtues of character were associated with a genial address, 
a rich fund of information, and a rare faculty of speech that made him a veritable 
tribune of the people. 

Could his memoirs be fully written they would furnish a graphic and instructive 


page of history, and supply to the rising generation the mould of a patriot and hero, 
** the like of which we shall not see again." 

The first political speech I ever heard was delivered in Lynchburg, by Gov. Smith, 
in 1856, or 1857 if I remember rightly. I was then a school boy, attracted to the 
gathering by the prevailing political excitement, but was too immature to appreciate 
his utterances. But I recall the enthusiasm created by his speech, and the picture of 
the orator and his audience is as vivid before me now as if the scene were yesterday. 

I did not see the Governor again until March 1863, when I was appointed by 
Gen. J. A. Early, Adjutant-General on his staff, and reporting at the camp near Fred- 
ericksburg, there met him as Brigadier-General Smith, commanding the Virginia 
Brigade of Early's division. 

Kind interest in young men was an attractive trait of Gov. Smith's character ; 
and I shall never forget the gracious manner with which he received me. While in 
camp in early spring, Gen. Smith was elected Governor of the State. He was then 
sixty-six years of age ; he had been severely wounded in the preceding campaign 
while stoutly defending our left at Sharpsburg, and now chosen Governor of the State, 
every circumstance tendered invitation to exemption from field service. But no man 
■ever felt less inclination toward the rear than Gov. Smith when battle lay in front ; 
and in the May following when the army of Northern Virginia moved out to meet 
Hooker's advancing columns, he was at the head of his brigade and there remained 
until the army returned to Virginia, after Gettysburg. 

It was in this campaign that I was thrown often in the company of Gen. Smith, 
and it was frequently my duty to fulfill Gen Early's orders in bearing him messages 
upon the field, and pointing out the positions which he was to occupy. He invariably 
went into battle at the head of his men, and always on horseback when topography 
permitted. To speak of him as possessing remarkable courage would be but faintly 
to express what everybody knew ; but his courage was indeed of a rare and peculiar 
order. On the edge of a fight he was as serene as a May morning ; pleasant humored ; 
full of vivacity and good cheer ; and his face betokened the confidence, and 
heartiness of a spirit never perturbed by fear or misgiving, but resolute and earnest 
to do with a will the work before it. Yet, when roused in action he was full of fire, 
energy and enthusiasm. I wish I could paint the scene before Winchester in June 
1863, when his brigade was ordered forward into line and the division was forming 
to assail Gen. Milroy's position. Gen. Early directed me to convey the order to 
Gen. Smith. Galloping to deliver it, I met Gen. Smith riding at the head of his men 
who were approaching across the field. The sun was hot, and he carried an umbrella 
over his head in one hand. He wore a citizen's hat, and an old-fashioned standing 
collar. His horse was accoutred with a pair of saddle-bags, and had nothing of the 
martial air about him. The General looked more like a Judge going to open court 
than like a Southern Brigadier, or fire-eater ; and his smiling face and urbane manners 
gave little inkling of grim-visaged war. But in a twinkling the umbrella went down ; 
forward — quickstep — ran down the column ; the horse caught the fire of his rider, 
and if one had seen Smith's brigade as they came into line in front of Milroy, he would 
have recognized instinctively that they were veterans who knew their business. And a 
glance at Gen. Smith would have shown that here was the born leader who could 
inspire men with his own calm but energetic and indomitable courage. 

A little later the same afternoon, it having been determined to make a detour 
around Milroy's right flank, Hays' and Smith's brigades were designated by Gen. 
Early to storm Fort Jackson. The movement conceived by Gen. Early, and executed 
by part of his division, was as brilliantly executed as it was brilliantly designed. 
Quietly and unobserved from the Federal side, Col. Hilary Jones' batteries and Hays' 
and Smith's brigades wound circuitously around Milroy's flank, and were posted by 
Gen. Early beneath the brow of a hill on the north-west side of the Federal fortifi- 
cation. The artillery was posted and ready to fire ; it was to open the attack and 
then the brigades were to sweep forward over an open undulating field and climb 


the ramparts. There was a dead calm before the storm ; and as the men lay under 
the brow of the hill I was thrown with Gen. Smith, and a group of staff-officers and 
couriers who rested on the grass, awaiting the command to advance. Peeping over 
the hill top we could see the Federal soldiers walking the ramparts of the fort in 
front, and looking down toward the valley south of them where skirmishing was 
going on, and where they expected battle to be delivered. For half an hour, perhaps, 
we were waiting for the word "go" — like hounds in leash — and Gen. Smith led in 
conversation. He gave us some interesting reminiscences of his career ; and what 
impressed me most deeply was his talk of his domestic life. He spoke of his wife 
and family, and of the principles, and rules of conduct that had guided him in his 
relations to them. I will not repeat his language, for it was not used for such quota- 
tion ; but the wisdom of his utterance, and its elevated affectionate tone,— the picture 
he drew of home as it should be, and of domestic peace, happiness and duty ; these 
are things that must linger in the heart of all who heard him. A beautiful and 
impressive picture indeed it was, all the brighter for its dark background. Presently, 
"Attention !" was the word— the big guns thundered — the glittering bayonets swept 
down the one hill and up the other, and over the ramparts, and the wild shout of victory 
rose over the field. Fort Jackson was carried by Hays' men — Milroy was in retreat 
down the valley, and amidst the smoke and screaming shells I saw again Smith's 
brigade coming up, the General, as usual, in front, full of the eagerness of battle. 
Tender father ; faithful husband ; devoted patriot, stout-hearted, redoubtable 
warrior, that he was — no soldier better proved that, 

"The bravest are the tenderest, 
The loving are the daring." 

At Gettysburg, Smith's brigade did hard fighting, over hard ground, near the 
extreme left of the Confederate line. They had to climb precipitous places in the 
face of a deadly fire, and I have heard the men of his brigade speak of how, on foot, 
he stood amongst them, and led them, and urged them on. This was his fashion. 
He was always with his men, and of them. They had supreme confidence in him, 
and warm affection for him, and "Come on boys" was his whole book of war. 
Untrained in any military school, or drilled by any previous experience, he had no 
knowledge of tactics. But he had Wellington's idea that "to pound the longest'* 
was the way to beat a foe; and he was always ready to pound quick, pound hard and 
pound long. 

Parting with his brigade after this campaign, Brigadier-General Smith was made 
Major-General in honor of his long and distinguished services ; an honor won at the 
bayonet's point and the cannon's mouth, and justly merited. Erelong he was installed 
in January 1864, as Governor of Virginia. 

While sitting in his office in the Capitol, Grant's guns could be heard thundering 
in the suburbs of Richmond, and as every one knows, all things Confederate were 
at a low ebb. But the Governor's house was always open to genial hospitality, and 
his calm inperturbable and cheerful courage, inspired all with whom he came in 

Richmond FELL— APPOMATTOX Came.— The remnants of the Army of Northern 
Virginia drifted through Lynchburg ; soim- going southward to join Gen. J. E. John- 
ston in North Carolina. Gov. Smith and staff came to Lynchburg, and once again I 
heard him speak there. The town was filled with soldiers who had escaped surrender 
and with refugees from all sections. Crowds gathered in the streets. Standing on the 
steps of the Presbyterian church, on Church street, the Covernor addressed a multi- 
tude. He counseled fortitude and patience, and his speech breathed the undying 
courage that inflamed his bosom. He spoke ( .f the rights of man — self-govern- 
ment — of the just government that can only exist by the consent of the governed ; 
a nd his sentences ring yet in my ears. 


But a little later, the Confederacy disappeared, and as the years rolled by and 
the horrors of reconstruction ceased, we were back in the Union. In the terrible 
ordeals of those days of confusion, disaster and distress, Gov. Smith— now the 
retired citizen— clung with tenacious love to the interests of our people. He had 
words of hope for all, and by tongue and pen he pointed the way to their renewed 
prosperity. In the legislature of the Slate, and in the public gatherings of our citi- 
zens, his voice was potent ; and to his dying hour he exhibited the keenest interest 
in public affairs, and set an example worthy to be followed. 

His true Democracy rendered the new system of civil service— miscalled, 
reform— obnoxious to him. I have time and again rejoiced to hear him denounce it, 
pointing out the evils of an official class clothed with powers of indefinite extension, 
and selected by methods in which the people have no participation. It has taken 
but little time to disclose the weakness of such a system. The people cannot long 
rule in a government in which their voice is not potential in selecting agents. Gov. 
Smith was a Democrat, like Hendricks and Thurman ; the fit companion of such men 
in intellectual discernment in thorough statesmanlike equipment, and in popular 
sympathies ; and his name deserves the reverent admiration of all who seek to pre. 
serve the monuments of popular liberty. 

The scenes of social life in which Gov. Smith was the center of a large and 
admiring circle ; the scenes of life, in camp and field, in which he was the officer 
respected and the comrade beloved ; the pleasanthumors, and wisdom of his conver- 
sation, the charm of his manners, the penetration of his mind, and the powers of his 
eloquence, are matters impossible to depict in this brief sketch, and scarce possible 
to be depicted. Gifted indeed would be the hand that could retrace them. My poor 
tribute to his memory is that of one who honored him for those sterling virtues which 
made him everywhere a power for good, and who entertained for him warm senti- 
ments of admiration and friendship. He was a great man and a good man. As a 
politician he had no superior. He attracted friendship by ingratiating manners that 
made him agreeable in every coterie. He cemented friendship by amiability and 
true sympathy for all around him, and by loyalty to every tie. He pleased his com- 
panions, because he had the good heart that loves to afford pleasure to others. He 
was a statesman of commanding figure, because he grasped principles, and stuck to 
them. He was a leader in peace and in war, because he was sagacious, fearless* 
bold, and counted no cost. Upon the hustings he was invincible. A few months 
before he died, I met him in Washington and he spoke of his declining health, not 
sorrowfully nor sadly, but as one who felt the shadows lengthening and darkening on 
his pathway; and he added, the maxim of my life has been " to entertain[no opinion 
that I would not avow, and avow nothing that I would not vindicate." This was indeed 
his guiding star ; and if I were to sum up my conception of Gov. Smith in a single 
word, I would say that manliness was his great quality. He had the robust common 
sense, practical intellect of a strong man. He had the cheerful well-tempered dis- 
position of a good man. He had the public spirit, and enlightened mind of the patri- 
otic man. He had the lion-like courage of the brave man. He was a Virginian, to 
use his own frequent expression inlus et incute with the chivalrous instincts 
and manly virtues that savored of the times he lived in, of the atmosphere he 
breathed, and the soil from which he sprung. 

Long will his memory be green in the hearts of those who knew him, and long 
and high shall his name shine on the roll of the wise and valiant who have loved 
and served the State. Would that his biography could be written, and placed in the 
hands of every young man in the land. In it he would find the happy home of the 
revered husband and father, and the good neighbor, the field of honor that will not 
brook a stain ; the love of country that inspires sacrifice and secures freedom ; 
and the lesson of earnest energy and aspiration that climb upward by dint of true 


I do not deem it irrelevant to insert the following; vindica- 
tion of the memory of Colonel Austin Smith, written by a 
comrade in arms, from a wanton calumny : 


To the Editor of the Charleston News and Courier : 

An item appeared in your paper to-day under the heading " Cream of 
the Mails," in which the following statement is made in reference to Col. Austin 
Smith, son of the late ex-Governor Smith, of Virginia. "Austin Smith, the great 
bowie-knife lighter, was killed at the battle of Seven Pines." Please allow me to cor- 
rect this mistake. Col. Smith was killed at the battle of Gaines Farm the second of 
the seven days around Richmond. He was on General Whiting's staff, whose divi- 
sion led the advance of Jackson's corps in the attack on McClellan's rear and whose 
charge broke through Fitz John Porter's lines of defence on Friday afternoon and 
dislodged him, though I observe that one of our doughty generals has recently tried 
to claim his laurels. A more courteous or kindly gentleman than Col. Smith I never 
knew. As an instance of his considerate kindness, I may mention the following: I 
was a private in the Hampton Legion Cavalry and a courier with General Whiting 
when Col. Smith was killed. On the night before I reached our bivouac at Topotony 
Creek at dark, without a blanket — Col. Smith observing it, insisted on sharing his 
with me, and we slept together, heads in saddle, until four o'clock in the morning, 
when his servant led up his favorite horse, a light dappled grey, a magnificent animal, 
dead lame. After examaning him he told the servant to saddle another horse, and 
turning to me, with a disturbed look, said: "Farley, that's a bad omen; I will be 
killed to-day." "Oh no, " I said ;" on the contrary, I think it fortunate you can't 
ride the grey to-day ; on him you would have been a conspicuous mark for every 
sharp-shooter; you will be safer on the other horse." But, alas! his premonition 
was verified. That day the gallant gentleman fell, shot through the shoulder, and 
died before the morning of the next clay, lamented by everybody who knew him. 
Of him might we truly say with Sir Ector : " He was the meekest man and the gentlest 
that ever ate in hall with ladies, and he was the sternest knight to his mortal foe that 
ever put lance in rest" 

Charleston, S. C, May 26. John S. Farley. 


Asa final tribute of love to her dead son, Virginia stamps 
his crave with her own seal. 

Mr. Heaton said the Secretary of the Commonwealth had some doubt as to his 
right to allow Miss Smith to use the State's seal on the monument to be erected over 
her father's grave in Hollywood. 


Mr. Heaton introduced the following, which was adopted : 

Resolved (the House of Delegates concurring), That Miss Mary Amelia Smith be, 
and she is hereby, authorized and permitted to place a copy of the seal of the Com- 
monwealth in such material as she may choose on the memorial stone to be erected over 
the grave of her father, the late William Smith, twice Governor of Virginia; and the 
Secretary of the Commonwealth is hereby directed to furnish her with a copy of the 
seal of the Commonwealth to be used in the execution of said purpose. 

(The great men of the revolution, in their first meeting in congress, 
on the 5th September, 1774, and in their proceedings till the 26th 
October, when " the congress then dissolved itself ;" did not merely 
declare in their resolutions and letters, on what ground they stood 
in asserting the rights of the people and colonies, but pointed to it 
as their rallying point, To the journal published by their order, and 
verified by the autograph of their secretary, is prefixed, in the title 
page, a medallion of which, the following is a fac simile. 

The magna charta of England, was the pedestal on which the co- 
lumn and cap of liberty was raised, supported by the twelve colo- 
nies, assembled by their delegates ; declaring that "on this we rely," 
" this ice will defend.") 


Forsan et hcec ohm Meminisse Juvabit. 



In embracing the amount of matter which appears in the 
appendix to this volume, it is not for the purpose of adding 
to the history or magnifying the importance of one of Vir- 
ginia's most distinguished sons. 

The subject of these Memoirs filled a large space in the 
public eye for near half a century. For forty years from 1836 
to 1876, he was an active and distinguished participant in the 
politics of the State, in Federal Legislation and State Gov- 
ernment. Hence any iteration, generated by the ardor of 
biographical enthusiasm, may be excused. 

In the beginning of his legislative life as State Senator of 
Virginia, when that branch of the legislature was filled with 
the ablest statesmen of that period, when and where political 
animosities and party acrimony were, as at the present time, 
too ready to sacrifice the " best interests of the Republic," to 
factious political ambition, Mr. Smith was regarded as the first 
among the foremost, in upholding the Constitution and the 
laws as formed and construed by the fathers. 

It is his political record that the author esteems with greater 
admiration than that of any other period of his public life. 
That record is part of the brilliant history of Virginia. He 
now remembers when in the grand old days of this then 
proud and unmutilated Commonwealth, great questions of 
government and political economy were discussed by master 
minds. In the bank, tariff, internal improvements by the gen- 
eral government and other issues, Mr. Smith boldly and fear- 
lessly stood forth as the great champion of Democracy and 
popular rights. 


He remembers when and how, with burning eloquence and 
passionate oratory, he dauntlessly maintained the affirmative 
of the proposition whether a bank charter could be repealed, 
before it had expired by its own limitation, when it had failed 
to comply with the purposes of its own creation and serve the 
great objects of government and the people ; when he in- 
trepidly opposed all monopolies and charters of incorpora- 
tion except where administered in the interests of the great 
masses ; — all high tariffs and taxation and custom duties, ex- 
cept for the bear support of government ; and manfully 
struggled for economy and retrenchment in every department 
of the government, National and State. Upon these vital 
questions, no leader ever possessed a wider popularity. As 
Pitt, in England, O'Connell, in Ireland, and Clay, in Kentucky, 
so Mr. Smith was known as the great Commoner of Vir- 

When the Whig gentry were roaring themselves hoarse 
for bank tariff, and internal improvements ; for distribution 
of the proceeds of the sales of the public lands, and the 
assumption of the debt of the State by the Federal Govern- 
ment, Mr. Smith denounced them from the hustings as worth- 
less, profligate and unconstitutional — when the whole Whig 
party went mad with hatred of the Democrats, Mr. Smith 
haughtily declared his esteem for the masses ; and the fire and 
grandeur of his eloquence gave him a sway over the people 
and attached them to him in a far greater degree than to any 
other man in the State ; and though a determined and bitter 
partisan, he never stooped to the devices and chicane by which 
men form a political part) - . 

His real strength laid not in the legislature or in congress, 
or with a few, but in the "great people." as he was always 
wont to call them. He was in very truth, a representative 
man — the intense embodiment of Democratic principles. 

With the depth of conviction and love of the people, coupled 
with his hearty self-assumption, his cool audacity and perfect 
self-possession, his indomitable energy and lofty vehemence, 
enabled him to contend with the first men of the State — with 
Rives and Gov. Barbour, Botts and Wise. Pendleton and 


Lyons, Stuart and Baldwin, and others, and acquire a power 
and command over the people, exciting the jealousy of friends 
and hatred of foes. 

The author deeply regrets that from quite a volume of let- 
ter press correspondence, he has found so few legible enough 
to be utilized in this work. 

"Eminent Virginians, 

From Special Virginia Edition of Hardesty's Historical and Geographical 
Encyclopedia, written by R. A. Brock, Secretary of the Virginia Historical 

To the distinguished representative of the name of Smith 
in the annals of Virginia some reference has been made in a 
preceding sketch in this serial. Doubtless the paternal an- 
cestor of the subject of this biography was settled in the 
colony early in the Seventeenth Century, but it is proposed 
to deduce first, her descent maternally which is more defi- 
nitely preserved. Alexander Doniphan,* a native of Spain 
whose name was thus anglicized a Protestant, migrated to 
England for religious freedom, and thence to Virginia, where 
he married, some time before the year 1692, an heiress, Mar- 
garet, daughter of George Mott, a native of Scotland, and 
thus came into possession of a large landed estate of nearly 
18,000 acres, located in the Northern Neck. He settled in 
that part which was subsequently erected into King George 
County, and died in 17 16, leaving three sons and three 
daughters, as follows : Mott (the ancestor of the distinguished 
and venerable General O. W. Doniphan, United States 
Army). Alexander, Margaret, Elizabeth, Anne and Robert. 
The second son, Alexander Doniphan married twice ; first 
Mary Waugh, and secondly Catharine Dobbins. Of his issue 
by the first marriage was a daughter, Elizabeth, born April 12, 
1744 ; died January 15, 1809, married in 1773 William Smith, 
son of Joseph and Kitty (Anderson) Smithf born February 5, 

•The tradition held by Alexander Doniphan's descendants is that he was of noble Castilian blood and had 
been knighted for galantry on the field of battle. The parchment patent of his rank, it is said, was carried to 
Kentucky by his great-grandson, Dr. Anderson Doniphan in 1792, and is believed to be in the possession of his 
present representatives. 

tThe descent of William Smith as preserved by his descendants was as follows : During the reign o f 
George I, Sir Walter Anderson, a native of Wales, and an officer in the British Navy, and Sir Sidney Smith, a 
native of England, settled in Richmond County, Virginia ; and Joseph Smith, a son of the last married Kitty, 
daughter of Sir William Anderson. Another daughter, Anne Anderson married Matt Doniphan, son of the 
emigrant settler, Alexander Doniphan. Walter Anderson received from Lord Fairfax a grant of 818 acres of 
and on Carters Run, west side of the Rappahanock River and another of 395 acres in June, 1726. 


1 74 1 ; died January 22 1803, of their issue of four daughters 
and three sons, the eldest, Mary Waugh, born January 1, 
1775 ; died September i5, 181 1, married December 18, 1794, 
William (son of Thomas) Smith, born in 1761 and died in 
November 18 14. They had issue : 

I. Eliza, born September 25, 1795; died August 14, 1797. 

II. William, the subject of this sketch, born September 6, 1797. 

III. Thomas, born November 15, 1799; married Ann Maria Goodwin, of Caroline 
County; died April 4, 1847. He studied law with his brother William, and prac- 
ticed for a time with exceptional success, but later entered the ministry of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church. By his unwearying exertions he caused the erec- 
tion of the handsome Gothic church in Parkensburg, West Virginia. Had issue 
six sons, and four daughters, of the former Thomas G., who is married resides 
with his family in Parkensburg. Another son, Caleb, was reading law when 
the war with Mexico broke out. He enlisted, served with distinction, and was 
made a lieutenant of the United States Artillery. In 1861 he joined the 49th 
Virginia Regiment, was made major, and was wounded and permanently dis- 
abled in the first battle of Manassas; died December 22, 1874. 

IV. Mary Frances, born January 9, 1802; married December 14, 1820, Professor Alex- 
ander Keech, President of Potomac Academy, Maryland, who was offered by 
Mr. Jefferson a professorship in the University of Virginia. 

V. Catharine Elizabeth, born April 10, 1804; married December 7, 1826, John A. 

Blackford, and died December 4, 1844. 

VI. Martha, born July 24, 1806; married William Bell (died July 1, 1874) brother of 
the wife of Governor Smith. 

VII. James Madison, born March 15, 1808; married first Mary Bell (sister of the wife 
of Governor Smith); secondly May 22, 1845, his cousin Martha Smith Boutwell; 
died December 15, 1853 at Dora Ana, New Mexico, on his way to take charge of 
an Indian Agency, to which he had been appointed by President Pierce. 

VIII. Anna Maria, born December 3, 1809; married January 17, 1833, Reverend 
Richard Johnson, of South Carolina, of the Episcopal Church, who was attached 
to Hampton's Legion during the war for the rights of the States, and gained by 
his gallantry the sobriquet of " The Fighting Parson." He died February 7, 
1872. Only two sons, living respectively, in South Carolina and Georgia, surviv- 
ors of their issue. 

William Smith, the subject of this sketch, entered at the 
age of seven years, the old-field school of his native count}-. 
King George, and some years later received tuition in 
Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he resided in the family of 
Judge John Williams Green. In 181 1 he was sent to Plain- 
field, Conn., to continue his studies at the Academy Jabez W. 
Huntington, subsequently United States Senator. Here he 
made considerable progress in the study of Latin and Greek ; 
but the war with Great Britain breaking out in June 181 2, 
young William caught the patriotic fire of the period and 
wished to enter the naval service. Having written his father 


to procure him a midshipman's appointment, the latter deemed 
it prudent to call his ardent son home. He now for a time 
enjoyed a private tuition ; but upon the death of his father, in 
November 1 8 14, he was sent to the classical school of the 
Reverend Thomas Nelson at " Wingfield," Hanover County. 
Mr. Nelson was a highly successful teacher for a long series 
of years, and many of his pupils distinguished themselves in 
science and legislation. Young Smith continued with Mr. 
Nelson until the age of eighteen, when he entered upon the 
study of law, first with Green & Williams, at Fredericksburg, 
then with J. L. Moore, in Warrenton, and finally for a brief 
period in the office of General William H. Winder, in Balti- 
more, Maryland. Having passed an examination by Judge 
Hugh Holmes, Robert White, and John W. Green, he was 
licensed to practice law, and qualified in the Circuit and County 
Courts of Culpeper Co., in Aug. 1819. His talents, energy and 
fidelity speedily gained him success in his profession. An ardent 
Democrat in politics, the ability of Mr. Smith was soon ex- 
tensively in request by his party. He responded cheerfully to 
its calls, though at personal sacrifice, and presistently declined 
all political preferment for a long period. In 1836, when in 
his 39th year, he consented to become a candidate for the 
State Senate, to which he was elected and served throug-h the 
term of four years. He was re-elected to this body, but re- 
signed after serving one season. In the Presidental campaign 
of 1840 Mr. Smith canvassed the state in the interest of his 
party, and in his triumphant advocacy of its principles, greatly 
enhanced and firmly established his reputation as a public 
speaker, and his hold upon the Democratic masses. 

Early in the career of Mr. Smith as a lawyer, he had been 
impressed with the illy-provided mail service of Culpeper 
County, and determined to improve such facilities. In 1827 
he obtained a contract for carrying the mails once a week 
from Fairfax Court House to Warrenton, and thence to Cul- 
peper Court House. He renewed this contract in 1831. 
With this small beginning he, in four years built up a daily 
four-horse post-coach line from Washington City to Milledge- 
ville, Georgia. In 1834 a violent attack was made upon the 


administration of the Post Office Department, W.J.Barry be- 
ing the Postmaster-General. In the rapid development of the 
postal facilities of the Southern country, the expenditures of 
the department were largely increased. In the Blue Book, 
or official register of the United States Government, the 
salaries or compensation of its officers or contractors appear 
in connection with their names ; and in the case of the con- 
tractors compensation for instances of additional services 
ordered to be performed is indicated by an asterisk. Every 
extra allowance beyond the stipulations of the original con- 
tract was thus designated. As the route of Mr. Smith was 
one of rapid development his entries of service were abund- 
antly thus marked. The circumstance was noticed in debate 
by Senator Benjamin Watkins Leigh, from Virginia, who 
without calling the name of Mr. Smith, had affixed upon him 
the life-long sobriquet of " Extra Billy." Mr. Smith ob- 
tained, January i, 1835, the mail contract by steamboat and 
coach line between Washington and Richmond. The pre- 
vious contractors, Messrs. Edmond Davenport & Co., of the 
latter place, started a passenger line in opposition, and for a 
few months there was a spirited competition, which is trans- 
mitted in tradition of free passage, and finally of the addi- 
tional gratuitous inducement of a bottle of wine. It was 
ended by the transfer, for a consideration, of the contract to 
the former contractors. During this contest, in the month of 
February, Mr. Smith was seized in Fredericksburg, Virginia, 
with a violent attack of inflammatory rheumatism, which con- 
fined him to his bed, incapable of movement without assist- 
ance. Early in March whilst still prostrated, and at a time 
when the ground was covered with snow intelligence was 
brought him, that three of his coaches had been overturned 
in the Rappahanock River which was very much swollen in 
volume. Under the stimulant of strong excitement, he de- 
manded that he should be taken from his bed, dressed, and 
placed upon his riding horse, and would take no denial. 
This was with much difficulty, and great pain to himself ac- 
complished. Urging the horse to full speed, he speedily 
reached the river, plunged into the foaming flood, and ordered 


his drivers to his assistance. Reaching the coaches, and real- 
izing that the intense excitement, and the exercise had re- 
stored him to the use of himself, he dismounted into the water, 
and by his active example the coaches were promptly up- 
righted and started upon their route. The rheumatism was 
dispelled, not to return again. 

The resolution of Mr. Smith was strikingly exhibited 
on another occasion. Being deprived unexpectedly of 
the services of the captain and pilot of the steamboat 
which he ran between Baltimore and Norfolk, he un- 
dauntedly took command of the vessel, and charge of the 
wheel himself, and successfully, in a fierce storm on the 
bay, reached port in advance of the rival steamer. " Cham- 
pion " was the appropriate name of the boat so bravely and 
fortunately directed in this instance. Such energetic purpose 
merited the fullest pecuniary success — but it was unfortunately 
otherwise. The attention of Mr. Smith being: divided be- 
tween politics, his profession and his contracts, subjected him 
to the peculation of his agents, and financial disaster was the 
result. In 1841, Mr. Smith was elected to Congress over the 
Hon. Lynn Banks and served in that body until 1843. In 
December, 1845, he was elected Governor of Virginia, succeed- 
ing James McDowell, January 1, 1846. During his term he 
was nominated by the Democratic caucus for the United 
States Senate, which was accepted by the people as equivo- 
lent to an election, but a small minority of his party, disciples 
of the theories of Mr. Calhoun, broke ranks, coalesced with 
the Whigs, and after a protracted struggle and the withdrawal 
of Mr. Smith's name by his direction, accomplished the elec- 
tion of Hon. R. M. T. Hunter. In i85o Governor Smith de- 
termined to go to California, where two of his son's were re- 
siding. He arrived in San Francisco in May and engaged in 
the practice of his profession with much success. His first 
considerable fee was $3,000 for examination into the cele- 
brated Suter title. California was admitted into the Union 
September 9, i85o. 

Governor Smith was returned by San Francisco as its dele- 
gate to the Constitutional Convention which met at Benicia 


in the autumn of 1850, and was unanimously elected perma- 
nent President of the body. In the State Assembly which 
convened soon after, Governor Smith was nominated for 
United States Senator — but cherishing a passionate love for 
his native state — and never having contemplated forfeiting his 
citizenship as her son, he would not permit his name to be 
submitted for election. When, on the 1st of December, 1852, 
Governor Smith determined to return to Virginia, such had 
been his success from his practice that he left in San Francisco 
property acquired therefrom, which yielded him an annual 
rental of $18,000. Upon reaching Virginia, Governor Smith 
found the people of the State much agitated about a redivision 
into Congressional districts, rendered necessary by the cen- 
sus of 1850, before the legislature then in session, performed 
this duty. Under the new apportionment Governor Smith 
was elected to Congress in May, 1853, and served in'this body 
by successive re-election until March 4, 1861. Returning 
home, he was prostrated by sickness and confined to his room 
for two months. In the meanwhile, the initial movement of 
our recent lamentable Civil War had been instituted. Gov- 
ernor Smith feeling that the struggle on the part of the South 
" would need the employment ef every element of its 
strength " in the contest, was impelled by a sense of duty to 
enter the army, though in the sixty-fourth year of his age, 
and " wholly ignorant of drill and tactics." He therefore 
offered his services to Governor Letcher, who promptly ac- 
cepted them and tendered him a commission as Brigadier- 
General, but Governor Smith realizing the responsibilities of 
such a position, being unwilling to assume them until qualified 
by experience, declined such a rank and accepted a Colonelcy, 
and was assigned to the command of the 49th Regiment of 
Virginia Infantry, then being organized, and containing three 
companies only, with which it inaugurated its subsequent long 
and brilliant career, by a gallant participation in the first bat- 
tle of Manassas. Its first commander thus warmly testifies to 
its valorous worth : " I will say that, in the numerous bloody 
fights in which it was engaged, it never broke in battle, or 
c^ave me the slightest uneasiness or concern as to its conduct." 


During the summer and autumn, it remained in camp at Man- 
assa, completing - its organization and being perfected in drill. 
During this period Colonel Smith, at the solicitation of his 
friends, announced himself as a candidate for the Confederate 
States Congress, and was elected without having made a can- 
vass. He attended this body when it convened at Richmond, 
in February, 1862, leaving his regiment in charge of his Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel. Upon the adjournment of Congress, April 16, 
he rejoined his command. At the reorganization of the 
regiment, May 1st, he was re-elected its Colonel, upon which 
he resigned his seat in Congress. He participated with his 
command in the operations on the Peninsula, about York- 
town, and in those later, near Richmond. In the battle of the 
Seven Pines the loss of the regiment was fifty-five per cent* 
of its number. Of its service here, Colonel Smith narrates : 
" Anderson's brigade, of which my regiment was a part, was 
ordered to keep on the left of the Williamsburg road, and ' to 
the front, forward march,' was the only order I received dur- 
ing the fight of some hours. In obeying this order we had to 
encounter a formidable abattis, consisting of heavy timber, 
felled at least six miles in extent, in which was a row of rifle pits 
and also on the Williamsburg road, a formidable earth-work — 
the whole occupied by an enemy whom we could not see until 
we came into close proximity. It was on this occasion, upon 
the complaint of my men, that they could not see the foe, 
that I gave the order to ' flush the game,' " which excited so 
much humorous newspaper comment. Colonel Smith effec- 
tively participated in the battle of Sharpsburg, Maryland, on 
the 17th of September, 1862, the 49th constituting the right of 
the line on that memorable engagement. Colonel Smith was 
here severely wounded. One of his wounds, through the 
shoulder, it was feared would prove fatal. Before his wounds 
were healed he returned to the field in 1863, having been 
promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General, and took com- 
mand of the 4th Brigade, then lying at Hamilton's Crossing, 
near Fredericksburg, Virginia. He now announced himself as 
a candidate for Governor of Virginia, and was elected to this 
office by a large majority, in May. Early in August, 1863, he 


was promoted to the rank of Major-General, which he sought 
not, but prized " as an evidence of appreciation," to use his 
own language. 

He entered upon his duties as Governor, January i, 1864. 
He found that local defence was greatly needed, from fre- 
quent raids with which the Capital was menaced by the 
enemy. He accordingly organized two regiments for this 
purpose from those, who by reason of disability, as foreigners 
or contractors, or by age or non-age, were exempt from duty 
in the regular service. To each of these regiments was at- 
tached a company of cavalry. When called to the defence of 
the city lines, Governor Smith always assumed command of 
them, and the service thus rendered was in several exigencies 
highly important. Another great want in the State was sup- 
plies of every description — food for man and beast. Towards 
this provision Governor Smith assumed the authority to em- 
ploy as a purchasing fund, the sum of $1 10,000, which he drew 
in part from the State Contingent fund, and borrowed the re- 
mainder from the State banks. He commissioned agents, 
some of whom were supplied with cotton, with which to se- 
cure, through the blockade, such supplies as could be obtained 
from abroad only ; others, procured from the South, corn, rice 
and other needful supplies. The measure was signally suc- 
cessful and profitable to the State, as an advance of ten per 
cent, was charged upon the cost to cover transportation 
and contingent expenses, whilst the public was protected from 
speculators' extortion. It greatly assisted the Confederate 
Commissaries in time of need, and upon the conclusion of 
the war, the Confederacy was indebted to the State in the sum 
of 5300,000 for such supplies. 

Upon the evacuation of Richmond, April 3, 1 865, Governor 
Smith determined to remove the seat of government to 
Lynchburg. General Lee surrendering to Grant three day's 
after his arrival in that city, he determined to follow the for- 
tunes of the Confederate Government to Danville, Virginia ; 
but here again rapidly maturing events frustrated his hopes. 
Realizing that further residence was hopeless, he returned to 
the vicinity of Richmond, communicated with the officer com- 


manding in that city and, though there was an outstanding 
reward of $25,000 for his apprehension, demanded and re- 
ceived his parole, and returned to his home in Fauquier 
County. Governor Smith exulted in the fidelity of the people 
of his State to themselves and him, in that not one among 
them, despite their ruin, was bribed into the betrayal of him — 
and proudly and eloquently recited the evidences of their 
interest in and concern about him during his tour among them 
as their Governor — carrying in his person the only State 
Government they recognized. 

It is a grand commentary upon the people that not even a 
thought, discovered by action, was entertained by them of 
securing this tempting sum of $2 5, 000, by the capture and de- 
livery of their dethroned Executive to his enemies. 

Governor Smith has, since the war, resided in Warrenton, 
Virginia, devoted to agricultural pursuits. He married, in 
1 82 1, Miss Bell, with whom he lived for the long period of 
fifty-eight years. He was bereaved of his cherished companion 
January 7, 1879. They had issue : 

I. William Henry: Entered the United States Navy as a midshipman; obtaining 

leave of absence in 1850, entered into a private maritime enterprise between 
California and China, and was lost at sea in that year somewhere off the Sand- 
wich Islands. 

II. James Caleb: Was a licensed lawyer, and removing to California, was appointed 

a Judge of the Supreme Court of San Francisco, which position he held at will, 
became a member of the California Assembly, and subsequently associated him- 
self with a great Land Company in Central America, of which he was chosen Presi- 
dent, and in the service of which, he died at New Grenada, of fever. 

III. Mary Amelia: Unmarried and resides with her father. 

IV. Austin E: A lawyer by profession, and practitioner at Fauquier and adjoining 
counties; in February 1853 removed to San Francisco, California; appointed by 
President Buchanan naval officer of that port; resigned in 1861 to share the fate 
of his native State, and on his way to Washington to settle his accounts was 
arrested and held as a prisoner of war. Offered his release upon condition that 
he would return to California, which he indignantly rejected; his exchange being 
accomplished by the efforts of his father, he entered the Confederate States Army 
as an aid on the staff of Major-General Whiting, and received his death wound at 
the battle of Gaines' Mill, whilst enthusiastically leading a charge. 

V. Ellen— Catharine VI. Catharine and VII. John Bell, all died in infancy. 

VIII. Thomas: Graduated A. M. from William and Mary College; after attending a 
law course of two years at the University of Virginia, during which he was pre- 
vented from graduating by a protracted attack of typhoid fever, at the time an 
epidemic at this institution, he settled in Charleston, West Virginia; served as a 
private in the beginning of the late war as member of the Kanawha Rifles; ap- 
pointed Major of the 36th Virginia Regiment at its organization in 1861. Com- 
manded it at Fort Donelson, captured a battery of the enemy under special 


orders, armed his regiment with Enfield rifles taken from the enemy and success- 
fully withdrew his command from the Fort during the negotiations for its surren- 
der, was promoted to the rank of Colonel and gallantly commanded his regiment, 
until the transfer of the senior officer of the brigade, when Colonel Smith became 
Brigade Commander, was recommended for promotion as Brigadier; his com- 
mission was duly issued just before the evacuation of Richmond. Since the 
war's close he has pursued the practice of his profession, in the main, in Fau- 
quier County, of which he was elected Judge by the Legislature, and which 
he at present efficiently represents in the House of Delegates. 

IX. P. Bell: Graduated A. M. from William and Mary College, and A. B. University of 
Virginia. In 1859 commenced the practice of law at Warrenton, Virginia. Hav- 
ing lost an arm by a fall from a tree in his youth he was disabled from service in 
the Confederate Army, and chafed under the misfortune; served in 1864 as Gov- 
ernor's aid to his father, whose fortunes he loyally followed through all the 
hazards of his retreat; died from a wound received from the explosion of a pistol 
that slipped from his hand. 

X. Littleton Moore: Died in his youth. 

XI. Frederick Waugh: Volunteer when but a boy in the 49th Virginia Regiment; 
was appointed its Sergeant-Major— became staff officer with rank of Lieutenant; 
was wounded at the battle of Fredericksburg, was made Captain and served with 
1 General McCausland; subsequently attached himself to the command of Colonel 
John S. Mosby; with which he remained to the close of the war, and until its dis- 
bandment near Richmond, upon the surrender of Johnston's army; was advanced 
to a Major before the fall of Richmond, for service on the staff. Is married and 
now living in Arizona Territory. 

Governor Smith retains, in a remarkable degree, his faculties 
entire, mental and physical. His erect and alert carriage 
misleads one as to his age. He is still a most efficient 
speaker, as his present earnest advocacy in public of the 
cause of temperance fully evidences. There is a fine portrait 
of him in the State Library at Richmond. 


By General William Smith. 

Skirmish at Fairfax C. IL, May 31st, 1S61. 

[None who knew him could fail to admire the enthusiastic courage with which 
Governor Wm. Smith, of Virginia, threw himself into the thickest of the fight for 
Southern independence, and gave an axample of patience under hardships which 
younger men might well have emulated. Now in his eighty tilth year ; but with the 
clear intellect and retentive memory of his vigorous manhood, he proposes to write 
us some- of his personal reminiscences of the great struggle. 

The following paper on the skirmish at Fairfax Courthouse, will be followed by one 
on the first battle of Manassas. We are sure our readers will thank us for these inter- 
esting sketches by this gallant old hero.] 

On the night of the 31st of May, 1861, Lieutenant-Colonel Kwell (subsequently 
Geneial Kwell), just out of the Federal lines, in which he was Captain of cavalry, 
was in command, and had been for two weeks, of the Confederate forces at Fairfax 

^Kv.^VaO^ t^W\^ ^vv3ijkvs\vv0sr 



Courthouse. This was a small village of some 300 inhabitants, and was the county- 
seat of the noted county of Fairfax. The village was built, principally, on the Little 
River turnpike, and at a point thereon fourteen miles from the city of Alexandria. 
The turnpike was used as the main street of the village, and was its only avenue to 
the west. The most important buildings of the village were the court-house and its 
appurtenances, including a lot of several acres, well enclosed, and on the northern 
side, with a high-boarded fence ; and the hotel and its appurtenances and enclosure. 
These buildings were opposite each other — the court-house on the south and the 
hotel on the north side of the turnpike. The court-house lot was not only well 
-enclosed, but was also surrounded with streets — first, the turnpike, on the north side, 
as before stated ; second, a street on the west side, leading from the turnpike into 
Stevenson's farm and there, at an intersecting point, running due east with the court- 
house lot to its intersection with the street, binding said lot in its eastern side and 
running from the hotel south 230 steps to the Methodist church, and thenoe to Fairfax 
station. I mention these facts with more particularity, as it will assist the reader to 
understand what follows. I proceed now to add, for the same purpose, that Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Ewell's quarters were at the hotel ; that Captain Thornton's company 
of cavalry, of about sixty men, were on the same side of the street with the hotel, 
the horses in the stable of the hotel, and the men in a church a short distance further 
west. Captain Green's cavalry company, also about sixty strong, was quartered in 
the court-house lot, the horses picketed in the lot, and the men sleeping in the court- 
house. Captain Marr's company of rifles, about ninety strong, was quartered in 
the Methodist church, which, as I have said, was 230 steps from the hotel. This 
company had only arrived that day (the 31st), and had not seen Colonel Ewell, nor 
been seen by him, he being out on a scout. 

Captain Marr, after making his company comfortable in their new quarters, sent out 
a picket of two men on the Falls Church road, the only approach it was deemed necessary 
to guard. I arrived at Fairfax Courthouse about 5 P. M. of the same day, on a visit 
to Marr's company, which being raised in my neighborhood, although known as the 
Warrenton Rifles, I designated them as "my boys." After seeing them at their 
quarters and spending a pleasant hour with them, and after a gratifying interview 
with Colonel Ewell (whom I knew well, but had not seen for many years), and many 
-other friends, for the little village was quite crowded, I retired with Joshua Gunnell, Esq., 
to the comfortable quarters he had kindly tendered me at his house. This brought 
me within about one hundred yards of Marr's command. I shall be pardoned, I 
trust, for introducing my name into this statement of the situation, but the circum- 
stances will excuse, if not make it necessary, I should have done so. The only 
■companies then at Fairfax Courthouse, on the night of the 31st of May, were those I 
have mentioned. They had seen no service, and were entirely undisciplined. The 
cavalry companies were badly armed, and Colonel Ewell in his official account of the 
affair which subsequently occurred, says: "The two cavalry companies (Rappa- 
hannock and Prince William) had very few fire arms and no ammunition, and took no 
part in the affair." So here is the tittmber and character of our entire force on the Jist of 
May, 186 1, and the only force in any way concerned in the affair of the next morning. 

In this state of things, the enemy having determined on a scout, I have concluded 
'to let Lieutenant Tompkins, commanding, speak for himself by publishing his official 
report : 

"Camp Union, Virginia, June 1, 1861. 

Sir: — I have the honor to report, pursuant to verbal instructions received from 
Colonel-Commanding, that I left this camp on the evening of 31st of May in com- 
mand of a detachment of Company B, Second Cavalry, consisting of fifty men, with 
Lieutenant David S. Gordon, Second Dragoons, temporarily attached for the pur- 
pose of reconnoitering the country in the vicinity of Fairfax Courthouse. Upon 
approaching the town the picket guard was surprised and captured. Several docu- 


ments were found upon their persons, which I herewith inclose. On entering' the 
town of Fairfax my command was fired upon by the Rebel troops from the windows 
and house-tops. Charged on a company of mounted rifles and succeeded in driving 
them from the town. Immediately two or three additional companies came up to 
their relief, who immediately commenced firing upon us, which fire I again rturned. 
Perceiving that I was largely outnumbered, I deemed it advisable to retreat, which I 
did in good order, taking five prisoners, fully armed and equipped, and two horses. 
Nine horses were lost during the engagement and four wounded. 

"The force actually engaged at the commencement of the engagement were two 
companies of cavalry and one rifle company, but reinforcements coming in from 
camps adjoining the Courthouse, which I learn from reliable authority, increased 
their force to upwards of 1,000 men. Twenty-five of the enemy were killed and 
wounded. Captains Cary, Fearing and Adjutant Frank, of the Fifth New York State 
Militia accompanied the command as volunteers, and did very effective service. I 
regret to state that Captain Cary was wounded in the foot." 

(The concluding paragraph of Lieutenant Tompkins's official report is omitted 
as unnecessary.) 

The following report by General McDowell, commanding, had been previously 
made to the Adjutant-General : 

"Arlington, June i, 1861 — 12 M. 

"Sir: — The following facts have just been reported to me by the Orderly-Ser- 
geant of Company B, Second Cavalry, commanded by Lieutenant Tompkins, the 
commanding officer being too unwell to report in person. It appears that Company 
B, Second Cavalry, commanded by Lieutenant Tompkins (aggregate about seventy- 
five), left its camp about ioA last night on a scout, and reached Fairfax Courthouse 
about 3 A. M., where they found several hundred men stationed — Captain Ewell, late 
of the United States Dragoons, said to be in command. A skirmish took place, in 
which a number of the enemy were killed, how many the Sergeant does not know. 
Many bodies were seen on the ground, and several were taken into the court-house 
and seen there by one of our cavalry, who was a prisoner for a short time and after- 
wards made his escape. 

Five prisoners were captured by our troops. Their names are as follows, viz : 
(Names not given by General McDowell ; and concluding paragraph omitted as 

The above quotations from the official reports of Lieutenant Tompkins and 
General McDowell are so full of errors that it is due to truth and justice they should 
be exposed. I repeat that the whole Confederate force at Fairfax Courthouse, on the 
night of the 31st of May, 1861, was composed of the companies and of the character 
and description I have heretofore named ; ami I will add, that the only additional 
force which came to our assistance was sent for by Colonel Ewell, and was com- 
posed of the cavalry companies of Harrison and Wickham, who did not reach the 
Courthouse until after sunrise, and fully two hours after the enemy had been finally 
repulsed, by little more than half his number of Captain Marr's rifles. 

Lieutenant Tompkins says : "It will be observed, that he was in command of 
a detachment of Company B, Second Cavalry, consisting of fifty men, with Second 
Lieutenant David S. Gordon's Second Dragoons temporarily attached." 

He subsequently adds : "Captains Cary, Fearing and Adjutant Frank, of the 
Fifth New York State Militia, accompanied the command as volunteers." General 
McDowell says: "It appears that Company B, Second Cavalry, commanded by 
Lieutenant Tompkins, (aggregate about seventy. five)." General Bonham, after an 
examination of the three prisoners taken, reports, "The enemy was eighty to eighty- 
five strong." Colonel Ewell in his official report says: "Three prisoners were 
brought in, who separately reported their strength at eighty, rank and file." And 
two of the prisoners taken by the enemy, intelligent men, with whom I have com- 


municated, think the enemy's force must have been seventy-five to one hundred 
men. All this testimony, with what I saw, satisfied me that Lieutenant Tompkins had 
his company, and not a detachment thereof with him; and that his force was about 
eighty men, and not fifty, as he reports. 

Lieutenant Tompkins says : "Upon approaching the town the picket guard was 
surprised and captured." This was on the Fall's Church road, about a mile below 
the town. One of Marr's pickets was captured, made his escape in town, and joined 
us, as he says, in the fight which subsequently occurred. The firing of the enemy at 
the pickets did more to spread a knowledge of his approach, than all our pickets. 

It was very dark, so that objects could only be discerned in the group, and not in 
the detail. On the alarm being given, lights were soon moving in the hotel. The 
cavalry companies located as before described, commenced to form, forming on a 
line with the court-house enclosure, on the part of the Prince William company, and 
on the street or turnpike over which the enemy must pass in charging through town, 
while the Rappahannock company, similarly employed, was forming in the court- 
house lot, but with the advantage of being protected from an enemy by a high board 
fence. Neither company was nearly formed when the enemy appeard. Lieutenant 
Tompkins says : " On entering the town of Fairfax, my command was fired upon by 
the rebel troops from the windows and the house-tops." In this the Lieutenant was 
under a gross mistake. Not a shot from any direction, up to this time, had been fired 
at him ; on the contrary, Lieutenant-Colonel Ewell, speaking of the alarm, says : 
"This was followed by their appearance, firing at the windows and doors of the hotel, 
where there was no resistance or troops." Lieutenant Tompkins further says: 
" That he charged on a company of rifles, and succeeded in driving them from the 
town." This is a gross mistake, we had no such force. It is true, as the enemy 
went through the town firing to the right and left, apparently at random, as if for 
no other purpose than to excite alarm, he drove before him a small portion of the 
Prince William Cavalry, four of whom he succeeded on this occasion in capturing, the 
Rappahannock Company having been left behind in the court-house lot to complete 
its formation at leisure. 

In the meantime, the alarm having reached Captain Marr also, he promptly 
deployed his company in Stevenson's clover field, his right near the road to the Fair- 
fax Station and near its quarters, the Methodist church, and parallel with the street 
before described, and which divided the clover field from the court-house lot, resting 
its left on the road leading to the Stevenson's farm house. Here Captain Marr was 
found the next morning, dead, (and apparently without having had a struggle in his 
last moments), one hundred and fifty steps from the church, and thence two hundred 
and thirty steps to the hotel, thus constituting an obtuse triangle. Here he was, 
doubtless, handling his men, and was struck by a random shot to the left, fired by 
the enemy as he passed the court-house, the distance being, as well as I can judge, 
three hundred steps. I have not been able to ascertain that any one of his men knew 
of his death— the clover was very rank and tall, and I am told, completely enveloped 
his person, which may account for it. And further, from a careful examination of 
his wound next morning, I became satisfied that the Captain was killed, as I have 
before said, by a random shot. The wound was immediately over the heart— had a 
perfect circular suffusion of blood under the skin, something larger than a silver 
dollar, but the skin was unbroken, and not a drop of blood was shed. Nothing but 
a round spent ball could have inflicted such a wound. Manifestly it was the shock of 
the blow, which, suspending the machinery of the heart, had necessarily produced 
instant death. It was reported to me that Captain Marr, when found, was upon his 
face, with his sword firmly gripped in his right hand, not having taken time, it is 
inferred, in the hurry and excitement of passing events, to belt it round his person. 
Captain Marr being thus killed, a fact unknown to his men, the enemy having gone 
up the turnpike, driving part of the Prince William company before it, and the Rap- 
pahannock company left in the court-house lot, having completed its formation, 


mo%'ed into the street, west of said lot, and to avoid the enemy on his return, turning 
in the direction of Marr's men, near the Stevenson road was, in the extreme dark- 
ness, mistaken by them for the enemy, and was fired upon, severely wounding one 
of the cavalry. This, very naturally, impressed the cavalry company with the idea 
they had been fired upon by the enemy. So that under the mutual mistake, the 
cavalry being entirely unfit for effectual service, and the left wing of the Rifles 
demoralized by the unexpected disappearance of its Captain, both dispersed, and 
sought safety in darkness, perhaps as intense asT ever saw. 

While these events were occurring, of which I knew nothing other than from the 
noise, I was satisfied that the enemy had passed through town. I was delayed briefly 
in firing my tape to my Maynard rifle. Hurrying to the quarters of the Werrenton 
Rifles, I found about forty or forty-five of them, a short distance this side of their 
quarters, standing in the clover lot before referred to and resting on the fence which 
enclosed it, and without an officer. I promptly addressed them, "Boys, where is 
your Captain ?" They answered, " We don't know, sir." Where is your Lieutenant 
(meaning Shackleford)? The answer was the same. (It is due that I should say that 
both the Lieutenants, Shackleford and McGee were absent on leaves with their 
families). Knowing that the men did not look to the other officers to command, I 
said to them, "Boys, you know me, follow me." Without hesitation, they jumped 
the fence, and at the corner of the court-house lot on the sidewalk leading from the 
church to the hotel, I, without the slightest knowledge of tactics, commenced to form 
them into two files. I had nearly completed my work, when hearing a disturbance 
at the head of the column, I walked rapidly up the line to hear what was the matter. 
Nearing the head of the column, I heard Lieutenant-Colonel Ewell, in his impetuous 
way, say to one of the men (Davidson), " What, sir, do you dispute my authority ? " 
To which the young man, in a very proper manner replied, " I do, sir, until I know 
you have a right to exercise it." Taking in the situation, and aware that the Rifles 
and this officer were strangers to each other, I at once said, "Men, this is Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Ewell, your commanding officer, a gallant soldier, in whom you may 
place your confidence." Of course this ended the trouble. The men might well be 
excused for doubting Colonel Ewell, for when he came up he was bare and bald- 
headed, in his shirt sleeves and bleeding. Fearful that the enemy might be on his 
return through town before we were prepared to intercept him, Colonel Ewell again 
hurried to the column to complete its formation, which was soon accomplished. We 
put ourselves at the head, and gave the command "march," having two hundred 
yards to go before we could reach the turnpike, running by the hotel and over 
which the enemy must pass on his return. It was during this march that Colonel 
Ewell told me how he came to be in his then condition; that he had undertaken to 
run across the street from the hotel, just ahead of the enemy's column, which he 
could do under cover of tin- darkdess, that the commanding officer of the enemy 
discovering that some one was crossing the street in front of him, had fired upon 
him, and struck him in the Ik-shy part of the shoulder, that as he ran, he jerked off 
his uniform and pitched it into a lot, his fear being that the enemy might discover 
he was an officer, and might mike a special effort to capture him. The coat was 
found next morning in Powell s porch below Gunnell's, and accounts for Ewell's 
tardiness in reaching tin Rifles. He then said to me, that as soon as we reached 
the hotel he would have to leave me to get a courier to send off to Fairfax Station for 
some cavalry camped at that place, and added, that as I seemed to have a turn for 
this sort of thing, I must take charge of the boys and manage them to the best 
advantage until he rejoined me. 

I will here collate the incidents which had occurred up to this time. I think it 
was a little before 3 A. ML, and very dark, when the enemy struck our pickets, and 
entering town, and Dear tin- hotel, as described, wounded Colonel Ewell— com- 
menced firing to the right and left, clearly with no other object than to alarm— killing 
Captain Marr with a chance shot at a distance of three hundred yards, never pausing 


for a moment, but driving the Prince William Cavalry before them, and stopping at 
the stream west of the town, manifestly to reform and to return through the town, 
the dispersion of the Rappahannock Cavalry, and the larger portion of theWarrenton 
Rifles, and the organization of those remaining by Colonel Ewell and myself, and 
marching them promptly to the point of interception of the enemy, should he under- 
take to return through the town, as was expected. I am confident that all these inci- 
dents occurred within the first half an hour of the first appearance of the enemy in 
town ; resulting in the slight wounding of Colonel Ewell, the killing of Captain Marr, 
and the dispersion of the whole Confederate force, except some forty to forty-five of 
the Rifles, then in hand ; and with which to redeem the fortunes of the night. 

But to resume, we had just struck the turnpike, and turning our little squad to the 
left had got it cleverly on the road between the hotel and the court-house, when the 
enemy appeared advancing. My purpose was to advance until I found a good 
position for the expected fight, but we had to take things as we found them. Both 
of us had narrow fronts, two files, and neither could deploy, the road being enclosed 
on each side by the fences of the hotel and the court-house respectively. The enemy 
halted, because (I suppose), he saw something occupying the road in his front. Flushed 
with their success, they were manifestly in considerable disorder, and when I 
ordered the Rifles to fire, which, owing to their position, was obeyed to a very limited 
and inefficient extent, I do not think the enemy returned it. But, reversing his 
movement returned, I inferred, to the run west of the town, to reform his command, 
I presume, in order to charge, in order, through the town. It must have been at 
this time, or when we first entered the turnpike, (for I saw no more of him after- 
wards,) that Colonel Ewell left the command to dispatch a courier to bring up the 
cavalry companies of Harrison and Wickham, camped at Fairfax Station, three miles 
from the court-house. Captain Thornton, I was informed, went on this duty. 
Neither man nor beast, that I could ascertain, sustained the slightest injury in this 

Having been left to my own discretion, and perfectly satisfied that my position 
was untenable against any mounted force of dash and courage, I followed immedi- 
ately on the retiring footsteps of the enemy. It was not until I had reached Cooper's 
wagon shop, ascertained by recent measurement to be one hundred and ninety-five 
steps west from the court-house, that I found a place which satisfied my judgment. 
Here I found a new post and rail fence, on each side of the turnpike — the one on 
the south side helping to enclose the wagon shop yard. Feeling safe in this position, 
I at once divided my command, placing it on opposite sides of the road, and protect- 
ing it by the post and rail fence. I stated to the men, if I was not much mistaken, 
the enemy will soon appear — that they would seem a dark moving mass, and when I 
gave the command " fire " they must all aim at the head of the column, my object 
being to crush it in, throw the command into confusion, win time, deliberately to 
reload, and to give them another plunging volley before they could recover from 
their confusion. And in that way I said, I counted on whipping the veteran enemy, 
although our superior in numbers. I had scarcely gotten through with this state- 
ment of my plans and purposes, when the enemy appeared. Near the Episcopal 
church, fifty steps, by subsequent measurement, west of the position we occupied, I 
first discovered him. He was leisurely advancing, and when within forty yards of 
us I gave the command "fire." It was admirably executed. Another fine volley 
followed, and a third partially, when the enemy fell back. During this time the 
enemy fired wildly and irregularly, not only without wounding or killing any of my 
men, but not even entertaining "The Rifles" with the whistle of a bullet. The 
result of this affair was the capture on our part of three prisoners, I think four horses, 
a number of horses killed and wounded, and according to general McDonald's first 
official report, (which I have), one man killed and six wounded, besides a number of 
arms and fancies, such as photographs of pretty women and the like, picked up after 
the fight. The whole affair occupied a very short time, during which Colonel Ewell 


was engaged in getting his courier, and preparing his dispatch to order up the troops 
from Fairfax Station — it could not have exceeded twenty-five minutes. I repeat that 
the enemy's passage through town resulted in the casualties as stated — the disper- 
sion of the entire Confederate force, with the exception of some forty to forty-five of 
the Rifles — that our cavalry, for the reason stated by Colonel Ewell, I suppose, "took 
no part in the affair" — that in passing through town, as Colonel Ewell officially says, 
the enemy, "did not stop, but passed through toward Germantown," and was not 
fired upon, the cavalry, I repeat, taking no part in the affair, and the Rifles being, at 
the nearest point, two hundred and thirty steps off — that the first collision which took 
place, was between the enemy, on his return through town, and about forty of the 
Rifles, and occurred on the street, between the hotel and court-house inclosures, 
without damage to either, the enemy retreating, and that the final affair took place 
one hundred and ninty-five steps from the former, resulting in the inglorious retreat 
of Company B. Second United States Cavalry, before, certainly not more than forty- 
five young Virginians, but little more, if any, than half the number of their veteran 
enemy, and that too, without inflicting upon us the slightest injury. In this final fighb 
if I may so express myself, Lieutenant Tompkins says, "Perceiving that I was largely 
outnumbered, I deemed it advisable to retreat, which I did in good order." I 
re -affirm upon my honor that the force which Lieutenant Tompkins assumes to be 
largely superior to his own did not exceed forty-five men ; and that he was per- 
mitted to retreat "in order," in consequence of our inferiority of numbers and our 
utter want of military experience. He further says that we increased our "force to 
upwards of a thousand men." Now I assert that no reinforcements joined us until 
long after his inglorious retreat before an inferior |force ; and that the only force 
which did join us were the companies of Captains Harrison and Wickham, for whom 
Colonel Ewell had sent, and they did not arrive until some time after sunrise. Lieu- 
tenant Tompkins officially reports that " twenty-five of the enemy were killed and 
wounded." This is most inexcusable mendacity. I again say that except from the 
chance-medley firing of the enemy as he passed through town, we did not sustain 
the slightest injury. At the first collision we received no injury and are not aware 
that we inflicted any. At the second and last, we certainly received no injury, but 
inflicted considerable damage on the enemy, and forced him to seek safety by retir- 
ing from the contest through the fields of an adjoining farm. 

I have thus presented the facts of this little affair, most of [which are within my 
personal knowledge, whilst those contributed by others have been adopted only 
after the most patient investigation. 

Warrenton, Va., June, 1882. William Smith. 





[It seems appropriate to follow General Smith's account of the killing of Captain 
Marr, by .the the beautiful poem written by his sister, and read at the last "Memorial 
Day" in Werrenton.] 

They lie 'neat many a marble shaft, 

Our noble, fallen brave ; 
They lie on many a battle field, 

In many an unmarked grave. 
They lie by Honor guarded safe, 

In peaceful dreamless rest ; 
They lie by every valiant heart 

And patriot spirit bless'd. 

They come on these Memorial Days, 

They haunt the very air 
With scenes long passed, with forms long stilled, 

With words and deeds that were. 
They come to mourning household bands, 

They come in heart and thought ! 
They come in struggles they have made, 

In battles they have fought. 
They come, — and living voices speak 

Their names and deeds once more ; 
We give a flower — a sigh — and then 

Memorial Day is o'er. 

O children, dear, who never saw 

The old Confederate gray ; 
Who never saw our soldiers march 

With flag and drum away ; 
Who never saw the dead brought back, 

The wounded line the street ; 
Who never heard the cannon's roar, 

Nor tramp of victor feet ; 
Keep as a holy trust this day 

To their remembrance true, 
Who, sorely tried, were faithful found, 

And fought and died for you. 

That so, though dead, they still may live ; 

Live on, as year by year, 
This day recalls the memories 

So sacred and so dear. 
Live on, though ages o'er them roll ; 

Live on in flower-decked grave : 
Live on in hearts that cherish still 

Our own, our fallen brave. 




I was appointed by Gov. Letcher, Colonel of the Forty-ninth Virginia volunteers, the 
latter part of June, 1861, upon my individual application. The Governor replied to- 
my application, that I was too old ; to which I rejoined, that I would like to see the 
young man who could stand more hardship and fatigue than I. Well, he said, if you 
insist upon it, I will not refuse. To which I said, in the words of the bridegroom, 
who, when asked by the parson if he would take this woman as his wedded wife, 
"zounds man, that is just what I come for." The Governor thereupon gave me an 
order to Gen. R. E. Lee, then Adjutant-General of our State, to prepare my commis- 
sion. Upon presenting it, General Lee, after glancing over it, looked up with mani- 
fest surprise, he, too, doubtless thinking I was too old ; and pausing a moment, and 
without a word, he filled up and handed it to me. I took it to the Governor for his 
signature. Receiving it, I returned with it to General Lee, that he might make the 
proper record — who, having done so, returned it to me, with an order to General 
Beauregard to form my regiment out of companies as they severally reported for 
duty. In my sixty-fourth year, and wholly unacquainted with drill or tactics, my 
military prospects were anything but flattering ; yet, I thought I knew how to manage 
men, and flattered myself that I could soon, for all practical purposes, overcome 
existing difficulties. Besides, I well knew the bitter feeling of hostility against the 
South cherished by Northern politicians, who would greedily seize upon the oppor- 
tunity to gratify their hatred and satiate their revenge ; and in view of the great 
inequality of the contest, I felt it to be my duty to set a spirited example and to con- 
tribute all in my power to the success of a cause which was dear to my heart, and 
which I believe, and ever shall believe, to be right. With this explanation, by way 
of reply, to the many friends who kindly remonstrated against my entering the army, 
I proceed to carry out the purpose of this article. Having made my personal 
arrangements, and having fortunately secured unexceptionable field officers, to wit : 
Lieutenant-Colonel Murray, a graduate, I believe, of West Point, and certainly a 
splendid drill-master and tactician, and Major Smith, my nephew, a veteran soldier, 
just about three weeks from the Federal army, having resigned therefrom to enter 
the Confederate service, I telt that my first great difficulty had been overcome. 

And so, with three companies only assigned to my regiment, I found myself regu- 
larly enrolled in the Confederate army, only three days before the first battle of 
Manassas. On the first day, and late in the afternoon, I was ordered to the Sudley 
mills, where I expected to meet Colonel Ilunton, then on the march from Leesburg. 
On our arrival, finding Colononel Ilunton had not arrived, we camped in and around 
the Sudley church, my quarters being in a house not far from it. It was fully 11 P. 
M. before my men got their supper and fixed themselves for the night, and I had not 
been asleep more than an hour when, about 1 A. M., I received an order to get my 
men under arms and move with them to a point on Bull Run near the Lewis house, 
and to report to General Cocke; in other words, to return. I promptly gave the 
necessary orders. On reaching the camp I found the command in a state of confused 
preparation, and when it was reported as ready to move I walked over the ground 
and found many of its conveniences about to be abandoned. I at once sternly 
rebuked the men for their negligence, told them that order and care were two of the 
duties of the soldier, and that 1 would not tolerate the loss of a tin cup if an act of 
carlessness. The ground being gleaned, the order to march was given, and we 
reached our position about sunrise. The next day we camped near the Lewis house. 
As it was understood we were to fight the day thereafter, and my men had but little 
rest the previous night, I determined they s'-.^uld have a good night's rest the coming 
night. Accordingly when the sentinels were posted, they were charged not, under 


any circumstances, to permit the men to be disturbed. On the morning of the 21st 
July, 1861, I was ordered to take position on Bull Run, north of the Lewis house ; and 
Captain Harris, an engineer officer of much note, was ordered to accompany and 
post us. We were placed on the edge of the run, under a bluff, on which a section 
of Rogers's battery, under Lieutenant Heaton, was posted, and temporarily attached 
to my command. 

Riding up on the bluff, I found but one gun. Surprised, I asked the Lieutenant 
where his other was. Pointing to it, near the Lewis house, he said, "there it is, and 
put there by the order of General Cocke." Putting spurs to my horse, as I passed 
the gun, I gave orders for every man to be in the saddle, ready to move on my 
signal to do so, on my return. Dashing up to General Cocke, who was some two 
hundred yards west — after saluting him — I said, General, permit me to suggest that 
the gun I have just passed would be more likely to render effective service along 
side of its mate on yonder bluff than where it is now ; and I beg you will permit me 
to so order. Receiving his consent, and touching my hat in salute, I moved rapidly 
in return, giving the expected signal, so that the gun with all its equipments was 
promptly in motion, and moved with such celerity, that it reached the bluff before I 
could, with all my dash, overtake it. It was a happy reunion, and under the exhila- 
rating circumstances, gave assurance of a splendid fight, should the exigency require 
it ; but a few shots from our guns and from Latham's battery near by, on my right, 
induced the enemy, who had shown himself in the pines on the northern side of the 
run, to abandon his purpose which, obviously, was to reach, in this direction, our 
line of inter-communication with Manassas. As far as I can learn, the enemy's force 
referred to was under the command of General Schenck. He was easily checked. 
About this time the peals of musketry, apparently about the Robinson and the Henry 
houses, was incessant and fascinating. While thus absorbed, and sitting on my 
horse, surrounded with Colonel Murray, Captain Harris and others on the bluff, near 
Heaton's guns, Lieutenant-Colonel Murray called to me, "Look there, Colonel." 
Following the direction of his finger, I saw two regiments in line of battle, moving at 
quick time, apparently from the field of battle. I know not how to account for my 
conduct, but giving way to the impulse of the moment, I put spurs to my horse, 
threw myself in their front and brought them to a halt, simply remarking, " Gentle- 
men, I must inform you that you have taken the wrong direction." 

Returning quickly to my position, for the heavy firing still continued, I had barely 
done so, when Colonel Murray cried out : "Look, Colonel, those fellows are mov- 
ing." Again stopping them I again returned to the bluff, when Colonel Murray for the 
third time exclaimed. "Colonel, those fellows are off again." Much exasperated, I 
put spurs to my horse, soon overtaking them, and galloped around their left flank, 
drew up in their front, and again brought them to a halt on the road leading from the 
Lewis house to Ball's or Lewis' ford, I am uncertain which. As I did so, I heard 
some one in the ranks cry out, " who the h— 11 is that? " To which I replied in a loud 
voice, "I am Colonel Smith, of the Forty-ninth Virginia Volunteers." To which 
Colonel Fisher promptly replied, "and I am Colonel Fisher, of the Sixth North 
Carolina, all I ask is to be put in position," and Colonel Falkner then said, 
"and lam Colonel Falkner of the Second Mississippi," but from the distance he 
was from me, I heard him imperfectly, yet understood him to say that he 
was ready to obey orders. Then, I said, "dress your men on the line of this 
road, bring them to a rest, and wait for orders." These regiments and the gun 
I had had moved to the bluff, were, it is highly probable, the foundation of General 
Schenck's estimate of our force. He had them in full view from the position he 
occupied in the pines. 

Returning rapidly to my position, I there found a general order, that every man 
not in the face of the enemy should report to General Beauregard near the Robinson 
house. Promptly putting my little command in motion, I soon crossed a small ravine 
draining into Bull Run. Ascending the opposite hill, Lieutenant-Colonel Tibbs of 


Colonel Hunton's Eighth Virginia Regiment hallooed to me: "lam posted here 
(near the head of the ravine) with three companies ; for God's sake, let Colonel 
Hunton, who is at the Lewis house with the balance of the regiment, know your 
orders." The hill on which the Lewis house stood is of very considerable size and 
the northern slope of it drains into the ravine. The whole of this slope, up to the 
new ground, near the north of the Lewis house, was then covered with an oaken 
growth of original forest ; but it is now, I find upon recent examination (1882), under 
a fine crop of corn, the house having been burnt by the enemy in the spring of 1862, 
when he first took possession of it. Ordering Lieutenant-Colonel Murray to take 
charge of my command, and to move on without delay, saying I would soon rejoin him, 
I put spurs to my horse, dashed through the woods and nearing Colonel Hunton's 
command, hallooed to him that General Beauregard's order was, " that every man 
not in the face of the enemy should move into action." To which he promptly 
replied : "I am posted here by General Cocke, with express orders not to leave my 
position without his command." I rejoined, "You know whom to obey." Return- 
ing rapidly to my command, I had scarcely reached it when a squad of fifteen or 
twenty men crossed my line of march, in the direction of the Lewis house. I halted 
them for information, when at the instant a heavy outburst of musketry breaking 
upon the ear, they resumed their previous rapid movement, like frightened deer, 
amid the derisive laughter of my whole command. Resuming our march, we had 
proceeded but a short distance when we encountered a South Carolina company 
moving in the direction of the stone bridge. Ascertaining it was lost, I said : "Fall 
in upon my left and I'll conduct you to the post of duty." This was promptly done. 
Moving but a short distance I encountered two Mississippi companies under precisely 
similar circumstances, to whom I also said : "Fall in on my left and I'll conduct 
you where men can show their mettle ;" which was done with alacrity. So that when 
I reported to General Beauregard, some hundred yards from the Robinson house, I 
had three companies of my own regiment, one South Carolina company and two 
Mississippi companies — not exceeding in all 450 men. Touching my hat, I said : 
"General Beauregard, I report for orders." Pausing for a moment, he replied: 
"Colonel, what can you do?" This was a hard question to one wholly unac- 
quainted with military duty. I, however, promptly answered, "Put us in position 
and I'll show you." I then added : " General, Colonel Hunton, with a fine regi- 
ment, is posted at or near the Lewis house and is burning with impatience to join in 
the battle," Promptly acting on the information, he ordered one of his staff to 
proceed forthwith to Colonel Hunton, and to order him to report with his regiment 
with all possible dispatch. 

At this time General Beauregard was forming his new line of battle, his right in 
the open field, midway between the Robinson and Henry houses, and in a line 
parallel therewith, but considerably to the east thereof and running south in a line 
that soon gave them the shelter of the pines for a quarter of a mile or so. The 
enemy was heavily flanking our left, and our reinforcements, as they came up, 
were ordered to form on the left of our line, and so, by extending it, counteract the 
movement of the enemy. Accordingly, I was ordered to form on the left, by pass- 
ing the rear of our line until I reached my position. The Washington Artillery, as 1 
was at the time informed, was firing upon the enemy and across my line of march ; 
it was ordered to suspend its fire until I had crossed its range, when General Beaure- 
gard placed himself by my side, at the head of my column, and the order to march 
was given. On reaching our new line of battle, under what influence I know not, 
I announced General Beauregard to the men, to which they promptly responded with 
three rousing cheers, and so, as we marched along the rear of our line, I, every fifty 
or seventy-five steps, announced General Beauregard, to which a similar response 
was invariably and promptly given. On reaching the left of the line I found it in 
much disorder. Here, General Beauregard informed me that he must leave me, 
and repeating his orders left me. He had not gone more than forty steps when a 


cry from the disordered crowd referred to, demanded to see General Beauregard. 
Calling to the General to return, as the men say they must see you, I announced him 
to them, to which, responding with three hearty cheers, they promptly formed in 
line. This I understood was Jackson's left, on which, as ordered, I formed my men ; 
the three companies which had joined me, as heretofore stated, having been 
detached, as far as I can learn, by General Johnston and placed under the command 
of Colonel F. J. Thomas of his staff, who was unfortunately killed. I have recently 
visited the spot where he fell. From the time I reported to General Beauregard to 
the time I took my position on the left, we were at no time under fire, certainly none 
that annoyed us. It may not be amiss here to add that the half dozen cheers to 
which I have referred, and with which General Beauregard was honored, had, I 
have reason to believe, a very happy effect on our troops and a very depressing one 
on those of the enemy, being regarded by him as the indications of frequent and 
heavy reinforcements from General Johnston's army. At least the letters of the 
Federal correspondents, which were spread all over the country and were, as I have 
heard, republished in Europe, so stated ; while I know that the entire force repre- 
sented by those cheers did not exceed 450 men, one-half of whom belonged to the 
Army of the Potomac. 

Having taken my position, I found myself quite well sheltered from view by a 
small growth of old-field pines, as was Jackson's left, with some small gullies now 
plainly to be seen in the rear of my left. Looking around me, I found myself on 
the eastern slope of the ridge or plateau, opposite to, with my left a little to the south 
of the Henry house, and directly in front of Rickett's battery, which had just taken 
position. I am quite sure the enemy had not yet discovered us. I admonished my 
men to be cool and deliberate, and not to fire without an object under sight, and 
gave the word to fire. This fire, with Jackson's, which was no doubt simultaneous, 
was so destructive that it utterly disabled the Rickett's battery for all efficient pur- 
poses. I am not sure, but I am under the impression, that it never fired upon us 
more than once, if that. Three times was it taken and retaken before the enemy 
gave up the struggle to retain it. I had a number of men wounded at the guns — 
two of them, James and John Wells, brothers, wounded on one of the guns ; and 
James, although shot through the lungs, is still living and able to do a day's work as 
a post and rail fencer. Indeed, such was the impetuosity of one of these charges — 
the first, I think — that two of my men, Kirkpatrick and Suddoth, penetrated so 
deeply into the enemy's lines that they could not fall back with their comrades when 
repulsed, but remained in the confused masses of the enemy, unnoticed I presume, 
until another charge, which almost immediately followed, extricated them. 

Shortly after this bloody strife began, looking to my left, I saw a heavy mass of 
the enemy advancing from the direction of the Sudley and Manassas road, on a 
parallel with the equidistant between my line of battle and the Henry house. For 
a moment I thought I must be doubled up, but had resolved to stand my ground, cost 
what it might, when to my great relief, the Sixth North Carolina, Colonel Fisher, and 
the Second Mississippi, Colonel Falkner, came up from the direction of the Lewis 
house, and formed in much confusion on my left, relieving me, however, in a great 
degree from my perilous position. I had three times stopped these regiments as 
previously described, and now they came up so opportunely to my relief that it 
almost seemed to be an act of Providence. By the time they had formed in 
tolerable order, the enemy nearly covered their front without seeming to have 
discovered them. Being on my extreme left, one of the North Carolinans recog- 
nizing me, called to me from his ranks : " That is the enemy ; shall we fire? " I 
replied : "Don't be in a hurry ; don't fire upon friends." At the instant a puff of 
wind spread out the Federal flag, and I added, " There is no mistake ; give them 
h — 1, boys ! " thus giving orders most strangely to a regiment which was not under 
my command, to begin the fight. The enemy was soon scattered and disappeared 
from the field. I have not been able, after much investigation, to discover his name 


or number. Lieutenant-Colonel Lightfoot, of the Sixth North Carolina, claims that his 
regiment united with us in one of the charges on the enemy's guns and to have 
suffered severely. It was on this charge, I presume, that Colonel Fisher was killed, 
as he fell some one hundred and fifty yards in advance of his original line of battle. 
When driven back from the enemy's guns neither the North Carolinians nor Mis- 
sissippians remained to renew the charge, but incontinently left the field. 

I was thus again on the left of our line of battle, with no enemy in sight. On my 
flank I had suffered severely. Major Smith had been shot down in my lines— his leg 
broken just below the'hip ; Captain Ward had been mortally wounded in the charge, 
and died in a few hours ; the enemy had charged into my lines and been repulsed, 
several prisoners being captured, among them a Captain Butterworth, I think, of 
the First Michigan, who was shot down in my lines, badly wounded, and a private 
of the same regiment, I presume, who held Major Smith in his arms until the fight 
was over, and he was relieved by the removal of Major Smith to Dogan's, near by, 
where he was confined for many weeks. It was about this time that Colonel Hunton, 
with his gallant regiment, appeared upon the field, charged and cleared out the 
scattered fragments of the enemy about and near the Henry house, and thus shared 
in and materially contributed to the final result. Nor must I omit to state here, that 
he was indebted to me for the opportunity he so handsomely improved, to share in 
the glories of the day. 

The battle being now substantially at an end, I made, for the time being, such 
arrangements for my killed and wounded as the occasion required. Attracted by 
an artillery firing, apparently some two hundred yards southwest from my position, 
I concluded to see what it meant. On my way I encountered an officer lying dead. 
I was told it was colonel Fisher, of the Sixth North Carolina, who was killed in a 
charge as I have previously described. Passing on I reached the battery of Captain 
Delaware Kemper, and found him firing upon the enemy retreating on the ridge 
running northerly from the Chinn by the Dogan house. He was on the eastern 
side of the Sudley road, and some half mile from his target. "With that beautiful 
precision inaugurated at Vienna," he soon drove the enemy for shelter, to the western 
slope of the ridge, while on receiving his fire, the enemy' sharp-shooters would run 
to the crest of the ridge and empty their long range guns, in reply. No injury was 
done to Captain Kemper or his command, of which I am aware, during the half 
hour, or less, that I remained with it — the enemy's shot occasionally fell about us 
with sufficient force to wound or kill. Leaving Captain Kemper, I rode to a squad 
of officers some one hundred and fifty yards to the right, composed of Preston, 
Kershaw, and others, also overlooking the retreating foe, without the power to pre- 
vent it. It moved me deeply, almost to tears. Although now getting late, I con- 
cluded to ride down the turnpike, and went as far as Cub Run bridge. Here I found 
the bridge not passable, from an immense jam of the enemy's wagons and other 
vehicles, and the stream not fordable. Returning to my position in the fight, to see 
if my orders had been executed, I found everything done to my satisfaction, except 
that Captain Butterworth, to whom I have before referred, had not been removed. 
No one was with him but my servant Pin. To my enquiry why he, the Captain, had 
not been cared for, he replied that all the wagons which had passed were filled with 
our own wounded, but that he hoped soon to get him in. It was now nearly 9 P. M.. 
with every prospect of a bad night, and I directed my servant to take from under my 
saddle four or five blankets, which my dear wife had pro\'ided for my own exigencies, 
and to make him as comfortable as possible. I also charged my servant to lay my 
commands on the first wagon which passed to take him in and carry him to the 
hospital, while he must remain by him until this was done. The officer was grateful 
for my arrangements for his comfort ; inquired of my servant who I was, and hand- 
ing him his pistols, a beautiful pair, directed him to hand them to me, with an 
earnest request that I would accept them as the evidence of his gratitude for the 
kind and generous care I had taken of him : at least, so said my servant when he 


delivered the pistols to me next morning, and added, that I had scarcely left them 
the night before, when a wagon passing by, was stopped, the officer taken in and 
duly delivered to the hospital. Subsequently inquiring about him, I was informed 
that he had been moved to Orange Courthouse, where he died. 

It was now fully 9 P. M. I had been in the saddle from a little after sunrise. I 
was much fatigued from the constant exertions and anxieties of the day, besides I 
had slept but little the two preceding nights— the night promised to be a bad one ; 
and so, I concluded to seek the hospitable roof of my friend Dogan, where my 
Major was already quartered. The road to Dogan's passed over the bloody plateau, 
on which a large portion of the fighting had been done, and near the Henry house. 
The field through which I rode was well nigh covered with the Federal dead and 
wounded ; and as my horse's step announced the passing of a human being, the 
wail of suffering humanity, and deep cry for water, water, which burst upon the 
otherwise profound stillness of the hour, was absolutely agonizing. I understood 
the appeal, but without the power to give relief, was compelled to leave them to 
those who were already actively engaged in collecting the wounded and carrying 
them where their wants could be attended to. On reaching Dogan's, I saw by the 
imperfect light of a somewhat clouded moon, that his porch, yard and stable adjoin- 
ing the yard, seemed full of the enemy's wounded. Taking my seat in the porch, 
one of the wounded men, I think from New Hampshire, asked me about my 
position in the fight. Apparently satisfied with my reply, he said, "I thought I 
recognized you when you rode up, and particularly your horse. Three times did I 
fire upon you during the fight," and added with the most perfect simplicity, "Of 
course, what I did was in the way of business and not in malice." My horse was 
shot in the neck, and I suppose I owe to this man the injury he received. However, 
I soon retired, and notwithstanding the exciting and important incidents of the day, 
I slept soundly and awoke with the morn, refreshed and buoyant, resolved to per- 
form my whole duty in the grand drama, in which I had undertaken to perform 
a part. 

I should not, perhaps, omit an incident of the day, as it illustrates an important 
duty of the officer. On the morning of the fight (I was not provided with a commis- 
sary) a man, whom I did not know, reported to me as my acting commissary, stating 
that supplies for my command had been turned over to him, and he wished to know 
if he should destroy them, as he supposed we would soon engage the enemy. 
Amazed ! I replied, "Destroy them ! No. Take good care of them and issue them 
as the law and your duty requires. I am soriy thus to learn that you already 
assume that we are to be whipped." Meeting him the next morning, I said, "Well, 
sir, what have you done with your supplies?" He replied, "Obeyed your orders, 
and am now issuing them to your men." I then said, "Let this incident be a lesson 
to you, never to destroy anything committed to your care, without it would materially 
injure our enemies or materially benefit ourselves." 

I might here close this article contented with the very handsome notice taken of 
my command, in the official reports of the Generals commanding. But Dr. Dabney s 
Life of Jackson, and the official reports of the day, recently published by the 
Federal Government, and until then unseen by me, impose upon me the duty of 
asserting for my command, even at this late day, its just claim upon the love and 
admiration of its country. 

It must not be forgotten that my command had been organized only three days, 
and was wholly unused to arms, and was now on its third day called upon to per- 
form the duties of the veteran soldier ; it passed along the rear of Bee's and Jackson's 
brigades, and it may be Gautrell's regiment, to form on the left — a position of 
peculiar danger, as the great effort of the enemy was to turn our left ; that we took 
about 2 to 2\ P. M., our position, and in musket range; of the Rickett's and Griffin 
batteries ; that we had scarcely opened our fire when a heavy column of the enemy 


appeared, from the direction of the Sudley and Manassas road, moving on a line 
about equi-distant between my left and the Henry house, obviously to flank me, 
which was happily anticipated by the opportune arrival of the Sixth North Carolina; 
that my command three times, the North Carolinans once co-operating, charged the 
Ricketts battery before the enemy gave up the struggle to hold it ; that my flank 
was again left, by the withdrawal of the Mississippians and North Carolinians, 
exposed ; that my loss was slightly in excess of that of Jackson's brigade, which only 
came under fire in the afternoon, at the same time that I did, slightly more than that 
of Hampton's Legion, and slightly less than that of Bee's brigade, as 40 to 43; while 
in the afternoon's fight, during which we were engaged together, my command 
suffered a much larger percentage of loss than any other in the field, except Jackson's, 
and slightly in excess of that. And I now mention these illustrious commands for 
the special purpose of showing that, however high the standard they have established 
for the qualities of the true soldier, my command may justly and proudly claim to 
have come fully up to it — par nobile fatrum . 

In view, then, of these facts, it can but excite surprise that Dr. Dabney should, in 
his life of Jackson, have claimed for his brigade the whole merit of capturing Ricketts 
battery, &c. It is the more remarkable, as General Jackson did not do it. In his 
official report, speaking of a charge he had ordered, he says, "He pierced the 
enemy's centre, and by co-operating with the victorious Fifth and other forces [the 
italics are mine], soon placed the field essentially in our possession." Again, he 
says : " The brigade, in connection with other troops, took seven field pieces, in 
addition to the battery captured by Colonel Cummings." General Jackson also says : 
"The enemy, although repulsed in the centre, succeeded in turning our flanks." If 
the General meant his left flank, he was under a mistake. I was on his left, and 
know that no effort was made to turn mine but once, and that failed, as heretofore 
stated. I presume General Jackson does not refer to the movements of the enemy 
west of the Manassas road, as they were promptly arrested and the enemy was 
driven back. 

I omitted to mention in the proper place that Lieutenant-Colonel Murray in one of 
our charges upon the enemy's guns, finding that we could not hold them, spiked one 
of them with a nail he had in his pocket. 

My next article will be a narative of the personal incidents of the battle of Seven 
Pines, the bloodiest fight, as far as my command was concerned, in which I ever 
was engaged. 


Colonel Evans began the fight with the subjoined forces and lost during 
as follows : 

the day 


en JJ 







. c * 






Fourth South Carolina, Col. Sloan 










First Louisana Battalion, Maj. Wheat 








Force estimated at 1,300 men. 
The above command was relieved by General Bee's Brigade consisting of 

en "v 

S- "* 










Seventh Georgia, Col. Barton. . 












I 9 7 

Eighth Georgia, Col. 

Fourth Alabama, Col. Jones . 

Second Mississippi, Col. Falkner. 

Two companies, Mississippi, Maj. Liddell. . . 

12 1 120 




2,800 muskets. 
Colonel Hampton's Legion fought through the day. Had 27 officers and 600 men, 
and lost 19 killed and 100 wounded. 

General Jackson's Brigade consisted of five regiments, as follows : 

Second Regiment Va. Vol., Col. Allen 

Fourth Regiment Ya. Vol., Col. Preston 

Fifth Regiment Va. Vol., Col. Harper ....... 

Twenty-seventh Regiment Va. Vol., Col. Echols. 
Thirty-third Regiment Va. Vol., Col. Cummings. 













<" 5 

1- 3 


































Dr. Dabney estimates 2,700. 
Forty-ninth Virginia Volunteers, Col. Smith, 210 men. Officers killed, 1 ; men 
killed, 9 ; officers wounded, 1 ; men wounded, 29— aggregate 40. 

William Smith. 


Inaugural Address 




State of Virginia, Executive Department, ) 
Richmond, January 6, 1864. j 

Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Delegates : 

Having deemed it proper, under existing circumstances, 
at the time of taking the oaths of office as the governor of this 
commonwealth on the 1st instant, to present my views of the 
present condition of public affairs, the causes which led to 
them, and the measures proper to meet the exigency which 
is upon us, I respectfully transmit herewith, to the general 
assembly, copies thereof, for such consideration and dispo- 
sition as it may be your pleasure to give to them. 


William Smith. 


Seventeen years ago I appeared in this capitol to take the 
oaths of office as the governor-elect of the commonwealth of 
Virginia. By the permission of God and the election of the 
people I am now here to repeat them. Entrusted by my 
countrymen, under the perilous circumstances which surround 
us, with the important duties which I am about to assume, I 
think it altogether a fitting occasion, as I hereby do, to ex- 
press my most profound acknowledgements of this gratifying 
and distinguishing mark of their confidence. I hope I may 
deserve it ; certain it is, if my best efforts to accomplish all 


that may be expected of me within my constitutional powers, 
will suffice, I shall not be disappointed. 

On the 17th day of September, 1787 the constitution of the 
United States was adopted by the convention and trans- 
mitted by the president thereof, General Washington, to the 
congress of the Confederation. In his letter he says, among 
other things, " And thus the constitution which we now pre- 
sent is the result of a spirit of amity and of that mutual defer- 
ence and concession which the peculiarity of our political 
situation rendered indispensable." In the concluding part of 
his letter he also says, " That it will meet the full and entire 
approbation of every state is not, perhaps, to be expected ; 
but each will, doubtless, recollect that, had her interests been 
alone consulted the consequences might have been particu- 
larly disagreeable or injurious to others." 

The constitution thus constructed, was adopted by the 
states at different periods, but eleven of them having ratified it, 
the 7th article thereof declaring that " The ratification of the 
conventions of nine states shall be sufficient for the establish- 
ment of this constitution between the states so ratifying the- 
same," the government authorized thereby was fully organized 
by the installation of President Washington on the 30th of 
April, 1789. He was elected unanimously, but ten states only 
united in his election. North Carolina remained out of this 
Union until the 21st of November, 1789, as Rhode Island 
did until the 29th of May, 1790. It is obvious that they were 
soverign states, complete nationalities, and might have re- 
mained separate, " free and independent states." Unde- 
niably, the old Union under the first constitution, which took 
us triumphantly through the Revolutionary war, and to which 
North Carolina and Rhode Island seemed so anxious to 
adhere, was dissolved by the withdrawal of a majority of the 
members thereof, and another substituted therefor. Was this 
secession ? Let the facts stated give the reply. Was it right 
for a portion of the states to disregard or destroy a compact 
with those of their associates who withheld or refused their 
consent ? Allow me to give a short time to the consideration 
of this enquiry. 


It may be conceded that the government formed by the 
articles of Confederation was wholly inadequate for its essen- 
tial purposes — that it could neither secure to us the respect of 
foreign powers, nor promote our prosperity at home. True, 
it had taken us through the Revolution, but the stern neces- 
sities of our condition fired the hearts of the people and they 
forbore to question power when it was exercised for the pur- 
pose of filling our ranks and feeding and clothing our gallant 
soldiers. The Declaration of Independence had enunciated 
to the world the right of a " people to dissolve the political 
bands which connected them with another," and " to alter or 
abolish " the existing form of crovernment, "and to institute a 
new government, laying its foundation on such principles and 
organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most 
likely to effect their safety and happiness." And in that day 
no one doubted the right to reform the existing government 
and place it with another, whenever any of the parties to it 
shall see fit to do so. 

It was confidentially concluded by those who believe in the 
progressive civilization of our race, that our revolution had 
firmly established this great right. It had been distinctly 
proclaimed to the world as the ground upon which the thir- 
teen dependent colonies of Great Britain justified their separa- 
tion from the mother country, and the assumption of the 
rights, powers and duties of independent states. The great 
struggle had been successfully fought upon it. The declara- 
tion containing it had passed into every civilized language. 
Our ancestors had acted upon it after their independence had 
been recognized. President Buchanan, the predecessor of 
the present chief magistrate of the United States, had de- 
clared that the federal government had no right to make war 
upon a seceding state. Nor was this all. The celebrated 
paper, to which I so often have referred, not only distinctly 
asserted the right of separation, but boldly proclaimed it to 
be the duty of the states whom it might concern, to exercise 
it, whenever in their judgment, it was necessary. It was con- 
fidently believed that this great philosophical right, which 
may very properly be called the right of secession, would pre- 


serve the peace between the parties to the compact under all 
circumstances and throughout all time. I know there are many 
persons who deny this right, and yet admit that of revolution. 
Now, I cannot too earnestly insist that the right of secession, 
practically recognized and admitted, is the guaranty of peace ; 
while the right of revolution necessarily leads to civil war. 
One applies to a confederation of states, and cannot be politi- 
cally wrong ; the other acts within a nation, and is rarely 
right. It is true the power of the parts is not equal to the 
power of the whole ; but what of that ? Governments are 
not instituted for aggression, but for the security of the rights 
of " life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." 

I have heretofore remarked upon the peculiar language of 
General Washington in his letter communicating the consti- 
tution, as agreed upon in convention, to the old congress. It 
was, he says, " the result of a spirit of amity, and of that 
mutual deference and concession which the peculiarity of our 
political situation rendered indispensable!' Without the in- 
fluence of such considerations it would not have been adopted 
by the convention. Wide and deep-rooted opposition to it 
was found to pervade the public mind throughout the Con- 
federacy. Three of the most powerful minds of the day, in a 
series of numbers, now known as the Federalist, undertook 
the task of reconciling the people to its adoption. Many of 
the states yielded their assent to it with extreme reluctance. 
Virginia, after formidable opposition headed by Patrick 
Henry, sent her ratification of it, with a number of amend- 
ments, designed to guard against certain constructions of 
which it was susceptable and which, with others, were subse- 
quently adopted. And it is certain that the states never 
would have adopted this untried and much doubted ex- 
periment, had there been any question of their right to 
withdraw at pleasure from the Union it was designed to 

When the constitution was, however, adopted, it was ob- 
vious to the most ordinary sagacity that, unless it was con- 
strued and its admitted powers were exercised in the spirit to 
which the constitution was indebted for its existence, the 


government authorized thereby could not last. Yet it is a well 
known historical fact that a great party was speedily formed 
to change the whole character of the government, and, 
through the agency of the implied powers thereof, utterly to 
subvert the reserved powers of the states. This was the more 
remarkable, as the powers of the federal government were 
exclusively of a delegated character — that powers not granted 
were denied. The evidences on this subject might be multi- 
plied as the leaves of autumn were it necessary, but I refer to 
it only for the purpose of pointing out the fountain of bitter 
waters, I may be spared further specification and be allowed 
to follow its flow to that great ocean, the storms which have 
carried sorrow and death into the bosom of almost every 
family in the land. I shall confine myself to one subject only 
as illustrative of that want " of amity, and of that mutual 
deference and concession which the peculiarity of our political 
situation rendered indispensable." 

One of the great interests to be protected in the new con- 
stitution was the institution of slavery. That interest well 
knew that great efforts would be made for its overthrow ; and 
although, at the adoption of the constitution, slavery existed 
in all the states but one, yet the unerring law of race allowed 
no doubt that its final resting place would be in the southern 
states. To provide for its safety and protection was a plain 
and obvious duty. Provisions were accordingly inserted in 
the constitution which were deemed ample and sufficient ; 
and the price for them cheerfully paid in the power over 
commerce and navigation. Notwithstanding all which, at the 
first congress agitation began. The act of 1793, known as 
the fugitive slave act, was passed to vitalize the clause of the 
constitution authorizing the return of fugitive slaves. Gen- 
eral Washington was the first to claim the benefit of it ; but 
he gave up his claim sooner than provoke the howl which 
was about to be raised by the fanatics of Massachusetts. 

And he, the Father of his Country and the President of 
the United States, was denied the benefit of a clause of the 
constitution and of an act of congress intended to give it 
effect. As time swept on agitation continued, increasing in 


strength and volume, until, in the great struggle of 1819-20, it 
was openly proclaimed by the North, in debate, that the admis- 
sion of Missouri was a question of power, and as such, overrode 
all other considerations. It is well known that this question at 
that time seriously endangered the Union. Upon its unfortu- 
nate adjustment, did fanaticism cease its efforts ? No, its work 
was only partially accomplished, and agitation was resumed with 
increased activity, in utter disregard of that fraternal spirit, 
without which the cry of Union was nothing more than an 
empty sound. It again culminated in i85o upon the terri- 
torial question, and the Union once more trembled to its base. 
But the wisdom of congress effected a truce, and by a series 
of measures, postponded the impending blow. This adjust- 
ment, however, gave no peace, no repose. Fanaticism, 
balked of its entire purpose, redoubled its efforts— it gave 
warning on the floor of the senate that agitation should never 
cease until its designs should be fully accomplished — it 
entered the halls of state legislation, and obtained the pas- 
sage of personal liberty laws; laws denouncing citizens in pur- 
suit of their property, as guilty of a crime punishable by con- 
finement in the penitentiary; laws for removing judges who 
proved too honest and independent to become the tool of its 
will — and all intended to nullify a clause of the constitution and 
acts passed in pursuance thereof — it incited mobs to do the 
work of death upon respectable citizens in pursuit of their 
lawful and constitutional rights. And finally, in disregard of 
all precedent — of that "spirit of amity " and of "that mutual 
deference and concession^ to which I have so frequently re- 
ferred — dared to run an entirely sectional ticket for the high- 
est offices of the country, declaring that it would no longer be 
dependent upon the slaveholding states to any extent what- 
ever. This position thus taken and successfully maintained 
by northern fanaticism in the election of its candidates, filled 
the hearts of the southern states with despondency and 
gloom ; and impressed them with the melancholy conviction 
that there was no longer any hope of living in the Union in 
the enjoyment of the rights it was designed to secure, and 
that the time had come when the existing form of govern- 


ment having become destructive of those ends for which it 
was instituted, it was their right as it was their duty, in the 
language of the Declaration of Independence, " to alter or 
abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foun- 
dation on such principles and organizing its powers in such 
form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety 
and happiness." 

But, notwithstanding the long-continued wrongs and in- 
juries which the South had sustained at the hands of the non- 
slaveholding North, most of the southern states still clung 
with fond tenacity to the work of our fathers, and essayed in 
various ways to readjust the disturbed relations of the states. 
Our dear old Virginia made extraordinary efforts, as well be- 
fitted her, for readjustment and for peace ; but all in vain. 
The North, stimulated by her hatred of the South and the 
consciousness of her strength, and believing, unhappily, that 
we would not dare the last extremity, turned a deaf ear to 
every overture, and resolved on force. On the 1 5th day of 
April, 1 86 1, President Lincoln issued his proclamation for 
seventy-five thousand men to put down the insurrection, as 
he was pleased to term it. Virginia was called upon for her 
quota to dragoon her southern sisters into submission, and she 
responded by passing, on the 17th of April, 1861, her ordi- 
nance of secession, uniting her fate to theirs. It was under 
this conduct on the part of non-slaveholding states, and after 
every effort to preserve the Union which our ancestors had 
formed, had failed, that our convention felt itself constrained 
to take this organic and final step " which denounces our 
separation, and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind, 
enemies in war; in peace, friends/' This ordinance was also 
submitted to a vote of the people, who, with a rare and noble 
unanimity, approved it, and in support of it, pledged to each 
other " our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor." 

I have thus referred to one of the °reat causes of our un- 
happy difficulty — too briefly, perhaps, for perspicuity ; per- 
haps too much at length for such an occasion as the present ; 
and yet I trust of sufficient fullness to clearly show that the 
sentiment of the northern mind has waged incessant war upon 


one of the great compromises of the constitution, producing 
thereby, the irritation and injustice which have destroyed those 
pleasant and happy relations which it was expected the Union 
would establish and assure, and which has culminated in this 
frightful and bloody war ! while the South evinced her love 
of union and her anxiety to preserve the work of our fathers 
in the compromises she had made and the wrongs and injuries 
to which she had submitted — in the great forbearance she 
had practiced, and finally, in her numerous efforts to avoid 
the dread alternative which was presented to her of uncon- 
ditional submission or manly resistance. The war, then, which 
is now raging, was not sought by us ; it was forced upon us — 
and is the last and most flagrant of that series of wrongs, 
which, commencing with the government, is to be resisted to 
the last extremity. 

Invoking the divine will to enlighten my understanding, 
and to guide me to that system of measures best calculated 
to provide for the exigency which is upon us, and to promote 
the true interests of our country, I proceed to suggest what 
duty in my judgment requires, and what a generous patriot- 
ism will cheerfully accord. 

First then, it is of the greatest moment that our minds 
should be trained to allow that the entire manhood and 
property of the country, for the purpose of this war, belongs 
to the state. The men who are called into the field to join in 
battle with our enemies, the taxes which are levied and the 
impressments which are made for their support, are but modes 
of appropriating the resources of the country, and should 
neither excite murmurs nor discontent. The man, who, by 
tricks, evasions or subterfuges, seeks to avoid the taxes in- 
tended to be collected from him, is in heart both knave and 
traitor. It is the duty of the law-maker to provide the 
amplest punishment for such malefactors, and of every good 
citizen to bring them to justice, and to hold them up to public 
scorn and contempt. And what should be thought of those 
who grumble about the prices paid for articles impressed, to 
feed and clothe the army — that army which stands between 
them and ruin — that army, composed, as it is, of their own 


sons, and of their own kith and kin, and which may be dis- 
banded for want of the necessary supplies, while they are hig- 
gling with the government agents for higher prices than those 
established by the commissioners chosen equally by the State 
and Confederate authorities, and actually appealing to the 
courts of justice for protection against the alleged wrong and 
injury of which they complain ? They are not content with 
prices fixed by citizen farmers, chosen for each state, of 
sound judgment and lofty patriotism ; they must have a 
jury of the vicinage, composed of men, like themselves, all 
anxious — I will not say willing — but anxious to wring from 
their bleeding and suffering country the last dollar which can 
be obtained. I do not hesitate to say that such a mode of 
assessment would, within six months, drive our armies from 
the field and utterly annihilate the public credit, unless we 
establish a most enormous system of taxation, or the Con- 
federate government should proclaim martial law. The 
country must not be ruined by the rapacity of the people, and 
the government will not hesitate, I am sure, to exercise all 
their constitutional powers, when necessary for our safety. 
I am pleased to say that the people of Virginia have, with 
some exceptions, cheerfully accepted the maximum, while not 
one has been hardy enough to brave public opinion by 
demanding any other rule of assessment. 

While, however, the people of the State have acquiesced in 
the prices fixed by the public commissioners, others have 
been unwilling to accept them in consequence of higher prices 
being offered by speculators and others. This very naturally 
produces discontent on the part of the more liberal and patri- 
otic portion of the people, while others resort to hoarding, 
hiding and other disreputable shifts and evasions to avoid 
their contribution to the support of our gallant army. This 
state of things is very demoralizing, and may, I think, be 
easily corrected by the establishment of a state maximum, 
which, taking the Confederate maximum as a basis, shall be 
extended to all the productions of human industry. 

I know that this proposition has always met with the most 
determined opposition, and yet it has always prevailed in 


times of public trouble. I know it is said that France tried 
and France gave up this policy. And yet she first tried it 
upon corn, then enlarged it, but never made it general, ad- 
hered to it through all the dark hours of her revolution, when 
she was rent by intestine dissensions and engaged in war 
with the whole of Europe, and never abandoned it until she 
had resumed a specie currency, composed her intestine feuds, 
and brought continental Europe to her feet. What occasion 
had France to adhere to this policy when she fed her armies 
from the stores of other nations, and replenished her treasury 
by contributions upon them ? 

But it is the duty of wisdom to comprehend the force of 
circumstances. What is our situation ? We are cut off from 
the world by our enemies, insulated as completely as if we 
were on an island in mid-ocean and no productions from 
abroad, like those raised by us, are allowed to come in com- 
petition with our own. Can it be contended with any pro- 
priety, that there can be, in such a state of things, a market 
price for commodities in the sense of the economists? Again, 
the supply of our own productions is inadequate for a liberal 
consumption. Bread, meat, shoes, cotton and woolen cloths, 
are painful illustrations of this stern fact ; and I ask, where 
is the competition to be found which is to put these articles 
within easy reach of the naked and the hungry ? It is some- 
times said, that it is the currency which causes the great ex- 
aggeration of prices. To some extent, this may be so. But 
where the supply of actual necessaries is deficient, and the 
price of them is fixed by the conscience of the seller alone, the 
currency is of but little significance ; the hungry must be fed, 
and the seller knows it ; and the price must be paid, in what- 
ever currency required. 

Nor is the maximum unknown in daily life. It was the 
law, that the person who took out a license as a tavern- 
keeper should keep proper accommodations for the traveler, 
and then should not charge him for meals at pleasure, but 
only the rates fixed by the county courts. So in the cases of 
bridges and ferries, where the prices are fixed by law. But 
this is a very remarkable case of maximum which seems to 


have escaped general observation — I mean interest upon 
money. No lender shall take more than six dollars for the 
loan of one hundred dollars for one year. Should the lender 
bargain for more, the contract is void. If he takes more, he 
forfeits double the sum loaned. Here is a maximum of great 
antiquity, on money, the token or representative of all 
property ; and yet it is not proper to set a maximum on the 
property so represented ! 

That the law of maximum will be difficult to enforce, I 
readily admit. So is the whole criminal code. So is the law 
which forbids the loan of money at more than legal interest. 
So is that bright, hopeful and glorious plan of salvation for 
which a Saviour died. But shall we, for such reasons, aban- 
don our efforts to reform, benefit and save mankind ? 

But the maximum would have other important advantages. 
It would put an end to discontent among the people ; it would 
extinguish the practice of hoarding and hiding. Without any 
hope of increasing prices, producers would cheerfully furnish 
to consumers their surplus. Uniformity of price and the 
application of the maximum to all things would, I am per- 
suaded, inspire general satisfaction and relieve the necessary 
duty of collecting supplies for the army of that irritation which 
has heretofore, in many cases, made the duty most unpleasant, 
and restore those kind and agreeable relations which should 
always exist between the people and their government. 
Surely, when such must be the happy consequence of this 
measure the States will speedily adopt it. 

As an auxiliary to the maximum, it is of great importance 
that the common law offences, of forestalling, regrating and 
engrossing should be made effective. Forestalling is defined 
to be " the act of buying provisions before they are offered 
in market, with intent to sell them at higher prices." Re- 
grating is " the purchasing of provisions and selling them in 
the same market." Engrossing is " the buying up of large 
quantities of commodities in order to raise the prices." These 
acts are all offences at the common law, because enhancing 
the necessaries of life and thus committing a public wrong. 
These practices are common and ought to be suppressed. If 


the legislature would denounce such acts as contrary to 
public policy, and by a summary remedy, punish all persons 
guilty of them, it would relieve the people from the cruel ex- 
tortion to which they are now compelled to submit, and many 
a poor family from suffering and want. 

Of a kindred character is the practice of withholding from 
sale other articles than provisions with a view of obtaining 
higher prices at a future day. The law should compel all 
persons in possession of articles of whatever description not 
needed for their use to offer them for sale. And to prevent 
frauds and evasions, such persons should be required to make 
out inventories of all such articles, whether they are their 
own property or the property of others, with the cost price 
thereof, and to deliver the same to a board of commissioners, 
to be provided by law, who should put their stamp upon each 
article, and restrict the owners to a profit not exceeding 
twenty-five per cent, thereon. I cannot here give all the 
details necessary to perfect this scheme, but it is entirely 
practicable and would greatly contribute to the relief of the 

The auction system, as now conducted, is prejudicial to 
good morals and to the country. I regard it as having done 
more to the prejudice of our currency than any other known 
agency, and under our present circumstances, as an unmiti- 
gated evil. Indeed, I regard it as a gigantic system of 
gambling under authority of law. I hope it will be speedily 

At the special session of the general assembly, a law was 
passed to suppress distillation*. It was eminently a wise and 
proper measure. To effect the objects contemplated by the 
act, however, breweries should be suppressed ; and no sale of 
malt or alcoholic liquors should be permitted, except, perhaps, 
by apothecaries, who, under proper regulations, might be 
allowed to do so for strictly medical purposes. 

There are many persons among us, foreigners by birth, con- 
suming our food, growing rich by speculation and extortion 
upon us, and yet denying their obligation to unite in the de- 
fence of the country. Although I cannot see how such pre- 


tensions can be maintained, yet, if valid under the law now 
existing, the law should be changed, and such persons should 
be compelled to perform military duty, or, at any rate, to 
leave the country. 

It is a matter of concern to every patriot to see so many 
able-bodied men anxious to escape military service, and, to do 
so, seeking the safe and easy employments of the govern- 
ment, or leaving the country for foreign parts. This evil 
might be, to a considerable extent, corrected by a rigid en- 
forcement of existing law, the refusal of all passports to leave 
the country, and the enactment of such laws by the State and 
Confederate governments as might be necessary to correct it. 

I cannot too earnestly press upon the public consideration 
the great importance of organizing the reserved forces of the 
State. Every element of strength, whether of means or men, 
which is now left to us, must be combined as an auxiliary to 
the armies in the field. The Confederate government has 
our entire body of militia under its command, consisting of 
the able-bodied men of the State, and now proposes to 
organize our reserved force. I do not intend, certainly at 
present, to raise any question about the right to do so, but I 
confess I should be much concerned to see it exercised. A 
sovereign state without a soldier, and without the dignity of 
strength — stripped of all her men, and with only the form and 
pageantry of power — would, indeed, be nothing more than a 
wretched dependency, to which I should grieve to see our 
proud old commonwealth reduced. Recent events painfully 
admonish us, also, of the necessity of thorough and complete 
organization, and I doubt not, the general assembly will, on 
reassembling on the 6th instant, promptly relieve us of all 
uneasiness about the legislation of congress by the passage of 
a short, yet comprehensive act, clothing the governor with 
full power to organize the reserved force of the State in such 
manner as may best promote the public interests, having due 
regard, of course, to the character and to the limited objects 
to which it is to be applied. A generous confidence on the 
part of the general assembly in the governor, to whom the 
executive power of the State has been entrusted by the con- 


stitution and the people, is, it seems to me, a constitutional 
duty. But, apart from that view of the subject, I respectfully 
ask it, because it is impossible for any human forethought to 
provide, by legislation, for the varying circumstances which 
may occur during the gigantic war in which we are engaged ; 
and because I cannot believe that I can abuse any trust con- 
fided in me, or fail tenderly to consider the feelings and 
interest of my fellow-citizens in regard to the military duties 
which they may be called to perform. 

The currency of the country, consisting as it does almost 
exclusively of Confederate notes, with which the States and 
all the people thereof are identified, calls for the most careful 
consideration. It must be thoroughly reformed. The facility 
with which it is created, and the enormous amounts which 
are daily issued, naturally lead to waste and extravagance, 
and inevitably to vice and depravity. Far better would it 
have been had we adopted, at the beginning of the war, a 
hard money currency. A judicious system of loans and of 
taxation, combined with our great staples of cotton, tobacco 
and naval stores, of which the government should have pos- 
sessed itself, would have furnished us such resources as would 
have liberally supplied our wants and planted our public 
credit upon a basis which would have given us the confidence 
of the world. It is useless, however, to speculate as to the 
past. The practical question is, what is best now to be done ? 
Virginia is deeply interested in this question, and, as her 
governor, I feel it to be my duty, although with hesitation 
and diffidence, to express my views upon this interesting and 
important question. 

First. Provide by law for the issue of one thousand millions 
of dollars, at four per centum per annum on that part which 
takes up the currency, and six per centum on the residue, 
with coupons attached ; interest payable in specie or bank 

Second. Declare that the Confederate note currency shall 
cease to circulate as such, and shall be funded in the bonds 
authorized to be issued. 

Third. Make the banks of established credit the fiscal 


agents of the government, to sell at not less than par, all 
bonds which may be in excess of the currency to be funded ; 
to issue their own notes as a currency, and to transfer, when 
and where needed, the funds of the government. 

Fourth. To tax freely ; taxes payable in specie, or in the 
notes of banks acting as government agents, or coupons of 
public debt. 

Fifth. Let the government now take into its possession the 
cotton, tobacco and naval stores of the country as auxiliary 
to loans and taxes. 

There can be but little objection to this. It is well known 
that a large portion of these articles is in the hands of specu- 
lators, who have grown rich in the midst of general suffering 
and distress. 

The scheme would, I am persuaded, act like a charm in 
the immediate renovation of the public credit. In the reduc- 
tion of the interest the public will find satisfaction as an evi- 
dence of regard to the resources of the country. Besides, 
those who will own it, will have acquired the ability to do so 
by enormous profits; and, at most, it can only be regarded 
as a special tax upon the rich, which has numerous prece- 
dents, and which they can well afford to pay. 

In this selection of banks, we should have agents of tried 
and approved integrity — thoroughly informed as to the most 
judicious system of credits, and with the restoration of a cur- 
rency now at a heavy premium, and with which the people 
have long been familiar, we should at once see a revival of 
confidence that would gladden the heart of every patriot in 
the land. It does seem to me that this scheme would open 
most auspiciously ; and if sustained by liberal taxation and a 
judicious sale of our great staple, would dispel the clouds 
which hang over and obscure our financial system and let in 
a bright and hopeful future. 

In aid of any scheme of finance, however, I regard it as of 
the first consequence that blockade running, as it is termed, 
should be conducted by the government alone, or by indi- 
viduals and government combined, and that nothing should 
be imported except articles of prime necessity. The effect 


would be to prevent a large amount of waste and extrava- 
gance at home — to sharpen our industrial and inventive facul- 
ties — and to accumulate a large amount of sterling exchange 

No business should be tolerated which looks to fluctuations 
in the currency of the country and the stocks of the govern- 
ment for prosperity. Its instincts would naturally seek to 
aggravate these fluctuations, while all its powers would be 
exerted to appropriate and secure all the advantages incident 
thereto. An. organized money power, actively engaged in 
unsettling the public credit, is a foe greatly to be dreaded, 
and should be controlled by the sternest legislation. Per- 
haps no currency ever existed which had so many agencies 
at work for its destruction as that of the Confederate States. 
And the new scheme of currency and finance which will, I 
presume, soon take the place of that which now exists, must 
be strengthened and protected by timely legislation. As a 
part thereof, let all buying and selling of gold and silver, all 
dealing in State or Confederate currency or the currency of 
their respective agencies, all stock-jobbing in State or Con- 
federate bonds, all receipts of Federal currency of any de- 
scription, be prohibited, and let those violating such law be 
severely punished. 

It is now time to hasten these remarks to an end. I may 
seem to have abandoned some of my old and cherished 
opinions. But, in advocating the maximum — in seeming to 
approve the policy of limiting, by law, the price of money, 
and in proposing to return to the agency of banks for the 
management of the public treasure, I renounce no old and 
cherished opinions, and only yield to the extraordinary cir- 
cumstances which surround us. 

In the suggestions which I have made, I have looked for 
the best means of meeting the peril that is upon us. In the 
plan which I have presented, I have contemplated a system, 
each measure of which is necessary to the other. It will be 
observed, that some of them will be more effective by co- 
operative legislation, which, on the part of Virginia, will never 
be withheld. 


Virginia entered into this war with reluctance ; but having 
entered into it from a sense of duty, she does not mean to 
sheath her sword until she has won her liberty and indepen- 
dence, or the bones of her last son shall lie bleaching on her 
hilltops. Although hundreds of thousands of her people have 
been overrun by the enemy, their fields desolated, their 
homes utterly consumed, in many cases, by fire ; their stock 
devoured, destroyed or carried away ; their slaves enticed 
away from their possession, while the blood of their loved 
ones moisten every battle-field ; yet, they are unconquered ; 
bright, bold and defiant, they are still prepared to suffer. We 
cannot believe that our good God will allow such a just cause 
as ours to be lost. Much as we have done, much remains to 
be done. Let us resolve to make every sacrifice in a cheerful 
and hopeful spirit — in short, perform our whole duty, and 
then, with the blessings of Heaven, we cannot be subdued. 

William Smith. 
January ist, 1864. 

DOC. No. VII. 

Governor's Response 


Resolution of the General Assembly, 




State of Virginia, Executive Department, j 
Richmond, January ioth, 1865. j 

To the General Assembly of Virginia : 

Gentlemen — Your resolution, adopted December 15, 1864, was duly placed in 
my hands. Constant occupation, combined with the impression that great prompt- 
ness was not necessary, have induced me to delay my reply to the present hour. I, 
however, now respectfully submit it. 

In the resolution, I am asked whether I have "apprised the proper Confederate 
authorities that the State of Virginia, by her resolution of the ioth of March, 1864, 
claims and requires the exclusive service of certain officers enumerated therein, and 
their immunity from all military service to the Confederate government by virtue of 
any law thereof, as indispensable to the public functions with which they are 
charged, and to the proper maintenance of the dignity, integrity and efficiency of 
the government of this State, and if so, what response has been made by those 
authorities; and if he has failed so to do, he is respectfully requested to communi- 
cate to the general assembly his reasons for such failure." 

In reply, I respectfully state that I did not formally communicate to the Con- 
federate authorities the resolution in question, although I frequently conversed with 
the secretary of war and the conscript bureau upon the matter contained in them. Of 
course, they were well known to those authorities; and they were even used by 
them to obstruct what I deemed proper exemptions, they insisting in cases that I 
deemed necessary for exemption, which were not included in the specifications of 
the resolutions, that the legislature had not asked for them. The only approximate 
reply to my notification of said resolutions is to be found in the nth section of Circu- 
lar No. 8, March 18, 1864, which is in the following words: "XI. "Besides the officers 
of the Confederate and State governments particularly named in the act of congress, 
the officers of the government of the Confederate States whose nominations have 
been made by the President and confirmed by the senate, or who have been ap- 
pointed by the judges of the district courts, under the authority confided by an act 
of congress, will be exempted from military service until further orders; also, the 
judges or justices of any supreme, superior or circuit court of any state; also, the 
judges of probate, clerk of any court of record, ordinary, sheriff, one tax collector in 
each county, and recorder of deeds and wills, if there be such an officer existing by 
law, and such other officers of the State provided by law as the governor may certify 


to be necessary to the proper administration of the State government; " and in the 
following extract from a communication received from the bureau of conscription, 
under date 27th September, 1864: " No other orders have been issued upon the sub- 
ject, but applications have been repeatedly refused for the want of your certificate, 
and returned to the parties to enable them to procure it as required by the act of 

The paragraph from the act of congress referred to, approved February 17, 1864, 
providing for exception, reads as follows: "The vice-president of the Confederate 
States, the members and officers of congress and the several State legislatures, and 
such other Confederate and State officers as the President or the governors of the 
respective States may certify to be necessary for the proper administration of the 
Confederate or State governments, as the case may be." 

The language of the third resolution referred to reads as follows: "That the 
governor be and is hereby authorized and directed, in such mode as he may deem best, 
to apprise the proper Confederate authorities that the State of Virginia claims and 
requires the exclusive use of the above enumerated officers and their immunity from 
all military service of the Confederate government by virtue of any law thereof." 

In this resolution, as well as others in the series, the legislature claims to speak 
for the State, and restricts the governor to certain enumerated officers, and in certain 
general terms, undertaking to grant him power "to see that the laws are faithfully 
executed." The concluding resolution reads: "That the governor be further em- 
powered and directed to certify as to such other officers as he may deem necessary for 
the proper administration of the government," and after referring to a number of 
the employments of the State, winds up with directions that the governor shall 
'■'^request their exemption, so long as they may be rendering such services, from the 
military service of the Confederate States." It will be observed that the legislature 
does not claim any of the officers or employees referred to in this resolution for 
"exclusive service" in the State government, but leaves the governor to request of 
the Confederate government such as he may deem necessary. It is obvious that the 
governor's action is to have the whole weight of the legislature against it, and that 
his request would have but a poor chance with the Confederate authorities. Of 
course, I could not become a party to this action of the assembly by formally com- 
municating it, as the effect would inevitably have been to deprive me of the ability 
to see the law executed according to the injunctions of the Constitution. I must 
repeat, in substance, that it is manifest that the general assembly, in the various 
enumerations of officers which they claim, throw their whole weight against such as 
I might claim. Why are the deputies of sheriffs and of clerks — why constables and 
surveyors and others omitted? Simply because they were not deemed by the 
general assembly as entitled to "immunity from all military service." 

And as the government could not be carried on with such officers as were 
claimed by the general assembly, I was constrained to take the ground that the 
resolutions in question were merely the opinions of the general assembly, entitled to 
every respect, but furnishing no controlling rule for the government of the execu- 
tive, and that his constitutional rights could in no wise be affected thereby. It was 
months before this view was recognized by the Confederate government, and it 
would not have been yielded, I presume, but for the act of congress which required 
the authorities of the government to respect the certificate of the governor of a state. 
Nor could the governor of Virginia "request" of the Confederate government an 
officer or employee deemed necessary to the State government, when the State had 
an inherent right to him, which was fully recognized by the Confederate govern- 
ment. Our State will have fallen low indeed when she has to stoop to "request" of 
one of her own citizens who is necessary to the administration directly or indirectly, 
of her government. 

But there are other objections to the resolutions which would not allow me to 


give them my assent, even by implication, and which I will proceed to notice, I beg 
to assure you, with the most sincere respect. 

The second article of our State constitution is as follows: 

"The legislative, executive and judiciary departments shall be separate and 
distinct, so that neither exercise the power properly belonging to either of the others; 
nor shall any person exercise the power of more than one of them at the same time, 
except that justices of the peace shall be eligible to either house of the assembly." 

All writers upon popular government agree that public liberty depends upon 
keeping these departments separate and distinct and strictly within their respective 
limits. No commingling of them is allowable, except when specified in the consti- 
tution; any other is a violation thereof, subverts a fundamental principle of our 
organic law, and marches us on directly to that concentration of all power in a single 
head, whether of one or many makes no difference, which all agree is the essence of 
tyranny. The legislature makes the law, the governor executes it, and the judges 
expound it. Neither can exercise a power outside of its appropriate function, except 
by express constitutional grant. 

These departments derive their power, not from each other, but from the 
sovereign people, whose will is expressed in our Constitution. Those filling them 
are equally the representatives of the people, being elected by them; and the idea 
which prevails to some extent that either more immediately reflects the popular will 
than another, is without foundation in fact. All are presumed to be equally honest, 
capable and faithful in the performance of their respective functions, and all have to 
take the same oath of office, of fidelity to its trusts and to the Constitution. I will 
give the oath: "I declare myself a citizen of the commonwealth of Virginia, and 
solemnly swear that I will be faithful and true to the said commonwealth and will 
support the Constitution thereof so long as I continue to be a citizen of the same. So 
help me God." I could not, therefore, so far compromise the rights and dig?iity of 
the commonwealth as to "request" those State officers and State employees whom I 
might deem necessary to the administration of the Stale government, inasmuch as I 
had a clear, undoubted, and fully recognized right to them. 

I could not fail to see, gentlemen, that you assume in your resolutions that the 
whole power of exemption is yours. Pardon me, but I respectfully submit that this 
is a grave mistake. An exempt is one who is "free from any service to which 
others are subject; " for instance, "to be exempt from military duty." To give a 
man or men, an individual or a class, an exemption, is to confer upon him or them a 
privilege which is expressly forbidden by the 4th article of our bill of rights. The 
power which exempts a class may exempt all classes, and thus the most fearful mis- 
chief may ensue from the action of a single department of the state government. Of 
course, such a doctrine cannot be maintained; and yet it is the legitimate sequence 
of the power assumed. I quoted in my late message from the decision of our court 
of appeals in the case of Burroughs vs. Peyton, etc.,* the doctrine and language of 
which is so opposite that I trust I shall be excused for reproducing it on the present 
occasion. Says the court: "The obligation of the citizen to render military service 
is a paramount social and political duty. It is a matter in which the whole body 
politic is interested. The citizens have a right, collectively and individually, to the 
service of each other to avert any danger which may be menaced. The manner in 
which the service is to be apportioned among them, is a matter for legislation. The 
government, as the agent and trustee of the people, is charged with the whole mili- 
tary strength of the nation, in order that it may be employed so as to ensure the 
safety of all. The power which it has to enforce the performance of the obligation 
to render military service, is given that it may be used, not abdicated. No right has 
been conferred on the government to divest itself, by contract or otherwise, of the 
power of employing whenever and as the exigencies of the country may demand, 
the whole military strength that has been placed at its disposal. As the nature and 

* XVI. Vol. Gratian's Report— p. 470. Opinion of the whole Court, delivered by Judge Robertson. 


extent of those exigencies cannot be foreseen, and it is impossible to say in advance 
that the services of every citizen capable of bearing arms may not become indis- 
pensable for the defence of the country, the government has no right to enter into 
any contract precluding it from requiring those services if they should be needed. 
If there be such right, the spectacle might be presented of a nation subjugated and 
destroyed at a time when it had within its limits citizens amply sufficient to defend 
it successfully against all assaults of its enemies, but whose services could not be 
commanded because, forsooth, the government had contracted with them that they 
should not be required to serve in the army." Again: "The power of coercing the 
citizen to render military service for such time and under such circumstances as the 
government may think tit, is a transcendent power; but so far from being inconsis- 
tent with liberty, is essential to its preservation. A nation cannot foresee the extent 
of the danger to which it may be exposed. It must therefore grant to its government 
a power equal to every possible emergency; and this can only be done by giving to 
it the control of its whole military strength. The danger that the power may be 
abused cannot render it proper to withhold it, for it is necessary to the national life." 
The supreme court of Georgia, in a very able opinion, full of authorities, maintains 
the same doctrine; and it is believed that such is the doctrine of every State in the 

In our Code, page 135, under the title of "What persons are liable to and what 
exempt from military duty," the first section will be found to read as follows: 
"Every able-bodied male citizen between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, resi- 
dent within the State, and not exempt from service by the laws of the United States 
or of this State, shall be subject to military duty." Under this law, all persons out- 
side of the specified age are exempt. But under the doctrine which rules this ques- 
tion, what becomes of this exemption ? Already the conscript law of the Confederate 
government has overridden it and included all persons between seventeen and fifty, 
except those specified in the act itself, or such as are necessary to the State govern- 
ment, the evidence of which necessity is to be found in the governor's certificate. The 
fact is, the word "exception," in connection with this question, has no legal or consti- 
tutional significance. There is no such word in the Constitution, nor is the idea con- 
templated therein. All persons are bound to perform all the duties imposed upon them 
by the law and the Constitution. Exemptions therefrom are in derogation of the com- 
mon right of one citizen to the service of another. A citizen to whom one duty is 
assigned may or may not be required to perform another. If the interests of the 
community make it necessary to call upon a citizen who has one duty to perform to 
perform another, why should he not do it if he can ? If relieved from the duty when 
he can perform it, he is then in the enjoyment of a privilege which, as I have shown, 
is prohibited by the bill of rights. Hence I conclude that proper exemptions are not 
derived from the Constitution or the laws made in pursuance thereof, but are to be 
traced up to that inherent right of self-preservation which gives to the proper State 
authorities the right of all officers and employees requisite to the proper administra- 
tion of the State government. And what objection can there be to this doctrine ? 
If one government claims and the other concedes this doctrine, where is the diffi- 
culty? and where the objection ? 

It is the duty, undoubtedly, of the general assembly to pass all laws and to pro- 
vide all officers necessary to maintain the State government. The constitution gives 
the amplest power for that purpose. Indeed, the legislature has the power, it may 
be, to exercise all the powers not conferred upon the other departments, or not with- 
held by express stipulation in the Constitution. The second article furnishes a broad 
and general restriction. Besides that, there are many special restrictions and commands 
in the Constitution for the government of the legislature. It has certain specified 
executive powers. Surely, it requires no logic to demonstrate that a grant of power 
is a denial of power not granted. The nth section of the 5th article of the Constitu- 
tion says: "A secretary of the commonwealth, treasurer and auditor of public 


accounts shall be elected by the joint vote of the two houses of the general assem- 
bly." Where is the authority to elect a register, a second auditor and a superinten- 
dent of the penitentiary ? Clearly, the exercise of it is an executive power, and 
clearly that is forbidden to the legislature, except in the cases specified. 

But the spirit of encroachment on the part of the legislature has always existed. 
It has excited the liveliest interest with the patriot and the sage, and various measures 
have been devised to restrain it. Mr. Jefferson, in his Notes on Virginia, says: " All 
the powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, result to the legislative body. The 
concentration of these, in the same hands, is precisely the definition of despotic 
government." In the 47th number of the Federalist, Mr. Madison says: "The 
accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same hands, 
whether of one, a few or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed or elective, 
may justly be pronounced the very essence of tyranny." Mr. Hamilton, in the 51st 
number of the Federalist, says: " In order to lay a due foundation for that separate 
and distinct exercise of the powers of government which, to a certain extent, is 
admitted to be essential to the preservation of liberty, it is evident that each depart- 
ment should have a will of its own. 

By our first State Constitution, the executive was a mere dependent of the legis- 
lature. Mr. Jefferson, in his Notes on Virginia, says: "They (meaning the legisla- 
ture) have accordingly in many instances decided rights which should have been 
left to judiciary controversy; and the direction of the executive, during the whole term of 
their session, is becoming habitual and familiar." Mr. Doddridge, in the convention of 
1829, in summing up this subject, says: "From this view, it is manifest that the 
governor of this commonwealth is a mere creature of the general assembly." Mr. 
Monroe said also, that "the danger is in the legislature;" that "the success of 
our system of government depends upon its organization, on the distribution of 
power between the different branches, and on keeping each branch independent of 
the others." But why multiply quotations from our best and wisest statesmen ? All 
will agree that our system of government requires that each department should be 
kept separate and distinct from the others, and in the expressive language of Mr. 
Hamilton, "should have a will of its own." To give this "will" to the governor, 
it is provided by the Constitution that he shall be elected by the people, that he shall 
have a salary of five thousand dollars for each year of his service, and that he shall 
not be elected for two successive terms. Anyone who will read the debates of the 
conventions of 1829 and 1850, will at once see that the great object of these organic 
changes was to give the executive "a will of its o7vn." 

Mr. Hamilton has well remarked: "But the great security against a gradual 
concentration of the powers in the same department consists in giving to those who 
administer each department the necessary constitutional means, and personal 
motives, to resist the encroachments of the others. The provisions for defence must, 
in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate with the danger of attack." 
Now, the governor has all that is necessary to make him independent, but he is 
without the means to protect his department from encroachment by the others. He 
may refuse to execute an unconstitutional act or judgment, as it would be his duty 
to do, but he has to rely mainly upon the forbearance of the co-ordinate departments 
for his protection from encroachment. 

You are pleased to say, gentlemen, in your concluding resolution, "that the 
governor be further empowered and directed to certify to such other officers as he may 
deem necessary for the proper administration of the government." From this I 
infer that you propose to confer upon the governor a power which he did not other- 
wise possess. As the constitution has undertaken to distribute the powers of the 
government among the different departments, it is plain that one department can- 
not confer power upon another. The legislature may increase the duties of the 
executive, but cannot increase his powers. The legislature may pass laws, but the 
Constitution confers upon the governor the'power to execute them — indeed, requires 


him to do so. The 5th section of the 5th article says: " He shall take care that the 
laws be faithfully executed." He is clothed with the power to embody the militia to 
enforce the execution of the laws. This broad and distinct power carries with it the 
right to select and appoint all the officers and employees necessary to its exercise. 
There is no principle better settled than that an unqualified grant of power gives the 
means necessary to carry it into effect. In the language of the supreme court of 
Georgia, " this is a universal maxim, which admits of no exception." And thus the 
grant of power which you have proposed to make already belongs to the executive. 
I am sure there can be no difference between us upon this question. 

I have already said that it was the duty of the legislature to pass the necessary 
laws to execute the purposes contemplated by the Constitution, and to provide the 
executive with the necessary officers and employees to execute them; because there- 
by no questions could arise with the legislature as to the necessity of officers or their 
compensation. But should the legislature at any time pass a law without providing 
the necessary officers for its execution and fixing the compensation, the governor's 
right to appoint such officers can admit of no question. Without the right to do so, 
the requirement to see the law executed would be unobserved, and a clear and im- 
perative command be disobeyed. 

You are pleased, also, in the resolution, to direct me to certify, etc. I respectfully 
submit that this is not the language of official courtesy, which should be observed in 
the intercourse betwen co-ordinate departments, It is language proper to be 
addressed to a subordinate, not an equal. It is the language of the Constitution, the 
common source of our several powers, which prescribes and commands at pleasure. 

I have thus, gentlemen, stated the qualified mode adopted in communicating 
your resolutions to the Confederate authorities, and have explained to you the objec- 
tions which prevented my adopting them, which I should have done by officially 
communicating them. I beg to assure you that the grounds I have taken have been 
assumed with hesitation; but having sworn to support the Constitution, and really 
believing that your resolutions contain doctrines inconsistent with the constitutional 
rights which I represent, with that system of government which we have established, 
the preservation of which is essential to public liberty, and which we are all anxious 
to maintain, I have felt myself constrained to present these views for your con- 
sideration. I have the honor to be, gentlemen, 

With high consideration, 

Your obedient servant, 

William Smith. 

Specimens of the Prices of Supplies Purchased by Gov- 
ernor Smith's Quartermaster, at Richmond, for the 
State of Virginia, in 1864. 

The following account (on next page) of State Quartermas- 
ter and Agent of Gov. Smith, while Governor during the last 
year and a quarter of his administration at Richmond, Va., are 
here inserted only as matters of curiosity in the extraordinary 
prices for provisions and supplies obtained by him at that 
time, for the use of citizens of Richmond and others, as well 
as to show the energy and great executive ability of the Gov- 
ernor in so doing. 

They are copies of the original vouchers, and there can be 
no question of their truth and accuracy. These are but speci- 
mens : 


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J. & F." Garret & Co., Dr. to Governor W. Smith. 

April 14. To 3 sides upper leather 19J lbs. $30 00 $592 50 

73 lbs. 32 50 2,372 50 

327 lbs. 3300 10,79100 

27^ lbs. 907 50 

Russet leather 176 lbs. 29 00 5,104 00 

3400 4,21600 

36 5° x 3>705 5° 

45 2 5 7.194 75 

3i 5° 


" " " 


11 t i 11 


II II a 

" Russet leather 


" sole leather 


it 11 11 


" upper leather 


wood boxes 

$44,915 25 


" By 10 per cent, commission $4i49i 5 2 

" Drayage from depot 25 00 

" Drayage to depot 3 boxes 10 00 $4>5 26 52 

$40,388 73 

June 14. Amount of corn on hand 2 i5°5 Bushels io'pounds 

" 20. To balance sold as follows: Bush. Lbs. 

Ordinance Department 5 12J 

First Regiment 2 45 

Nineteenth Regiment 59 30 

Miscellaneous 1019 1,08637^ " 

Balance on hand i)4i8 bushels 22^ pounds 

E. H. Fitzhugh's Account, Quartermaster-General. 
1864. In Account with Governor Wm. Smith, Dr. 
June 20. To 250 bushels, sold at $10 per bushel $2,500 00 

" To 836 " 37 pounds sold, at $15 per bushel 12 >55 r 2 5 

Total sold $15,051 25 

By cash paid Governor $8,560 00 

Balance on hand $6,491 25 

Edward H. Fitzhugh, Major and Quartermaster. 

Quartermaster GeneraPs Office: 
1864. To the Governor of Virginia, Dr. 

June 13. To 654 bushels meal, etc $8,560 00 

July 3. To 1,352 " 27$ lbs. meal 20,28825 

" 3. " 1,698^ lbs. flour 2,03820 

$30,886 45 
1864. CR. 
June 13. By cash $8,560 00 

Balance due Governor $22,326 45 

Amount of meal, according to Miller 2,435 bushels. 

Issued 654 ' ' 

" 1,352 " 27$ lbs. ... 2,00627$ 

Bushels 428 32J lbs 
July 4, 1864. 

Edward H. Fitzhugh, Major and Quartermaster, Virginia. 


The Quartermaster General's Office of Virginia, Dr. 
1864. In account with William Smith, Governor of Virginia. 

June 25. To amount of meal, etc., sold to date inclusive of Saturday ) 

25, June 1864, viz., 250 bushels at $10. . . . $2,500 00 V $21,900 25 
1,293 " 17J lbs. at $15. 19,40025) 

By cash to Governor 8,560 00 

Saturday June 25, 1864. Balance due Governor $13,340 25 

Meal account. bush. lbs. 

Amount of corn delivered Warwick & Barksdale 2 >5°5 10 

By amount sold I >543 ^l\ 

Quantity now on hand 961 42^ 

Saturday, June 25, 1864. 

Edward H. Fitzhugh, Major and Quartermaster, Virginia. 

Cash paid Lamar for 449 Tierce's Rice $90,991 89 

Express Charges and Expenses $225 00 j 

Freight paid by Major Ficklin 283 80 i 

" " N. E. R. R. Co., on 150 Tierce's $8,27446 

" " C. & S. R. R. Co., on 13 cars 2 >5°9 00 

" " N. E. R. R. Co., on 299 Tierce's 11,36520 

" C. & S. R. R. Co., 4,65300 

" " Lighterage over C. F. River 598 00 $27,459 66 

Total by Ficklin $1 18,960 35 

Freight paid by Spotts & Harvey, Wilmington to Richmond 

150 Tierce's $6,398 57 

Wilmington to Richmond 300 " 14,752 35 

Drayage etc., Petersburg 150 " I > 1 55 °° 

" " Richmond 150 " 32000 

" " " 300 " 44100 $23,06692 

Total cost 450 Tierces of Rice $142,027 27 


By receipts on sales per Spotts & Harvey $130,506 00 

Net loss 11,521 27 

The Governor of Virginia in Account With State of Virginia, Dr. 

To Military Contingent Fund $40,000 00 

" Civil " " 25,000 00 

" Cash on sale of paper imported for State 4,000 00 

" Cash loaned by self to State 1,070 00 

$70,070 00 
By costs returned to self 1,070 00 

Amount of funds from State to be accounted for $69,000 00 


By divers sundries paid for State on account of Civil Contingent fund etc. 38,926 65 

January 19, 1865, yet to be accounted for $30,073 35 


Estimated Results. 

Cash in hands of Quartermaster $ "8,395 74 

Due by B. T. Ficklin 5 I >°39 45 

" " Spotts & Harvey per account 42,439 08 

$211,874 27 
Due by Spotts & Harvey 450 empty rice tierces. 100 tierces yet to arrive. 

Sundry goods, viz., say 13 rolls leather; 4 boxes of window glass, at Wilmington. 

90 to 100 bales of cotton abroad against which there has been drawn say about 


S. DeRosset & Brown. 

State of " Virginia " per J. D. Harvey, Esq., 62 Bbls. Flour @ $175 $10,850 00 

Drayage 32 50 

$10,882 50 
Wilmington, June 17, 1864. Received payment, 

DeRosset & Brown. 

per J. Deans. 

Governor Smith Asking that a Train of Cars, etc., from York River R. R. be 
placed at Disposal of State Authorities. 

Executive Department of Virginia, 1 
Richmond, June 8, 1864. J 

Alexander Dudley, Esq?, President of the York River R. R, Co., Richmond Virginia: 

Sir: — You are doubtless aware that the enemy in their inroads into various por- 
tions of the State, has devastated the country and systematically destroyed provisions 
and supplies of every kind. 

This inhuman mode of warfare has reduced the people in some sections of the 
State to absolute want. They are deprived of all means of subsistence and the 
authorities of the State must adopt some plan for their relief or they will starve. 

Corn can only be obtained at the South — and in reflecting upon the means of 
transportation, which will least interfere with the government in bringing supplils 
for our armies to this point, it has occurred to me that a train from your road will 
cause as little embarrassment as one taken from any other road in the State. 

The object of this communication is therefore to request that you will place at 
the disposal of the Slate authorities a train of cars from your road, complete in all its 
equipments and with the necessary officers and men to run it, for the purpose of 
transporting corn and other supplies from the South to Virginia. 

The appeal in behalf of aged men and of helpless women and children in want 
of the absolute necessaries of life, is one I cannot listen to unmoved. Their wants 
must be supplied and supplied quickly. The urgency of the case admits neither of 
denial nor of delay. As the State is a large stockholder in your road this call is for 
what, in a great measure, is her own. And as the Chief Magistrate of the State, I, in 
her name, feel warranted in demanding that the train of cars be immediately put at 
the disposal of the State authorities. 

I shall be [gratified to hear from you on this subject at the earliest possible mo- 
ment. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Wm. Smith. 

Richmond, June 9, 1864. 
Any diversion of the rolling stock of the York River Railroad from its present 
business would be a serious interference to the supplies of the army, and while ap- 
preciating the urgency of Governor Smith's appeal, yet, I cannot consent to jeopord- 
ize the constant and regular supply of food, already too meagre for the safety of the 
army. I must therefore respectfully decline to let any of the trains of the Y. R. R. R. 
g°- F. W. Swiss, Lieutenant-Colonel and Quartermaster. 

Respectfully returned to his Excellency Governor Smith. The train of cars re- 
ferred to will be released from further service in this department. I trust this train 
will be able to supply the private wants in Virginia, which are now very pressing, so 
that this department can exert all its energies to the supply of our armies. 

June 11, 1864. A. R. Lawton, Quartermaster-General. 




















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to the legislature of virginia, december jill, 1864. 

Executive Department, ) 

Richmond, Va., December 7th, 1864. j 

Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Delegates : 

I am gratified that you have again met in general assembly, 
to take into consideration the condition of our afflicted com- 
monwealth. At the period of your last adjournment our 
enemy was engaged in vast preparations for the capture and 
occupation of this proud city. Having completed his prepa- 
rations, by the organization of one of the most formidable 
armies ever assembled on this continent, he, about the 1st 
of May last, commenced his march. He relied, with confi- 
dence, upon his vast numbers and thorough equipment, for 
an early consummation of his long deferred hopes. Led by 
the greatest of his captains, flushed with numerous successes, 
it was entirely natural that he should fearlessly look to the 
future, while we should contemplate it with uneasiness and 
apprehension. He had, however, scarcely crossed the Rapid 
Ann before our noble army, led by that great and good man 
General R. E. Lee, breaking up their camp, dashed upon his 
haughty columns, and, after one of the bloodiest and best 
contested battles of the war, taught the enemy to respect the 
army he had effected to despise, and to know that his march 
to Richmond would be attended with difficulties and dangers 
he had not anticipated. I shall not undertake to detail the 
series of bloody battles which were fought on the road to 
Richmond, nor tell how the enemy, although continually 
strengthened by heavy reinforcements, was compelled to 
leave the city to his right, until finally he crossed the James 
and undertook, by a coup de main, to carry the City of Peters- 
burg; nor how, after nearly a seven months' campaign of 
unexampled slaughter of his men, he still finds himself with 
hope deferred, and but little prospect of realizing expecta- 
tions so confidently^ entertained for the last three years. 


Suffice it to say, that you, gentlemen, are here in safety ; 
here in calm deliberation ; here to digest those measures 
which are still required by the dangers we have yet to meet. 
It is right, however, that I should warn you that the enemy 
is diligently engaged in strengthening his army, and in re- 
covering from the exhaustion caused by his repeated defeats. 
It is difficult, really, to comprehend our foe. The right of 
self-government was established by the blood of our revo- 
lutionary fathers ; was proclaimed in the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, and is engrafted in the Constitution of all the 
States ; and yet, the United States, with reckless extrava- 
gance in men and money, unparalleled in the world's history, 
is denying this right and seeking to overthrow and subjugate 
the people who proclaimed it, and who only ask to be let 
alone ; who, for simply asserting and maintaining this princi- 
ple, are pursued with a venom, malignity and hate unknown 
in civilized war. 

With everything dear to man at stake, I can not suppose 
that there will be any hesitation on your part to embody the 
whole resources of the State, in men and means, in order to 
enable us successfully to avert the awful doom our enemy 
has in store for us. 

One of your first duties, gentlemen, will be to take into the 
consideration the measure to bring into the field all able- 
bodied men who are not necessary to the State government. 
It is utterly impossible for me to understand the logic which 
exempts State officers who are not necessary for the State 
government ; and yet it is the fact that the judges are under- 
taking to turn loose from the grasp of military authority men 
without any duty to perform, upon the ground that they are 
officers provided by the constitution and the laws. There 
are some forty or fifty counties of Virginia within the enemy's 
lines, most of them under a regular government of the enemy. 
The State officers therein have been, were loyal of course, 
expelled from office and are refugees. Most of them have 
acquired new homes, and have formed new social and busi- 
ness relations, and may not return to their counties until this 
war shall terminate. Many will never return even with 


peace, and it may be a question, if they should do so, whether 
they would have a right to resume their offices. Under the 
laws and the constitution the counties will average about 
sixty officers, furnishing, within the enemies lines, a number 
equal to about two thousand, constituting a force sufficient, it 
may be, to turn the tide of a great battle. Yet, according to 
the decision of some of the judges, these officers would be 
exempt from military duty, although without civil duties to 
perform, and with a great probability that they will have none 
during the continuance of the war. 

The court of appeals in the case of Burroughs vs. Peyton,* 
etc., has well said that " the obligation of every citizen to 
render military service is a paramount, social and political 
duty. It is a matter in which the whole body politic is inter- 
ested. The citizens have a right collectively and individually 
to the service of each other to avert any danger which may 
be menaced. The manner in which the service is to' be ap- 
pointed among them is a matter for legislation. The govern- 
ment, as the agent and trustee of the people, is charged with 
the whole military strength of the nation, in order that it may 
be employed so as to insure the safety of all. The power 
which it has to enforce the performance of the obligation to 
render military service is given that it may be used, not abdi- 
cated. No right has been conferred upon the government to 
divest itself, by contract or otherwise, of the power of employ- 
ing, whenever and as the exigencies of the country may de- 
mand, the whole military strength that has been placed at its 
disposal. As the nature and extent of these exigencies can- 
not be foreseen, and it is impossible to say in advance that the 
services of every citizen capable of bearing arms may not 
become indispensable for the defence of the country, the 
government has no right to enter into any contract preclud- 
ing it from requiring those services, if they should be needed. 
If there be such right, the spectacle might be presented of a 
nation subjugated and destroyed at a time when it had within 
its limits citizens amply sufficient to defend it successfully 
against all the assaults of its enemies, but whose services 

* XVI. Gratian's Reports, p. 470, before referred to in a preceding message to the Legislature of Virginia. 


could not be commanded because, forsooth, the government 
had contracted with them that they should not be required to 
serve in the army. Again : " The power of coercing the 
citizen to render military service for such time and under such 
circumstances as the government may think fit, is a trans- 
cendent power, but so far from being inconsistent with 
liberty, is essential to its preservation. A nation cannot fore- 
see the extent of the danger to which it may be exposed. It 
must, therefore, grant to its government a power equal to 
every possible emergency ; and this can only be done by 
giving to it the control of its whole military strength. The 
danger that the power may be abused cannot render it 
proper to withhold it, for it is necessary to the national life." 
It would seem to me that the doctrine of these extracts 
covers the whole question ; but should there be a doubt re- 
maining, the following extract from the same able opinion, re- 
peating a well established rule of law, must dispel it :* " The 
well established rule of construction is, that all grants of privi- 
leges and exemptions from general burdens are to be con- 
strued liberally in favor of the public, and strictly as against 
the grantee. Whatever is not plainly expressed and un- 
equivocally granted, is taken to be withheld." Taken in this 
view, how can there be a question ? The officers referred to 
are local officers ; their duties are local ; they forfeit their 
offices if they leave their counties. The Justices of the Peace 
are compelled to reside in the districts from which they are 
elected ; and yet these officers are refugees — that is, resident 
out of their counties. In undertaking to protect them against 
the forfeiture provided by law, the courts have to assume that 
they are excused from the residence required, in consequence 
of the compulsion of the enemy. Is not this inference judi- 
cial legislation ? At any rate no act of assembly authorizes 
such an inference ; and is it to be supposed that the law 
would not have provided for such a case had the legislature 
deemed it proper to do so ? At least, can it be said that there 
is no doubt upon the subject ? and if a doubt, that it should 

* The opinion before referred to by Governor Smith is from the pen of Judge W. J. Robertson, of the 
Court of Appeals of Virginia, an able lawyer and rigid constructionist of the Constitution. 


not, in the language of an extract already quoted, " be con- 
strued liberally in favor of the public." How can the State 
be injured by the view for which I contend ? How it can be 
prejudiced by the converse of the proposition, all can see. 

But to exempt the large class of officers, or any portion of 
them, when they have no service to perform is, it seems to 
me, plainly unconstitutional. The fourth article of the Bill of 
Rights reads as follows : " That no man or set of men are 
entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges 
from the community but in consideration of public services." 
Will not these officers, without civil duties to perform, enjoy 
personal "privileges ?" Surely it may legitimately be argued, 
that so far from being exempted they are under a special ob- 
ligation, in addition to the general one attaching to every citi- 
zen, to fight for the recovery of their counties. They have 
been ousted of their offices, have consequently suffered a per- 
sonal injury and will realize a special advantage in the re- 
covery of the counties from which they have been expelled. 
I know it is contended that these officers are entitled to ex- 
emption under the decision of the court in the case from which 
I have so freely quoted, and the following extract is relied 
upon in support of the position. 

" It is absurd to suppose that the Government of the Con- 
federate States can rightfully destroy the Government of the 
States which created it ; and all the powers conferred on it 
must be understood to have been driven with the limitation 
that in executing them, nothing shall be done to interfere with 
the independent exercise of its sovereign power by each 
State. Congress can have no right therefore to deprive a 
State of any officer necessary to the action of its government, 
and the State itself is the sole judge as to the officers that are 
necessary for that purpose." I entirely concur with the doc- 
trine here expressed ; but can it be said that the officers of a 
locality within the enemy's lines and under the regular super- 
visions of the agents of a foreign government, are necessary to 
the action of the Government of the State? and under this doc- 
trine, can any officer of a county within our own jurisdiction 
be entitled to exemption unless he be necessary? It is said, 


however, that all the officers named in the constitution and 
provided by the laws are pronounced necessary by the very 
highest authority, and can under no circumstances be ques- 
tioned, and whether employed or not cannot be required to 
perform any other duties than those for which they are elected. 
Surely this will strike the reflecting mind with surprise. The 
•constitution intended to provide a frame of government for 
those on whom it was to operate. It was necessarily experi- 
mental. The officers authorized were doubtless presumed to 
be necessary ; but if found to be otherwise, why should those 
appointed to fill them be relieved from the performance of 
other duties required by the wants of the community. Indeed 
I lay it down as a broad proposition that no person occupying 
office is exempt from the other duties of a citizen, except on 
the score of incompatibility. I ask with confidence, why 
should a citizen be exempt from other obligations, when they 
do not interfere with those to which he is specially elected. 
If a man can perform more than one duty, why should he not 
do it? I would like to hear a good and sufficient reason in 
answer to this interrogatory. It would be a great reflection 
upon those who framed the constitution to suppose that they 
intended any such conclusion ; and in the absence of all pro- 
visions to that effect, it cannot be presumed. Nowhere in the 
constitution is provision made, in terms, for exemption. It is 
inferential merely and then only upon the ground of incom- 
patibility of service. The same remarks will apply to the 

The doctrine contended for may lead to the most fatal re- 
sults. If all the officers designated in the constitution and in 
the laws made in pursuance thereof, are to be exempted be- 
cause they are State officers — if all the Justices of the Peace, 
who bye-the-bye, were never exempted until the ist of Octo- 
ber, 1862, having from the revolution to that period been re- 
quired to perform military duty — if all sheriffs and clerks and 
their deputies, all commissioners of the revenue, all surveyors 
and commonwealth's attorneys, all constables and overseers 
of the poor, all county agents for supplying soldiers' families, 
all salt agents, commercial agents, etc., all employees of banks, 


cities, towns, etc., are to be exempt indiscriminately and with- 
out reference to their necessity, then indeed, in the language 
of the decision so frequently quoted, " the spectacle might be 
presented of a nation subjugated and destroyed at a time when 
it had within its limits citizens amply sufficient to defend it 
against all the assaults of its enemies, but whose services could 
not be commanded, because, forsooth, the government had con- 
tracted with them that they should not be required to serve 
in the army." So far, in this State, the number of exempts 
is comparatively small ; but in other States, we are told, it is 
widely different. At this time a powerful army of the enemy is 
sweeping over the State of Georgia, in which, under the doc- 
trine contended for, there is now an army of exempts — exempts 
because officers and employees of the State government. 

At this time the pressure of the service inspires a very com- 
mon desire to escape from it ; and the remedy by habeas 
corpus, designed for extraordinary acts of official tyranny or 
individual acts of oppression, is daily resorted to, to extricate 
the citizen from the holy duty of defending the country. 
Lawyers of every degree hie to the feast thus spread before 
them, and judges in chambers and in court feel constrained to 
apply the principles of the writ to those but little better than 
moral deserters from the standard of their country, and at a 
time, too, when she is struggling in a death struggle with her 
eicrantic foe. But do the iudsfes aoree amomr themselves in 
a uniform application of the same principle ? In North Caro- 
lina exemption assumes the broadest form, while in Alabama, 
a much narrower rule is adopted, and even in Virginia, some 
differences exist. But all, I believe, concur that the judges 
have the right to pronounce who are exempt from military 
duty by reason of their office, notwithstanding the legislature 
and the executive may entertain a different opinion. It does 
not matter what the legislature may declare by law ; it does 
not matter who the Executive may deem necessary to enable 
him to see the laws faithfully executed — the court understands 
better than their co-equal and co-ordinate departments, what 
is necessary to preserve the State governments ! Against this 
I enter my firm but respectful protest. 


The second article of the constitution reads as follows : 
" The Legislative, Executive and Judiciary Departments shall 
be separate and distinct, so that neither exercise the power 
properly belonging to either of the others ; nor shall any per- 
son exercise the powers of more than one of them at the same 
time, except that Justices of the Peace shall be eligible to 
either House of Assembly." The Massachusetts Constitution 
still more emphatically declares that " in the government of 
this commonwealth, the legislative department shall never ex- 
ercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them ; 
the executive shall never exercise the legislative or judicial 
powers, or either of them ; the judicial shall never exercise 
the executive and legislative powers, or either of them ; to 
the end that it may be a government of laws, and not of men." 
Of course all intermixture of these departments, except as pro- 
vided in the constitution, must be in violation thereof. These 
departments are co-ordinate, and each is supreme and inde- 
pendent of the others within their respective spheres. This 
is the theory of the constitution, at least; and it is the univer- 
sal sentiment of the American people, that their complete 
separation is essential to public liberty. The Federalist has 
strongly said that " the accumulation of all powers — legislative, 
executive and judicial — in the same hands, whether of one, a 
few or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed or elec- 
tive, may be justly considered the very definition of tyranny." 
Can it be, then, that the judiciary can properly prescribe its 
own bounds as well as those of its co-ordinate departments ? 
Where is the authority for it ? It cannot be found either in 
the constitution or the law — a fact conclusive against the 
jurisdiction assumed. I know the general sentiment is other- 
wise, and that it is insisted that the power is essential and 
must therefore exist. The power in one to give law to the 
other demonstrates this too clearly to require argument." 

While, however, it may be conceded that the judicial de- 
partment, in the last resort, is the final expositor of the con- 
stitution as to all questions of a judicial nature, it is equally 
clear that it cannot assume jurisdiction of political questions- 
This doctrine was quite elaborately treated in the case of 


Luther vs. Borden, et al (7 How. R.) In the celebrated Dorr 
case, out of which the one quoted sprung, this doctrine was 
treated ; and it was declared that the court shall not take 
jurisdiction of questions of political power. For instance, that 
it was the right of the political power to decide which was 
the rightful Constitution of the State of Rhode Island, the 
charter or that known as the Dorr Constitution, that it was 
not a judicial question. So, it was conceded, that the Presi- 
dent alone has the right to decide when such insurrection or 
rebellion existed in a State as required him to call out the 
militia, that it was not a judicial question. So, in cases of 
contested elections before the senate, they involve a question 
■of political power to be decided by that body. So, likewise, 
in the case of a treaty or the recognition of foreign nations, 
they involve questions of political power over which the ju- 
diciary could not take jurisdiction. I respectfully submit that 
this important distinction should be taken by our judges. 
When the legislature declares who shall be subject to military 
duty, it is an act of political power with which, it seems to 
me, the judiciary should not interfere. And when the execu- 
tive, to whom the special duty is assigned of seeing the laws 
faithfully executed, decides that a certain officer or employee 
is not necessary, it is an act of political power which should 
equally command the forbearance of the courts. It was ob- 
jected in the case just quoted, that in conceding to the Presi- 
dent the decision as to which was the riehtful constitution of 
Rhode Island, it was yielding him a dangerous power which 
might be abused. The learned judge who pronounced the 
opinion of the court, emphatically said in reply : " All power 
may be abused if placed in unworthy hands ; but it would be 
difficult, we think, to point out any other hands in which this 
power would be more safe, and at the same time equally 
effectual." At all events it is conferred upon him by the 
constitution and the laws of the United States, and must, 
therefore, be respected and enforced in its judicial tribunals. 
You, gentlemen, can apply this quotation. But I may be 
pardoned, as the several departments take the same oath of 
office, that of fidelity to the constitution, and are all, in the 


view of the constitution, equally honest, capable and faithful, 
if I claim for the legislative and executive departments the 
same right to judge of their own powers as is exercised by 
the judiciary as to theirs. This is indispensable to preserve 
the equilibrium of the several departments, a matter of the 
last importance, as upon it depends the preservation of con- 
stitutional liberty, according to all writers upon free govern- 
ment. My conclusions, then, are that the several depart- 
ments have no right to define the political powers of each 
other ; that political power is not of a judicial nature ; that 
there is no authority in the constitution or the laws which 
gives to the judiciary the right to define its own boundaries 
and those of the other branches of the government ; that 
whatever may be the necessity of having a tribunal clothed 
with such powers, none has been provided, and cannot be 
provided by judicial construction ; that the right, on the part 
of the several departments, to refuse to co-operate in the 
unconstitutional measures of each other, of which each has 
an equal right to judge, is eminently proper, healthful in 
action, and well calculated to preserve, intact, that division of 
powers guaranteed in the second article of the constitution. 
That the constitution contains no exception, confers no 
privileges, except "in consideration of public services; " that 
election to office does not protect any man against other 
duties, except so far as they may be in conflict with those to 
which he was elected ; that, in the language of the court of 
appeals, "the obligation of the citizen to render military 
service is a paramount, social and political duty," from which 
no man can be discharged, except on account of his civil 
duties, and only to the extent required by such duties ; that 
military service " is a matter in which the whole body politic 
is interested ;." that " the citizens have a right, collectively and 
individually, to the service of each other, to avert any danger 
which may be menaced," of which they cannot lawfully, and 
ought not to be deprived by any authority whatsoever. And 
I here, in the name of patriotism, of our manhood, of our dear 
old State, rent and torn by a vandal foe, and of our bleeding 
country, protest firmly but respectfully against the entire 


doctrine which would <nve to able-bodied men the le^al riodit 
to walk abroad untouched amid the general suffering and 

I have uniformly acted upon the principle that the State 
government had an inherent right of self preservation, which 
involved the right to all the officers and employees, of every 
description, necessary thereto. I have never hesitated to 
claim all such persons, and to assert a right to judge for my- 
self as to the necessity of such persons, as against the Con- 
federate Government. I understand this principle to have 
been broadly conceded by the act of congress of the 17th of 
February, 1864. This act did not undertake to grant power 
to the Governors of the States who could not accept power 
from such a source, even had such been the design of the act. 
But, I repeat, I do not understand it to have had any such 
purpose in view. The certificate spoken of in the act was 
merely designed to obtain information of the Governors of 
the States, of the persons claimed by the States as their 
officers and employees ; and such certificates are very properly 
conceded by that act to be conclusive upon the Confederate 
authorities. Recocrnizino; in the Confederate Q-overnment 
the right to the whole military power of the States, except to 
the extent of such persons as are necessary to the preserva- 
tion of the State government and the execution of the laws, 
I have uniformly confined my certificates of exemption or 
claim to such persons as I regarded necessary therefor. In 
the case of Justices of the Peace, I did not and do not believe 
that the number authorized by law was necessary to the 
execution of the duties imposed upon them. I know per- 
fectly well that three instead of four are amply sufficient for 
all the purposes of the State; and I aimed, as a general rule, 
to confine myself to that number. I recognized the right of 
all, however, to be commissioned, and, deeming such to be 
my constitutional duty, commissioned those who had been 
duly elected by the people. It is not a little curious that 
Justices of the Peace, at least, from the first revolution up to the 
present one, have never been regarded otherwise than as sub- 
ject to military service. They have been treated uniformly as a 


part of the militia. They fought in the first revolution, they 
fought in the year 18 1 2, they mustered at cross roads and 
other places of meeting, and the exempting favor of the legis- 
lature never reached them till the first of October, 1862. It 
is strange that, in the midst of a deadly struggle, your prede- 
cessors should have deemed it proper, for the first time, to 
protect these gentlemen from military service, pronounced by 
the highest judicial authority of this State to be a "a para- 
mount, social and political duty." It is also strange that, for 
the first time, it should be treated as a judicial question, and 
that our Judges should likewise concur in pronouncing them 
exempt from military service, and that, too, notwithstanding 
the same high authority to which I have just referred, has 
pronounced military service "a matter in which the whole 
body politic is interested." 

But so it is; and, yielding to the force of this combined 
opinion, I respectfully suggest for your consideration the pas- 
sage of a law which will diminish the number of these officers, 
and restrict their selection to persons of an age usually be- 
yond the period of military service. I propose the passage 
of a law diminishing the number of the districts in the several 
counties and confining the election of magistrates to persons 
over forty-five years of age. There is no question of your 
power to enact such a law; there is no doubt of its giving great 
satisfaction to the people ; and the discreditable efforts^which 
were made in certain localities, by hale and hearty young 
men, to obtain their election as Justices of the Peace, there* 
by to secure their exemption from the honor of defending 
their country, would no longer reflect upon the patriotism of 
our people. But many of our best citizens are unwilling to 
yield any of our State officers or employees to the claim's of 
the Confederate government. They are entirely willing to 
see such persons embodied in a State force, to be called^out 
on great emergencies, because, under State authority, they 
can be returned to their civil functions as soon as the emer- 
gency shall have passed. Apart from the great principle of 
the saluspopuli, they insist that it is entirely in the power of 
the legislature to embody the State officers, etc., as an aux- 


iliary force, under the circumstances to which I have referred. 
In Georgia this principle is acted upon, and under it Gover- 
nor Brown has been able to embody an army of considerable 
size, which has rendered and is rendering valuable service in 
the campaign in his great State. In Mississippi the same 
doctrine prevails with like results, in which, indeed, the power 
is claimed, without question by the judiciary, to assign super- 
numary State officers to the Confederate service. In an act 
passed by the general assembly of that State on the 13th of 
August, 1864, the preamble thereto reads as follows: 

" Whereas, in the present situation of affairs, it is not nec- 
essary to the proper administration of the State government 
that the officers, members and agents hereinafter named, shall 
be held exempted from the military service of the Confed- 
erate States ; and in the absence of such necessity the State is 
willing to waive her rights in the premises to all officers, 
members and agents not named in the constitution, and not 
necessary to the preservation of our form of government." 

This preamble fully recognizes the policy for which I have 
been arguing, and in giving up a part of her State officers 
the State impliedly asserts a right to do so with all, under the 
qualification stated. Should it not be the pleasure of the 
legislature, however, to adopt my views, I respectfully urge, 
in this dark hour of our fortunes, that the entire male popu- 
lation of our State be embodied for the purpose of co-oper- 
atine in our great struo-eje. The second-class militia, author- 
ized under a special act, restricted in its operation to a few 
localities, has been of great advantage and has rendered most 
efficient service. Perhaps no regular force in the army has 
performed more arduous duty since the 6th of May than 
those portions of it, including the Nineteenth Virginia militia, 
organized in the city of Richmond and Petersburg. 

In consequence of the frequent and extensive raids of the 
enemy, often in small parties, and the great destruction and 
outrages perpetrated by them, it has become indispensable to 
organize our whole male population. Were such an organi- 
zation made, even of the force now left at home, the country 
would be saved from the ravages which lay waste our fields, 


certainly to a large extent ; and the enemy who respects in 
no degree the laws of civilized war, sparing neither age nor 
sex, would be compelled to contract his lines of march, more 
in larger masses, and ran^e over a much more limited amount 
of our territory. I most respectfully submit a bill for your 
consideration, designed to provide for this important object : 

i st. It proposes that the reserve force of the State should 
be organized by the Governor, and when completed, to be 
reported to the assembly for such change as it may see fit to 

2d. That the Governor shall not move said force beyond 
the limits of the State. 

3d. That no portion of such force shall be called on for a 
longer period than thirty days. 

4th. When practicable, said force shall be assigned to duty 
in the several counties from which it may be drawn. 

5th. The particular duties to which this force may be as- 
signed are designated. 

6th. That the county court and county officers shall aid in 
the enrollment. 

7th. That the Governor shall provide for the proper dis- 
cipline and order of such force. 

8th. This bill being a war measure, it is proposed that it 
shall expire with the proclamation of peace, only suspending, 
in the mean time, the general militia law. 

It will be observed that this bill asks for no appropriation, 
nor for Commissaries or Quartermasters. My plan is to 
make an arrangement with the Secretary of War to pay off such 
portion of the reserved force as may be called out, when its 
particular service is ended, by marching it to the post Quarter- 
master of its county for that purpose, who would be instructed 
accordingly ; and my purpose would be, when necessary, to 
appoint respectable old gentlemen Quartermasters and Com- 
missaries for the particular occasion, and for them to settle 
up any accounts they may have created with the post Quarter- 
master, and be likewise paid off, thus closing up the trans- 
action without perplexity or delay, and to the entire satis- 


faction, doubtless, of both the government and the people. 

Our free negroes are very disorderly, many of them, doubt- 
less, disloyal. In the towns, and especially in the city of Rich- 
mond, they are guilty of many outrages upon persons and 
property, full proof of which it is difficult to procure. They 
sometimes are found co-operating with the enemy, and oc- 
casionally indulging in the utterance of treasonable senti- 
ments and threats against our fellow-citizens. The laws are 
inadequate to their proper management, and will, I hope, be 
made to cover such cases. 

When this war began, it was confidently believed by 
our enemy that it would be of short duration. Relying upon 
his vast superiority in numbers and material of war, he ex- 
pected to overrun us with facility and ease. But the result 
of a single year's operations corrected this expectation and 
impressed him with the conclusion that he had on hand a 
contest of great magnitude, full of danger and difficulty. 
Having soon exhausted his floating population he openly 
recruited his armies on the continent of Europe. Not 
satisfied with this, he seized our slaves, and, in violation of 
all civilized war, armed them against us. Under ever)' dis- 
advantage, the war has been protracted deep into the fourth 
year, and we find ourselves looking around for material to 
enlarge our armies. Whence is it to come ? The laws of 
natural accretion will not furnish a sufficient supply of men. 
Foreign countries are, in effect, closed against us. Recruit- 
ing from the prisoners we capture will not, except to a limited 
extent, supply our wants, and the public attention naturally 
turns to our own slaves as a ready and abundant stock from 
which to draw. This policy, however, has given rise to great 
diversity of opinion. Some consider it as giving up the in- 
stitution of slavery. Others declare that to put our slaves in 
the ranks will drive our fellow-citizens from them and dif- 
fuse dissatisfaction throughout the country. In reply, it is 
said that this policy will effectually silence the clamor of the 
poor man about this being the rich man's war ; that there is 
no purpose to mingle the two races in the same ranks, and 
that there cannot be a reasonable objection to fighting the 


enemies negroes with our own ; that as to the abandonment 
of slavery, it is already proclaimed to be at an end by the 
enemy, and will undoubtedly be so if we are subjugated, and 
that by making it aid in our defence, it will improve the 
chance of preserving it. 

This is a grave and important question and full of diffi- 
culty. All agree in the propriety of using our slaves in the 
various menial employments of the army, and as sappers and 
miners and pioneers ; but much diversity exists as to the pro- 
priety of using them as soldiers now. All agree that when 
the question becomes one of liberty and independence on the 
one hand, or subjugation on the other, that every means with- 
in our reach should be used to aid in our struggle, and to 
baffle and thwart our enemy. I say every man will agree to 
this ; no man would hesitate. Even if the result were to 
emancipate our slaves, there is not a man that would not 
cheerfully put the negro in the army rather than become a 
slave himself to our hated and vindictive foe. It is, then, 
simply a question of time. Has the time arrived when this 
issue is fairly before us ? Is it, indeed, liberty and independ- 
ence or subjugation, which is presented to us ? A man must 
be blind to current events, to the gigantic proportions of this 
war, to the proclamations of the enemy, who does not see that 
the issue above referred to is presented now. And, I repeat, 
the only question is, has the time arrived ? Are we able, be- 
yond a question, to wage successful war against a power three 
times our own in numbers, with all Europe from which to re- 
cruit, and who, unhesitatingly puts arms in the hands of our 
own negroes for our destruction ? I will not say that under the 
Providence of God, we may not be able to triumph, but I do 
not say that we should not, from any mawmish sensibility, re- 
fuse any means within our reach which will tend to enable 
us to work out our deliverance. For my part, standing before 
God and my country, I do not hesitate to say that I would 
arm such portion of our able-bodied slave population as may 
be necessary, and put them in the field, so as to have them 
ready for the spring campaign, even if it resulted in the free- 
dom of those thus organized. Will I not employ them to fight 


the negro force of the enemy ? aye, the Yankees themselves, 
who already boast that they have two hundred thousand of 
our slaves in arms against us ! Can we hesitate, can we 
doubt, when the question is whether our enemy shall use our 
slaves against us, or we use them against him, when the 
question may be between liberty and independence, on the 
one hand, or our subjugation and utter ruin on the other? 

In the meeting of the governors the following resolutions 
upon this subject were unanimously adopted : 

"And whereas, The public enemy having proclaimed the freedom of our slaves,, 
are forcing into their armies the able-bodied portion thereof, the more effectually to 
wage their cruel and bloody war against us, therefore, be it 

"Resolved, That it is the true policy and obvious duty of all slave owners timely 
to remove their slaves from the line of the enemy's approach, and especially those 
able to bear arms; and when they shall fail to do so, that it should be made the duty 
of the proper authorities to enforce the performance of this duty, and to give to such 
owners all necessary assistance as far as practicable. 

'• Resolved, That the course of the enemy, in appropriating our slaves who happen to 
fall into their hands to purposes of war, seems to justify a change of policy on our 
part; and whilst owners of slaves, under the circumstances, should freely yield them 
to their country, we recommend to our authorities, under proper regulations, to ap- 
propriate such part of them to the public service as may be required." 

The object of these resolutions, as understood by me, was 
to call public attention to the consideration of the policy of 
bringing our slaves into this war. It seems that a " change 
of policy on our part " was contemplated, and we determined, 
in reference to our slaves, to " recommend to our authorities, 
under proper regulations, to appropriate such part of them as 
may be required to the public service." 

I am aware that a clamor has been raised against the policy 
of putting the negroes into the army, by good and loyal men, 
because, they say, " the end is not yet," that our army of citi- 
zen-soldiers is still competent to make good our defence. No 
one would advocate the policy of thus appropriating our 
slaves, except as a matter of urgent necessity ; but, as public 
opinion is widely divided on this subject, does not common 
prudence require us to fear that those opposed to this ex- 
treme measure may be mistaken ? Suppose it should so turn 
out, how deep would be their responsibility to tiieir country, 
to freedom and independence everywhere ? I know it is the 
opinion of some of the highest military authorities that the 


time has come when we should call our slaves to our assist- 
ance ; and I hold it to be clearly the duty of every citizen, 
however much he may doubt the wisdom and necessity of the 
policy, to co-operate in strengthening by every means, our 
armies. I repeat, I know this policy is looked to with 
anxiety by some of the ablest military men of the age, who 
believe that it is of the last importance that it should be 
adopted without delay. I, therefore, earnestly recommend to 
the legislature that they should give' this subject early con- 
sideration, and enact such measures as their wisdom may ap- 
prove. As an additional auxiliary to the successful prosecu- 
tion of the war, I deem it of the gravest consequence that our 
currency should be improved. I am entirely satisfied that it 
may be effected. With the great staples at our command as 
the basis of such purchases abroad as are necessary to our 
defence, with a judicious system of taxation and public credit, 
the blunders of the past may be speedily reformed, and the 
public confidence assuredly revived. I bring this subject to 
your consideration, as you may promote the policy of improv- 
ing the currency, by lending the aid of co-operative legisla- 
tion to that of the Confederate government. 

There is a measure now pending before congress to reduce 
the currency by the issue of tithe certificates, in effect pledg- 
ing the tithes in cotton, wheat and corn, to the redemption of 
such certificates, and continuing the tax in kind after the war 
shall terminate, until they shall be fully paid off and discharged. 
The security must necessarily be ample, and all persons, not 
needing the currency for immediate use, will find such invest- 
ment a most Judicious one. 

The legislation I would suggest is in aid of that policy, and 
I submit the following plan for your consideration : Let the 
State go into the market and purchase up the currency at its 
market value for gold — say twenty in currency for one in gold. 
The effect of this would be to reduce the price of gold at once 
to that standard as a maximum, which would necessarily in- 
volve a reduction in the prices of all commodities, thereby se- 
curing a general benefit to every individual in the community. 
The question will naturally be asked how is the gold to be 


obtained ? The reply is easy. It is known that our State 
banks have a large amount of specie on hand entirely unpro- 
ductive, not even contributing to sustain their credit, and a 
source of constant anxiety to the officers in charge of them. 
In this state of things the banks, I have no doubt, would 
cheerfully surrender their specie to the State, upon her obli- 
gation to return it at the end of the war, and the assignment 
of the tax in kind certificates of the Confederate government, 
issued to the State from time to time for the currency which 
she might acquire. The faith of the State, with this collateral 
security, would, I am persuaded, be entirely acceptable to the 
banks under the circumstances which imperil us. Should we 
triumph in our present struggle, which I doubt not, the se- 
curity would be ample ; and should we fail, of course the se- 
curity would be valueless, and all would be lost, except in the 
diffusive benefit to the people from the circulation of the coin 
now excluded from all useful purposes. 

$ * # # * * * * * 

(Signed) William Smith. 



A few months preceding his death the ladies of Fauquier [Memorial Association 
prevailed on Governor Smith to supply the place of an orator who had been unex- 
pectedly called away. He consented and spoke to afudience on Court Green with 
unabated fire and force. When he left the stand and was pressing through the 
throng to his carriage a friend, grasping his hand, remarked: "Yours was a beauti- 
ful tribute to woman, Governor." 

"God bless the ladies!" he replied. "They have been the inspiration of my 
life. I shall never grow too old to respond to their call, nor to the claims of duty. 
Why, sir, when I came as a young man to Warrenton, the first bout I had was with 
a fellow-law-student for not cutting the acquaintance of a chap who made it a point to 
disparage woman." 


An old friend and army comrade in referring to Governor Smith when news of 
his death was given from lip to ear, said: "In passing along the Confederate lines 
at 'First Manassas,' I saw the old Governor in the new role of colonel of a regiment. 
He sat as erect as a trained trooper on a handsome sorrel, which was bleeding pro- 
fusely from a shot in the shoulder; and his men, by his order, lay prostrate upon the 
ground. It was an illustration of personal bravery and considerate tenderness never 
forgotten. A few moments later his white hair, like a rallying plume, was stream- 
ing in the wind at the head of an impetuous charge on a battery pouring round shot 
and grape into our ranks." 


At Fredricksburgh the Forty-ninth was stationed at the rear of the extreme left 
of General Lee's lines as a reserve. When the battle waxed hot in front and the 
Confederate column wavered, a courier dashed up to the old Governor with an order 
to advance. In a moment he was in the saddle, and shouting "Fall in, the Forty- 
ninth, fall, in quickly, or I'll march alone to the front and leave every d n one of 

you." His gallant volunteers did fall in, and were soon doing more effective work 
than veterans commanded by officers an fait in the tactics of Hardee and Scott. 


Senator Heaton, of Loudoun, in speaking to resolutions of respect to the memory 
of Governor Smith in the Virginia legislature, said the first time he saw him was at 
Sharpsburg, where he received three wounds before he consented to leave the field. 

This evidence of splendid pluck recalls an incident illustrating his fortitude dur- 
ing enforced inactivity: 

An old county man, casually meeting him in the rotunda of the State capitol, 

"Governor, I intend to use a short furlough to visit Fauquier; have you a 
message to send home ? " 

A loving smile chased away all trace of pain as he replied: " Tell the madam, 
sir, they slightly winged me; but I am as gay as a lark, and feel like a boy of five- 
and-twenty. " 


When Governor Smith was elected a second time chief magistrate of the old 
commonwealth, the soul of patriotism was sorely tried. The enemy held nearly 
half of its territory; made its capitol the objective point; Confederate ports were 
blockaded by hostile squadrons, and limited transportation by rail was monopolized 
by Confederate commissaries. Public credit was gone, and provision in the city 


was growing less every day. In this exigency Governor Smith borrowed money 
from the president of a city bank on his own responsibility, dispatched merchants 
above conscript age to North Carolina, and with difficulty got permit from the 
Confederate government to bring supplies to Richmond for the destitute. When 
distribution had been partially made, and looting averted, the Governor was besieged 
by commissary officers, begging authority to intercept stores en route for the support 
of men in the field. While giving audience to these the Governor's quick ear caught 
the sound of the voice of his faithful porter at the door, saying: " He's engaged 
now, and cannot be seen." In an instant that eye, which blazed fiercely in battle, 
kindled with pleasure at sight of woman, and he exclaimed: 

"Make way, gentlemen, for a lady." 

In an instant a queenly figure in faded calico was face to face with the old hero. 

"I wish to see my governor," said she, bewildered by the lace on a score of 
uniforms, and emphasizing the pronoun. 

"I amjw governor" he blandly responded. "What can I do for you? " 

Courteously she said: "My husband is dead. I have six children, the oldest 
not large enough to help me labor. During these years of war I have cultivated a 
garden, raised a few fowls, and carted my produce to this city to exchange for 
necessities of life. Officers have pressed my old horse, soldiers robbed my coops 
and garden. I have nothing left and my children are hungry. I have walked seven 
miles to ask my Governor what I am to do? " 

Touched by her simple appeal, the old Governor gave her a note to the mistress 
of the Executive mansion to divide family stores, and sent an escort with her. 
Doubtless that widow was one of the many thousands who pressed forward to gaze 
on the rigid features of the kindly old hero, when his body lay in state at the capitol 
waiting interment. 


FELLOW Citizens: — Having been repeatedly requested by many of you to be- 
come a candidate for congress, and being fully satisfied that I am your choice, I 
hereby announce my willingness to serve you should it be your pleasure to elect 
me. In thus announcing myself, gentlemen, unqualifiedly a candidate for your suf- 
frages, I am not insensible to the fact that there are some of you in favor of select- 
ing a candidate through the agency of a convention. But, believing as I do, that 
few of you require any such means of ascertaining your preference, I put myself at 
once before you in accordance with the usages of our Fathers. 

Fellow-citizens, the Constitution contemplates your meeting at the polls, and, 
in the face of God and your country recording your suffrages. It requires that you 
should come in your sovereign might and speak out your will "viva voce." Any 
mode by which a/Wo of you undertake to prescribe who shall be supported by ALL 
is in derogation to the true theory of the Constitution and should not be resorted to 
except from plain and palpable necessity. A resort to the system, as a matter of 
course, and on every occasion, will inevitably place in the hands of managing cliques 
the substantial power of popular sovereignty, and gradually introduce an all-pervad- 
ing corruption. In New York this system universally prevails; and hence that 
numerous class of trading politicians for which the Empire State is distinguished, 
and which has given to her politics, in the general opinion of the country, the 
character of universal corruption. Nor has the system ever had the advantage of 
securing unity in the action of her political parties as we have had cause deeply to 
lament, in the loss of that State to the Democratic party on several important occa- 
sions. Who would wish to see such a system of party tactics introduced here? Who 
would desire to resort to an admitted evil without necessity to justify it, an evil too 
which may impair, if not destroy, the vital spirit of our institutions? 

But, fellow-citizens, while I deprecate conventions called without necessity, I 


am for them when such necessity exists. Does that necessity exist now? I think 

not. You have a strong Democratic majority. No Whig will be in the field in 

any event, you must have a representative of your opinions, and, in addition, 
you will be able, by going to the polls without a convention, undoubtedly to have 
your choice for your representative. A convention can do no more— it may do less, 
by selecting one for your candidate with a preference, on your part for another. 
It may be said that a convention may prevent heart-burning, ill-will and strife. I 
think there can be nothing in this view of the subject, as experience proves that a 
convention, unnecessarily called, is more apt to produce than prevent them. Even 
the convention proposed for you, is patronized by some with a hope that it may be 
unable to agree in a selection for those placed in nomination, and that some gentle- 
man, not known as a candidate, may be selected as your representative. But it may 
be said that a convention is necessary to compare the claims and pretentions of 
those aspiring to represent you. Fellow-citizens, at no place can this be so safely 
done as at the polls. Without the fear of a convention, however formed, I confess 
my experience teaches me to prefer the grand convention of the people. There, 
all can be heard — justice will be done and no murmur of discontent will disturb the 
general satisfaction which must be felt at the wisdom of your selection. These are 
my views, but if yours are different, if you, the PEOPLE prefer to sit in convention 
previous to the election, yours is the right and mine the duty of submission. 

Fellow-citizens: In looking over the field of my past life, I see an unbroken 
consistency of political opinion and public conduct. In the dark hours of the Demo- 
cratic party, I was ever faithful amongst the faithless. When leader after leader 
abandoned the Democratic standard, and Gen. Jackson was unable to preserve our 
ranks unbroken, I sympathized with the distress that agitated your bosoms and un- 
shrinkingly battled for your cause. In subsequent periods of gloom and disaster, 
you called me ever, to the field of strife, and with all the deep energy of my nature, 
regardless of the great sacrifice it involved, I struggled and toiled at your bidding. 

It is pleasant for me to look back upon these fields, but it is said they dwell not 
in your memory; that time has already swept them away, and that you are disposed 
to take up new men, not yet proven in the stricken field; I DO not believe it; and 
yet desire to know how the memories of the past are appreciated at present. I wish 
to see you vindicate yourselves, not coldly, but ardently, against what I regard an 
imputation. But, above all, I expect you to give unmistakable evidence of your 
sense of justice, and your determination properly to appreciate those who, in a 
generous and devoted spirit, yield to your calls, and dedicate themselves to your 

Fellow-citizens: I shall meet you at your respective courts, and in the mean 
time, will merely remark, that I feel full confidence that the WILL you may express 
on the fourth Thursday of May next, will not only command general approbation, 
but give new evidence of the sensibility and justice of a free and enlightened people. 

April, 1853. William Smith. 

The effect of this address was to silence, almost, all opposition and disaffection 
toward the Governor within his own party, and to triumphantly elect him over the 
combined opposition and alliance of both Whig and Democrat. The people declined 
to call a convention. 

Warrenton, Va., November 25, 1856. 
Hon . James Buchanan : 

Dear Sir: — I suppose I may now congratulate you on our glorious success in 
your election to the Presidency of the United States. A success, which I firmly 
believe could not have been accomplished under the leadership of any other mem- 
ber of our great party. I took my grounds upwards of a year ago, when, at the State 
Fair of Virginia, I declared against any Southern candidate, particularly any from 
Virginia, and for you as the only man who could be elected. As my district and 
state came fully up to my expectations, as did the entire South, with the exception of 


Maryland; and as my chief disappointment was in the free States, I think I may 
indulge in some little self-gratulation. But, enough of this. You are successful after 
a great and doubtful struggle, and I heartily rejoice at it. May your administration 
be distinguished, as I believe it will be, for its patriotic success in advancing the 
true interests of our great confederation of co-equal and sovereign States. 

I have been much solicited by many of your sincere and unambitious friends to 
write you fully and frankly, especially of Virginia, but I have declined it. I, how- 
ever, yield to their wish so far as to express the general hope that you will firmly 
plant yourself upon the Constitution, recognize in its construction the doctrine of Mr. 
Madison's report; call around you old, tried, conservative Democrats; avoid all 
interference with State politics; use the appointing power solely with the view to the 
public service, and select no one for appointment to office who cannot respond 
affirmatively to the enquiry "Is he honest, is he capable, is he faithful to the Con- 
stitution?" Upon such principles the South may be counted on; upon such princi- 
ples, it is hoped, the conservative men of the free States will co-operate, and in this 
way the Union be preserved beyond your administration. I have said that it 
is hoped you will call around you old, tried, conservative Democrats; this is deemed 
of the highest importance. A cabinet of such men would indicate a marked policy, 
and at once command the confidence of the country. Nor, would such a policy be 
any wrong to our new men. They should not expect any but subordinate places, 
and the appointment of them to such, will meet all the claims of a just and discrete 
policy and fully satisfy the sentiment of the country. It is earnestly hoped that you 
may adopt this policy in reference to any appointments you may make from Virginia, 
as it will soothe the irritations superinduced by a different policy which has hereto- 
fore prevailed among us, and especially soothe the regrets occasioned by your 
Pacific R. R. letter. Our thinking men regard the policy above indicated as appro- 
priately representing the strength and dignity of a great constitutional power, and 
as a true way to rally all those who sincerely desire to preserve our great republic; 
any other course, it is thought, will make of our government a rickety concern, sub- 
ject to frequent convulsions, to end, inevitably, in early dissolution. The cabinet of 
President Pierce and his administration of the patronage of the government, are 
frequently referred to as a beacon and a warning. 

It is not to be disguised that we have those among us who are for an immediate 
dissolution of the Union. They are not so powerful in numbers as in intellect and 
will. But, embracing, as they do, a large number of our politicians and many of our 
most intelligent and substantial people, they are by no means to be despised. Still, 
the great body of the people are loyal to the Union, as yet, and will continue so if let 
alone and permitted to enjoy in peace, the rights and blessings, the Union was formed 
to secure. 

With my best wishes for the preservation of our great confederacy, and of your 
successful administration of affairs, I remain sincerely and truly, 

Your friend, William Smith. 

The Commonwealth ok Virginma, to William Smii - h, Greeting: 

Know you, that from special trust and confidence reposed in your fidelity, 

courage and good conduct, our governor, in pursuance of the authority vested in hint 

by an ordinance of the convention of the State of Virginia, doth commis-ion you a 

Colonel in the active volunteer forces of the State, to rank as such from the 27th day 

of June, 1861. 

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto signed my name as Covernor, and 

caused the seal of the commonwealth to be affixed, this 27th day of June, 1861. 
[seal] John I.ktcher. 

State of Virginia, City of Richmond, To wit: 

I, R. M. Burton, a Justice of the Peace in and for the city aforesaid, do certify that 
William Smith has this day personally appeared before me in my city, aforesaid, and 
qualified to the within commission by taking the several oaths prescribed by law. 

Given under my hand this iotli day of July, 1861. 

R. M. Burton, Justice of the Peace. 


General Orders and Messages Relative to the 
Evacuation of Richmond, Etc. 

Executive Department of Virginia, | 
Danville, April n, 1865. j 

To Lieutenant -General U. S. Grant, Commanding U. S. Forces: 

General: — The government of Virginia, of which I am the executive head, is, 
for the present, located in this town, elected by the people, under a recognized state 
constitution; and, in conformity to the laws of the commonwealth, it is my duty to 
look to the interests of her people to the best of my ability. In view of the reported 
surrender of General Lee, and in ignorance of its terms, I respectfully propound the 
following questions: 

Will the State government, represented by me, be superceded by a military or 
civil organization under your authority, or that of the Federal government? Will 
the State officials of the Virginia government be subject to military arrest, and will 
they be allowed, peaceably, to leave the State for Europe, should they desire to 
do so? 

I send this dispatch in charge of my aid, Lt. -Colonel P. Bell Smith, and Wm. D. 
Coleman, Esq., of this town, who will receive your reply, which I respectfully ask. 

I have the honor to be, General, 

Respectfully your obedient servant, William Smith. 

Headquarters Army of the Potomac, April 14, 1865. 
To His Excellency, William Smith, Danville, Va. 

Dear Sir — Your letter to Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant, brought by Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Smith and C. D. Coleman, was received by me and duly presented to 
Lieutenant-General Grant. 

I have to-day received a dispatch from Lieutenant-General Grant stating he 
has, at present, no reply to make to your letter, and should he hereafter have one, 
it will be presented to you by special messenger. 

Very respectfully your obedient servant, 

George G. Meade, Maj.-Gen. U. S. A. 

Near Lynchburg, May 15th, 1865. 
To Major- General Halleck, Commanding Divison of the James: 

Sir — Since the evacuation of Richmond and the surrender of General Lee, I 
have considered the war as practically at an end in Virginia, at least under that con- 
viction, I have diligently addressed myself to the duty of preserving public order ; 
have sought to ascertain the sentiment of the people, and I have endeavored to 
obtain from General Grant a knowledge of the conclusion of the Federal authorities 
as to the civil officers of the State government of which I am the executive head. In 
the absence of the military, I am satisfied that the civil authority is competent to its 
chief function. I know the great body of the people have made up their minds to 
conform in good faith to the new order of circumstances. Nor have I received the 
information sought from General Grant, or been enabled to obtain it from your 
general orders — if they furnish it — in the absence of mails, etc. I am gratified to 
believe, however, from what I can learn, that the officers referred to have been uni- 
formly treated with forbearance, at least. Will that forbearance be extended to me? 
I put the question frankly, General, and will be governed by your reply. 

I am bound by the obligations of my position to promote the interests of the 
people who have honored me, and I am consequently deeply anxious, under the 
circumstances, for the pacification of the State, and the restoration to her civil rights, 
and to her political relations. Should a similar disposition animate the Federal 


authorities, as may surely be expected, then we may cherish with confidence, the 
hope that the wound, inflamed by the war just closed, will be speedily healed. 

My Aid, Lieutenant-Colonel P. Bell Smith, will deliver this letter, to whom I 
respectfully ask you to entrust your reply. 

I have the honor to subscribe myself with high consideration, 

Your obedient servant, William Smith. 

Lexington, Va., May, 1865. 
Jno. R. Tucker, Esq., Attorney General Virginia: 

Dear Sir: — I have yours by Mr. McDonald, and in reply, say that we have to 
recognize the unhappy fact that armed resistance to Federal power is at an end; that, 
as yet, the developed policy of our adversities will not justify us (to ourselves) in 
appealing to partisan operations or war, the true mode of conducting resistance by a 
weak against a strong power; that a return to the Federal Union is a necessity, 
which we must accept, and being a necessity, involves no abandonment of princi- 
ples or sacrifice of rights; that if we return to the Federal Union as a necessity, good 
faith requires us to cherish the restored relation until acts of wrong and oppression 
shall warrant us in discarding it; that, of course, we cannot refuse to take an oath to 
support the Constitution of the Union of which we are a part, and as long as we 
remain such, to accept as binding and obligatory, the exposition thereof, by the 
Supreme Court; and that the modified oath (which I have just seen) is nothing more, 
although abounding in useless and (to many) irritating verbiage. 

I send you a copy of my note to General Grant, to which I have received no 
reply except the note of General Mead; a copy of my proclamation to the people, and 
of my letter to President Johnson, (which you must regard, for the present,»as strictly 
private, as I have not, as yet, heard from it) that you may see what I have been 

My own situation is this: As Governor of the State, with my field of duty 
restricted to her limits, I am here, and have to remain, to protect her interests, to 
promote her prosperity, and to share her fate. I have heretofore freely periled life 
and fortune in her service; and all that is left, a brief span of life, is hers and will 
be gladly yielded up if needed or required. 

I look for, but see not, the silver streak across the dark cloud of our fortunes, 
but I yet hope God will not permit our good, noble old commonwealth to pass into 
the memory of the things which are past. With my best wishes, I am 
Yours very truly, 

(Signed) William Smith. 

Richmond, Va., 7th April, 1865. 
General Joseph R. Anderson, and others, Committee, etc. : 

GENTLEMEN — I have had. since the evacuation of Richmond, two conversations 
with Mr. Lincoln, President of the United States. My object was to secure for the 
citizens of Richmond and the inhabitants of the State of Virginia, who had come 
under the military authority of the United States, as much gentleness and forbear- 
ance as could be possibly extended. 

The conversations had relation to the establishment of a government for Virginia, 
the requirement of oaths of allegiance from the citizens and the terms of settlement 
with the United States. With the concurrence and sanction of General Weitzell, he 
assented to the application not to require oaths of allegiance from the citizens. 

He stated that he would send to General Weitzell his decision upon the question of 
a government for Virginia. This letter was received on Thursday and was read by 
me. It authorized General Weitzell to grant a safe conduct to the Legislature of 
Virginia to meet at Richmond, to deliberate and to return to their homes at the end 
of their session. I am informed by General Weitzell that he will issue whatever 


orders that may be necessary, and will furnish all the facilities of transportation etc. 
to the members of the legislature to meet in this city; and that the Governor, Lieu- 
tenant-Governor, and public men of the State, will be included in the orders. The 
object of the invitation is for the Government of Virginia to determine whether they 
will administer the laws in connection with the authorities of the United States and 
under the Constitution of the United States. I understood from Mr. Lincoln, if this 
condition be fulfilled that no attempt would be made to establish or sustain any other 

My conversation with President Lincoln upon the terms of a settlement was 
answered in writing — that is, he left with me a written memorandum of the substance 
of his answers. 

He states as indispensable conditions of a settlement, the restoration of the 
authority of the United States over the whole of the States, and the cessation 
of hostilities by the disbanding of the army, and that there shall be no reced- 
ing on the part of the Executive from his position on the slavery question. The 
latter proposition was explained to mean, that the Executive action on the subject of 
slavery, so far as it had been declared in messages, proclamations and other official 
acts, must pass for what they were worth; that he would not recede from his position. 
But that this would not debar action by other authorities of the government. 

I suppose that if the proclamation of the President be valid as law, that it has 
already operated and vested rights. 

I believe that full confidence may be placed in General Weitzel's fulfillment of 
his promises to afford facilities to the legislature, and that its members may return 
after they have concluded their business, without interruption. 

Mr. Lincoln, in his memorandum, referred to what would be his action under 
the confiscation acts. He stated that where the property had not been condemned 
and sold, that he would make a universal release of the forfeitures that had been 
incurred in any State which would now promptly recognize the authority of the 
United States, and withdraw its troops. But that if the war be persisted in, that the 
confiscated property must be regarded as a resource from which the expenses of the 
war might be supported. 

His memorandum contains no article upon the penalties imposed upon persons, 
but in his oral communications he intimated that there was scarcely any one who. 
might not have a discharge upon the asking. 

I understood from the statement, though the words did not exactly imply it, that 
a universal amnesty would be granted if peace were now concluded. 

In my intercourse I strongly urged the propriety of an armistice. This was 
done after the preparation of his memorandum. He agreed to consider the subject, 
but no answer has been received. I suppose that if he assents, that the matter will 
be decided and executed between Generals Grant and Lee. 

Very respectfully yours, J. A. Campbell. 

Published at the Jeffersonian Office, Charlottesville, from a copy brought by a member of General 

Lee's Body Guard. 

Headquarters, A. N. Va., April ioth, 1865. 
General Order No. <p. 

After four years of arduous service, marked by unsurpassed courage and forti- 
tude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming 
numbers and resources. 

I need not tell the brave survivors of so many hard fought battles who have 
remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to the result from no distrust of 
them. But feeling that valor and devotion could accomplish nothing that would 
compensate for the loss that must have attended the continuance of the contest, I 
determined to avoid the sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to. 
their countrymen. 


By the terms of the agreement officers and men can return to their homes and 
remain until exchanged. You will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from 
the conciousness of duty faithfully performed; and I earnestly pray that a merciful 
God will extend to you his blessing and protection. With an unceasing admiration 
of your constancy and devotion to your country, and a grateful remembrance of 
your kind and generous consideration of myself, I bid you an affectionate farewell. 

R. E. Lee, General. 

Headquarters Army of the United States, April 9th, 1865. 

To General R. E. Lee, Commanding C. S. Army : 

General— In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of the 8th 
inst., I propose to receive the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia on the 
following terms, to wit: Rolls of officers and men to be made in duplicate; one copy 
to be given to an officer to be designated by me, the other to be retained by such 
officer or officers as you may designate. The officers give their individual parole 
not to take up arms against the Government of the United States until properly 
exchanged; and each company and regimental commandant to sign a like parole for 
the men of their commands. The arms, artillery and public property to be stacked 
and parked and turned over to the officers appointed by me to receive them. This 
will not embrace the side arms of the officers, or their private horses or baggage. 
This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to their homes, not to be 
disturbed by the United States authorities as long as they observe their paroles and 
the laws in force where they reside. 

Very respectfully, 

U. S. Grant, Lt.-Gen. Commanding U. S. A. 

Headquarters Military Governor of Richmond, j 

April 9th, 1865. j 

By authority from the President of the United States, permission -is hereby given 
to Governor William Smith, of Virginia, to come within the lines of the Army of the 
United States to Richmond, and remain until further orders. All officers and 
soldiers of the army will give him safe conduct and protection. He will be free from 
arrest coming and during the time he is allowed to remain in Richmond and return- 
ing to the place where he receives this pass. The person receiving this pass hereby 
gives his parole of honor not to communicate with the enemy or to do any act 
prejudicial to the interests of the United States during the continuance of this 
protection. By Command of Major-General G. Weitzel. 

G. F. Shepley, Military Governor of Richmond. 

University of Virginia. 

Dear Sir — Mr. McDonald gives me an opportunity to communicate with you. 
I fear the Federal troops will be here in a day or two and may propose the 
modified oath. My relation as an officer, to the question, gives me great trouble, 
without regarding the feelings I have as a citizen, and I have not decided on my 
course of action. If you can let me know what are the views of the executive, and 
what is proposed, I shall be obliged to you. 

I am satisfied the struggle is over, and what will be for us is a question which I 
fear we can neither control nor influence in the official position. \Yhether I will be 
arrested I know not, nor can even conjecture; but I shall abide here with my family. 

I shall submit to the will of God with all the resignation of spirit I may command, 
but the calamity which has come on the commonwealth, is beyond all the griefs, 
private or public, which I could have conceived as possible. 

The action of citizens of Richmond vou will have seen. 


Have you communicated with the Federal authorities on the subject of our state 
organization; and had you not better make a deputation to present the rights of the 
government of Virginia. 

In the respect of a common misfortune I am very truly yours, 

J. R. Tucker. 

Governor Smith. May 8, 1865. 

Charlottesville, April 15, 1865. 
My Dear Sir — I have read the letter of Judge J. A. Campbell, a copy of which 
will be handed you with this letter. 

I need only say, that in the present crisis of the affairs of the commonwealth, I 
am clearly of opinion, and therfore advise, that the legislature of Virginia be con- 
vened at Richmond at the earliest practicable day, to deliberate upon the interests of 
the people of the state. I do this in order that you may act upon my official advice, 
and that I may thus share with you the responsibility of the proposed action. 

I am with high respect, 

J. R. Tucker. 
Governor William Smith. 

I have seen your passport, but do not send it because it may be sent you 

otherwise. Yours, 

J. R. Tucker. 

Near Lynchburg, May 14, 1865. 
General Robert E. Lee: 

Dear Sir — Amid the distress and perplexities of my situation, I have concluded 
to address you this letter with a view to obtain your counsel and such assistance as 
you may be able to afford. 

Enclosed you will find copies of sundry papers, which will explain themselves, 
and which will show you what I have been doing since the evacuation. From them 
you may also gather my view of the necessities of our condition and the conclusion 
I have reached in reference to them. I do not see how we can avoid taking the oath. 
The propriety of my remaining in Richmond occasionally crossed my mind, but I 
could not conclude to do so, as it was impossible for me to foresee eventualities, 
and after they occurred it was my duty to wait until I could ascertain the temper and 
disposition of our people, as well as that of the Federal authorities. Having satisfied 
myself upon this subject, my conclusions are to be found in my note to Mr. Tucker, 
which comprehend, of course, a rule for my own action, as I could not advise others 
to do what I would not do myself. Were I to take the oath I should still, from what 
I can gather, although not fully advised upon it, have to file a petition to the Federal 
authorities, which would be much the hardest part of the trial. Could I bring myself 
to it? Would not Halleck give me a safe conduct to visit Richmond, to confer with 
him and to see my friends ? 

I learn, in my passage through the country, that the Federal troops are seizing 
all the branded horses, whether of the United States or the Confederate States. 
This is grossly unjust, as the United States troops have frequently left their broken 
down horses in the places of those they took from the citizens, while thousands of 
broken down Confederate horses have become private property by public auction. 
I hope you may be able to correct this wrong. 

Most respectfully and truly your obedient servant, 

William Smith. 

Near Cartersville, Va., May 20, 1865. 
Major -General Helleck, Commanding, etc.: 

Sir — Having exercised the executive power of the state government of Virginia, 
under an election by the people, from the 1st of January, 1864, until General Lee's 


surrender, and since, only with the view to the preservation of public order; and 
having endeavored, in vain, through a note to General Grant and a communication 
to President Johnson, to learn the views of the Federal authorities, and having 
recently seen that to Governor Pierpont has been assigned the duty of reorganizing 
the state government, I have concluded to address you this communication, to which 
I respectfully ask a reply. 

Since the evacuation of Richmond I have mixed freely with large numbers of 
my fellow citizens, and I am perfectly satisfied that the general opinion is to yield, 
without further resistance, to the necessity they are under, and to accept, in good 
faith, the new order of things which, they understand is proposed for them. I have 
advocated and labored to strengthen such opinion. My highest duty to the people, 
who have so much honored me, is to hasten forward, by precept and example, the 
pacification of the state; and. as I have, so I still propose honestly to perform this duty. 
Although Governor Pierpont is not placed in authority by vote of the people, but by 
a power they cannot resist, he will meet with no faction's opposition. The grand duty 
of pacification and re-adjustment, in conformity with the Federal constitution, being, 
under the circumstances, paramount to all others. 

With these views I was prepared to take the amnesty-oath to support the Consti- 
tution of the United States, and should have visited Richmond before this, for the 
purpose; but I have just learnt that a reward is offered for my arrest, and am 
induced to apprehend, that were I to fulfil my original intention, I should be im- 
prisoned. Now, I am too old (being in my sixty-eighth year) to be confined, with- 
out great damage to my health; but if it be the desire of the Federal government to 
have control of my person, I will, by permission, retire to my home in Fauquier 
county, and will, also, give bond and security promptly to respond to the requisition 
of the Federal authority. I trust this will be satisfactory. 

I beg, General, you will believe I have written what I mean in the spirit of 
frankness and sincerity, which, I think, has characterized my long and somewhat 
eventful life. 

My son, Lieutenant-Colonel .Smith, who has been paroled, will hand you this, 
and will be pleased to receive your reply. 

I am, General, most respectfully your obedient servant, 

William Smith. 

The following is the reward offered for the arrest of Governor Smith: 

Headquarters Military Division of the James, | 
Richmond, Va., May 8, 1865. [ 

$25,000 Reward ! — By order of the Secretary of War, a reward of $25,000 is 
hereby offered for the arrest and delivery for trial of William Smith, Rebel Governor 
of Virginia. H. W. Halleck, Major General Commanding. 



1st. Armistice between all armies pending negotiations between the two govern- 

2d. Confederate armies to be disbanded and conducted to their several State 
capitols, these to deposit arms. Each officer and man to execute and file agreement 
to cease from acts of war, and to abide the action of both State and Federal authority. 
Arms, until action of congress, to be used solely to maintain peace and order within 
respective States. 

3d. Recognition by the executive of the United States of the several State 
governments or their officers and legislatures taking the oath prescribed by the Con- 
stitution of the United States, and when conflicting State governments have resulted 


from the war, the legitimacy of all shall be submitted to the Supreme Court of the 
United States. 

4th. Re-establishment of Federal courts in the several States. 

5th. The people and inhabitants of all the States to be guaranteed, so far as 
the executive can, their political rights and franchises, as well as their rights of 
person and property as defined by the Constitution of the United States respectively. 

6th. The executive authority of the United States government not to disturb any 
of the people by reason of the late war so long as they live in peace and abstain 
from acts of armed hostility and obey laws in existence at their place of residence. 

7th. The war to cease, a general amnesty as far as the executive can command 
on condition of the disbandment of the Confederate armies, the distribution of the 
arms and resumption of peaceful pursuits of officers and men of said armies. 

Approved, G. T. Beauregard, Quartermaster-General. 

Respectfully furnished his Excellency, William Smith, Governor of Virginia. 

J. E. Johnston, General. 

I, William Smith, do hereby pledge my parole of honor as prisoner of war that I 
will retire to my home in Warrenton, Fauquier county, and will remain in arrest at 
that place until otherwise directed by the authorities of the United States, and that 
on receiving such directions I will immediately deliver myself to the military 
authorities at Washington or Richmond. 

Given at Richmond, Va., June 13th, 1865. William Smith. 

Witness, Albert Ordvvay, Lieut. -Colonel 24th Massachusetts ) 

Volunteer Infantry, Provost Marshal General Department Virginia. J 

Provost Marshal's Office, Sub-district of Fauquier, | 
No. 181. Warrenton, Va., July 26th, 1865. \ 

I do hereby certify, that on the 26th day of July, 1865, at Warrenton, Va., the 
oath prescribed by the President of the United States in his proclamation of May 
29th, 1865, was duly taken, subscribed and made matter of record by William Smith 
at Warrenton, Va. 

A. H. Russell, Captain and Acting Provost Marshal. 

Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C, August 30, 1865. 

Permission is hereby given to William Smith, of Virginia, to visit Washington 
City, D. C, and return to his home — the visit not to exceed 30 days in length — upon 
his parole of honor to deport himself as a loyal citizen of the United States. 

Andrew Johnson, President. 

Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C, September 20, 1865. 

The parole heretofore given to William Smith, of Virginia, is hereby extended so 
as to allow him to visit freely in Virginia and Maryland, upon the same conditions 
as those imposed in the former parole. 

Andrew Johnson, President. 

Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C, November 9th, 1865. 

The parole heretofore given to William Smith, of Virginia, is hereby extended 
so as to allow him to visit freely in Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia, upon 
the same conditions as those imposed in the former parole. 

Andrew Johnson, President United States. 


The following proclamation of Governor Smith ; the order 
of General Munford, and his letter to the Governor, are inci- 
dents of those stirring - and eventful times, the significance of 
which the reader will at once comprehend. 

On the very day General Munford issued his order, Gen- 
eral Kirby Smith issued his order to the soldiers of the trans- 
Mississippi Army in which he embodied the following intrepid 
and patriotic appeal : 

"Great disasters have overtaken us." The Army of Northern Virginia and our 
General-in-Chief are prisoners of War. With you rest the hopes of our Nation; and 
upon you depends the fate of our people. ***** Prove to the world that 
your hearts have not failed in the hour of disaster. ***** Stand by your 
colors; maintain your discipline. The great resources of this department, its vast ex- 
tent; the numbers, the discipline, and the efficiency of the army, will secure to our 
country terms that a proud people can, with honor, accept." 

Mr. Davis says in his " Rise and Fall of the Confederate 
Government," that General Magruder, with like heroic determ- 
ination invoked the troops and people of Texas, not to de- 
spond, and asserted his ability to carry on the war indefinitely. 

The President of the Confederate States, who did not know 
how to surrender, evidently approved this plan of these offi- 
cers ; and as late as the nth of May, 1865, when the last 
army, east of the Mississippi had surrendered, but before 
Kirby Smith had entered into terms, the enemy attacked a 
little Confederate encampment, captured and burned it ; but 
" was so intent upon plunder," that General Slaughter moved 
against it, and drove it back with considerable loss. 

This, says Mr. Davis, was the " last armed conflict of the 
war," and deserves notice as having closed the lono- strucro-le 
— as it opened — with a Confederate victory." 


State of Virginia, Executive Department, | 
Danville, April 20, 1865. j 

In consequence of the occupation of the Capital of the State by the forces of the 
United States and the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, numerous evil- 
disposed persons, associated in bands and small parties, embrace the unhappy oppor- 
tunity to inflict upon the persons and property of the good people of the Common- 
wealth such outrages as threaten the destruction of all social order. This deplorable 
state of things makes it indispensable that'all good citizens should thoroughly organ- 
ize for the suppression of lawlessness and for the enforcement of the laws. 

Therefore, I, WILLIAM SMITH, Governor of the Commonwealth, do hereby 
command the Sheriffs and other civil officers of the several cities, towns and counties 


to proceed, with all despatch, to organize the citizens thereof, with a view to the 
maintenance of the laws and the preservation of order. It is enjoined upon all per- 
sons to be active in the performance of all these duties. The Sheriffs are authorized 
and required to collect from citizens and others, in their respective counties, such 
public arms as they may find necessary for the purposes indicated. 

Persons passing through the country are advised to demean themselves in a quiet 
and orderly manner and to return to their homes without delay; there to await 
further developments and information. And in the meanwhile, all citizens are en- 
joined to resume their ordinary avocations and pursue the same with energy and 

Never in the history of Virginia have such claims been made upon the fortitude, 
love of order, good sense and courage of our people, and it is hoped and confidently 
believed that those high qualities will not be wanting on the present trying occasion. 


Headquarters Munford's Cav. Brig, j 
April 21, 1865. j 

Special Orders, No. 6. 

Soldiers — I have just received a communication from the President of the 
Confederate States, ordering us again to the field in defence of our liberties. General 
Johnston, with an army constantly increasing, well appointed and disciplined, still 
upholds our glorious banner, and we are ordered to report to him. Our cause is not 
dead. Let the same stern determination to be free, which has supported you for 
four years of gallant struggle, still animate you, and it can never die. One disaster, 
however serious, cannot crush out the spirit of Virginians, and make them tamely 
submit to their enemies, who have given us, during all these terrible years of war, 
so many evidences of their devilish maliginity in our devastated fields, our burned 
homesteads, our violated daughters and our murdered thousands. Virginians will 
understand that their present pretended policy of conciliation is but the cunning de- 
sire of the Yankee to lull us to sleep, while they rivet the chains they have been mak- 
ing such gigantic efforts to forge, and which they will as surely make us wear forever, 
if we tamely submit. We have sworn a thousand times by our eternal wrongs, by 
our sacred God-given rights, by the memory of our noble fathers and our glorious 
past, by our gallant dead who lie in every plain of our war-scarred State, by our 
glorious victories on many a well-fought field that we would be free. Shall we not 
keep our oaths ? Can we kneel down by the graves of our dead, kneel in the very 
blood from sons yet fresh, and kiss the rod which smote them down? Never ! never! 
Better die a thousand deaths ! We have still power to resist. There are more men 
at home, to-day, belonging to the army of Northern Virginia, than were surrendered 
at Appomattox. Let them rally to the call of our President and, Virginia, our be- 
loved old Commonwealth shall yet stand triumphant and defiant, with her foot upon 
her tyrant's prostrate, and her proud old banner, never yet sullied, with its " Sic 
Semper Tyrannis " streaming over her. 

Soldiers of the old Brigade! to you I confidently appeal. You have never been 
surrendered ! Cutting your way out of the enemies lines before the surrender was 
determined, you, together with a majority of the cavalry, are free to follow your 
country's flag. The eyes of your Virginia, now bleeding at every pore, turns with 
special interest to you; will you desert her at her sorest need? You will never de- 
scend to such infamy. Let us renew our vows, and swear again by our broken altars, 
to be free or die. Let us teach our children eternal hostility to our foes. What 
though we perish in the fight; as surely as the God of justice reigns, the truth, the 
right will triumph, and though we may not, our children will win the glorious fight, 
for it is not within the nature of her Southern sons to wear the chains of Yankee 

We have, still a country, a flag, an army, a Government. Then to horse ! to 


horse ! a circular will be sent to each of your officers, designating the time and place 
of assembly. Hold yourselves in instant readiness, and bring all true men with you 
from this command who will go, and let us who struck the last blow as an organized 
part of the Army of Northern Virginia, strike the first with that victorious army which, 
by the blessings of our gracious God, will yet come to redeem her hallowed soil. 

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division. 

Lynchburg, May 4, 1865. 
His Excellency, Governor William Smith : 

Sir: — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication, and 
beg leave to reply, that I had ordered out a portion of my division, and was en 
route for General Johnston's army, when I saw your proclamation. Knowing the 
difficulty of supplying my command, I issued an order for all of the Virginia troops 
to remain at home, subject to your call, but the Maryland Battalion, who were as- 
sembled and ready for anything, had no money, and no homes to go to, and back pay 
due them since August last. The people were complaining seriously of having to 
suppjort them, and no alternative was left me but to disband them. 

If you have any orders for me, they will be conveyed to me by sending them to 
my home in Bedford county. 

I send you an order I issued upon my own responsibility, and hope when the 
time comes for us to strike, that the command I have the honor to command, will 
be as ready to respond to your call, as I shall be. 

Your obedient servant, THOMAS T. MUNFORD. 

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division. 

While President Lincoln was in Richmond, after the evacu- 
ation of the city, the dispersion of the legislature of Virginia 
and the departure of President Davis, and Governor Smith, 
and most of the officers of State, much was said as to the 
feasibility and propriety of their returning and reassembling. 

President Lincoln was at that time waited on by Judge 
John A. Campbell, who had had an interview with President 
Davis and Secretaries Benjamin and Breckenridge.just before 
they left the city, and who said to them, as reported at that 
time, that the military power of the Confederacy was broken ; 
that the separation and independence of the Confederacy was 
hopeless, and that it remained to make the best terms they 
could. It was said that the President of the United States 
could not enter into negotiation with the President of the 
Confederate States, but that Mr. Lincoln did recognize the 
States and could confer with their regular authorities. 

Under the doctrine of State Rights, so universally held in 
the South, he would concede the right of the Virginia legis- 
lature to control them ; and he said to Mr. Lincoln that if 


he would permit that body to convene it would, doubtless, 
recall them from the field. The President was actuated by 
an absorbing desire for peace, and listened attentively to 
Judge Campbell, and he said : " Judge Campbell, let us have 
no misunderstanding ; I will give you, once more, in black 
and white, my only terms." He immediately wrote down 
the same proposition which Secretary Seward took from him 
to the Hampton Roads Conference. 

I. The Territorial integrity of the Republic. 

II. No retraction of Executive or Congressional action on 
the subject of slavery. 

III. No Armistice. 

To these he added a fourth condition, that if the leading 
Confederates still persisted in the prosecution of the war, 
their property would be confiscated. Of this, Mr. Campbell 
asked for a modification, but Mr. Lincoln was immovable. 
He said : " We will not negotiate with men as long as they 
are fighting against us." 

On the steamer that carried Mr. Lincoln down the James 
River, he penned the following order to General Weitzel : 
" You will permit the persons who call themselves the Virginia 
Legislature to convene in Richmond for the purpose of with- 
drawing the Virginia troops from the Rebel army ; but you 
will not allow them to use any treasonable language or adopt 
any treasonable measures." 

Without consulting any one, it is said, Mr. Lincoln wrote 
this document, sealed it up and sent it to General Weitzel by 
a United States Senator. On the day the President was 
assassinated he received a letter from Judge Campbell ignoring 
the proposition the President had made to him in writing, and 
urging, that while it was true that the military power of the 
Confederacy was destroyed, the spirit of the Southern peo- 
ple remained unbroken. He said to the President, that " if 
you want to conciliate them, it will be wise to grant an ar- 
mistice, and necessary for you to treat leniently their leading 
public men, and to seek their assistance." 

This note was said to be offensive to the President's crood 
nature, and he characterized Judge Campbell's course in very 


emphatic terms. Meanwhile the capitulation of General Lee 
obviated the necessity of convening the Virginia Legislature, 
and he sent an order countermanding the call. 

Immediately after General Weitzel entered the city, the 
following orders were issued : 

Headquarters Detachment Army of the James, \ 
Richmond, Va., April 3, 1865. j 

Major-General Godfrey Weitzel, commanding Detachment of the Army of the 
James, announces the occupation of the city of Richmond by the armies of the United 
States, under command of Lieutenant-General Grant. The people of Richmond are 
assured that we come to restore to them the blessings of peace, prosperity and free- 
dom, under the flag of the Union. 

The citizens of Richmond are requested to remain for the present quietly within 
their houses, and to avoid all public assemblages or meetings in the public streets. 
An efficient provost guard will immediately re-establish order and tranquility within 
the city. 

Martial law is, for the present, proclaimed. 

Brigadier-General George F. Shepley, United States Volunteers, is hereby ap- 
pointed Military Governor of Richmond. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Fred. L. Manning, Provost Marshal General, Army of the 
James, will act as Provost Marshal of Richmond. Commanders of detachments doing 
guard duty in the city will report to him for instructions. 

By command of Major-General Weitzel. 

Brigadier-General G. F. Shepley, having been announced as Military Governor 
of Richmond, immediately issued the following order : 

Headquarters Military Governor of Richmond, ) 
Richmond, Va., April 3, 1865. J 

The armies of the rebellion having abandoned their efforts to enslave the people 
of Virginia, have endeavored to destroy by fire the capital which they could not 
longer occupy by their arms. Lieutenant-Colonel Manning, Provost-Marshal General 
of the Army of the James, and Provost Marshal of Richmond, will immediately send 
a sufficient detachment of piovost guard to arrest, if possible, the progress of flames. 
The fire department of the city of Richmond, and all the citizens interested in the 
preservation of their beautiful city, will immediately report to him for duty, and 
render every possible assistance in staying the progress of the conflagration. The 
first duty of the armies of the Union will be to save the city doomed to destruction by 
the armies of the rebellion. 

II. No person will leave the city of Richmond without a pass from the office of 
the Provost Marshal. 

III. Any citizen, soldier, or any person whatever, who shall hereafter plunder, 
destroy or remove any public or private property of any description whatever, will 
be arrested and summarily punished. 

IV. The soldiers of the command will abstain from any offensive or insulting 
words or gestures towards the citizens. 

V. No treasonable or offensive expressions insulting to the flag, the cause or the 
armies of the Union will hereafter be allowed. 

VI. For an exposition of their rights, duties and privileges, the citizens of Rich- 
mond are respectfully referred to the proclamations of the President of the United 
States in relation to the existing rebellion. 

VII. All persons having in their possession or under their control any property 


whatever of the so-called Confederate States, or of any officer thereof, or the records 
or archives of any public officer whatever, will immediately report the same to Col. 
Manning, Provost Marshal. 

In conclusion, the citizens of Richmond are assured that, with the restoration of 
the flag of the Union, they may expect the restoration of that peace, prosperity and 
happiness which they [enjoyed under the Union, of which that flag is the glorious 

George F. Shepley, Brigadier-General United States Vols., 

and Military Governor of Richmond. 

Major Stevens was charged with the execution of the following order . 

Headquarters Military Governor of Richmond, ) 
Richmond, Va., April 3, 1865. | 

General Order No. 2 : 

No officer or soldier will enter or search any private dwelling, or remove any 
property therefrom, without a written order from the headquarters of the Command- 
ing General, the Military Governor, or the Provost Marshal General. 

Any officer or soldier, with or without such order, entering any private dwelling 
will give his name, rank and regiment. 

Any officer or soldier entering a private dwelling without such authority, or fail- 
ing to give his name, rank or regiment, or reporting the same incorrectly, will be 
liable to immediate and summary punishment. 

George F. Shepley, Brigadier-General United States Vols., 

and Military Governor or Richmond. 

When the President of the United States entered the city, 
an immense crowd of negroes saluted their so-called liberator 
with loud and cordial acclamations. The peculiar feature of 
this exultant entree was, that he walked in the pageant on the 
streets of the proud but now fallen and humbled capital of the 
Confederate States of America, and the capital of Virginia. He 
was escorted to the headquarters of General Weitzel, which 
were then in the building just before occupied by President 
Davis. The city was then surrendered to the United States 
troops at 8 o'clock on Monday morning, 3d day of April, 
1 865! 

Upon entering the suburbs of the city General Weitzel sent 
a small detachment of the Fourth Massachusetts cavalry, 
under command of Major Stevens, to meet the Mayor of the 
city, from whom General Weitzel received the keys of the 
public buildings. The Federal troops then marched to the 
capital without opposition. 

The capitol grounds were filled with negroes of every hue 
and grade, of all shades from dingy white to darkest sable, 
in faded finery, in blue coats and greys, in butternut and non- 
descript, of uncouth shade and fashionable cut, country hands 


and favored servants jostling together, laughing, joking, hand- 
shaking, and exchanging congratulations that " der prayers 
is ansered." 

Such, as described by a northern looker-on, were the motely 
and maladroit conoreo-ations that assembled in the beautiful 
and refined capitol grounds and took possession of the ancient 
and renowned State House of the Old Dominion. 

The feeling on the part of the enemy against President 
Davis and Governor Smith was bitter and intense, and for 
some time it increased. For General Lee it was of a modi- 
fied form of mere respect, mixed with a mild sort of venera- 
tion. For Governor Smith, amongst the white citizens of 
Richmond, it was of the highest grade of love and affection. 
[The letter of Judge Campbell, spoken of above, will be found 
in Major Stiles' article from The Magazi?ie of American 

The reader must observe what a grim and solemn mockery 
this grotesque exhibit presented, and the unqualified falsifica- 
tion of the resolution of Congress passed 2 2d July, 1861, the 
day after the memorable overthrow and route of the Federal 
forces at First Manassas, followed up by President Lincoln's 
oft repeated declarations from his inaugural down to and in- 
cluding the evacuation of Richmond. 

The following is an extract from the resolution : 

"That this war is not waged on our part in any spirit of oppression, or for any 
purpose of conquest or subjugation, or of overthrowing or interfering with the rights 
or established institutions of those States (Confederate); but to defend and maintain 
the supremacy of the constitution, and to preserve the Union, with all the dignity, 
equality and rights of the several States unimpaired; and that, as soon as these 
objects are accomplished, the war ought to cease." 

The vote in favor of the resolution was : in the Senate, 
yeas 30, nays 4; in the House of Representatives, yeas 117, 
nays 2. 

Fxtract from President Lincoln's Inaugural, March 4, 1861. 

"Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that, by 
the accession of a Republican administration, their property and their peace and 
personal security are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause 
for such apprehensions. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all 
the while existed, and been opened to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the 
public speeches of him who now addresses you. *****•«! declare that t 
have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in 


the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no 
inclination to do so. Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowl- 
edge that I had made this and many similar declarations, and had never recanted 
them. And more than this, they placed in the platform for my acceptance, and as a 
law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read: 

Resolved, That the maintenance in violation of the rights of the State, and 
especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions 
according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on 
which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend, and we denounce 
the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter 
under what pretext, as among the gravest crimes." 

The above resolutions and Mr. Lincoln's Inaugural were 
officially and formally communicated to the Cabinets of Great 
Britain and France. (See also despatches addressed by the 
Secretary of the United States, under direction of the Presi- 
dent, to the Ministers of the United States at London and 
Paris, under date of the ioth and 2 2d of April, 1861.) 

Richmond, February 19, 1870. 
Governor William Smith, Warrenton, Fauquier County, Virginia: 

My Dear Sir — Your letter of the 15th instant received. I am glad to hear you 
are writing out a statement, as Governor, of the incidents from April 2, 1865, to your 
return to Richmond to surrender to General Patrick in May 1865. It will be interest- 
ing and be a contribution to the history of the times. You ask if I had charge of all 
the archives of the State ? and if Bennett was not with me ? In my historical synop- 
sis of the events which caused the overthrow of the Government of Virginia, pub- 
lished in the Code of 1873, a * P a g e 22 > I state in a very brief way an outline of the 
facts of the removal from Richmond, I say: " After the evacuation at Richmond 
Governor Smith designed carrying on the government of the State at Lynchburg or 
Danville, and therefore issued an Executive order directing the several heads of de- 
partments to remove the archives of the government, containing at least the official 
acts at these departments during the war to the City of Lynchburg. This order, on 
the night of the jd of April 1865, they proceeded to execute, and many of the records 
of the Executive department and of the Auditor and Treasurer were removed by the 
route of the James River and Kanawha Canal, as far as the County of Buckingham, 
but finding it impossible to proceed, in consequence of the destruction of the canal, 
and the impracticability of obtaining transportation, they were conveyed and de- 
posited in the court house of that county. And when General Lee capitulated in 
Appomattox County, on the ninth of the month, these records were taken possession 
of by the Federal Army, and were transmitted to the War Department at Washington, 
and have been to this day refused to be delivered to the State of Virginia." 

I was compelled in that synopsis to be as brief as possible, and the account is 
therefore very meagre. I stated that on the night of the 3d of April this removal 
took place. Most persons assert that it was on the second, but the reason for my 
saying on the third, resulted from the fact that we did not leave the city until after 
12 o'clock in that night, indeed it was about one. Each of the heads of departments 
had caused the archives belonging to his office to be boxed up separately. The 
Secretary of the Commonwealth, I think, had six large boxes, which had been used 
for boxing muskets. The Auditor, Mr. Jonathan M. Bennett, and the Treasurer, Mr. 
John S. Calvert, took charge of the boxes containing the papers of each of their 


offices, which they intended to remove, and they and I went together in the same 
boat. There were two boats provided by the Quartermaster, General E. H. Fitz- 
hugh. In one of which, such members of the Legislature as left the city for Lynch- 
burg, the public guard and a portion of the Cadets of the Virginia Military Institute 
took passage. The officers of government, and their archives, and other members 
of the Legislature, were in the other boat. General Richardson must have been in 
the first boat with the military, for I did not see him until we reached Columbia in 
Fluvanna. I understood he went from thence to General Cockes', at Brenio Bluff. I 
suppose some of the Adjutant-General's books were carried with him, because some 
of the important Militia Registers are not now to be found in his office. I send you 
enclosed a statement made by Quartermaster Fitzhugh, which will explain his opera- 

When we reached Columbia, about daylight on the morning of the fourth, we as- 
certained that the canal had been cut by General Sheridan's forces and was not naviga- 
ble from Bent's Creek down to a few miles above Columbia. We found it was im- 
possible therefore, to go on to Lynchburg for the want of transportation, and as General 
Lee's army was between us and the Federal forces, we determined to cross over the 
river into Buckinghann and follow in the rear of our army. Bennett, Calvert and I, 
therefore, took our archives to Buckingham courthouse and deposited them in the 
Jail of the county. You will perceive that in the synopsis I have quoted above I say 
"in the courthouse,' 1 '' but I used that phrase in that place simply to designate the seat 
of justice of the county, not the courthouse building. They were in fact placed in 
the jail, in which at the time there were no prisoners confined. Having seen the 
archives safely locked up in the jail we went to the farm-house of Mr. Richard S. 
Ellis, who kindly received us and our suite. I remember that Mr. Philip F. Howard, 
my chief clerk was with us and that Quartermaster Fitzhugh joined us, the day after 
our arrival there. About the seventh of April, we had ascertained beyond doubt 
that General Lee contemplated the surrender of his entire army and that it would be 
impossible to proceed further. Indeed throughout the entire day whole regiments 
were rapidly passing through Mr. Ellis' farm on their way home. They declared 
that they had given up, because they found it impossible for the want of supplies to 
keep the army longer together. I recollect how the ladies attempted to shame them 
by denouncing the men as deserters, and how they mournfully moved along with- 
out uttering a word. Now and then a single man would walk up to the gate and say 
"The jig is up." We heard the firing on the day of surrender, and soon after the 
news of the capitulation. On the seventh, Bennett and Calvert and Howard left us, 
and Fitzhugh, the two first to make their way, if possible, on the north side of the 
river to Lynchburg, and the others to Richmond. 

The day after the surrender, several troops or squads of cavalry from the Fed- 
eral army came down to the courthouse and spread through the neighborhood, and 
a company came to the house of Mr. Ellis and required him to furnish them with 
sapper about sundown, which his wife had prepared in her best manner. As soon 
as their appetite was appeased, they said, in consequence of the hospitable manner 
in which they had been treated, they should ask no questions and leave the family 
undisturbed. They certainly asked me no questions and " I told them no lies." It 
is proper to say that Mr. Ellis had served throughout the war, most faithfully in the 
Confederate army, was then at home, on furlough on account of sickness, and that 
every member of the family were Virginians to the core. 

I understood that the cavalry of whom I have spoken, ascertained that the State 
archives were in the jail— that they took possession of them and sent them to the 
Federal commander at Richmond. I understood they were forwarded by General 
Patrick to the War Department at Washington. Whether he did it or not I cannot 
say, but I see by a reference to my synopsis, heretofore mentioned, that the names 
of all the officers in command at Richmond is given and that this information was 
obtained by me from the war department at Washington, and that General Patrick is 


not mentioned as one of those officers. (See page 25 of the synopsis code 1873.) The 
seal of the State which I deposited in one of the boxes with the archives, was taken 
out of that box and sent to Governor Pierpont; [on page 122-123, °f * ne code of 1873, 
in the note, there you will see what I say there on this subject.] 

I have thus, my dear sir, in a hurried way, given you such information as I 
think answers your enquiries. I am sorry to see by your letter that your nervous- 
ness and other ailments are given you annoyance. I hope the remainder of your 
life may be tranquil and happy. Very truly your friend, 

George W. Munford. 

Richmond, February 23, 1880. 

Governor William Smith, Warrenton, Va. 

Dear Governor: — Your letter of the 21st received. You say I did not say 
whether Bennett and I reached Lynchburg and reported. I wrote in a hurry and 
thought I had answered all your enquiries; have not been very well and kept no 
copy of what I wrote. I will supplement that letter with the information you de- 

We were so near General Lee's army that we heard every day what was going 
on, and we knew with absolute certainty that he would be compelled to surrender in 
a day or two. Whole regiments and brigades of his army were passing through Mr. 
Ellis' farm making for home, and they said "all was over." Accordingly on the 
sixth of April, the civil officers who were with me had a conference, and determined 
to separate. Bennett and Calvert said they would cross the river to the north side, 
and make their way if possible to Lynchburg. I concluded to remain, and if possi- 
ble to keep an eye on the archives, which we locked up in the jail. Bennett said he 
would go to Lynchburg because he expected to receive the money which was deposit- 
ed in the Branch Banks there. I know he reached there, and received the money he 
expected, but it was paid in Confederate notes, of course of no value. He carried 
this with him, and when he returned to Richmond sealed it up and deposited it with 
the Auditor, who succeeded him, and the last time I saw the package it was in the 
First Auditor's office and the seal or envelope had apparently never been opened. 
This was when I left the office after my successor had been appointed. Bennett for- 
merly resided at Weston, in Lewis County, West Virginia, and after leaving Rich- 
mond returned there. He informed me that when he was in Lynchburg, you had 
either not reached there or had gone on to Danville. Calvert, the Treasurer, had 
previously lived in Shenandoah County, and returned to his former home there. 
Whether he went to Lynchburg or not I do not know. My chief clerk, Mr. Howard, 
determined to cross the river and foot it to Richmond. Quartermaster Fitzhugh, left 
us about the same time. They all left me on the night of the sixth or on the morn- 
ing of the seventh. On the ninth General Lee surrendered, and I understood that on 
the tenth the Federal cavalry took possession of all the archives which were in the 
jail and forwarded them to the commanding officer in Richmond, and from thence 
they were sent to Washington, as I before stated. I remained at Mr. Ellis' for about 
three weeks, it being impossible to obtain transportation for myself and baggage. 
All the slaves were free, and they hung around the Yankee army hoping then that their 
former masters would be turned out of their homes and they would be speedily 
seated in their places. At last I obtained a negro boy to drive the buggy I had ob- 
tained, and to bring the horse back to its owner. I went to Lynchburg, expecting to 
hear there where you were and if possible to join you. Previous to my reaching 
there my son, General Thomas F. Munford, who commanded a cavalry brigade under 
General Rosser, had cut through the Yankee army and escaped with his command to 
Lynchburg. Prior to disbanding, so as to avoid the capture of his force, he issued 
an order commanding his troops to rally at a given day with the intention to join Joe 
Johnsons' force in the South. This order had been published and when I reached 
Lynchburg, I was informed that a cavalry regiment of the Federals were in the 


neighborhood and intended to proceed to my son's house in Bedford, some five miles 
above Forest Depot, to capture him and burn his dwelling and outhouses. Under 
such circumstances I did not remain in Lynchburg, but continued my journey to his 
house direct, to give him the information. He had with him several of his officers, 
members of his staff and some of his mounted couriers. They were immediately 
posted as pickets, along the roads for about five miles. While we were at dinner the 
next day one of the couriers rode up at full gallop and said that a Yankee regiment 
of cavalry were on their way to capture him, and that they had been enquiring the 
way to his house at a blacksmith's shop on the road. We had been riding over the 
farm and the horses were tied at the gate. The whole party took care of themselves 
as best they might, and my son and I, on good horses, made our way through the 
farm to the mountains, avoiding the main roads, and crossing by country passways 
with which he was acquainted. A company of cavalry rode up to the house, enquired 
for the General, and would not believe that he was not concealed in the house. They 
made a thorough search but without success, and then swore they would burn every 
house on the place. My son had rented his house to Mr. William W. Gwathmey, 
who with his family occupied the premises. Upon their urgent remonstrance, and 
being informed that the General had not left home more than a half hour, before 
thev came, they went off in a canter hoping to overtake him. They took the main 
and parallel roads leading to Big Lick, while we stuck to the mountain passes and 
loitered about until in the night, when emerging, we ascertained that they had gone 
ahead of us and could not be less than eight or ten miles in advance of us. We pro- 
ceeded then leisurely to Mr. George P. Tayloes' in the neighborhood of the Lick. My 
son had married Mr. Tayloes' daughter. In the morning we ascertained beyond a 
doubt that the Yankees had proceeded on their way down the valley. I now deter- 
mined to go up to Montgomery, just in the neighborhood of Fatheringay, where my 
youngest sister, who had married Mr. Howard Payton lived, and I stayed with her for 
about three weeks longer and then returned to Richmond, arriving there about the 
first of June. By that time, the Alexandria Government, with Governor Pierpont, 
had been firmly established, they having taken possession of the Capitol and the 
Governor's house and such of the archives as remained, and the Governor having 
issued his proclamation that the scat of government had been restored to Richmond. 
The proclamation was dated May 23, 1865. Hearing that you had returned about the 
fifth of June, I called upon you and heard your account of your surrender to the con- 
stituted authorities. 

You ask me to inform you how Bennett got possession of the $21,000, most of 
which was distributed under your order to members of assembly and the officers of 
government, on account of their salaries and services to the State. My understand- 
ing of it was this. The money that remained in the Treasury had been deposited in 
the Exchange Bank at Richmond. All the other money borrowed under an act of 
the Legislature, had been loaned by the same authority to the Confederate States 
Government, and the Auditor's books show that it had been paid General John C. 
Breckenridge, the then Secretary of War. As soon as it was ascertained that Rich- 
mond was to be evacuated the officers of the bank sent word to the Auditor that he 
must take possession of this money, as they would no longer be responsible for its 
safe keeping. Mr. Bennett said you had authorized him to take it. He showed me 
your order dated ihejirst of April, 1865, on the second, and said under that order he 
could pay me what was due for my salary as Secretary of the Commonwealth. I had 
not drawn any portion of my pay for an entire quarter, ending March 31, 1865. The 
salary in currency was upwards of $2,000. There was nothing in the treasury but 
this gold, and a little uncurrent silver coin, consisting of sleek twenty cent pieces, 
twelve and a half pieces and six and a quarter cent pieces. Bennett said he would 
pay me $1,500 in gold, which he did and took my receipt therefor, which is dated 
second of April 1865. He said he had paid you and many of the other officers and 
your receipt is also dated the second of April. I received the amount paid me some- 


time between nine and ten o'clock A. M. This money was sent to Bennett by a bank 
officer on Sunday. The offices of Auditor and Treasurer were not open on Sunday, 
and the bank having paid the amount standing to the credit of the State, no checks 
could be thereafter drawn upon it, consequently there was no warrant drawn on the 
Treasurer, and no check drawn by the Treasurer on the bank, and no entries were 
made in either office. For the same reason the office of the Secretary of the Com- 
monwealth was not open. The order was not passed through my hands and no en- 
try thereof will appear on the Executive Journal. The order was kept by Bennett as 
his justification for his receiving and paying out the money, and was filed in the 
Auditor's office with the statement of his account to the General Assembly. 

When we were about separating in Buckingham, as I have related above, Mr. 
Calvert said that a considerable portion of this money still remained, and that he had 
other gold belonging to individuals which he did not desire to carry with him, and 
especially as he expected we would all be made prisoners, and if so the money would 
be captured. He suggested that we might bury it in some safe place in the night, 
and let it remain there until quiet had been restored. It was also suggested that there 
was a balance still due me and if I would take a portion of it in the uncurrent silver 
which he had, I should be paid $500 in addition to what I received in Richmond. This 
amount was accordingly nominally paid me — hence my second receipt which is dated 
on the sixth of April. The silver was in very small bags and the amount of each de- 
nomination of coin was marked on the outside. I received it without counting. 
When counted the next day, it fell short forty dollars; though it was apparent that 
the bags had not been tampered with. It was counted by Mr. Richard S. Ellis and 
myself. I mention these facts simply to account to you for the two payments to my- 
self and to show how it was that my second receipt was given while we were in Buck- 

You ask me to send you Jaynes' report. I would do so with pleasure, but I 
know of no copy of it except in the Journal of the House of Delegates. It is no doubt 
in the Public Library, but it is too long for me to copy. 

It affords me pleasure to give you the information you ask for. It is written 
currente ca/amo, without revision or time for reflection. 

Very truly your friend, George W. Munford. 



There is an incident in the life of Governor Smith full of characteristic incident 
which has never attracted the attention it deserved. Some years after the war, the 
writer had the honor of being associated with two Attorney-Generals of Virginia — 
Hon. Raleigh T. Daniel and General James G. Field — in defense of what was known 
as "The Gold Cases." These new actions of assumpsit, brought in the Federal 
Court at Richmond, by the United States as plaintiff against Governor Smith, Colonel 
George Wythe Munford, and other officers of the commonwealth, for money of the 
State of Virginia, which the Governor had drawn out of the city, on the eve of the 
evacuation of Richmond, and had used in paying salaries of State officials and in other 
similar ways. It was agreed with the representative of the Government to make the 
suit against the Governor a test case. Our demurrer to the declaration, which 
seemed to us well grounded, having been overruled, and one trial of the issue hav- 
ng resulted in a hung jury, General Field and I determined to adopt a bolder line of 
defense, and to bring Governor Smith and Judge. Henry W. Thomas, (who had been, 
il think, Auditor of Public Accounts at the time of the evacuation), before the jury as 
witnesses. The substance of Judge Thomas' testimony, or at least a part of it, re- 
vised by himself, will hereafter be published in another connection. Governor 


Smith's thrilling narrative is, I fear, lost, unless indeed he may have left some ac- 
count of the fact among his papers. I regret that I never urged him to do so, but re- 
member going, on the evening before the trial, to the offices of our city papers, and 
advising them to have their best reporters present, as a chapter of War history was to 
be recited under the pressures and sanctions of judicial proceedings, which in some 
of its facts and features, would probably not be otherwise published or preserved. 
Strange to say no reporter was present, at least no adequate report was made, and a 
recital of surpassing interest, and verified as history is seldom verified, has been for 
the most part irrevocably lost. 

When Governor Smith was informed by his counsel that they thought it desira- 
ble he should testify, he answered, " Well, gentlemen, you must tell me how to put 
the matter before the jury." This, however, was exactly what we had no idea of do- 
ing, and we replied in substance that as he always said, and as we were entirely 
satisfied he had spent that money according to his best judgment in the public ser- 
vice, and in a manner which gave no shadow of right, title or excuse to the United 
States Government to demand it again of him- — that we wanted him to convince the 
jury of this; and as we did not believe any man in the commonwealth better qualified 
than he to determine just how to compass this end we did not intend to direct him 
further; that we wished him to be the prominent figure in the trial and to win the 
verdict; and that his counsel must of necessity, and would of choice play a very sub- 
ordinate part in the drama. 

The grand old man caught our meaning at once — and there was no shrinking, 
no false modesty, no nonsense about the matter. I have never witnessed anything 
more superb than his entire bearing before that jury. There were negroes upon it 
and he fully appreciated the strain of the position — the War Governor of Virginia, a 
sworn witness in his own .behalf before a jury of freed men, but yesterday the slaves 
of Virginia's citizens, of whom he was the constitutional ruler, and the chief. But he 
knew the negro thoroughly — knew his good points and his weakness — knew and felt 
his own power with these negroes. And they knew him thoroughly, up to the 
measure of their capacity, knew his good and true manhood; and obviously from his 
opening word, recognized and felt and never disputed his truth or his power over 
them. He rose and stepped forward to address them, his head thrown back perhaps 
a shade higher than ever was his wont, yet perfectly poised in conscious rectitude 
and strength, and his eye kindled with even a little more than its wonted fire, yet 
there was in it kindliness towards them, and entire courtesy towards the court. 

Judge Hughes ordered a chair to be placed for him, and asked him to be seated; 
and I recall now the exquisite tact and ease with which, with a graceful bow and ges- 
ture, he replied, "No, I thank you, Judge; the blood flows a little more freely to the 
brain of an old man when the column of the body is entirely erect. If you will per- 
mit me, I prefer to stand, while submitting my testimony to the Jury." Of course 
the Judge assented, and every man on the jury recognizing the implied compliment, 
leaned eagerly forward to catch every word he might utter to them. 

As above stated, I cannot pretend to give the details or even the substance of 
the historical part of his testimony — the recital of those days of fearful confusion, 
and suspense and despair — but I can never forget the essence of the logical and moral 
part of it. 

He told the jury quietly, but with impressive dignity, that Virginia was a living, 
actual Commonwealth, and himself her living, actual Governor, when he drew this 
money; that Virginia did not cease to exist, nor did he cease to be her Governor, as 
he thought then and thought now, when in the exigencies of war he turned his back 
upon her capital, and went out a fugitive, but not a vagabond; that there were duties 
which he still owed to the State, and which her other officials still owed to her; and 
for these official duties already rendered, being rendered, and to be rendered, sala- 
ries were justly due; that the duty of these officers to the State, as he and they 
thought, now required them to leave their families, for an indefinite period, in the 


hands of the public enemy, without means of support and cut off from sources of 
supply; and that he summoned these faithful officers about him and distributed a 
large part of this money among them, in the payment of salaries, before leaving the 
city; that after he left, albeit, his capital was in the hands of the military forces of the 
United States; Virginia still lived, and he, as her Governor, used more of this money 
in the discharge of the great duty with which, in that awful crisis, he considered him- 
self charged — to wit : the duty of preserving order and the institutions of civil 
society, in that debatable ground which the Confederate government and forces had 
abandoned, and over which the United States had, as yet, established no settled 

As an instance of such application of the funds in his hands I recall that he men- 
tioned his purchase of all the shoes in the town of Danville, I think, and the distribu- 
tion of them amongst a large body of disbanded and barefoot Confederate soldiers, 
who threatened to sack the place if the shoes were not turned over to them. He 
added that owing to the hurry and confusion of that terrific time, he was, of course, 
unable to make or preserve any detailed accurate and complete account of the appli- 
cation of this fund, but this much he was able and willing, upon his oath, to state : 
that he spent no part of this money except in the manner and for the objects and pur- 
poses he had indicated, and upon occasions which he thought, then and now, clearly 
justified and demanded the expenditure; and that he kept no part of it, over and 
above the amount which he thought, and now to be justly due him for his services as 

The effect of this statement, thus made can readily be conceived. His erect 
figure, his firm, clear, silvery utterance, his manly courtesy — his noble mien — 
carried conviction, and more than conviction, to the minds and hearts of the jury. 

The case, indeed, went on, but when Governor Smith took his seat it was 
obviously over for the defense, and my recollection is that we offered to submit it 
without argument, and that at the close the jury did not leave the box. 

This was the end of the litigation, the United States District Attorney, now the 
respected President of our Supreme Court of Appeals, promptly dismissing all the 

Governor Smith's part in the trial has often recurred to my mind as the finest 
possible illustration of the combination of splendid courage with graceful courtesy, 
and inspired common sense; and I have often recalled his figure as he stood testify- 
ing before that jury, as the very embodiment of lofty manhood. 

Richmond, March, 10, 1877. 
To Lieutenant Governor Thomas: 

The United States having recently instituted actions of Assumpsit against me 
and many others of a late State Government of Virginia, for various sums of money 
received by us in our official capacity on or about the 2d of April, 1865; and sun- 
dry gentlemen having proffered their services to me and others to procure from the 
Attorney-General of the United States an order to dismiss these annoying, and I 
must think, groundless actions; and as you, with our friend, Major Daniel, propose to 
visit Washington during the ensuing week, and upon conference with Beverley 
Tucker, Esq., and our representatives in Congress, or such of them as may be in 
the city, may deem it judicious to bring this matter to the attention of the Depart- 
ment of Justice, I have concluded to furnish you with the subjoined statement, to be 
used by our friends according to their discretion. Yours, very truly, 

William Smith. 

The following statement is the one referred to in the above note to Gov. 
Thomas. W. S. 

I was elected Governor of Virginia by the people on the day of 1863, 

to take office on the 1st day of January 1864. On that day I took the oaths of office 


and assumed the duties imposed upon the Chief Magistrate of the State, by the Con- 
stitution and Laws made in pursuance thereof, wholly or in part, until I entered the 
City of Richmond about the 5th of June, 1865, with my Aid and servant, under Gen- 
eral Patrick's safe conduct, and surrendered myself to that officer. I obtained this 
safe conduct, not only to protect myself from annoyance, but also to prevent any 
one from acquiring a claim to the reward of $25,000 which the Federal authorities 
had offered for my arrest. 

On Sunday the 2d of April, 1865, during divine service, I saw a messenger 
hurriedly, advance to Mr. Davis' pew and hand him a paper; Mr. Davis read the 
paper, and, much excited, instantly left the church. After the service was over I 
returned to the State Mansion, and had scarcely reached there before I received a 
message from Mr. Davis, requesting me to come to his office without delay. Of 
course, I did not loose a moment. On joining Mr. Davis, he informed me that the 
paper he had received in church, was a telegram from General Lee, informing him 
that he feared he would be unable to maintain his lines another day, and that he had 
better make ready to evacuate the city at a moment's warning. Of course, all was 
soon a vast scene of busy and excited preparation, having determined to remove 
the State Government to Lynchburg. Accordingly, I ordered certain officers to bun- 
dle up such of the State archives as might be thought most necessary, and also 
charged other officers to remain in possession of the State House and its appurten- 
ances and their contents, and to preserve and protect them to the best of their 
ability. I also ordered General Smith with his Stale Cadets, and also the State 
Guard to make similar preparation to move at a moment's notice, and should they 
move to report to me at Lynchburg. One of the most immediate and pressing diffi- 
culties was the want of available currency. It was obvious that evacuation would 
render the whole mass of Confederate currency, worthless. Besides, it was known 
that balances were due to most if not all of the State officers, who could neither stay 
nor go without suffering, unless they were adjusted; and, moreover, it could but be 
known, that money was indispensable to defray the costs and charges of the ex- 
pected regime. In this preplexity I learned that the State could command the 
necessary money; whereupon, I issued the following order in favor of J. M. Ben- 
nett, Auditor of Public Accounts, as follows: [See order below.] 

Fairfax, C. H., Va., Septembers, l888 - 

My Dear Sir: — I regret very much that I cannot find the letter you refer to, 
relative to the order given by General Smith upon Auditor Bennett. I do not re- 
member the terms of it, for my impression is I returned it to him. 

The only incident I recollect concerning it, is that whilst preparations were be- 
ing made for the removal of the State Government I was with the other officers, sum- 
mond to meet the Governor, relative to the contemplated action, and my remarking 
to the Governor that it would be impossible for me to leave as I had a family'of 
small children, and his reply: " No, you had better remain; your first duty is to your 
family. We will all go (referring to the other officers), and I have made provision 
for the payment of your salaries now due by an order issued upon the Auditor, and 
as our currency is now worthless, I have directed the Auditor to pay the same in 

He further remarked, " as you cannot leave, I shall leave the public property 
here under your charge. Do the best you can, and trust in Providence." 

This simple incident gives the key to his character. All he did during my 
official connection with him, was to relieve, improve and advance all who came in 
contact with him, and from his frank, genial, and kindly nature during that period, 
I came to feel better acquainted with him. and to esteem and admire him to the day 
of his death. Respectfully, H. W. Thomas. 

Judge J. W. Bell, Culpeper, Va. 


I did not know whence this money was obtained, but was informed that it was 
drawn from the Exchange Bank, one of the State depositories. It will be observed 
that my order clearly defined its purposes and objects and left no room for question or 
criticism. Money provided by a great State, to preserve social order and maintain 
her political integrity, is directed to be applied to the payment of the salaries and 
the consequential expenses of the functionaries to whom this sacred and important 
trust was confided. The amount, too, is inconsiderable and is necessarily consumed 
in the execution of the trust. It is not the accumulation of surpluses from time to 
time, but it was provided to meet a sudden and severe strain of the body-politic and 
prevent a state of anarchy. In no sense can it be regarded as a spoil of war. 

Of the $21,000 drawn under my order, the Auditor, whose duty it was, distributed 
under it only $14,335.50. The residue was disposed of during the Pierpont govern- 
ment long after mine had altogether ceased. This account, which I subjoin, completely 
protects the State officials, who received the above amount, from all ascription of un- 
worthy motives in receiving the sums severally charged to them, as they could, I 
have no doubt, had they been dishonorably disposed, have divided among them the 
whole amount of $21,000 : 

Executive Department of Virginia, April 1, 1865. 

The Auditor of Public Accounts will issue his warrant on the Treasury (payable 
out of the Military and Civil Contingent Funds), for twenty-one thousand dollars in 
specie, in favor of J. M. Bennett, to be disbursed to members of the General Assem- 
bly, in attendance at the Extra Session thereof, to the Governor and other executive 
officers of State Government, on account of their salaries as such officers, which are 
now or may hereafter become due, and such contingent expenses as may be found 

This order is necessary, owing to the peculiar circumstances in which the State 
is now situated, which prevent the regular order of business from being observed. 
Given under my hand as above. William Smith. 

It may not be amiss for me to remark here, that although my order bears date 
the 1st of April, 1865, yet I am entirely satisfied it should have borne date the follow- 
ing day; for I well recollect that my mind was greatly perplexed, as to how the 
needful money was to be obtained. And this conviction is strengthened by the 
facts that the Auditor did not draw this money until the 2d of April, and my receipt 
for the portion of it which I received, bears the like date. And I am still further 
fortified as to this fact by Joyne's Senatorial Report in 1865, which adopts the same 

It will not escape attention that my order after providing for the State officials 
and members of the Legislature, also provided for "such contingent expenses as 
may be found necessary." It will be readily understood that the State Government 
could not be removed from place to place as exigency might require, except at con- 
siderable cost, and various officers in charge of the public records and property, 
were, under my instructions, no doubt supplied by the Auditor with funds, not only 
sufficient to pay what was and might be due to them, but also to provide for such 
emergencies. As others, I received a portion of the $21,000 so often referred to, to 
pay not only what was or might be due me as Governor, but to repay the inevitable 
expenses of a change of the seat of Government, and those contingent expenses con- 
tinually called for by the public interests. I suppose all will agree that I ought to 
have made some such provision, and that had mischief followed from my failure to 
do so, I would have been justly censurable. Accordingly, my receipt for the $5,000 
received by me is without specification and was obviously expected to be accounted 
for, " at a more convenient season for calm and dispassionate inquiry." I give a 
copy of my receipt: 

On the night of the evacuation there was due on salary account $1,777.66. ■ On 


the 9th of April, the date of Gen. Lee's surrender and which the plaintiffs declaration 
assumes was the termination of the State Government $2,161.66. On the 9th of 
May, 1865, when President Johnson ordered Governor Pierpont to assume the Execu- 
tive duties of the State $3,833.06. On the 23d of May, 1865, when Governor Pier- 
pont in pursuance of President Johnson's order entered the City of Richmond and, 
as Governor of the State, performed his first act as such, $4,610.76, and on or about 
the 5th of June, 1865, when I surrendered myself to General Patrick, in the City of 
Richmond, $5,332.91. It was at this date, the day of my surrender, that I have 
always considered my office as Governor ended, and my right to my salary ceased, 
although it is expressly declared by Act of Assembly that it shall continue for six 
months after the termination of the war, which did not terminate in Virginia, accord- 
ing to the " Protector" case [12th Wallace page 700] until the President's proclama- 
tion of the 2d of April, 1866, announced that it was at an end. For much valuable 
information touching the facts stated or alluded to in this paragraph, I refer to the 
code of 1873.* 

For a large portion of the time between the evacuation of Richmond and my sur- 
render there, I was actively engaged in the performance of my duties as Governor. 
Repairing to Lynchburg, I found but few of those ordered to meet me there. But 
few of the State Cadets reported. The State Guard, however, reported in considera- 
ble force, but in a state of complete destitution, so that I had to furnish it with funds 
through one of its officers, for its necessary subsistence. None of the State officials 
met me in Lynchburg as well as I now remember. This apparent tardiness or 
failure to assemble in Lynchburg, on the part of those ordered to do so, was occa- 
sioned, as I have been informed, and believe, by the bad condition of the canal, 
the surrender of General Lee and the steady advance of the enemy. Doubtless, the 
hopelessness of protracting the struggle had something to do with it. During my 
location in Lynchburg, I sought by every means in my power to ascertain public 
opinion. With this view, I traveled as far north as Staunton, and having satisfied 
myself that the people had no disposition to continue the war, and that the Confeder- 
ate Government had lost the power to do so, I devoted myself, as the first Magis- 
trate of the State, to the preservation of social order, and to the adjustment of proper 
relations between the State and Federal Government. With the latter view I sent a 
Mr. Speed, a relation of the United States Attorney-General, as a messenger or 
bearer of such terms, and although President Lincoln had, when in Richmond, 
caused messengers to be sent to recall the State Government, including myself, thus 
evincing a disposition to establish such relations, yet my communication was not 
only treated with contempt, but the person of my messenger was seriously imperiled. 
Lee had surrendered. 

Finding that the proximity of the Federals to Lynchburg rendered my position 
there unsafe, I concluded to transfer myself to Danville, where President Davis was 
located. I arrived at his quarters at the hour in which he had received information 
of General Lee's surrender, and when he was in busy preparation to move further 
south. I, at once, saw the importance of my location in Danville, and upon the in- 
vitation of my friend Clarke, now Senator Clarke, of that city, I established my head- 
quarters at his hospitable mansion. In walking through the city I found there was a 
large amount of comissary and quartermaster's stores on hand, which were being 
rapidly removed to Greensborough, N. C. I at once put a stop to it, satisfied that 
our paroled prisoners would soon be in the city and would find the supplies thus be- 
ing removed absolutely essential to their wants and comfort. And I advised the 
officer's in charge to re-organize their Departments and to issue supplies upon regu- 
lar requisitions. This policy was adopted; and most fortunate it was so. In a day 
or two there was over 3,000 of our men in the city at one time, on their way South; 

* Vide Historical Synopsis of the changes in the Laws and Constitution of the State of Virginia, by Geo. W. 
Munford, Sec'y of Com. of Va., Co. Va., 1873. 


they were in the worst possible humor and many of them were wretchedly destitute. 
The Comissary promptly filled all requisitions for rations. But when the Quarter- 
master was unable to fill the requisition for shoes, because they had been forwarded, 
as he declared, to Greensborough, the soldiers became furious, denounced him as a 
thief and a liar, and evil disposed persons having whispered into their ears that the 
citizens had carried off the shoes and had concealed them in out-of-the-way places, 
they swore that they would sack the town, unless they were produced without delay. 
In this extremity I was sent for and soon appeared among them. Fortunately, I had 
served with many of them and not a few recognized me at once. And when I began 
to speak to them and remind them of their glorious history and the sadness of the pres- 
ent hour, a stillness almost as deep as death settled upon them. I then told them that 
at the very moment of my arrival in Danville, the news came of the surrender at 
Appomattox — that finding the army stores were being removed to Greensborough, 
N. C, I at once put a stop to it, well knowing that the Southern soldiers of Lee's 
army would aim for Danville as a railroad point, and where they might also expect 
to find food and clothing, absolutely necessary to them on their homeward journey. 
I asked them if every requisition had not been filled, except for shoes ? they 
answered, "Yes." "Then where so much has been cheerfully supplied, how can any 
reasonable man suppose that the single article of shoes has been wilfully withheld? 
No men, accept my assurance — of your former comrade, that there is no supply of 
shoes in Danville. That those which were here have been sent to Greensborough — 
and that in three hours after you leave here, and the trains are nearly ready to take 
you away, you will be in Greensborough, where you will, doubtless, be promptly 
and abundantly supplied with this essential want. Are you satisfied, men ?" "We 
are," " we are," was the prompt reply. I heard but one murmured dissent, and 
that was promptly hushed by an indignant warning from the crowd that the " man 
who questioned the word of General Smith did so at his peril." This is but an 
epitome of my remarks. But, so the town was saved. 

But the danger was not past. Bands of plunderers, including women came into 
town and broke into the public stores, carrying off any and everything they could lay 
their hands upon — even the women carrying off muskets, etc. And it took the most 
determined service of the whole civil power, for two or three days, to prevent a 
general pillage of the public property, and restore quiet and order in the community 
many entertaining the opinion, and not a few acting upon it, that the dead man's es- 
tate was without an owner and that everyone had a right to appropriate to his own 
use whatever portion of it he could lay his hands upon. It was while in Danville I 
settled many questions of public interest. In no case was my authority questioned 
or disregarded. While there, I sent a deputation to General , who merely in- 
formed me that my communication would be forwarded to General Grant, which was 
the last of it. It was in this way, I think, I first learned that a reward of $25,000 was 
offered for my arrest. This, with the advance of the enemy, and the utter hopeless- 
ness of further resistance, made it necessary for me to determine upon my future 

Honored by my beloved State beyond my merit, and thoroughly satisfied that it 
was my duty to share her fate, I early resolved, that under no circumstances would 
I leave " my own, my native land." Hence I declined the invitation of President 
Davis to share his car the night of the evacuation — put aside all similar suggestions — ■ 
rode with my aid and servant a thousand miles through the State on horseback, to learn 
the condition and temper of her people, and everywhere during the brief remnant of 
my power devoted to their best interests. In this spirit I concluded, under proper 
circumstances, to surrender myself — left Danville, wended my way through Pittsyl- 
vania and Campbell counties, crossing the James about ten miles above Lynch- 
burg, into Amherst — thence touching Nelson, and crossing the James again, entered 
Buckingham, recrossed the river at Cartersville and finally stopped for a considerable 


time at the house of that noble and hospitable gentleman, Captain Charles \V. Dab- 
ney, of the county of Hanover. 

This trip was most leisurely taken; although I was aware that parties of the enemy 
were in pursuit of me, I acted upon the simple principle that should I encounter large 
parties of the enemy I could run and took it for granted that parties of our own size would 
not undertake to arrest me. I think it not amiss to state that Captain Dabney's was 
within twenty-three miles of Richmond, and within seven miles of two posts of the 
enemy, that it soon came to be known in the neighborhood that I was Captain Dab- 
ney's guest, and that a reward had been offered for my arrest of $25,000, and yet, not 
a man in that community, occupied by men in the humblest circumstances could be 
found who would so far forget his duty and patriotic sympathies as to win comfort 
and independence by betraying me. 

While here, I concluded to carry out my determination to surrender, and sent my 
Aid into Richmond, with a communication addressed to General Patrick, stating that 
it was my then purpose to do so, but as I was unwilling to play " hide and go seek," 
with his parties, I respectfully asked him to send me his protection. He did so (not 
knowing where I was), for ten days. A few days after I availed myself of the pro- 
tection, and reported to him. And I am gratified to be able to say 

[It is much to be regretted that the residue of this letter cannot be found, and that 
it should thus abruptly close.] 

In the actions herein and elsewhere referred to, the ex- 
Governor attended in proper person and by counsel, and took 
an active part in their trial ; and through the Hon. Robert 
Stiles and the Hon. James G. Field, Attorney-General of the 
State, they went off upon a demurrer to the declaration, and 
were finally disposed of in favor of the defendants, at the 
plaintiffs' costs. 

[From Mrs. Martha J. Lamb's Magazine of American History.] 



During the years 1876-79 the writer was associated with 
the Attorney-General of Virginia in the defense of what were 
known as "The Gold Cases." These were actions at law 
brought in the Federal Court at Richmond by the United 
States as plaintiff, against ex-Governor William Smith and 
other parties who had been officers of the commonwealth in 
April, 1865. claiming of the defendants money of the State of 
Virginia which the Governor had drawn out of the banks on 
the eve of the evacuation of Richmond, and paid to these 
parties on account of their official salaries. 

In the course of the trial certain testimony was given by 


Governor Smith and Judge Henry W. Thomas of great his- 
toric value and importance. The testimony of Judge Thomas 
was of especial interest as bearing upon the question how far 
Mr. Lincoln was prepared to go, and did actually go, in put- 
ting into execution his admitted views in favor of immediate 
restoration of the Southern States, more especially Virginia, 
to the Union. Recently, in glancing over Admiral Porter's 
Incidents of the Civil War, and reading his account of Mr. 
Lincoln's visit to Richmond, the importance of Judge Thomas's 
testimony became too clear to admit of further delay in giving 
it to the public. Admiral Porter's account, so far as it relates 
to the subject of this paper, is as follows : 

" Next morning, at ten]o'clock, Mr. John A. Campbell, late Justice of the Supreme 
Court of the United States, sent a request to be allowed to come on board with 
General Weitzel. He wanted to call on the President. He came on board and 
spent an hour. The President and himself seemed to be enjoying themselves very- 
much, to judge from their laughter. 

"I did not go down to the cabin. In about an hour General Weitzel and Mr. 
Campbell came on deck, asked for a boat, and were landed. 

"I went down below for a moment, and the President said: 'Admiral, I am 
sorry you were not here when Mr. Campbell was on board. He has gone on shore 
happy. I gave him a written permission to allow the State Legislature to convene in 
the capitol in the absence of all other government.' 

"I was rather astonished at this piece of information. I felt that this course 
would bring about complications, and wondered how it had all come to pass. I 
found it had all been done by the persuasive tongue of Mr. Campbell, who had 
promised the President that if the Legislature of Virginia could meet in the halls of 
the Confederate Congress, it would vote Virginia right back into the Union, that it 
would be a delicate compliment paid to Virginia which would be appreciated, etc. 

"Weitzel backed up Mr. Campbell, and the President was won over to agree to 
what would have been a most humiliating thing if it had been accomplished. 

" When the President told me all that had been done, and that General Weitzel 
had gone on shore with an order in his pocket to let the Legislature meet, I merely 
said: 'Mr. President, I suppose you remember that this city is under military juris- 
diction, and that no courts, legislature or civil authority can exercise any power with- 
out the sanction of the General commanding the army. This order of yours should 
go through General Grant, who would inform you that Richmond was under martial 
law; and I am sure he would protest against this arrangement of Mr. Campbell's.' 

"The President's common sense took in the situation at once. 'Why,' he said, 
'Weitzel made no objection, and he commands here.' 

" ' That is because he is Mr. Campbell's particular friend, and wished to gratify 
him; besides, I don't think he knows much about anything but soldiering. General 
Shepley would not have perferred such a request.' 

"'Run and stop them,' exclaimed the President, 'and get my order back! 
Well, I came near knocking all the fat into the fire, didn't I? ' 

"To make things sure I had an order written to General Weitzel and signed by 
the President, as follows: 'Return my permission to the Legislature of Virginia to 
meet at all.' There was an ambulance wagon at the landing, and giving the order 
to an officer, I said to him, 'jump into that wagon, and kill the horse if necessary, 


but catch the carriage which carried General Weitzel and Mr. Campbell, and deliver 
this order to the General.' 

"The carriage was caught after it reached the city. The old wagon horse had 
been a trotter in its day, and went his three minutes. The General and Mr. Camp- 
bell were surprised. The President's order was sent back, and they never returned 
to try and reverse the decision. 

"Mr. Campbell evidently saw that his scheme of trying to put the State Legisla- 
ture in session with the sanction of the President had failed, and that it was useless 
to try it again. It was a clever dodge to soothe the wounded feelings of the South, 
and no doubt was kindly meant by the late Justice Campbell; but what a howl it 
would have raised at the North ! . . . [pp. 305-6.] 

" 'Yes,' the President answered, 'let us go. I seem to be 'putting my foot into 
it" here all the time. Bless my soul ! how Seward would have preached and read 
Puffendorf, Vattel and Grotius to me if he had been here when I gave Campbell per- 
mission to let the Legislature meet ! I'd never have heard the last of it. Seward is 
a small compendium of international law himself, and laughs at my 'horse sense,' 
which I pride myself on, and yet I put my foot into that thing about Campbell with 
my eyes wide open. If I were you I don't think I would repeat that joke yet awhile. 
People might laugh at you for knowing so much, and more than the President ! I 
am afraid that the most of my learning lies in my heart more than in my head.' " 
[P- 309-] 

It is but fair to the Admiral to note that in another connec- 
tion, page 313, he says : " I made it a rule during the war to 
write down at night, before retiring to rest, what had occurred 
during the day." 

Having heard Judge Thomas's sworn evidence, above re- 
ferred to and below recited, it is needless to add that I read 
Admiral Porter's narrative with astonishment, and at once be- 
gan an investigation of the subject. I read the account which 
General Grant gives of the matter on pages 505-6 of the 
second volume of his Memoirs, as follows : 

"While I was in pursuit of General Lee the President went to Richmond in com- 
pany with Admiral Porter, and on board his flagship. He found the people of that 
city in great consternation. The leading citizens among the people who had re- 
mained at home surrounded him, anxious that something should be done to relieve 
them from suspense. General Weitzel was not then in the city, having taken offices 
in one of the neighboring villages after his troops had succeeded in subduing the 
conflagration which they had found in progress on entering the Confederate capital. 
The President sent for him, and on his arrival a short interview was held on board 
the vessel, Admiral Porter and a leading citizen of Virginia being also present. 
After this interview the President wrote an order in about these words, which I ijuote 
from memory: 'General Weitzel is authorized to permit the body calling itself the 
Legislature of Virginia to meet for the purpose of recalling the Virginia troops from 
the Confederate armies.' Immediately some of the gentlemen composing that body 
wrote out a call for a meeting and had it published in their papers. This call, how- 
ever, went very much farther than Mr. Lincoln had contemplated, as he did not say 
'the Legislature of Virginia,' but 'the body which called itself the Legislature of 
Virginia.' Mr. Stanton saw the call as published in the Northern papers the very 
next (issue, and took the liberty of countermanding the order authorizing any meet- 


ing of the legislature or any other body, and this notwithstanding the fact that the 
President was nearer the spot than he was. 

"This was characteristic of Mr. Stanton. He was a man who never questioned 
his own authority, and who always did in war time what he wanted to do." 

By way of preface to Judge Thomas's evidence it should be 
remarked that he is a gentleman of high character, capacity 
and position, having been second Auditor of the State in 
April, 1 865, Lieutenant-Governor after the war, for years a 
Circuit Judge, and at all times recognized as one of the most 
cautious, well-balanced and accurate lawyers in the common- 
wealth. His testimony was given in support of the main 
point of Governor Smith's defense, which was that he had 
drawn and expended this money as Governor of Virginia, in 
the public service and for the public good, in the preservation 
of order and, the institutions of civil society in that debatable 
ground from which the Confederate government and forces 
had retired, and over which the United States had, as yet, 
established no settled authority. Judge Thomas himself 
vouches for the correctness of the following record of his testi- 
mony, he having read every line of it ; indeed, every word, 
with the specific exceptions indicated, being now in my pos- 
session in his handwriting-. 

It is also of consequence to note that, when Judge Thomas 
prepared and sent the writer this sketch, he had not, neither 
had the writer, examined the files of the Whig, nor was 
either aware of what they contained, and Judge Campbell's 
pamphlet — also below quoted — had not even been published. 
Judge Thomas's draught of his testimony is as follows : 

"Early in April, when it was known, after the fall of Richmond, that Mr. 
Lincoln was coming there, it was deemed advisable to hold a public meeting, with 
the view of expressing such views as would tend to show that we were willing to 
accept the situation, and to declare our purpose to renounce all opposition to the 
restoration of civil government under the authority of the government of the United 
States. The meeting was held in the room adjoining the Whig office, and the pro- 
ceedings were published in the Richmond papers. 

"Judge Campbell, Mr. Myers (deceased), and myself were appointed a com- 
mittee to confer with the President and submit the resolutions. This we did, and Mr. 
Lincoln was much pleased by the views presented by us. . . . 

"In the conversation I had with the President upon that occasion, reference was 
made to the consequences which might ensue from the condition in which we were 
placed — the absence of civil government, the demoralization prevailing, and our 
utter inability to control the passions and excited feelings of a part, at least, of our 
community — and I remarked, ' Mr. President, we would all be much gratified if you 


would send Governor Pierpont here as early as possible, so that civil order may be 
re-established.' I recollect Mr. Lincoln's action and utterance. He said he did not 
regard the division of Virginia as permanent, and that the matter, if tested in the. 
courts, would, he thought, result in overthrowing it, that it could only be justified as 
a war measure, and therefore he did not want Mr. Pierpont. ' The government that 
took Virginia out is the government that should bring her back, and is the govern- 
ment that alone can effect it. I shall appoint a committee for the purpose of sum- 
moning the Governor and the Legislature to meet at an early date in Richmond for 
this action, and I shall direct General Weitzel to issue you passes through General 
Grant's lines; I presume, (he added), you will need none in passing General Lee's; 
and I shall take care that you have safe conduct in the discharge of this duty, as, also, 
those you may summon, in repairing to the capitol. They must come here to the 
very place they went out of the Union, to come back; and your people will, doubt- 
less, all return, and we shall soon have old Virginia back again.' 

"I recollect distinctly his replying to my suggestion that we could get the mem- 
bers of the existing legislature in session without difficulty. 'But no,' he said 'the 
government that took the State out must bring her back.' My impression is that Mr. 
Lincoln asked who was Governor at the time of the secession of the State, and my 
answer was Letcher. He was the man, then, to come and participate in the action 
of the legislature; and Smith, who was the present Governor, was to be here and 
ratify it. . . . 

"He proposed that messengers should be dispatched to summon these 
gentlemen, and, if my memory serves me correctly, that General J. R. Anderson 
and a gentleman who then represented Richmond, and myself, with others, should 
undertake the task. . . . 

" The orders were given to General Weitzel, and passes in conformity thereto 
issued by General Weitzel, by order of the President. I have mine now. Before, 
however, we could act, the passes were revoked. This was done immediately after 
his return." 

In the brief sketch of Judge Thomas, his modest and re- 
tiring nature and his kindly spirit should have been men- 
tioned. The first characteristic explains if it does not excuse 
the delay in the publication of this article. He repeatedly 
declined "to obtrude his reminiscences upon the country," 
while heartily approving any attempt to rescue and preserve 
this bit of history. To the regret of the writer, he struck out 
from the record certain quaint and characteristic remarks of 
Mr. Lincoln, which I distinctly recall as recited in his testi- 
mony in court, and which he did not dispute, but protested 
that some of these remarks and expressions reflected somewhat 
upon certain persons still living, as to whom the President freely 
used popular nicknames and phrases not altogether compli- 

The few additions, therefore, to his written statement rest 
upon my authority alone, and I deem myself entirely within 
the kindly limitations imposed by Judge Thomas, when add- 
ing to his own recollections of his evidence, that he testified 


that Judge John A. Campbell (of the United States Supreme 
Court, and later of the Confederate war office) was chairman 
of the committee appointed by the citizens' meeting to wait 
upon Mr. Lincoln ; that Mr. Lincoln, when he spoke of Gov- 
ernor Smith, called him " Extra Billy " — which title, origina- 
ting in a half-sneering, political reference, was ever after 
lovingly applied to the old hero by Virginians all over the 
country — and that he added, making use of the expression 
" By Jove," or some such expletive, and smiting the table 
with his clenched fist, " I want that old Game Cock back 

What is meant, and all that is meant by these additions, is, 
that Judge Thomas's testimony, as given at the trial, bristled 
with vivid details which convinced every hearer of its truth, 
and that much of the vigor and quaint homeliness which en- 
livened the court recital of Mr. Lincoln's utterances is wanting- 
in the above transcription ; but with these qualifications it is, 
according to my best and quite distinct recollection, the same 
testimony which Judge Thomas gave in the trial of the Gold 
Cases in 1879. 

In a recent pamphlet entitled " Reminiscence and Docu- 
ments relating to the Civil War during the year i865," Judge 
Campbell has given his own recollection of these occurrences, 
a paper prepared by Mr. Lincoln expressive of his views 
upon the subject of peace and restoration, with certain testi- 
mony of Mr. Secretary Stanton bearing upon the main point 
to which this investigation is directed. As this pamphlet may 
not be readily accessible to the readers of this article, we 
quote what it contains (pages 38-44) bearing upon the history 
of this matter : 

"Richmond was evacuated the 2d of April, and was captured on the 3d of April. 
I informed the Secretary of War that I should not leave Richmond, and that I should 
take an opportunity to see President Lincoln on the subject of peace, and would be 
glad to have an authority to do so, but that I would do so if an occasion arose. 
President Lincoln came to the city on the 4th of April, in less than forty-eight hours 
from the departure of the Confederate President and his cabinet. Richmond had 
experienced a great calamity from a conflagration. I represented the conditions to 
him, and requested that no requisitions on the inhabitants be made of restraint of 
any sort, save as to police and preservation of order; not to exact oaths, interfere 
with churches, etc. He assented to this, the General Weitzel and Military Governor 
Shepley cordially assenting. On the following day I visited him on the Malvern 


gunboat on which he had come into Richmond upon the 4th. He had prepared a 
paper, which he commented on as he read each clause. The paper was not signed 
nor dated. This paper he handed to me, and on the 13th of April I returned it to 
General Ord, by direction of the President. I retained a copy, as I informed that 
General I should do. This is a copy: 

" ' 1. As to peace, I have said before, and now repeat, that three things are in- 
dispensable: The restoration of the national authority throughout all the States. 

"2. No receding by the Executive of the United States on the salary question 
from the position assumed thereon in the late annual message to Congress, and in 
preceding documents. 

"3. No cessation of hostilities short of an end of hostilities and the disbanding 
of all forces hostile to the government. 

"That all propositions coming from those now in hostility to the government, 
and not inconsistent with the foregoing, will be respectfully considered and passed 
upon in a spirit of sincere liberality. I now add that it seems useless for me to be 
more specific with those who will not say that they are ready for the indispensable 
terms, even on condition to be named by themselves. 

"If there be any who are ready for those indispensable terms on any condition 
whatever, let them say so, and state their conditions, so that such conditions can be 
strictly known and considered. It is further added, that the remission of confisca- 
tion being within the executive power, if the war be now further persisted in by 
those opposing the government, the making of confiscated property, at the least, to 
bear the additional cost will be insisted on; but that confiscations (except in cases of 
third party intervening interests) will be remitted to the people of any State which 
shall now promptly and in good faith withdraw its troops and other supports from 
further resistance to the government. What is now said as to remission of confisca- 
tion has no reference to supposed property in slaves. 

"On the 13th of April, the day before the assassination of the President, General 
Ord addressed me a letter, stating that by the instructions of the President he wrote, 
that since the paper was written on the subject of reconvening the gentlemen who, 
under the insurrectionary government, had acted as the Legislature of Virginia, the 
object had in view and the convention of such gentlemen is unnecessary; he wishes 
the paper withdrawn. I sent to General Ord the only paper 1 had ever received, 
being that I have copied. 

"After the President had read and expounded that paper he delivered it to me. 
It was not dated nor signed, nor directed to me or other person. When he had con- 
cluded this he said he had been meditating a plan, but had come to no conclusion 
upon the subject; that he should not do so till he returned to City Point; that if he 
was satisfied he would write to General Weitzel. 

"This had reference to a convention of the legislature which had been sitting 
during the preceding winter and recognized the Confederate States. The President 
said 'he had a government in Virginia— the Pierpont government. It had but a 
small margin, and he was not disposed to increase it. He wanted the very legisla- 
ture which had been sitting up yonder '—pointing to the capitol— ' to come together 
and to vote to restore Virginia to the Union and recall her soldiers from the Confeder- 
ate army.' 

"The suggestion came from the President, and its object was plainly stated. 
As the suggestion had some tolerence for the existing State governments, I was 
pleased to hear it and strongly supported the suggestion. I told him ' there had been 
discussions during the winter in respect to both peace and union; none could be 
found to make peace. Each man would now make his own peace.' " 

It appears that Edwin M. Stanton was examined in relation 
to this intercourse before the committee appointed for the 


examination of charges preferred against President Johnson 
in 1867. He testified before that committee that " President 
Lincoln went to the city of Richmond after its capture, and 
some intercourse took place between him and Judge Camp- 
bell, formerly of the Supreme Court of the United States, and 
General Weitzel, which resulted in the call of the rebel legis- 
lature to Richmond. Mr. Lincoln, on his return from Rich- 
mond, reconsidered that matter. The policy of undertaking 
to restore the government through the medium of Rebel 
organizations was very much opposed by many persons, and 
very strongly and vehemently opposed by myself. I had 
several earnest conversations with Mr. Lincoln on the subject, 
and advised that any effort to reorganize the government 
should be under the Federal government solely, and to treat 
the Rebel organizations as null and void. On the day preced- 
ing his death a conversation took place between him, the At- 
torney-General and myself upon the subject, at the executive 
mansion. An hour or two afterwards, and about the middle 
of the afternoon, Mr. Lincoln came over to the war depart- 
ment and renewed the conversation. After I had repeated 
my reasons against allowing the Rebel legislature to assem- 
ble, or the Rebel authorities to have any participation in the 
business of reorganization, he sat down at my desk and 
wrote a telegram to General Weitzel and handed it to me. 
" There," said he, " I think this will suit you." I told him, " No, 
it did not go far enough ; that the members of the legislature 
would probably come to Richmond ; that General Weitzel 
ought to be directed to prohibit their assembling. He took 
up his pen again and made that addition to the telegram 
and signed it. He handed it to me. I said it was exactly 
right. It was transmitted immediately to General Weitzel, 
and was the last act ever performed by Mr. Lincoln in the 
war department." 

Judge Campbell adds : " General Ord had succeeded 
General Weitzel and communicated the intelligence to me." 

But perhaps the most interesting and conclusive contribu- 
tion to the history of this matter is the contemporaneous 
record in the daily press of Richmond. Most of the news- 


paper offices of the city were laid in ashes at the great con- 
flagration of April 3, 1865 ; only the Whig and Sentinel es- 
caped. Whether or not the Sentinel was published continu- 
ously during the early days of Federal occupation, I have 
not been able to determine absolutely, but am inclined to 
believe, it was not. Certainly I have failed to find any num- 
bers of the paper covering that period between the 3d and 
the 1 5th of April. The Times was the first paper started 
after the great disaster, but its earliest issue was later than 
the last of these dates. So far as appears, then, to the Whig 
alone we must look for the daily record of events in Rich- 
mond just after the evacuation. Immediately upon this 
change of masters this newspaper, the Whig, passed under 
the control and conduct of a Northern man of Union senti- 
ments, and was promptly issued Tuesday evening, April 4, 
amid the smoking ruins of the city, with the sanction of the 
United States military authorities, as a Union journal, in a 
sheet about the size of an ordinary Sunday-school paper. 

It may be pertinent to remind the average reader that — 
as the columns of the journal abundantly show — the Con- 
federate rear guard retired from Richmond very early Mon- 
day morning, April 3d, and the Federals entered the burning 
city close upon their heels ; that Admiral Porter brought Mr. 
Lincoln up the river in the gunboat Malvern, Tuesday, April 
4th, landing at Rockett's about three P. M.; that the Presi- 
dent walked through the city, for the most part east and north 
of the ' burnt district,' to General Weitzel's headquarters, 
which were in President Davis's mansion at the corner of 
1 2th and Clay streets, and that he spent that evening meet- 
ing and conferring with military officers of the United States 
and the leading citizens of Richmond, returning to the Mai- 
vern to sleep that night, and going back down the river to 
City Point, say about noon the next day, which was Wednes- 
day, the 5th. 

Several reportorial notices of and editorial comments upon 
what it was pleased to term " the first step toward the rein- 
statement of the Old Dominion in the Union" appear in the 
columns of the Whig during the week beginning Friday, 


April 7th, and ending Friday, April 14th — the day of Mr. 
Lincoln's assassination. Suffice it to say, that the Whig 
commended and advocated the proposed scheme for the im- 
mediate rehabilitation of the State just so long as the military 
authorities of the United States appeared to approve it, and 
denied all sympathy with it when their approbation and co- 
operation were withdrawn. We give below all the Whig's 
reference to the matter which tend to the clear and con- 
secutive development of the facts as they actually occurred. 
The earliest notice is as follows, and is found in the Evening 
Whig, April 7th : " 

"An Important Movement — Reconstruction — Meeting of the Virginia 


"An informal meeting of the members of the Virginia Legislature remaining in 
the city was held in the Law building, Franklin street, this morning, for the considera- 
tion of the proposition of President Lincoln to re-assemble the legislature for the 
purpose of authorizing a convention to take Virginia back into the bonds of the 
Union. The proposition of the President was laid before the meeting. A formal 
meeting was appointed to take place at four o'clock this afternoon, to which time the 
meeting adjourned." 

Then, next day, Saturday, April 8, we have the following : 


"The statement that there would be a meeting, last evening, of such members of 
the Virginia Legislature as still remained in the city was not strictly correct. There 
was no meeting of legislators or others, but simply an informal conference and con- 
sultation of private individuals, among whom were five or six members of the legis- 
lature. The motive of these gentlemen in coming together was to hear from Judge 
Campbell the terms upon which President Lincoln had expressed himself as willing 
that Virginia might return to the Union. Messrs. Joseph R. Anderson, David I. 
Burr, Nathaniel P. Tyler and W. H. Thomas were appointed a committee to inform 
the legislature and Governor Smith of President Lincoln's terms; and Judge Camp- 
bell was requested to accompany the committee, who were to leave the city so soon 
as passports could be procured. It was said to be probable they would get off this 

"We prefer not to state our understanding of Mr. Lincoln's terms, as our infor- 
mation on that head is not official." 

The next publication of importance, and the most important 
of all, appearing in the issues both of Wednesday, the 12th, 
and Thursday, the 1 3th of April, is the following address : 

"To the People of Virginia. 
"The undersigned, members of the Legislature of the State of Virginia, in con- 
nection with a number of citizens of the State, whose names are attached to this 
paper, in view of the evacuation of the City of Richmond by the Confederate govern- 
ment, and its occupation by the military authorities of the United States, the sur- 
render of the army of Northern Virginia, and the suspension of the jurisdiction of 


the civil power of the State, are of opinion that an immediate meeting of the General 
Assembly of the State is called for by the exigencies of the situation. The consent 
of the military authorities of the United States to the sessions of the Legislature in 
Richmond, in connection with the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor, to their free 
deliberation upon public affairs, and to the ingress and departure of all its members 
under safe conducts, has been obtained. 

"The United States authorities will afford transportation from any point under 
their control to any of the persons before mentioned. 

"The matters to be submitted to the legislature are the restoration of peace to 
the State of Virginia, and the adjustment of questions involving life, liberty and 
property that have arisen in the State as a consequence of the war. 

"We, therefore, earnestly request the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor and mem- 
bers of the Legislature to repair to this city by the 25th of April (instant). 

"We understand that full protection to persons and property will be afforded in 
the State, and we recommend to peaceful citizens to remain at their homes and pur- 
sue their usual avocations, with confidence that they will not be interrupted. 

"We earnestly solicit the attendance in Richmond on or before the 25th of April 
(instant), of the following persons, citizens of Virginia, to confer with us as to the 
best means of restoring peace to the State of Virginia. We have procured safe con- 
duct from the military authorities of the United States for them to enter the city and 
to depart without molestation : Hon. R. M. T. Hunter, A. T. Caperton, Wm. C. 
Rives, John Letcher, A. H. H. Stuart, R. L. Montague, Fayett McMullen, J. P. Hol- 
combe, Alexander Rives, B. Johnson Barbour, James Barbour, Wm. L. Goggin, J. B. 
Baldwin, Thomas Gholson, Waller Staples, S. D. Miller, Thomas J. Randolph, Wm. 
T. Early, R. A. Claybrook, John Critcher, Wm. Towns, T. H. Eppes, and those other 
persons for whom passports have been procured and especially forwarded that we 
consider it to be unnecessary to mention. 

(Signed) A. J. Marshall, Senator, Fauquier. 
James Neeson, Senator, Marion. 
James Venable, Senator-elect, Petersburg. 
David I. Burr, of House of Delegates, Richmond city. 
David J. Saunders, of House of Delegates, Richmond city. 
L. S. Hall, of House of Delegates, Wetzel county. 
J. J. English, of House of Delegates, Henrico county. 
Wm. Ambers, of House of Delegates, Chesterfield county. 
A. M. Keily, of House of Delegates, Petersburg. 
H. W. Thomas, Second Auditor of Virginia. 
St. L. L. Moncure, Chief Clerk Second Auditor's office. 
Joseph Mayo, Mayor City of Richmond. 
Robert Howard, Clerk Hustings Court, Richmond city. 
Thomas U. Dudley, Sergeant Richmond city. 
Littleton Tazewell, Commonwealth's Attorney, Richmond city. 
Wm. T. Joynes, Judge of Circuit Court, Petersburg. 
John A. Meredith, Judge of Circuit Court, Richmond. 
Wm. H. Lyons, Judge of Hustings Court, Richmond. 
Wm. WlCKHAM, Member of Congress, Richmond District. 
Benj. S. Ewell, President of William and Mary College. 
Nat. Tyler, Editor Richmond Enquirer. 
R. F. Walker, Publisher of Examiner. 
J. R. Anderson, Richmond. 
R. R. Howison, Richmond. 
W. Goddin, Richmond. 
P. G. Bayly, Richmond. 
F. J. Smith, Richmond. 


(Signed) Franklin Stearns, Henrico. 

John Lyon, Petersburg. 

Thomas B. Fisher, Fauquier. 

Wm, M. Harrison, Charles City. 

Cyrus Hall, Ritchie. 

Thomas W. Garnett, King and Queen. 

James A. Scott, Richmond. 
'■I concur in the preceding recommendation. J. A. Cmpbell. 

" Approved for publication in the Whig and in handbill form. 

G. Weitzel, Major-General Commanding. 
Richmond, Va., April n, 1865." 

And last of all, from the Whig of Friday, April 14, we 
copy the following military order : 

"Headquarters Department Virginia, \_ 
Richmond. Va., April 13, 1865. \ 

"Owing to recent events, the permission for the re-assembling of the gentlemen 
recently acting as the legislature of Virginia is rescinded. Should any of the gentle- 
men come to the city under the notice of re-assembling, already published, they will 
be furnished passports to return to their homes. 

"Any of the persons named in the call signed by J. A. Campbell and others, 
who are found in the city twelve hours after the publication of this notice will be 
subject to arrest, unless they are residents of the city. 

E. O. C. Ord, Major-General Commanding the Department." 

In the light of the evidence above collated, need we refer 
again to Admiral Porter's account of how he ran down the 
entire scheme for re-assemblino- the Virginia Legislature on 
that Wednesday morning (April 5th), when, with that old 
three-minute ambulance horse, he overhauled the flying 
carriage containing General Weitzel and Judge Campbell, nor 
how the Admiral made the President admit his clumsy ig- 
norance and beg the Admiral not to expose him ? No, it is 
not treasonable to say of the Admiral's narrative that " it does 
not read like history," and it is but fair to add that perhaps it 
was not really intended to read, or to be read, in any such 
prosaic and critical style. The whole scope of the book puts 
it outside the category of grave history. 

But General Grant's book is of very different character, 
and is certain to be largely consulted by future historians of 
the Civil War. It is the more to be regretted, therefore, that 
the illustrious author appears to have been led into error 
about this particular matter. Passing by some minor details, 
as to which we raise no issue, it will be noted that the General 
differs with the Admiral in that he admits the "restoration" 


scheme and policy survived the disastrous set-back of the 5th 
of April ; indeed, the General seems never to have heard of 
that disaster. He quotes the words of President Lincoln's 
order given after the interview on Admiral Porter's flag-ship, 
the Malvern , " from memory." Memory of what? Of those 
words and that order certainly, but whether as read by him- 
self or as repeated to him by another, it would be very in- 
teresting to discover. 

Of course Judge Campbell is the " leading citizen " referred 
to as having been present at the Malvern interview (though 
not strictly a " citizen of Virginia,") and Judge Campbell not 
only publishes a copy of the paper handed him on that occa- 
sion, being the only paper he ever received from Mr. Lincoln, 
and which contained no reference to the meeting of the 
Legislature, but he also says that Mr. Lincoln, while express- 
ing verbally and freely to him (as he had done to Judge 
Thomas) his views as to " a convention of the Legislature " and 
" a government for Virginia," at the same time distinctly 
stated that he was only " meditating a plan," had " come to 
no conclusion," and was not yet prepared to commit anything 
to writing on this subject. 

The General says the "call" for the Legislative conven- 
tion, afterwards published upon the basis of the President's 
order, " went very much further than Mr. Lincoln had con- 
templated ; " and that Mr. Stanton, seeing this " call," im- 
mediately " took the liberty of countermanding the order, 
. . notwithstanding the fact that the President was nearer 
the spot than he was." Now, it is conceivable that Mr. 
Lincoln, who was the author and sponsor of this movement, 
never saw this " call," although Mr. Stanton saw it in " the 
very next issue of the northern papers ? " If Mr. Stanton 
saw it, is it not certain that he showed it to Mr. Lincoln dur- 
ing their prolonged and repeated discussions of this subject ? 
And if Mr. Lincoln saw it, when and where did he ever ex- 
press his dissatisfaction with it, upon the ground mentioned 
by General Grant or upon any other ground ? In short, this 
entire statement about this " call " and Mr. Stanton's suppres- 
sion of it, and " the order " authorizing it before Mr. Lincoln's 


return to Washington, is totally swept away by the sworn 
deposition of Mr. Stanton himself, who relates how difficult it 
was for him and the Attorney-General to induce Mr. Lincoln, 
after his return to Washington, to abandon his policy and 
recall his order.* 

Mr. Stanton, undoubtedly, was a man who seldom " ques- 
tioned his own authority ; " he may even, at times, have as- 
sumed authority to countermand one of Mr. Lincoln's orders, 
but he certainly did not do so in this instance. 

We have yet two further contributions to make to the 
record of this interesting crisis. It will be remembered that 
Mr. Lincoln, during the conference on board the Malvern, 
said that while he was meditating a plan, he had, as yet, come 
to no conclusion upon the subject of a convention of the 
Legislature, and should not do so until he returned to City 
Point ; but that, if he was then satisfied, he would write to 
General Weitzel.f This was on the morning of the 5th of 
April. It is, of course, clearly to be inferred from the docu- 
mentary and other evidence already submitted, that he was 
satisfied and did write authorizing the issue of the " call " of 
April 1 1 ; but we are happily able to establish the fact that he 
did so by direct and satisfactory proof. 

The very intelligent and accomplished librarian of the com- 
monwealth tells me that some years ago he mentioned the 
subject of this " call " to a gentleman who represented him- 
self as having been a member of General Weitzel's staff in 
April, 1 865, and that the gentleman said he well remembered 
the paper, and related the following circumstance connected 
with it : General Weitzel was speaking, in this gentleman's 
presence, to a brother officer, of his intention to issue such a 
"call "as Mr. Lincoln had suggested, when the officer ad- 
dressed, who seemed to have been more than a mere soldier, 
asked whether he had the President's directions in writing, 
and, upon Weitzel's replying that he had only verbal instruc- 
tions, cautioned him not to take the step until he had au- 
thority and directions in black and white signed by the Presi- 

* See pages 43 and 44 of Judge Campbell's pamphlet, 
t Campbell's Pamphlet, page 41. 


dent himself, as "the politicians" might make it cost him his 
commission. The gentleman further informed my friend, the 
librarian, that Weitzel admitted the wisdom of the caution 
and awaited written instructions from Mr. Lincoln, which he 
received before issuing the "call." 

Yet once more, and finally. General Joseph R. Anderson, 
who was chairman of the committee of invitation appointed 
to carry out the objects of this " call," * a few days ago, 
handed me a very important paper, which has never been pub- 
lished. It is Judge Campbell's report to this committee, also 
laid before the afternoon meeting of Friday, April 7th (see 
Whig of 8th), of the result of his conferences with President 
Lincoln. The paper handed me is not the original report, 
but a copy made therefrom under General Anderson's super- 
vision. He returned the original to Judge Campbell, who 
wrote it, but exacted the condition that Judge Campbell should 
certify this paper as a true copy, which he has accordingly 
done in his own handwriting upon the face of the paper itself. 
It reads as follows : 

" Richmond, Va., 7th April, 1865. 
General "Joseph R, Anderson and others, Committee, etc. 

"Gentlemen — I have had, since the evacuation of Richmond, two conversations 
with Mr. Lincoln, President of the United States. My object was to secure for the 
citizens of Richmond and the inhabitants of the State of Virginia, who had come 
under the military authority of the United States, as much gentleness and forbear- 
ance as could be possibly extended. 

"The conversations had relation to the establishment of a government for 
Virginia, the requirement of oaths of allegiance from the citizens, and the terms of 
settlement with the United States. With the concurrence and sanction of General 
Weitzel he assented to the application not to require oaths of allegiance from the 
citizens. He stated that he would send to General Weitzel his decision on the ques- 
tion of a government for Virginia. This letter was received on Thursday and was 
read by me. It authorized General Weitzel to grant a safe conduct to the legislature 
of Virginia to meet at Richmond to deliberate and to return to their homes at the 
end of their session. I am informed by General Weitzel that he will issue whatever 
orders that may be necessary, and will furnish all the facilities of transportation, 
etc., to the members of the legislature to meet in this city, and that the governor, 
lieutenant-governor and public men of the State will be included in the orders. The 
object of the invitation is for the government of Virginia to determine whether they 
will administer the laws in connection with authorities of the United States and under 
the constitution of the United States. I understand from Mr. Lincoln, if the condition 
be fulfilled, that no attempt would be made to establish or sustain any other 

* Judge Thomas's testimony, and extract from the Whig of April 8. t 


"My conversation with President Lincoln upon the terms of settlement was 
answered in writing; that is, he left with me a written memorandum of the substance 
of his answer. He states as indispensable conditions of a settlement the restoration 
of the authority of the United States over the whole of the States, and the cessation 
of hostilities by the disbanding of the army, and that there shall be no receding on 
the part of the executive from his position on the slavery question. The latter 
proposition was explained to mean that the executive action on the subject of slavery, 
so far as it had been declared in messages, proclamations and other official acts, 
must pass for what they were worth — that he would not recede from his position, but 
that this would not debar action by other authorities of the government. 

"I suppose that, if the proclamation of the President be valid as law, it has 
already operated and vested rights. 

"I believe that full confidence may be placed in General Weitzel's fulfillment of 
his promises to afford facilities to the legislature, and that its members may return 
after they have concluded their business, without interruption. 

"Mr. Lincoln, in his memorandum, referred to what would be his action under the 
confiscation acts. He stated that when the property had not been condemned and sold 
he would make a universal release of the forfeitures that had been incurred in any State 
which would now promptly recognize the authority of the United States and withdraw its 
troops; but that if the war be persisted in, that the confiscated property must be 
regarded as a resource from which the expenses of the war might be supported. 

" His memorandum contains no article upon the penalties imposed upon persons, 
but in his oral communications he intimated that there was scarcely any one who 
might not have a discharge for the asking. I understand from the statement, though 
the words did not exactly imply it; that a universal amnesty would be granted if 
peace were now concluded. 

"In my intercourse I strongly urged the propriety of an armistice. This was 
done after the preparation of his memorandum. He agreed to consider the subject, 
but no answer has been received. I suppose that, if he assents, the matter will be 
decided and executed between Generals Grant and Lee. 

Very respectfully yours, 

(Signed) J. A. Campbll. 

A true copy. J. A. Campbell." 

General Anderson remembers that during the reading of 
this paper to his committee, when he came to that portion 
which contained Mr. Lincoln's expressions upon the subject 
of amnesty, Judge Campbell stopped, and said that it occurred 
to him to mention, as illustrative of the magnanimity of the 
President upon this subject, that he remarked at the con- 
ference, " I would gladly pardon Jeff. Davis himself, if he 
would ask it." 

But the special importance of this report lies in the fact that 
it shows conclusively that, after Mr. Lincoln had returned to 
City Point and reflected quietly over the whole matter, he 
adhered to the views he had thrown out in conversation with 
Judge Campbell and Judge Thomas, and wrote to Weitzel 
(not to Campbell) a letter which Campbell read, the substance 


of which he gives in the report, and which fully authorizes the 
issue of the call of April 1 1. 

And now, to sum up briefly, we think these three positions 
have been clearly established, to wit : that 

ist. As late as the afternoon of the 13th of April, i865, 
General Weitzel and the other military authorities of the 
United States in Virginia were going on in good faith to carry 
out Mr. Lincoln's policy of immediate restoration, and they 
regarded the address or " call" of the nth of April as a fair 
expression of that policy and the first step in execution of it. 

2d. Mr. Lincoln himself was not only the author and spon- 
sor of that policy and that " call," but as late as the afternoon 
of the 13th of April, i865 — four days after the surrender of 
General Lee, and when he must be concluded to have seen 
the "call" — he had found no reason to abandon this policy or 
to repudiate this call. 

3d. To Edwin M. Stanton belongs the responsibility (or 
dory) of breaking up the policy of restoration, and inaugura- 
ting in its stead the policy of reconstruction. 

Robert Stiles. 
Richmond, Virginia. 

The address to be found below bears the appearance of 
being abruptly concluded. The balance of it has, most proba- 
bly, been lost. Being unacquainted with the history of the 
Mechanics' Institute, of Virginia, and being anxious to pro- 
cure a full and corrected copy as delivered, the author of these 
memoirs wrote to the Hon. R. A. Brock, secretary of the 
Virginia Historical Society, asking some information upon 
the subject. 

To my letter, Mr. Brock, with his usual courtesy and kind- 
ness, responded as follows : 

Westmoreland Club, 6oi East Grace Street, [ 
Richmond, Va., August 22, 1888. j 
Hon. John W. Bell : 

My Dear Sir — Sometime ago when it was desired to revive the beneficent Me- 
chanics' Institute, no records of its organization could be found. The war and its 
destructive consequences had swept them from existence. I hold an interest, not 
only in the Mechanics' Institute, but in the patriotic and admirably exemplified 


career of the late Governor William Smith, I have no knowledge of an address 
delivered by him such as you mention, nor have I the means to determine the cir- 
cumstances inducing its preparation, or the time of its delivery. Only the latter in- 
formation, I opine, may now be obtained by a careful examination of the files of 
some Richmond newspaper for a period of some five years anterior to our late war. 

These files are in our State Library. My excellent friend, Captain George A. 
Ainslie, President of the Mechanics' Institute, whose whole being is responsive as a 
faithful citizen, might be made instrumental, perhaps, in service in your behalf. 

The memory of Governor Smith is held in just and uniform regard, here, by all, 
as we feel that it is throughout the State, that he served with such earnest devotion. 

Faithfully yours, R. A. Brock. 

According to Mr. Brock's above suo-o-estion, I communi- 
cated with Captain George A. Ainslie, President of " The 
Mechanics Institute," to which I received the following reply 
from Thomas Ellett, Esq., secretary of the Institute : 

Richmond, Virginia, August 27, 1888. 
Judge John W. Bell: 

Dear Sir — Your favor of the 24th to Captain George A. Ainslie, President of 
Mechanics' Institute, has just been handed me for reply. The Virginia Mechanics' 
Institute, which was in successful operation, at the breaking out of the war, owning 
a large building suitable for their purposes, containing drawings, models, etc., which 
was taken possession of by the Confederate Government, and made the basis of a 
Patent Office — and which was destroyed by fire, at the evacuation of this city, with 
its contents, including the records and papers of the old Institute, which obliterates 
almost entirely its history — we have heard old members refer to the speech of Gov- 
ernor Smith, and hope that you will be able to perpetuate it in his memorial volume, 
for there was no one held in higher esteem by this community, for their civil, mili- 
tary and patriotic services in every way, than ex-Governor William Smith. The In- 
stitute was reorganized in December, 1884, and is now doing a good work for our 
young mechanics. We are growing and enlarging our boundaries, and in the near 
future we shall be the peer of the "Cooper Institute," "the Boston School of Tech- 
nology," and the other first Technical Schools, not alone of this, but also of all 
foreign countries. ************ 

Yours very truly, Thomas Ellett, Secretary. 

Just here I beg to add a short extract from the admirable 
address of the Hon. James L. Pettigru, before the South 
Carolina Historical Society, as quite suitable to the occasion : 

" It is a very general complaint that our people are careless of records. The 
materials of history are treated very much like the noble forests, not to be surpassed 
in beauty, with which Virginia was once covered. It is delivered without mercy, to 
the havoc of the axe or the ravages of the devouring flame. The supply is supposed 
to be inexhaustible, and the process goes on until the recklessness of waste is 
checked by the alarm of approaching scarcity. We would interpose to protect the 
remnant of that noble forest which is threatened with extermination. We would be 
happy to lend our aid in preserving the memory of things remarkable or interesting 
in our country, which are beginning to lose their hold on living memory. The 
labors, the trials, and dangers that have proved the endurance, or exercised the 
virtue of our countrymen, are in our eyes, of sufficient interest to be preserved from 
neglect. We would inscribe with a name the battle-fields of Indian and British 


hostility; and would fain prevent the soil that has been watered with blood 


common earth . ' ' Hon. JAMES L. PETTIGRU, 

Before the South Carolina Historical Society — Adopted. 


Although here under an invitation of some weeks' standing, I have to inform you 
that the constant pressure upon my time has left me but poorly prepared to justify 
your selection for this occasion, or to do justice to the important subject upon which 
I am expected to speak, having but a small period of time for this interesting duty, 
the more important to me from want of familiarity. From this cause and the want 
of familiarity with my subject, I shall do what I have never done before, read from 
manuscript my hasty and ill-digested views; yet, Mr. President, relying upon your 
charity and indulgence, I embrace this opportunity to address you with pleasure. 

Mr. President, and gentlemen of the Mechanics' Institute of Virginia: I am 
obliged to you for this opportunity to address you, not that I have any peculiar power 
to serve you, but because I take a deep interest in your praisworthy undertaking, 
and am anxious to contribute my humble efforts to its advancement. In the second 
section of the first article of your constitution you declare that "The object 
of the Institute shall be the promotion and encouragement of manufactures, the 
mechanic and useful arts, and the mental improvement of the industrial classes." 

I could not feel indifferent to these important purposes under any circumstances, 
nor in any place; but when I know, here in the capital of our beloved State, under 
lowering clouds which threaten the repose, if not the integrity, of our Union, you 
have devoted yourselves to the promotion of objects vital to our common weal, I 
confess I feel such a deep interest and anxiety for your success as to guaranty my 
most cordial and hearty cooperation. 

The duties you have assumed have been too much neglected. Your own self- 
respect, your obligations to your country, your allegiance to Him who made us after 
his own image, require you to perform them without further delay. 

"And God said, let us make man in our own image, after our likeness, and let 
him have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over 
the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon 
the earth." 

Such is man, the last of the works of God, with unrestricted dominion over the 
earth and all that is thereon ! And yet we have been content for ages to slumber in 
ignorance of the full value of our vast possessions. Priceless, then, are the efforts- 
thoroughly to understand their real value, and by our own moral and intellectual 
development to approximate Him in whose " image " we are made. 

Man is, of all the animal creation, longest in a state of helpless infancy; and 
when he reaches manhood he is vastly inferior in strength to many of the brute 
creation. It is estimated that one horse is equal to six men, and one elephant equal 
to six horses; yet man has dominion over all, and makes all obedient to his will. 
And how? By mind, and by the mechanic arts. When God created the earth and 
gave it for a dominion to man, it was but a raw material, and, after the fall of our 
first parents, unsuited to the tastes and necessities of man; and he sought change, 
improvement. In fact, God so constructed him as to make him necessarily both a 
mechanic and a manufacturer He furnished him the material, left him to fashion it, 
and gave him intellect that he might truly fulfill this important duty. 

When God created Adam, and, because it was not good that man should be 
alone, "made him a help meet for him," and placed them in the Garden of Eden, 
there was no sin, and their wants were supplied by the bounties God had bestowed 
upon them. But they sinned; wants at once multiplied, and in his wrath God de- 
creed that "in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the 


ground." Sin made our first parents mechanics and manufacturers— " And the eyes 
of them both were opened; and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed Jig 
leaves together, and made themselves aprons.' 1 '' And the first child of our first parents 
was Cain, who was the muidererof his brother Abel; and so the world was to be 
peopled in sin, and sorrow and toil; and man was compelled to undertake the me- 
chanic arts to provide for his wants and his comfort made necessary to him in his 
new condition. 

It would be interesting to trace man through all the difficulties which have 
marked the intervening ages to our present time; but that would be a labor entirely 
beyond my power, and wholly inconsistent with the necessary limits to this address; 
but such an exposition would demonstrate that the comfort, prosperity, indeed, civil- 
ization of man, more completely depended upon the manufacturing and mechanical 
arts than upon any other occupation of man. Still a brief reference to past ages 
may not be uninteresting. 

The ancient Egyptians and Jews were particularly distinguished by a high 
degree of mechanical ingenuity; so, subsequently, were the Greeks and Romans; 
but the great defect in their useful arts was the want of science. The Romans, with 
all their wealth and magnificence, had no knowledge of the spinning-wheel, nor even 
of the mill-wheel, their grain being ground into meal by hand-mills, and similar con- 
trivances. Hence the necessity of substituting the want of those mechanical arts 
which are now in familiar use, with enormous masses of human labor. History 
records that one hundred thousand men were employed for thirty years in the erec- 
tion of the great Pyramid of Egypt, which covers thirteen acres of ground, and is 
four hundred feet high. It is difficult of belief, but still it is as well authenticated as 
any other ancient statement. Archimedes, born two hundred and eighty-seven 
years before the Christian era, was more remarkable, perhaps, for mechanical genius 
than any man who ever lived. His celebrated saying in reference to the lever has 
been in the mouth of every scholar from that to the present age: "Give me (says 
he) a place to stand upon, and I will move the earth." He was also acquainted, no 
doubt, with the doctrine of specific gravity, and was thereby enabled to satisfy the 
King Hiero, of Syracuse, who suspected a workman to whom he had confided the 
duty of making him a crown of gold, with having adulterated the gold with silver. 
It is said, while he had the plan under consideration for carrying out the wishes of 
the King, he was taking a bath, and observing that a volume of water was displaced 
corresponding with the size of his body, he sprang delightedly from his bath, and 
running naked into the streets, cried, " 1 have found it! I have found it !" 

The most remarkable displays of mechanical skill, however, were in inventing 
engines of defense and destruction, during the siege of his native city, Syracuse, by 
the Romans, under Marcellus. These inventions, especially that of burning the Roman 
ships at a great distance by means of the solar rays, were long deemed incredible, 
although resting upon the authority of the Roman general. But subsequent im- 
provements in mechanics have demonstrated their practicability, Buffon having 
invented a burning glass capable of concentrating the solar heat with such power as 
to ignite wood at a distance of two hundred feet, melt led and tin at one hundred and 
twenty feet, and silver at the distance of fifty feet. Of all those engaged in this cele- 
brated siege, the loftiest position in the temple of immortality is that occupied by 
Archimedes, and purely on account of his remarkable genius for mechanical inven- 
tion. But with Archimedes the genius of mechanical power was buried; and the 
world ceased to improve, indeed, retrograded up to the days of Galileo, some nine- 
teen hundred years thereafter. 

Without dwelling in detail upon these interesting subjects, I will ask attention to 
the condition of the mechanic arts at periods more familiar to our ordinary reading, 
which will, I hope, be neither uninteresting nor without instruction. We learn from 
undoubted authority that, in considerable towns in England down to the reign of 
Elizabeth, "the greater part of the houses had no chimneys; the fire was kindled 


against the wall, and the smoke found its way out as well as it could by the roof, the 
door and the windows. The houses were mostly built of wattling, plastered over 
with clay; the floors were of earth, strewed, in families of distinction, with rushes. 
The beds were only straw pallets, with a log of wood for a pillow. In this respect, 
even the King was no better off than his subjects; for in the time of Henry VIII., we 
find direction ' to examine every night the straw of the King's bed, that no daggers 
might be concealed therein."' In the discourse prefixed to Hollingshed'' 's Chronicle, 
published in 1577, the writer speaking of the progress of luxury, mentions three 
things especially, that were marvellously altered for the worse in England: the multi- 
tude of chimneys lately erected; the great increase of lodgings; and the exchange of 
cream platters into pewter, and wooden spoons into pewter and tin. To illustrate the 
condition of clothing in the reign of Elizabeth, I would mention that the Queen 
"herself never wore any other than cloth hose until the third year of her reign, when 
she was presented with a pair of black silk-knit stockings, by her silk woman." 
The luxury of a linen shirt, says McCulloch, was confined to the highest classes. 
What a contrast with the condition of things in the present day ! Now, in the language 
of another, the mechanic wears his two hats a year, dresses in broadcloth, robes his 
wife in silk, makes his boys to rejoice in a plurality of suits, and, in the bridal hour, 
enables him to hand his daughter to the altar in robes delicate as the spider's web, 
beautiful in color as the rainbow's hues, and for elegance, such as never, in their 
grandame's younger days, even Duchesses wore. This mighty change is wrought 
by the mechanic arts — by skill and science combined. 

Contrast the cautious navigation of ancient times — sailing close in shore, never 
venturing out of sight of land — and that of the present day, which fearlessly dashes 
into mid-ocean, and finds its way on the pathless deep, with the aid of the compass 
and the quadrant, and, even in bright day, and when surrounded by the zephyr's 
play, under the barometer's unerring warning, takes in sail and timely prepares for 
the coming storm. Remember, we are indebted for these vast advantages to the 
mechanic arts. We are indebted to the union of science and art for the telescope, by 
which we can count the stars, planets, distances, etc., far beyond the reach of human 
vision. Earl Rosse has recently constructed a telescope of such mighty power as to 
enable him to ascertain that the moon, which is about two hundred and forty thou- 
sand miles from this earth, is full of lofty mountains, with deep intervening ravines, 
without water or an atmosphere, and of course uninhabited, at any rate with beings 
like ourselves. 

But it is within the last seventy-five years that mechanical philosophy has made 
its greatest progress. Chemistry has been subdued to its service. Through natural 
philosophy the power has been obtained to move and regulate matter; and 
through chemical philosophy to test and ascertain its component parts. And thus 
the intelligent mechanic is enabled to work with an advantage and perfection hereto- 
fore unknown. It must never be forgotten that matter cannot be destroyed or pro- 
duced. I will mention a few cases to be found in the common school books, as apt 
illustrations of the extreme divisibility of which matter is susceptible. A single grain 
of gold may be hammered by a gold beater until it will cover fifty square inches. 
Each square inch may be divided into two hundred strips, and each strip into two 
hundred parts, all of which may be seen with the naked eye; consequently a square 
inch contains forty thousand visible parts, which, multiplied by fifty, the number of 
square inches which a grain of gold will make, gives two million parts, which maybe 
seen with the naked eye. It has also been calculated that sixteen ounces of gold, 
which, in the form of a cube, would not measure one inch and a quarter in its side, 
will completely gild a quantity of silver wire sufficient to surround the globe. The 
case of water is still more remarkable; a solid inch of which, with the agency of fire, 
may be expanded into one thousand seven hundred and twenty solid inches, which, 
in the absence of heat, will relapse into its original dimension. This remarkable 
power of divisibility has been seized upon by mechanical philosophy and converted 


into one of the most valuable agents in promoting the comfort and advancing the 
civilization of man. Mr. Gordon, an English engineer, thus enumerates the uses to 
which this plastic power is applied: 

But this is not a tithe of its present efficiency. Oceans are navigated by its aid 
with unerring certainty and unwonted speed; continents penetrated by land and water, 
and the rude purposes of war made still more frightful and destructive. But its con- 
servative and useful character is lost in the hands of carelessness or ignorance; and 
it then becomes a frightful and destroying monster. It has opened a vast and bound- 
less field to mechanical labor. It is a formidable power, manageable as an infant in 
the hands of knowledge, but in the hands of ignorance more destructive and devour- 
ing than the howling hurricane. Of this we have distressing illustrations in the ex- 
plosions and casualties which the newspaper press daily report. But 1 must 
hurry on. 

I shall not dwell upon the properties of matter which the mechanic has to fashion, 
and with which he should be well acquainted, that he may know the article he is 
manufacturing will answer the purpose designed. 

1 shall not dwell upon the six great powers in mechanics— the lever, the screw, 
the wedge, the pulley, the wheel and axle, and the inclined plane. 

I shall not dwell upon those new combinations of existing matter, effected 
through the agency of chemical science, and a knowledge of which is indispensable 
to the intelligent mechanic; because this would be more appropriate to works pre- 
pared for general instruction than to a popular discourse. 

Still, I cannot forbear a few additional illustrations of the wonderful develop- 
ment of the mechanic arts. The production of cotton in the United States was a 
trifle previous to 1793; in that year it amounted to less than five hundred thousand 
pounds, the great difficulty in its production arising from the impossibility of clean- 
ing and separating it from its seed with sufficient facility. The Edinburgh Quarterly 
Review for July, 1854, p. 123, says, speaking of slave labor: 

Mr. Whitney, a Massachusetts man, invented the cotton-gin; and according to 
this writer, slave labor thereby became profitable; the disposition to emancipate 
ceased; and cotton rapidly increased in quantity. Nor is this all. It increased to a 
countless extent the comforts of the world in its various relations; furnishes employ- 
ment to millions; secures us peace with the great Powers of the earth; and finally has 
secured for itself the general admission that cotton is king. And yet, the fanaticism 
of Abolition rails at the causes, and takes the benefit of the results. 

With the great increase in the supply of cotton came wonderful improvements 
in the art of manufacturing it; of which I have only time to furnish part of the evi- 
dence, in this statement, of its rapidly increasing power of production. Previous to 

It is estimated that the manufacturing power of Great Britain is fully equal to the 
labor of forty millions of men. 

But, Mr. President, I owe an apology for mentioning these illustrations to your 
intelligent and enlightened association, so much better and fuller known to each and 
all of you. I have named them with a hope that I might arouse in others a spirit of 
inquiry, investigation, and knowledge. The American mechanic must have science. 
He must know that, when he labors, he labors to the best advantage. I know that 
this is attended with difficulty, but it suits the American character to overcome difficul- 
ties. It is related of the great Galileo, who was arraigned before the Inquisition upon 
a charge of heresy, for maintaining the rotary motion of the earth, etc., that being 
compelled to recant, he stamped his foot upon the ground, and in a low voice re- 
marked, "she moves, nevertheless." But progress must be made; difficulties must 
be subdued; and the American mechanic at least "must know enough 0/ the laws of na- 
ture not to attempt impossibilities:' Dr. Ure states a well-known fact, in his Philosophy 
of Manufactures, that " prodigious sums are wastefully expended every year by 
manufacturers, which would be saved by a more thorough acquaintance with the 


principles of science and art, which apply to their business." " Though a man, ' r 
says Lord Brougham, " be neither a mechanic nor a peasant, but only has a pot to 
boil, he is sure to learn from science lessons which will enable him to cook his mor- 
sel better, save his fuel, and both vary his dish and improve it." Judge Story states, 
in his lecture before the Boston Mechanics' Institute, November, 1829, having had 
occasion to examine the history of the carding machine of Whittemore, and the nail 
machine of Perkins, that half of the labors of those extraordinary men would have 
been saved, if they had been originally instructed in the principles of mechanical 
science. Fulton's invention of the steamboat was useless for months, from want of 
science in reference to the resistance of fluids. These cases might be almost indefi" 
nitely enlarged; but surely enough has been said to rouse up our mechanics to a de- 
termination to acquire all the science necessary to the thorough understanding of 
their respective crafts or occupations. It is not insisted that a general knowledge of 
natural philosophy is indispensable, however desirable; but it is insisted, as a sine 
qua non, that the mechanic should have such a knowledge of mechanical philosophy 
as will enable him thoroughly and scientifically to pursue his particular employment. 
Such knowledge would be the source of many a happy thought, and the suggestion 
of many a valuable improvement. To know the philosophy of a thing, why what 
we are doing is right, and at all times the reason for the faith that is in us is of the 
greatest importance. It strengthens our self-reliance, elevates our self-respect, ex-* 
pands one's views, and imparts a glow that suffuses itself throughout the moral man. 
I well recollect that when, alas ! many weary years ago, I was under the examina- 
tion of the late Judge Green, for admission to the bar, he put a question to me, which, 
answering correctly, he inquired why it was as I stated ? and I could not answer him. 
He then admonished me never to be satisfied until I was fully acquainted with the 
reasons of the knowledge I might possess. I do not hesitate to declare that this was 
the most valuable advice I ever received; and has been to me the source of the great- 
est profit and satisfaction, in my somewhat stormy career. Never, then, strike a 
blow, nor fashion a material, without knowing the scientific reason for so doing; and 
so well that you can impart those reasons to others. 

Be not deterred, my fellow-countrymen, by the difficulties which may beset you. 
Archimedes was slain while sketching a figure in the sand, on the sea-shore. Co- 
pernicus was afraid to publish his astronomical theories until very late in life, re- 
ceiving his works, as published, in his dying hour. Galileo was arraigned before 
the Inquisition for daring to proclaim the truth of the Copernican system. The 
Scottish Revifiv presents some curious illustrations of progress under difficulty, which 
may not be unsuitably introduced here. 

Progress Under Difficulty. — The establishment of the Royal Society was op- 
posed because it was asserted that "experimental philosophy was subversive of the 
Christian faith;" and the readers of Disraeli will remember the telescope and micro- 
scope were stigmatized as " atheistical inventions which perverted our organ of sight, 
and made everything appear in a false light." So late as 1806, the anti-vaccination 
society denounced the discovery of vaccination as the "despotic tyranny of forcing 
cow-pox misery on the innocent babes of the poor — a gross violation of religion, 
morality, law and humanity." Learned men gravely printed statements that vaccin- 
ated children became "ox-faced;" that abscesses broke out to "indicate sprouting 
horns;" that the countenance was gradually " transmuted into the visage of a cow, 
the voice into the bellowing of bulls;" that the character underwent strange muta- 
tions from quadrupedan sympathy." The influence of religion was called in to 
strengthen the prejudices of ignorance, and the operation was denounced from the 
pulpit as "diabolical," as a "tempting of God's providence, and, therefore, a heinous 
crime;" and its abettors were charged with sorcery and atheism. 

When fanners were first introduced to assist in winnowing corn from the chaff" 
by producing artificial currents of air, it was argued that "winds were raised by God 
alone, and it was irreligious in man to attempt to raise winds for himself and by 
efforts of his own." A route has just been successfully opened by Panama between 
the Atlantic and Pacific. In 1588, a priest named Acosta wrote respecting a proposal 
then made for this very undertaking, that it was his opinion that "human power 
should not be allowed to cut through the strong and impenetrable bounds which God 


put between the two oceans, of mountains and iron rocks, which can stand the fury 
of the raging seas. And if it were possible, it would appear to me very just, that we 
should fear the vengeance of Heaven, for attempting to improve that which the 
Creator, in His Almighty will and Providence, has ordained from the creation of the 
world." When forks were first introduced into England, some preachers denounced 
their use "as an insult on Providence, not to touch our meat with our fingers." 
Many others plead against the measure of the emancipation of the Jews, that the bill is 
a direct attempt to controvert the will and word of God, and to revoke his sentence 
upon the chosen but rebellious people. 

But none of those difficulties will be yours. You will be left to the pursuit of 
your several callings, and there will be none to make you afraid. Go on, then, and 
fear not. Everywhere American genius is to be found. American invention, in the 
pistol, the lock, the reaper, etc., bears down all competition at the World's Fairs 
recently held in London and Paris. Our steamers, in magnificence and speed, are 
without equals, and our clippers are the wonder of the world. The Russian capital 
is, we are told, full of American inventions, one of them, a submarine battery or 
torpedo, for coast defense, having been adopted. Naturalists tell us that the atmos- 
phere is but an aggregation of animalculi — that beauty's lovely cheek — oh ! discourte- 
ous, ungallant thought — is but the play- ground of countless breathing worms, to make 
all which plain, a Mr. Hinds, of Ohio, has recently constructed a "compound micros- 
cope which, for magnifying power, is not equaled by any in the world. In 185 1 he con- 
structed a microscope capable of magnifying objects seventeen million times. The 
one just completed has a diamond lens, with a power surpassing by nearly two millions 
that of 1851." 

But the wonders of American genius and invention are admirably summed up 
by the New York Mirror; and I give it, as I find it, entire: 

American Invention and Discovery. — The American is unequaled in geniu s 
and aptitude for invention and discovery. From hj s five hundredth patent wash-tub 
(each a marvel for its day) up to the electric telegraph, there is no field in which his 
brain and hand do not distance competition. He has invented and discovered more 
things to advance general comfort, labor-saving and well-being, than all other rep- 
resentatives of the human race combined. He has not scorned the simple nor been 
staggered by the intricate and profound. No hint escapes him, no subject is too 
comprehensive for him. We might cite a volume of bare names of his useful inven- 
tions and discoveries. Every household teems with them; every trade and occupa- 
tion is indebted to them. And yet there is no cessation of his invention. One would 
think the round of invention must have an end somewhere, and finally run out. It 
does not appear thus. The Patent Office annually increases its record. 

We have seen lately, as a specimen of rare American mechanical genius, a 
machine, costing not over five hundred dollars, invented by a workingman, which 
takes hold of a sheet of brass, copper or iron and turns off complete hinges at the rate 
of a gross in ten minutes — hinges, too, neater than are made by any other process. 
Also a machine that takes hold of an iron rod and whips it into perfect bit-pointed 
screws with wonderful rapidity and by a single process. This is also the invention 
of a workingman. And both these machines are superior to anything of the kind in 
the world. No other process of manufacture can compete with them. Yet these are 
but a fraction of the marvelous inventive triumphs constantly going forward in this 

A late notable discovery is that of a process for transforming plaster of Paris into 
marble, pure white, or of whatever grain, and scarcely varying from real marble in 
weight, while it is impervious to wet and cold, and is susceptible of the highest 
polish. This discovery has been made by one of our New York artists, Mr. Wallace 
Wotherspoon, the landscape painter. It has (in its products) been critically examined 
by leading builders and marble-workers, and pronounced the desideratum. Mr. 
Wotherspoon conceived his idea while sojourning in Italy, and after several months' 
chemical experiment has fully realized it. It will give the sculptor a means of cast- 
ing his bust or statue in the most perfect counterfeit of marble, while it is adapted for 
walls and ceilings of dwellings, and will give the builder power to put up the most 
elaborate mantel and other ornaments at a third of the cost of real marble. In truth 
plaster of Paris marble promises, like flax-cotton, to create a revolution in a branch 
of trade and industry. 

Science and Art. — Professor Faraday is of the opinion that we are on the verge 
of important discoveries concerning the nature of physical forces, and their relation 
to life and physiology. He says that all forces have a similar dual property, and 


that even gravitation will be ultimately determined to possess it. One force cannot 
be called into action by electricity without the other, and they are always equal. 
When the north poles of four magnets are placed together at right angles, so as to 
form a deep square cell, in the center of that cell there is no magnetic attraction at 
all. The " northness " and "southness " of a magnet (Professor F. says) takes in 
curved lines outside, not inside a magnet. 

The London Artisan mentions an invention for softening horn and rendering it 
elastic like whalebone. The horns are cleaned, split, opened out and flattened, and 
impressed fur several days in a bath composed of rive parts of glycerine and one 
hundred parts of water. They are then placed in a second bath consisting of three 
quarts of nitric acid, two quarts of pyroligneous acid, and twelve pounds and a half 
tannin, five pounds bitartrate of potash, and five pounds sulphate of zinc, with 
twenty-five gallons of water. After leaving this second bath it will have acquired a 
suitable degree of flexibility and elasticity to enable it to be used as a substitute for 

Chemists have found our terraqueous globe made up of sixty-three so-called 
elements; of these, thirteen are most widely distributed, and of the latter again, one 
— oxygen — composes about two-thirds of our globe. It is present as a gas in our 
atmosphere; we drink its liquid as water, and carry it about with us as part of our 
nerves, our muscles, and our clothing; it feeds our blast furnaces and quenches our 
fires, while vast stores of it are locked up in the solid rock. 

Common sulphur, when placed in a Florence flask and heated to a certain point, 
fuses, and the liquid produced by the fusion is a thin pellucid body; applying more 
"heat, it loses its transparency and becomes thick and blackens, at which juncture the 
flask may be inverted without the liquid coming out. If heated still further, a vapor 
is given forth, and the sulphur again becomes liquified. Poured in this state into 
cold water the liquid is no longer yellow and brittle, but has become a substance like 
India Rubber or Gutta Percha, on which seals and impressions may be and are 

Vice Admiral Kreugar, of the Swedish Navy, has invented an instrument by 
which the force of the winds can be measured with great facility and with the utmost 
exactitude. By order of the King of Sweden this instrument is exhibited at the Paris 

The zodiacal light, about which so much is now said in scientific circles, in con- 
nection with the important theories lately announced of a nebulous ring around the 
earth, was first described and named by Canini in 1683. It appears but towards the 
end of winter, and in spring after sunset, or before his rising in autumn and begin- 
ning of winter. 

An English mechanic has taken out a patent for certain mechanical improve- 
ments or arrangements for supplying steam or other boilers or vessels with water or 
other fluid, independent of power from the engine, or any separate mechanical 
source. The apparatus consists of a pair of cylindrical copper vessels, firmly con- 
structed and ingeniously contrived, so as to withstand the pressure of steam. 

Messrs. De Roulz and Fontenay, of Paris, have invented an alloy which may 
be employed for almost all purposes to which silver is usually employed. The im- 
proved alloy is composed of silver, copper, and purified nickel, in the following pro- 
portions: silver twenty parts, nickel from twenty-five to thirty-one parts, and the 
rest up to one hundred parts in copper. An alloy is thus produced containing twenty 
per cent., or thereabouts, of silver, and constituting silver of the third degree of fine- 
ness, thus reversing the proportions of the ordinary composition of the second 
degree; this latter containing light hundred parts of silver, two hundred of alloy, 
whereas the improved compound contains two hundred parts of silver and eight 
hundred parts of alloy. 

Mr. A. Guthrie, of Chicago, has given an exhibition of an instantaneous method 
of extinguishing fires by applying strong pressure of air to the water in the com- 
mon hydrant pipes, so as to direct a gnat flood at once on the building which takes 
fire. The necessary force is given to the water by air which is kept constantly in a 
high state of compression, in a large stationary chamber in some part of the city. 
This pressure is shut off till an alarm of fire is given by signal or telegraph, when, 
l»)' simply opening a valve which forms a communication between the air chamber 
and the street pipe, and attaching hose to the nearest hydrant, streams of water are 
thrown to any desired spot. 

If an observer, provided with slips of bibulous paper which has been dipped in 
a solution of iodide of potassium and starch, ascend a hill near the sea, while the 
wind is landward, he will find that the papers suddenly change their tint, becoming 
blue. This indicates a new chemical agent in the atmosphere, called ozone by its 
discoverer, Professor Shanbien, to whom we owe also gun-cotton. 

The London Mechanics' Magazine states that its editor recently saw at the Institu- 
tion of Civil Engineers, London, a submarine cable for the Atlantic Telegraph Com- 


pany, which differs from all theother telegraph cables hitherto used. It combines in- 
creased conducting powers with a diminution of weight, so that the entire cable for 
the Atlantic telegraph may be carried in one ship. 

It was proved by competent testimony before one of the courts of New York, 
recently, in examining into the causes of a fire in Maiden Lane, that colored fire- 
works take fire by spontaneous combustion, unless properly prepared, at certain 
temperatures of the atmosphere. 

Nor is this the only encouragement by far, to cheer on the American mechanic. 
He is the offspring of a fusion of the energetic and enlightened portion of many 
nations of the earth, and is necessarily blessed with uncommon energy and will. 
This is powerfully stimulated by our free institutions. The world is open before 
him, and it is his own fault, to a large extent, if he does not win its honors. A 
printer's boy of our own country chained the lightning's angry flash, delighted, by 
the charms of his conversation, the most polished court in Europe, and died beloved 
by his country and admired by the world, a patriot and a sage. A blacksmith, second 
only to Washington in the field, often led our revolutionary armies to battle. A 
shoemaker shared largely in the formation of our Federal Constitution, and enlight- 
ened and instructed the august body which formed it. Follow on, then, my fellow- 
countrymen, in the footsteps of your illustrious predecessors. Remember that it was 
a maxim of Lord Bacon, that "knowledge is power," and devote every spare 
moment to study. Shun the haunts of dissipation — avoid low and vicious associ- 
ations — act upon the maxim of the celebrated John Wesley, "to be always in haste, 
but never in a hurry " and society will open its arms to receive you — proud homes 
may be yours — lovely and accomplished women will smile upon you — our legislative 
halls will be within your reach — and the highest honor of the earth, the Presidency of 
the United States, may, perchance, be yours. 

I speak in no unmeaning compliment, Mr. President and gentlemen of this In- 
stitute, when I declare that, next to the owners of the soil, you constitute, and have 
constituted, the most important, the most reliable, and the most conservative element 
of each and all of our American communities. Art and science cannot be acquired 
by a coup de main. They are the acquisition of patient, persistent toil. Any great 
and sudden change of society, from whatever cause proceeding, are so many dis- 
turbing agents which threaten mischief, and almost certainly subject you to loss. To 
be conservative, then, is the law of your condition. The very habit of investigation 
which the scientific knowledge of your calling requires, will elevate the tone of your 
feelings and the range of your thoughts, and learn you to appreciate your country, 
and what is far more important, your God; for I hold it to be absolutely impossible 
for you to fashion the materials, and scientifically understand them, which God has so 
bountifully supplied for the use of man, without entertaining a profound veneration 
for His holy name. 

Fellow-countrymen, I have laid it down as my rule of life, to be happy with what I 
have, and yet with cheerful alacrity to pursue that which I ought to desire. I have en- 
deavored to impress it upon my children. Excuse me, gentlemen, for commending it 
to you. Your observance of it will make you happy, useful and valuable men, 
gentlemen and patriots; and when that day shall come, as come it must and shall, 
when the name of American citizen shall be a passport and a protection, each of you, 
my countrymen, may say, with more than Roman pride, wherever your foot may 
rest, and by whatever danger beset, I am an American citizen! and that shall give you 
peace, and food, and raiment, and safety. 

May God bless you, my fellow-citizens; and in this hour of danger to our political 
covenant, may he still continue his fostering care to our beloved country ! 

Considered in its application to the husbandry, the cottager looks forth upon the 
neat paling which fences his dwelling— it was sawed by steam. The spade with 
which he digs his garden, the rake, the hoe, the pick-ax, the scythe, the sickle— 
every implement of rural toil which ministers to his necessities are produced by 
steam. Steam bruises the oil-cake which feeds the farmer's cattle; molds the plow- 


share which overturns his fields; forms the shears which clip his flock, and cards, 
spins and weaves the produce. 

Applied to architecture, we find the Briarean arms of the steam-engine ever at 
work. Stone is cut by it, marble polished, cement ground, mortar mixed, floors 
sawed, doors planed, chimney-pieces carved, lead rolled for roofs and drawn for 
gutters, rails formed, gratings and bolts forged, paints ground and mixed, paper 
made and stained, worsted dyed and carpet wove, mahogany veneered, door-locks 
ornamented, curtains and furniture made, printed and measured; fringes, tassels, 
and bell-ropes, chair-covers and chair-nails, bell-wires, linens and blankets, manu- 
factured; china and earthenware turned; glass cut and pier-glass formed; the draw- 
ing-room, dining-room, kitchen, pantry, closets, etc., all owe to steam their most 
essential requisites. 

Before 1794 it seemed that this species of labor was about to die out in the natural 
course of events. In three of the northern States it had perished; in five more it 
lived only upon sufferance; and in the South public sentiment would have abolished 
it if a feasible way had been proposed. Whitney then invented the cotton-gin; and 
the export of cotton in 1793, less than five hundred thousand pounds, trebled in 1794, 
increased to six millions in 1795, reached eighteen millions in 1800, two hundred and 
eighty millions in 1830, nine hundred and twenty-seven millions'jin 1850. African 
bondage became profitable. The planters of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and the 
Carolinas bear the sin before the world; but Liverpool, Lowell, Manchester and New 
York furnished the money which prolongs and extends the system. 

The increasing powers of the steam-loom are shown in the following statement, 
furnished by a manufacturer: 

A very good hand-weaver, twenty-five or thirty years of age, will weave two 
pieces of nine-eighths shirting a week. 

In 1823 a steam-loom weaver, about fifteen years of age, attending two looms, 
could weave seven similar pieces in a week. 

In 1826 a steam-loom weaver, about fifteen years of age, attending two looms, 
could weave twelve similar pieces in a week; some could weave fifteen pieces. 

In 1833 a steam-loom weaver, from fifteen to twenty years of age, assisted by a 
girl about twelve years of age, attending four looms, could weave eighteen similar 
pieces in a week; some could weave twenty pieces. 

The following paper contains a bold and manly expression 
of the principles and tenets always entertained by the writer ; 
and, although defeated in the great struggle for their main- 
tenance and support, he yet exhibited the unsubdued spirit 
of one who felt that, he was thrice armed who hath his quarrel 

It was not addressed to anyone on its face, but manifestly 
intended for the President of the United States. We insert 
it as we find it : 

I believe that the thirteen British Colonies now constituting States of the Ameri- 
can Union were, at the commencement of the Revolution, dependencies of the British 
Crown, and became, in the language of the Declaration of Independence free and 
independent states. I believe that that celebrated instrument which proclaimed to 
the world the principles which justified resistance to British aggression in solemnly 
declaring that it is the right, and is the duty, of a people to throw off their Govern- 


■ment when it shall oppress them, clearly and necessarily proclaimed the doctrine of 
secession; that our successful Revolution established the doctrine as a principle of 
public law; that such colonies, having become free and independent States, are 
sovereign, neither dependent upon the other; that in associating themselves together 
their sovereignty was in no wise effected or impaired; that this principle equally ap- 
plies to the compact between such States known as the Federal Constitution; that 
•Governments have powers but no rights, and can be changed at will by the parties 
to the compact creating them; that this doctrine, although embodied in the Declara- 
tion of Independence, was, out of abundant caution, re-affirmed by many of the 
"States in their several ordinances adopting and ratifying the Constitution; that the 
people of Virginia, in convention assembled, particularly declared that the powers 
granted in the Constitution may be resumed by them whensoever the same may be perverted 
to their injury and oppression ; that this doctrine was [again solemnly proclaimed by 
the Virginia Legislature in the celebrated report and resolutions of Mr. Madison, and 
in the Kentucky resolutions drawn by Mr. Jefferson, which celebrated papers con- 
stituted, for many years, the text book of the Democratic party, on questions of 
Federal power; that those principles were taught to the people of Virginia, from the 
Hustings and their schools and colleges, and was their received doctrine; that it was 
approved by a large majority of the American people, as evinced in the triumphant 
election of its great expounders, Jefferson, Madison and others, during much the 
larger portion of our political existence; that this was the common sentiment of 
Virginia on the 17th of April, 1861; that the continual agitation of the slavery ques- 
tion, commencing with the first session of Congress and growing daily in extent and 
intensity; the unequal and oppressive policy of a protective tariff; the refusal to 
permit the slave-holding States to share, without restriction, the common patrimony 
of the Union, followed up by the election of a sectional candidate to the Presidency, 
and the proclamation of the President so elected, calling for 75,000 men to dragoon 
sovereign States into submission, notwithstanding the direct refusal of the conven- 
tion to put that power in the Constitution, painfully impressed the people of Virginia 
with the conviction that the time had come when it was "their right, " as it was 
"their duty " to throw off the government, which, in their judgment, was perverted 
to their injury and oppression. 

It is not my purpose to discuss these principles; my only object is to state the 
grounds upon which Virginia felt herself bound to withdraw from the Federal Union, 
and to claim from all her sons the allegiance which they had been taught was due to 
her. Nor is this all. The principles of our revolution, universally recognized among us 
as unquestionable, inspired us with a general sympathy for all peoples struggling for 
liberty and independence. 

It was with difficulty that President Washington could prevent our infant Re- 
public from taking part in the French Revolution. We were the first power, I be- 
lieve, to recognize the struggling republics of Spanish America, and we were prompt 
to extend sympathy and material aid to the distant people of Greece, engaged in a 
violent effort to free themselves from the grasp of the Turk. 

It was not believed that the seceding States could be otherwise than objects of 
sympathy and interest with the other States of the Union— neighbors, speaking a 
common language, in many respects with similar institutions — bound together by 
many ties, and only differing on questions of public policy, no one believed that we 
could be objects of less interest and regard than the Frenchman, the Hibrids of 
Spanish America, and the degenerate Greek. 

With the right proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, and with the 
sympathy universally expressed by our people for alFpeoples struggling to establish 
their liberty and independence; but few believed that the right we claimed would 
be seriously denied to us. But in this we have been sadly disappointed. A cruel 
war has been waged against us; our best and bravest sons have died upon the field 
of battle, or have perished in the prisons in which they were confined; one-half of 


our wealth has been taken from us by the emancipation of our slaves, who have 
been turned loose among us; our farms have been devastated; our other property, 
to great extent, destroyed, and our houses, which sheltered our wives and children, 
have, in thousands of instances, been burned to the ground; and it is not too much 
to say, that of all our wealth, two-thirds have been destroyed in this unexpected and 
bloody war. 

And we are denied the right of self-government, and the sympathy expressed for 
every other people is not only denied to us, but is superseded by fierce and bitter 
feelings of hatred and revenge. 

Finding ourselves thus disappointed in being denied rights we had been taught 
were "unalienable," standing alone in the world without human sympathy or 
assistance, and deeply indignant at the conduct of France and England, our soldiers 
determined to end the war, and our people, in genera], to acquiesce in it. 

It was not believed that, in the face of what they considered their undoubted 
rights and with their knowledge of the sympathy uniformly accorded to every other 
people struggling as we have done, there could be any disposition to increase the 
flow of blood or still further extend the ruin and confiscation of property, especially 
as we were and are chained as members of the American Union and consequently 
entitled to all the privileges of American citizens. 

If we are to be members of a common brotherhood, if we are to be united as 
members of the American Union, if we are to be regarded as necessary to the 
construction of a gigantic nationality, I implore you, Mr. President, to exert your 
great power and influence to heal the wounds, soothe the passions and remove the 
prejudices which now exist and which, if allowed to continue, will make the seceded 
States a source of weakness, rather than of strength to the American Union. 

My personal interest is but slight; confiscation can do me but little harm, and 
death itself could but briefly anticipate that period, which, according to the course of 
nature, I must soon attain; but, having resolved, in common with the rest of my 
fellow-citizens, in good faith to aid in restoring our past relations to the Federa] 
Union as far as practicable, I sincerely desire that no policy shall find favor with 
your Excellency, inconsistent with the accomplishment of this great and patriotic 

I pray your Excellency, to remember in this connection, that the people of the 
seceded States did not act without deep conviction of the right to do as they have 
done; that the disastrous termination of their efforts for liberty and independence 
has not convinced them that they were in error in the efforts they have made, and 
that they now only submit to a necessity which they have no power to resist. The 
death or the confiscation of the property of the father of a family are not likely to 
convince his children of error and to make them good and loyal citizens. 

I deem it due to myself to declare that the foregoing positions and opinions are 
those in which I believe. Accepting re-construction as a necessity since the sur- 
render of General Lee, I have borne myself in such a way as to promote and not 
obstruct it. 

Such influence as I possessed has been uniformly exerted for the pacification of 
the State. Governor Pierpont, having been placed at the head of the civil power of 
the State, will find no factious opposition from any of the people; he will certainly 
have none from me. 

When Richmond was evacuated, I left the State property in large amounts, and 
the State buildings in charge of agents and uninjured. 

Deeming that my allegiance was due to Virginia, I recognized her right to my 
services, and, although long past the military age, entered her military service, from 
which I was transferred to that of the Confederate States. 

Elected by her people, from the camp, as their chief magistrate, I resigned my 
position in the field and assumed the civil duties thus assigned me. 

In the various capacities in which I have served, I am not aware that the United 
States authorities, civil or military, have ever charged me with harshness or op- 
pression. I know they could not truly do so. 

William Smith. 


We insert the following extracts from a letter written by 
Governor Smith, a few years after the war, to an old and tried 
friend of the same principles, because they seem to embody 
in clear and cogent terms, the fundamental tenets of his 
political faith, which he ever followed from early manhood 
with an unfaltering step to the day of his death. 

Warrenton, Va., August 28th, 1873. 
Colonel John A. Parker : 

My Dear Sir — You have known me long and are familiar with my public record. 
I have always regarded office as a public trust, and not as private property, to be 
exercised for the benefit of those who conferred it, and not for the benefit of the 
incumbent. Admonished by all history that " power is continually stealing from 
the many to the few," I was early taught and have ever believed, that in politics the 
most essential and eminent virtue in the citizen, was jealousy of power. Hence, I 
have always denied to government the exercise of any power not clearly granted; 
hence, I have always maintained that doubtful powers should belong alone to the 
people; hence, I have always earnestly maintained that the only way to enlarge the 
powers of the Federal Government was by express grant, in the mode and manner as 
provided in the constitution, and hence I have always repudiated the whole system 
of implied powers, as certainly fatal to constitutional government as death is to that 
which lives. These doctrines are not new; they are the teachings of our honest and 
patriotic fathers. Guided by them, I have never had to give up an opinion. Neither 
the wording of General Jackson's celebrated proclamation, nor the inland sea doctrine 
of Mr. Calhoun misled me. And most assuredly I will not submit to, but will raise 

my warning voice against the alarming doctrine of Mr. , as promulged in his 

late speech at a ratification meeting in Richmond. You may ask why all this? I 
answer, shall we abandon the truth because it is crushed to the earth ? Shall we give 
up the great plan of Christian redemption, because, after 1873 years of effort, the 
Devil is still roaring over the earth seeking whom he may devour? No, sir, no; we 
must cherish the hope that truth, though crushed to earth, will rise again and cry 
aloud and spare not. But, my dear sir, there are other reasons for what I have said. 
I wish to recall your attention to my past record and to my present opinions. 

Again, I was, in 1847, Governor of our State. A Senator for the United States 
Senate had to be elected. The caucus, as customary, met to select a candidate. 
The Democratic party was divided between the straight-out and Calhoun Democracy, 
the latter only twenty-eight in number. When the caucus was organized, the Cal- 
houn wing of the Democracy offered, in substance, the following:; 

Resolved, That the nominee of this caucus must have a majority of the whole 
Democratic vote of the Legislature whether present or absent. 

This resolution being unusual and being manifestly aimed at me, I was con- 
sulted as to the propriety of its adoption. I earnestly advised that it should pass, 
and without division, and it was done. Thereupon the Calhoun Democracy with- 
drew. The business then in order being the selection of a candidate to be put in 
nomination the next day for the Senate, was called up. I was presented to the 
caucus, and not only got the majority required by the resolution, but had seven 
votes more than necessary. Next day the election came off. I had been selected by 
the caucus under unusual requirements, and ought to have been elected upon the 
final vote. The Whigs were opposed to me from a disposition to cross the Demo- 
cratic party, and was aroused because of my superior activity and efficiency in party 

matters. Mr. consented to run against the nominee of his own party. Accordingly 

he was put in nomination by the Calhoun ring of the Democracy, and I, the nominee, 
was put in nomination by the straight-out Democracy. The result was as anticipated. 



was elected after the struggle of a day, not by his party friends, but by his 

enemies. * * * * * * * * * 

At a time when the powers of the Federal Government have been fearfully in- 
creased by constitutional amendments and habitual usurpation; at a time when cor- 
ruption in the highest places stalks unblushingly through the land; when public 
office, even that of a Senator, is openly bought and sold; when Congress, in its whirl- 
pool varacity is swollowing the tripartite diversions of our Federal system, and rapidly 

forming in line thereof a great central despotism, surrenders. Surely 

there never was a time in our whole history when it was more plainly our duty to 
watch power with lynx-eyed jealousy than now, and to restrict it to its clearly defined 
grants. Without this sacred and patriotic duty is boldly and wisely performed, Con- 
stitutional government will soon be no more. Despotism, in the form of an oli- 
garchy, the worst of all governments, inevitable, and our ruin and desolation 

certain. And at such a time as this, Mr. talks of the inland sea doctrine of 

Mr. Calhoun, his well-known bid for the Presidency, and at the time, a subject of 
very general ridicule; of the Pacific Railroad, with all its vast corruption staring him 
in the face, in approval and in support thereof, tells us what Greece might have been 
under the policy he now favors, and what the Jews did under the press of Roman 
power; in fact, renounces the school in which he was taught, and abandons the 
doctrines of his life; manifestly, has surrendered to circumstances of which he so 
much speaks, instead of locking shields with you and I and the thousands of Vir- 
ginians, who would gladly unite with us, and bravely breasting the current of mis- 
government and injustice, which has swept away so much that we have cherished, 
endeavor to save that which remains. Alas, how few can resist temptation ! How 
many are ready to " crook the pregnant hinges of the knee that thrift may follow 

As to myself, you and yours know me. My political career, I may say, com- 
menced in Rockingham. It was there, in an encounter with Judge Baldwin, I won 
my spurs, and made a name which forced me into a six month' canvass. For thirty- 
six years, with intervals, I have been in the public service. I have, I repeat, always 
regarded office as a public trust, and not as private property, to be exercised for the 
benefit of the people who gave it, and not for the benefit of him upon whom it was 
conferred. Acting up to this view of duty, I have never been found fault with by 
my constituents. No one has questioned my integrity in office, and no one, my de- 
votion to the principles of the Constitution as taught in Mr. Madison's celebrated 
report. And, I think, I may fairly claim that I am fully up to Mr. Jefferson's famous 
test of fitness for office: "Is he honest, is he capable, is he faithful to the Consti- 
tution? ********** 

I am, my dear sir, most truly yours, 

William Smith. 

We also append an extract from a letter to a friend who 
has written him as late as 1885, asking his opinion of the rapid 
strides the general government was making to centralism 
and the absorption of the rights of the States. 

Unfortunately the letter abruptly terminates, and was not 
resumed so far as can be ascertained. But as far as it goes 
it will interest his old Democratic and State Rights con- 


temporaries who so often heard him in Congress and on 
the Hustings enunciate just such views : 

Warrenton, Va., October 16th, 1885. 
To L. C. M., Esq.: 

My Dear Sir — I duly received your esteemed favor of the 12th inst., and, al- 
though I write with great labor and difficulty, I will not longer delay my reply, 
although I am much pressed by my other correspondence, and although it may take 
me the whole day, as it will. 

I recollect the incidents in my history to which you refer, with more or less dis- 
tinctness, and your reference to them induces much of what follows. I settled at 
Culpeper Court House in August, 1818, to practice law, and not twenty-one years of 
age until the 6th day of September following. About the latter part of August I was 
taken sick, and did not recover so as to attend to business until the latter part of 
October, when I went over to Fauquier County Court, then, as now, the fourth Mon- 
day of the month. Being a man of strong convictions and fearless in maintaining 
them, I soon took part in politics. I could not see how our systems of State and 
Federal Governments could be fairly misconstrued. The line of separation between 
them was plain, manifest, intended, provided for. All the powers of government 
which could be exercised as well by the States were State powers; while the general 
policy was to give to the Federal Government, as the agents of the States, only those 
general powers which the States could not as well exercise separately; as for instance, to 
regulate our intercourse with foreign nations and among the several States, to raise rev- 
enue, to raise an army, to coin money and regulate the value thereof, to establish post- 
offices and post roads, etc. But as the Federal Government had no existence until 1789, 
when it was created, and can have no power except what was granted, and as the 
powers not granted are reserved to the States or to the people thereof, it is plain there 
can be no enlargement of the powers of the Constitution by implication, or usurpation, 
or precedent, or construction, or in any other way than that provided for by the Con- 
stitution. [See 5th Article thereof; you will find it in the Va. Code of i860, page 
21, and in Va. Code of 1873, P a S e 4°] I refer you to these books because I wish 
you to see the Federal Constitution, which you will find in both of them, and which, 
in providing by the article quoted for its own amendment, necessarily forbids all 
other modes of so doing; and because you probably have or can easily procure one 
or the other of them. You cannot fail to see that our ancestors who penned the Con- 
stitution meant that their work should not be readily changed. You cannot fail to be 
struck with the jealous watchfulness with which our noble patriots endeavored to 
protect their precious work, the Constitution. Even Congress cannot submit amend- 
ments to the Constitution to the people for adoption without the concurrence of two- 
thirds of both Houses, or even to call a convention upon the application of two-thirds of 
the States, to consider of amendments, and when agreed upon in convention they only 
become a part of the Constitution, after being submitted to all the States of the Union 
and receiving the approval, by adoption, of three-fourths of them. Washington, in his 
farewell address, dated 17th of September, 1796, touches this subject and says: "If, 
in the opinion 0/ the people, the distribution and modification of the Constitutional powers be, 
in any particular, wrong, let it be corrected in the way the Constitution designates. But let 
there be no change by usurpation ; for, though this, in one instance, may be the instrument oj 
good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent 
must always greatly overbalance, in permanent evil, any partial or transient benefit which 
the use can, at any time, yield.' 1 '' At this time Washington knew that there was a great 
party in the country and cotemperaneous with his administration. In 1789, under 
the leadership of Alexander Hamilton, who did not believe in the capacity of the people 
to govern themselves, who wanted a monarchy, failing in which, by the adoption of 
the Constitution, they determined to strengthen the government by every practicable 
" usurpation." This party was practically in power, from the adoption of the Con- 


stitution until ousted by Mr. Jefferson, in 1801. Nor was this all. To satisfy the 
fears of the people and to induce them to adopt the Constitution, it was by common 
understanding, agreed that sundry amendments should, without delay, be made 
thereto. This was done, and the tenth of them reads as follows: "The powers not 
delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, 
are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." This, with nine other 
amendments, all having the same end in view, was submitted by Congress at its first 
session under the Constitution to the States for adoption, which they unanimously 
adopted and so became a part of the Constitution. You cannot fail to see in the 
fifth Article that it was the policy of the Constitution to make it difficult to change it, 
and in that Article and in the amendment quoted, a great jealousy of Federal power 
and a clear purpose to confine the Federal Government to the undoubted power, is, 
beyond all question, demonstrated. Had the government, from the start, confined 
itself to the exercise of the clearly granted powers, we should have had none of that 
strife and bitterness which has characterized the first century of our political exist- 
ence. Unfortunately our first twelve years of government were practically in the 
hands of those unfriendly to a government of the people. Hamilton was an able and 
patriotic man and a favorite of Washington, but he was an avowed monarchist. He 
wished our Constitution modeled after that of Great Britain, and being disappointed 
in this, by the adoption of our Constitution, he could but see that the fifth Article 
thereof precluded all hope of ingrafting his views thereon by way of amendment 
thereto. He saw that his only chance of increasing the powers of the Federal 
Government was by construction, by "usurpation," as Washington termed it. 


General D. II. Hill : 

On the morning of the battle of the Seven Pines, Colonel Anderson's brigade, of 
which Colonel Smith's 49th Varginia Volunteers was apart, was ordered to move by 
the flank, and at regimental distance, to relieve General Garland, then engaged with 
the enemy. On reaching the formidable abattis, lying on north of the Williamsburg 
Road, we found he had been routed and dispersed. Galloping up to Colonel Smith, 
he informed him that his brigade had been cut to pieces, and urged him to put in. 
Order soon came to keep to the left of the Road, and to the fort forward march. The 
49th moved steadily forward through the abattis, before referred to, accompanied for 
an hour or so by General Garland, who, every now and then, would cry out in ad- 
miration of the regiment, "What tigers!" " what tigers !" When near the fort, on 
the Williamsburg Road an incident occurred which should be preserved. As Colonel 
Smith was picking his way through the abattis, he found Sergeant Scruggs, of Am- 
herst, lying at the foot of a huge stum]), badly wounded; he said to him, " ah, 
Scruggs, my dear fellow, I am sorry to see you in such a fix." " Yes, Colonel, he re- 
plied, "I am badly hurt, but don't take anyone out of the ranks for me. As soon, 
however, as the fight is over, hunt me up, and take care of me; " and it was done. 
In three months he returned to duty; and is now at home, it is hoped, prosperous and 

Another circumstance connected with the gallant soldier, as it illustrates how 
small the difference sometimes between life and death, may not be omitted. When 
he fell, it was at the foot of a huge pine stump, his feet higher than his head. This 
inconvenient position he endeavored to obviate as far as practicable, by putting his 
hand under his head. He had hardly done so, before a shot from the fort passed be- 
tween his skull and fingers, wounding both, but neither seriously. But for the slight 
elevation of the head his death would have been inevitable. 

Another incident of the same battle, it may not be amiss to mention. During the 
steady advance of the 49th, at the bloodiest crisis of the battle, Colonel Smith dis- 


covered a regimental battle flag before him. Supposing it might be his own, and re- 
solved not to abandon it, he called loudly for one of his men to take it; but unable to 
make himself heard in consequence of the confusion and noise of the battle, he 
called to his Adjutant to bring it to him, and he would bear it. This was done, and 
the Colonel bore it a considerable time, until he received a positive order to give it 
up. Several persons were present when the order was delivered, and among them a 
bright, gallant lookingyouth, who thus addressed the Colonel: "Colonel, Ihave heard 
the order you have just received; I belong to the Florida regiment, of Garland's 
brigade, which has been dispersed to-day. I beg leave to join your command for 
this fight, and ask the favor of bearing that flag in front of your regiment, which I 
pledge myself to do, so long as life shall last." The Colonel looked at him a mo- 
ment, and then handed him the flag without a word. The noble boy received it; 
pushed rapidly to the front, where he found the regimental flag still born aloft by the 
last of the color-guard. And thus the Veteran regiment finished its glorious day's 
work, with two flags flying at its front. It is much to be regretted, that the name of 
the brave young soldier should have escaped us, as it would afford us much satisfac- 
tion to give it to the public. It may not be amiss to add, that the 49th went into ac- 
tion 440 strong and lost 55 per cent, of its number; that its color-guard consisted of 
eight, all of whom were killed or wounded, the last of whom refused to quit the field 
or relinquish his flag, but, who unhappily died of his wound. And that you, General, 
under whose eyes it fought, a few days afterwards had it restored, and in the most 
flattering terms expressed your approbation of their conduct, on that bloody day.* 

Warrenton, Va., October 28, 1866. 

Dear . . . Texa — I was gratified to hear of you by your letter of the 17th inst., 
received on yesterday, but greatly mortified to hear so little of yourself, your pros- 
pects, your family, and your present condition. You gave in lieu, however, your 
political views somewhat at large; and such views! I could not have believed it. 
What, become the panderers of our deadly enemies — do the work of our own degra- 
dation and dishonor ? By the God that made me, " I would sooner be a dog and bay 
the moon, than such a Roman." 

Our army terminated the war. Badly fed, and aware that our country was 
greatly exhausted, and putting faith in the oft-repeated declaration of President Lin- 
coln and Congress, and I may say every organ of public sentiment in the United 
States, that all they were fighting for was the preservation of their Union, they threw 
down their arms. At once, the purpose of our enemies was disclosed; new terms 
were imposed, and the Southern States hastened to accept them. Was the Union re- 
stored then ? No, the Freedman's Bureau bill and the Civil Rights bill followed in 
quick succession; now the Constitutional amendment, which you propose to accept, 
is passed and offered to us by Congress. Would its adoption by us, secure oblivion 
for the past and our restoration to our constitutional rights ? There is no such pledge 
in the bill, and we are warned by leading Radicals that still further conditions will 
be imposed. I say, that our character, our chivalry, our manhood, alike, forbid us 
from becoming the voluntary instrument in the work of our own degradation. Power 
may crush us, but we will not be the vile thing to do our own dishonor. As to Presi- 
dent Johnson, Virginia feels grateful to him for what he has done; not that he has 
done all that she wished, but that he has done so much more than she expected, that 
she would be unreasonable to complain of what he has omitted. She regards him as 
the breakwater against which the mad waves of fanaticism have burst in vain, and 
by which, the South has been saved from desolation; and satisfied that he will do all 

* The above letter was found among the Governor's papers (Letter Press Book) unsealed and unsigned; 
but is a faithful delineation of the remarkable incident referred to in his letters to General Doniphan, of 
Missouri, which was lost in the fire at Culpeper, before mentioned. [See illustration No. 9 in the body of this 
volume.— J W. B.] 


he can in the future, she is disposed, not to [embarrass him by her distrust, but to 
strengthen him by her confidence. Such is Virginia, and in her views I participate. 

It may not be amiss for me to send you an extract from a letter I recently ad- 
dressed to a friend. "The signs are indeed most ominous. We are threatened by 
the Radical party, with confiscation and death, and the Conservative party of the 
country seem to be wanting in the spirit and strength necessary to prevent it. Shall 
we yield ourselves, like sheep to the slaughter, or if necessary, die like men, in pro- 
tecting ourselves, and in vindicating the eternal right of self-government against the 
most brutal and vindictive tyranny recorded in the annals of civilization. For my 
part, I have no difficulty. I shall do, as I hope, I ever have done, manfully perform- 
ing my whole duty." 

Again, I say in conclusion, my wish is to make my farm a model one; and there, 
in quiet usefulness float down the stream of time, to "that bourn, whence no 
traveler returns." And I confess I view with regret, the prospect of having this quiet 
and unpretending life so congenial to my age, broken in upon by the rude shock of 
war. May God in His mercy, pass this cup from our lips. I have presented you my 
views — they are those of our family and of my beloved State, and you cannot, must 
not prove recreant to them. William Smith. 

Monte Rosa, Va., March 7, 1867. 
Thomas Meehan, Esq.: 

Dear Sir — I am really obliged to you for your kind, but cautious favor of the 4th 
inst., received on yesterday. I do not propose to make or discuss issues; but in look- 
ing over my paper to-day, I found a resolution of Congress which, being appropriate 
by way of reply, to one of your positions, I send you. The same purpose was pro- 
claimed at other times by Congress and by President Lincoln, and at the surrender 
by Generals Grant and Sherman. Should not a great power preserve its faith invio- 
late ? 

But the only working questions are two : 1st. Is Virginia a State ? if so, it must 
be admitted that she is entitled to the protection of the Constitution. If not a State 
but conquered Territory, why not dictate terms and impose them ? why call upon us 
to do our own dishonor? We might quickly submit to the government imposed by 
our conquerors; but to require us, who have no rights, to do the work of our own 
degradation is a refinement of cruelty, without precedent, and we think without ex- 
cuse. New York has rejected the Constitutional Amendment; Massachusetts has de- 
clined to act upon it; Ohio, by an overwhelming vote, refused to strike the word 
"white " from her Constitution; other States (loyal) retain words denying negro 
equality. And, yet, we commit an unpardonable crime for adhering to the same 
policy; and the representatives of the States referred to unite in hunting us to the 
death for it. But enough of this. 

A few words more. Look to the resolution I enclose you, and see where we are 
now. The balance of the policy of the Radical leaders is already proclaimed to be 
confiscation and death; and you will see some such scheme presented to Congress 
during its present session; and if it becomes a law, what then ? I am in my 70th 
year. I have a nice home and a farm of 225 acres — all I care for. I want quiet, re- 
pose, and safety for life and property. We will acquiesce, I believe in any honest 
government which will secure these objects, that power may put upon us, even a 
military government. But it would be the act of power, notour own. You say, one 
thing I know is a fact, " that the vast majority of the Northern people do not want to 
oppress the South." Then I say, your people must act, and act promptly, for I see 
no hope in your politicians. May God in His mercy dissipate the vision of ruin, 
desolation and blood which looms up before us; in place thereof give us Safety, Pros- 
perity, and Peace. 

I am, my dear sir, most truly and sincerely yours, William Smith. 


Warrenton Va., March 9th, 1867. 

Dear Governor — I have your esteemed favor of the 26th inst., and note its sen- 
timents with great satisfaction. But I earnestly advise you against your views, at 
present, in this direction. I would not advise you even to purchase a farm here, as 
I am now looking tearfully, for a state of horrible anarchy among us. Sherman's 
bill was thought to be intolerable; but Mr. Sumner's bill, which proposes to confirm 
suffrage to our negroes and a few white men, to be found here and there, called 
" loyal " means to put the government of the State in the hands of the minor and 
least intelligent of our population. The family of Washington, who conquered the 
mother country and secured the liberty and independence of his country; the de- 
cendants of Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, the embodi- 
ment of the immortal principles (so shamefully disregarded in our recent struggle) 
upon which we justified to the world, our resolution; the family of Madison, the great 
expounder of the Constitution, and the decendants of Patrick Henry, who set the 
revolutionary ball in motion by his matchless eloquence, and especially his soul-stir- 
ring, and at the time, inspiring cry of "Give me Liberty or give me Death," with a 
host of others scarcely less known to fame, all such are to be subordinates to the 
ignorant negro and to the vagrant few, and with not more than a dozen exceptions, 
most worthless and corrupt of our whites. This is a Republican government with a 
vengeance; and imposed upon us, by States, which within themselves, as in your 
State, utterly repudiate negro equality. There must be a God, and if it be true as 
we are told, that He has declared or proclaimed, that, "Vengeance is mine," then 
such outrages and injustice must provoke His wrath; and the wrong-doer will be 
visited by condign punishment. 

Yours most truly, William Smith. 

Warrenton, Va., April 17, 1869. 
L. X. S., Esq.: 

My Dear Sir — Having been from home for ten days, yours of the 5th inst, has 
remained unanswered. In reply now, I have to inform you that you are not a 
security for the debt referred to in your letter. I see it intimated in various ways 
that we are to abandon our organization, and take part in the existing Radical split. 
I trust we shall be spared this most foul and atrocious degradation. What are we to 
gain by it ? At the best, Radical supremacy, in a form somewhat less obnoxious, 
that is, the striking out of certain provisions of the Underwood Constitution. But 
this, according to all rational calculation is certain, and with a Radical split inevitable. 
We shall positively gain nothing by it but humiliation and shame. I therefore insist 
upon it, that we preserve our organization, and run the candidates we have hereto- 
fore selected and announced. It matters not that some of them are ineligible— that 
Congress has reserved the power, and will not ratify the election of our candidates. 
That may be, but the Constitution, as modified, will be adopted; and if administered 
by minority candidates, put in by act of Congress, we shall have exalted and bur- 
nished the name of our State; consolidated the sentiments of our people, and given 
a new impulse to the opinions and right feelings of the North, which, although slowly, 
is working for our deliverance. But it is by no means certain that Congress would 
reject our officers or refuse to relieve them of their disabilities. The iron policy of 
Radicalism is relaxing, and opinions in high places, and from influential sources, in 
favor of the removal of all disabilities from all our people are openly proclaimed; let 
us then, quietly, but firmly, and with dignity perform our duties. The good sense of 
the American people cannot sleep forever; and they must tolerate, indeed admire 
that sublime crime which, after all, was but the struggle of a noble race for their 
liberty and independence. For God's sake, do what you can to preserve our organi- 
zation. In mercy save us from the deep damnation of becoming a party to a Radical 
split. For one, I am determined to save our dear old mother, as much as I can, the 


shame and infamy of the threatened sacrifice; and if no other be announced, I will 
at the proper time announce myself her candidate for Governor. 

In haste, yours truly, William Smith. 


Warrenton, Va., June 10, 1869. 

R- T. Daniel, Esq., Chairman, Ex. Com., Richmond: 

Dear Sir — Yours of the 9th was received last night, suggesting a visit to Rock, 
bridge. I should be much gratified to speak in that county on the 25th, as I would 
like to be at the supper given by W. C, on the 24th, if my dear sick wife can get 
away to the Springs by so early a day, as I wish to accompany her, that I may see 
her made comfortable. But, my dear sir, can it be made necessary to go to Rock- 
bridge ? I know not how to think so. What does Governor Letcher and other true 
and able men mean? The duty of every man of intelligence and position in the 
present fearful crisis, the most fearful Virginia has ever known, scorns a cause for 
indifference, even ! Achilles in his tent is an example to be shunned, not followed. 

I go to Manassas on the 12th inst., and Carolina 14th, Fredricksburg 15th, Staf- 
ford 16th, King George 17th Alexandria, to Convention, 18th, Madison 19th inst., and 
will write you further about Rockbridge. 

In haste, yours truly, William Smith. 

Warrenton, Va., June 22, 1869. 
R. R. Collier, Esq., Petersburg, Va. 

My Dear Sir — On returning home on Sunday, having fulfilled numerous en- 
gagements to speak to my fellow citizens, on the life and death struggle in which 
they are engaged, I found several of your letters, and among them, one of the 12th 
inst., insisting upon my views in opposition to the so-called Underwood Constitu- 
tion. In reply, you will please accept what follows as the result of my best reflec- 
tions : 

I must remark that no true man should ever despair of the Republic. That no 
one can be held responsible for disregard of principle, or inconsistency of conduct 
in the course he may pursue in the exigency which is upon us, provided in what he 
does he aims to promote the best interest of his State. In no sense a free agent, 
nothing of our choice, only acting within the narrow limit accorded to us, we are 
bound to do whatever tends to better our condition, even that, in such moderation 
as not to offend our task masters, It was negligence, principle, if it may be so called, 
and despair, which induced our people to abandon the late State Convention to the 
most wretched and ignorant combination that ever undertook to form the organic 
laws of a State. And the abomination, which is soon to be voted on, is what might 
have been, in substance, expected. Our military government was a very different 
thing at one time from what it is at present. Then our military government sincerely 
disposed, as I varily believe, to secure us a good government; rarely made an ap- 
pointment, if at all, unless he believed his appointee was competent. But since the 
joint resolution of Congress (I believe it was), dissolving our civil government, the 
practice has been, to a great extent, otherwise. Look at our present Court of 
Appeals — a court of the last resort. Supreme over the rights of persons and 
property, composed of strangers to our people and our laws, one of whom at least, is 
believed to be so utterly deficient in a knowledge of the commonest principles of 
jurisprudence that he could not procure, from three Virginia judges, a license to 
practice law. Look around you, into town and country, and you will see the Bench, 
everywhere similarly occupied. The monuments of our estates and the records of 
our courts, dusty with years of watchful custody, likewise confided to strangers. 
Even our revenues, the hard earnings of an impoverished people; in short, the offices 
of Virginia, heretofore held by men of worth and fitness, are now merely a lure to 


the needy adventurer from other States, and the greedy and mercenary of our own. 
It requires no seer, my old friend, to foretell the consequences of such a state of 
things as this. It is so plain, that "he who runs may read." Alas, my country! 
Now, ouo-ht we not do whatever we can to save our State from that tide of corrup- 
tion which is setting'jn upon us, and threatening, with sure destruction, all that we have 
been taught to reverence, to cherish, and to hope for ! Undoubtedly our Military 
government is far, far preferable to the dreadful government, the proposed constitu- 
tion unaltered, would give us; but it cannot be comparable to a State government, 
under the proposed expurgated constitution and which being under our control, we can at 
once proceed to amend, at pleasure. Nor is this all; such a State organization 
would relieve us from Congress— a hard task master, in whose justice, past experi- 
ence will not allow us, for a moment, to trust. You cannot wonder then, that my 
first greatest effort has been to secure the rejection of the disfranchisement test oath, 
provisions of the proposed constitution and that I have said but little about it; rectifi- 
cation or rejection, satisfied that without any advice from me, it will be the pleasure 
of the people to put it through, thus amended, by a large majority. 

I thus write in haste and labor. Wherever I have been, all is well; and I look 
for a complete victory on the 6th of July next. Let us, I implore you, to unite our 
labors to save our grand old State. 

Truly your friend, William Smith. 

Warrenton, Va., August 27th, 1869. 
B. F. Berkley, Esq.: 

My Dear Sir— I am in receipt of your favor of the 26th inst., asking that I would 
put in writing the views I recently expressed to you in conversation on the cars, as 
to the propriety of requiring the recently-elected members of our Legislature to take 
the test oath. But as I am satisfied that the Federal authorities will not exact the 
oath of our members, and as far too much, in my judgment, has been said and 
written, I may say, for the country's good, about it, I much question the propriety of 
giving my views in the way you suggest, and thereby protracting a discussion which 
should never have commenced, or which, at any rate, should have long since ceased. 
As, however, you think otherwise and are pleased to say my opinions are original, 
I yield my doubts, and now give them to you for whatever disposition you may 

Congress claims the power to reconstruct Virginia, and being omnipotent at 
present, exercises it. The form of a Constitution for Virginia having been agreed 
upon in the convention of 1867-8, and it being unnecessary to submit it to a vote of 
the people it was, for some causes, delayed until Congress took up the subject, and 
by act passed in March last, I think, conferred upon the President the power to 
order a vote upon said Constitution as a whole or in part. I choose to be particular 
and therefore give the whole of the first section of said act, which reads as follows: 

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States 
of America in Congress assembled, that the President of the United States, at such 
time as he may deem best, may submit the Constitution, which was prepared by the 
convention which met in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, the 3d day of December, 1867, to 
the registered voters of said State for ratification or rejection, and may also submit 
to a separate vote such provisions of said Constitution as he may deem best, such 
vote to be taken upon each of said provisions, or in connection with the other por- 
tions of said Constitution, as the President may direct." The act of which the sec- 
tion given was a part, was passed, as you are aware, at the instance of the Presi- 
dent himself, that he might give to the people of the State a chance for a Constitution 
under which they might be able to live by rejecting from the proposed Constitution 
certain obnoxious provisions, universally condemned by all just and enlightened 
minds. These provisions were the fourth clause of the First Section of the Third Article, 
and the Sixth Section thereof. The first denied to some of our most enlightened citizens 


the right of suffrage, and the second excluded all the citizens of the State from the 
offices thereof who could not take the following oath. (I prefer to give it here, as it 
may not be within your reach): 

"I do solemnly swear or affirm, that I have never voluntarily borne arms against 
the United States since I have been a citizen thereof; that I have voluntarily given 
no aid, etc.; * * * * that I have never sought nor attempted to exercise the 
functions of any office whatever, under any authority, or pretended authority, in hos- 
tility to the United States; that I have not yielded a voluntary support to any pre- 
tended government, authority, power or constitution within the United States, hostile 
or inimical thereto. And I do further swear (or affirm) that, to the best of my knowl- 
edge and ability, I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States 
against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance 
to the same; that I take the obligation freely, without any mental reservation or pur- 
pose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office 
on which I am about to enter." 

General Grant called the attention of Congress to these clauses and submitted 
them for a special vote of our people, that they might reject them from the Constitu- 
tion if they saw fit, which was done by an immense majority and the Constitution 
they expurgated was adopted almost unanimously, as the organic law of the 
State. By the Constitution they adopted, all male citizens of the United States, with 
a few qualifications and exceptions, are entitled to vote and to hold office, and only 
required, from those taking office, the following oath: 

"I, , do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and maintain the 

Constitution and laws of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State 
of Virginia; that I recognize and accept the civil and political equality of all men 

before the law, and that I will faithfully perform the duty of to the best of my 

ability. So help me God." 

With the powers of the State in the hands of the people they were reconciled to 
the oath, and also to the Constitution as adopted, inasmuch as they had the power to 
amend it. But just before the election and when we were lumicating in the com- 
fortable assurance that we would be able to get possession of our State, and too late 
to change our programme, it is announced that General Canby will require the 
members-elect of the Legislature to take the test oath. It may not be amiss to 
copy it for you. 

" I; , of the county of and State of , do solemnly swear (or 

affirm) that I have never, voluntarily, borne arms against the United States since I 
have been a citizen thereof; that I have voluntarily given no aid, counsel or en- 
couragement to persons engaged in armed hostility thereto; that I have never sought 
nor accepted, nor attempted to exercise, the functions of any office whatsoever, 
under any authority, or pretended authority, in hostility to the United States; that I 
have not yielded any voluntary support to any pretended government authority, power 
or Constitution within the United States or inimical thereto. And I do further swear 
(or affirm) that, to the best of my knowledge and ability, I will support and defend 
the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that 
I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely 
without any reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully dis- 
charge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God." 

General Schofield appeared in the convention after the test oath had been adopted 
by that body, and in a speech endeavored, in vain, to get it reconsidered, so mon- 
strous did he regard it. The President so regarding it, brought it to the attention of 
Congress, and that body gave him the power to submit it, for adoption or rejection, 
to our people, who, by an immense vote, rejected it from the Constitution. It is also well- 
known that the President was opposed to its adoption; and that, as to the other States 
similarly situated, he forbid the application of the test oath to their functionaries. Can 


it then be believed that he will permit, much more coerce, its application to those of 
Virginia. ? It must not escape your attention that the test oath, so heavily rejected at 
the late election, is a transcript of that of the act of 1862. I have given them to you 
that you may compare them. And, that which is submitted to the people for a 
separate vote, to be rejected if they please. General Canby had proclaimed, although 
rejected from the State Constitution, he would exact it from our State officials under 
the act of Congress. The positive and undeniable effect of which will be, to defeat 
the choice of our legally recognized voters and to compell us either to hunt for young 
men, barely of age, without knowledge of men and government, or to yield the State 
to an utterly ignorant and depraved minority. Our Legislature is almost entirely 
composed of new men, and it is said, has only a few members in it who were ever in 
a Legislative body before. And all this, too, when the gravest duties of government 
requiring par excellence, integrity, knowledge of the wants of the people and ripe 
experience in the affairs of State, are, especially necessary, a new system of govern- 
ment, to which the people have never been accustomed and which, in many respects, 
they are known to be strongly opposed, having to be inaugurated. We can but ex- 
pect a wretched job when it is left to apprentices and the master-builders are away. 
It has been said that our case is different from those of Georgia and North Carolina, 
where the test oath was not enforced because their Constitution was recognized by 
Congress, but ours has not been, hence the difference. Our Constitution has been 
before Congress about a year, and without objection; it was so far recognized and 
approved by that body that it empowered the President to submit it in whole or in 
parts to the people, and appropriated money to pay the expenses of the election, im- 
plying necessarily, that that Constitution, however adopted fairly by the people, 
would be approved by Congress; indeed, that Congress, by its own Act, was fully 
committed thereto. But the election recently held, was assuredly designed to adopt 
a State Constitution, provide for a State organization and complete the work of re- 
construction. The Constitution provides for the necessary offices, how they shall 
be filled, what qualifications are required, what oaths shall be taken, etc. And yet 
it urges that these State officials must take the test oath impossd by the Act of 1862. 
An oath which it is not pretended they will be bound to respect after they shall have 
been recognized by Congress, and which can never be exacted of their successors ! 
Is it to be wondered at then, that many of our people should entertain a strong feel- 
ing of indignation at what they regard as an unworthy trick to still further wrong and 
embarrass them in the honest effort to recover their proper position in the Union? 
And that many of us will not believe that President Grant can or will permit this 
wanton and mischievous outrage. There are certain well-established principles of 
statutory construction which are presumed to be always in the mind of the law-mak - 
ing power: First, that the Act was necessary to accomplish its purpose; second, that 
where the purposes of an Act are clean, it shall be so construed as to accomplish them ; 
third, that powers granted establish their prior non-existence, and that powers not 
granted do not exist. I beg your attention to my application of these principles to 
the election law of Congress. None will deny, I presume, that the object and pur- 
pose of Congress was the restoration of Virginia to the Union; and that any construc- 
tion of the election law, not required by its plain and explicit language calculated to 
defend it, is unwarranted and erroneous. Allow me, then, to examine the Act I have 
already given you, the first Section of it, which authorizes the President to order a vote 
upon the Constitution in whole or in part, and his power to bring on the election of July, 
1869, was derived from the election law. It did not previously exist, and when the 
power, thereby conferred, was exercised, it was exhausted. He was functus officio, 
and his power over the subject was at an end. This is the inevitable conclusion of 
common sense and well-established principles of law, and need not be elaborated or 
enlarged. This second section is as follows : 

Section second. And be it further enacted, That at the same election, the voters 
of said State may vote for and elect members of the General Assembly of said State, 


all the officers of said State provided for by the said Constitution, and the members of 
Congress and the officer of the District of Virginia shall cause the list of registered voters 
of said State to be revised, enlarged and corrected prior to such election, according 
to law, and for that purpose may appoint such registrars as he may deem necessary, 
and said election shall be held and the returns thereof made in the manner pro- 
vided by the Acts of Congress, commonly called the "Reconstruction Acts." It can 
but strike you that the objects of this section are two-fold, and that they are presented 
in apt and proper language. It confers upon the lawful voters, the right to elect 
certain representatives, and upon the District Commissioner the duty of providing 
for a fair election, receiving the returns, footing up the results and proclaiming who 
are the persons elected. Having thus exercised the powers conferred by the election 
law and discharged the duties it imposed, he, too, is functus officio, and his relation 
to those he has proclaimed to be elected becomes that of any other private gentleman, 
nothing more, nothing less. 

Sections three and four exclusively refer to Texas and Mississippi and need no 
remark. But section five is important, and reads as follows: 

Section five. Be it further enacted, That if either of said Constitutions shall be 
ratified at such election, the Legislature of the State so ratifying, elected as provided 
for in this act, shall assemble at the capitols of said States on the fourth Tuesday 
after the official promulgation of such ratification by the military officer commanding 
in said State. "The Legislature of the State so ratifying, shall assemble on the 
fourth Tuesday." It is not to "assemble" under the order of the President, or of 
General Canby, but it shall " assemble " by command of Congress, as expressed in the 
election law, "on the fourth Tuesday after the official promulgation of the ratification 
of the Constitution, etc.," not after it shall be convened by the proclamation of our 
military commander; but it "shall assemble" at the time fixed, after the ratification 
of the Constitution shall be proclaimed, in despite, even, of General Canby's 

But I must hurry on, as my time will not allow me to add other views I would 
like to present. The Legislature having convened in obedience to the law of Con- 
gress, and not in obedience to the command of our District Commissioner, will pro- 
ceed to this consideration of such matters as are required of them by the law under 
which they have assembled. Meeting as a parliamentary body, it must organize by 
the election of the necessary officers. By the express provision of the Constitution, 
it alone has the right of the election returns and qualification of its members. Being 
organized, what next? Under ordinary circumstances it would be the appointment 
of committees to wait upon the Governor and notify him that the General Assembly 
is organized and ready to receive any communication he may desire to submit. But 
we have no Governor as yet, nor can we send any such committee to our military 
commander, for he is not recognized by our State Constitution, nor by the election, 
or, indeed, any law as an official, with whom the State can hold such relation. What 
then? What can the Legislature do ? It is an incomplete body; only one of three 
departments which constitutes the State, and manifestly can do nothing which is 
final or binding. The seventh section of the election law reads as follows: 

And be it further enacted, That the proceedings in any of said States shall not be 
deemed final, or operate as a complete restoration thereof, until their action, respec- 
tively, shall be approved by Congress. 

The Legislature, to concur in an amendment of the Federal Constitution, must 
be that of a State with all .its functions in full operation and its government undoubt- 
ed, recognized and complete. When our Legislature shall assemble, it may ratify 
the fifteenth amendment, but suppose Congress shall disapprove our "action," will 
it not fall to the ground ? Nor will the approval of Congress alter the case. No 
amendment, I repeat, can be concurred in, except by a State in the full exercise of all 
her Constitutional powers. Under these views you will have seen my conclusion, 
that we have no State government under our State Constitution until the period fixed 


for its organization, to wit: the 1st of January, 1870; that any ratification of the fifteenth 
amendment by Virginia, previous to that period, would be null and void, and an 
election of Senators wholy without authority, mischievous and useless; and that the 
meeting of the General Assembly, required by the fifth section, can accomplish no 
valuable result, while it will subject the State to a heavy expense, which Congress 
will, some day, pay. Nor does the sixth section alter the question. It reads as 

Section sixth. And be it further enacted, That before the States of Virginia, Missis- 
sippi and Texas shall be admitted to representation in Congress, their several Legis- 
latures, which may be, hereafter, lawfully organized, shall ratify the fifteenth 
amendment article, which has been proposed as an amendment to the Constitution 
of the United States. 

It will be observed that this section does not apply to the State organizations 
— that, it would seem, is yielded. Indeed, Congress recognizes the necessity of per- 
fecting the State government before the fifteenth Article shall be acted on, when it 
merely declares that Congressional representatives shall not be admitted until said 
Article is ratified. This construction is so obvious, that I am pursuaded it would 
have been of universal acceptance; that the Legislature " shall assemble," and when 
it shall assemble, what can it do ? In fact it can do nothing sensible but to meet and 
adjourn. It may satisfy the fifteenth Article, and to satisfy the general expectations, 
perhaps it should; but it will not be worth the paper upon which it is written, 
v I have, my dear sir, replied quite hastily and more at large to your letter than I 
had intended, but I hope, I do not believe that the test oath can be legally exacted of 
our State officials, nor do I believe that the President will permit the attempt to 
enforce it. I do not believe the Legislature, when it shall assemble, has the power 
to do anything more than organize, draw its mileage and per diem, and adjourn. But 
if they do undertake to do anything more than to pass upon the fifteenth Article, it 
will, I doubt not and should be politically damned. 

I am, my dear sir, truly yours, 

William Smith. 

In view of the fearful political ordeal through which this 
grand old State was passing, among other things in which 
Governor Smith actively participated after the war, with a 
view to her speedy and substantial restoration to her civil and 
political rights, we insert the following letter to a prominent 
citizen of Petersburg, Va., as a part of her history and trials of 
that day : 


Warrenton, Va., May 19th, 1869. 
To R. M. Collier, Esq., Petersburg, Va. 

My Dear Sir— Yours of the 1st inst., has been received. Absence from home 
for some time, and then a desire to see the President's proclamation ordering an 
election have delayed this reply. I now give it for such use as you may see fit to 
make of it, and, with the more pleasure, as it will facilitate my replies to others, 
having in view similar enquiries with those propounded by yourself. 

A few preliminary observations are necessary to the proper elucidation of our 
present deplorable condition, and you will I am persuaded, pardon me for obtruding 
them upon your attention. 


In 1867 Congress, in her wisdom, treating our dear old State as a territorial ap- 
pendage, enacted a law providing for a convention to form a constitution or frame 
of government for the State. The negro was enfranchised, large bodies of our most 
intelligent citizens were disfranchised, and the purpose was explicitly developed to 
put our State government in the hands of the alienage, pauperism, ignorance and vice 
of the State. This alarming policy very naturally excited the profoundest interest, 
and the result was a convention, composed of eight hundred of our best and most en- 
lightened citizens. This body, in point of numbers, was without a precedent in our 
State, and in all that constituted the excellence of our race, unsurpassed. This great 
body firmly looked our difficulties in the face, and unanimously resolved to defeat 
the Underwood constitution. It provided for an executive committee with ample 
powers, which body, with the aid of the county superintendents, etc., met in Rich- 
mond on the 7th of May, 1868, to nominate State officers, etc. On that occasion Col- 
onel R. E. Withers was nominated for Governor, and Colonel Baldwin, who came 
near getting the nomination, made a speech of such glowing patriotism as quite to 
electrify our venerable Enquirer, who, in his rhapsody cried out, "Even while he 
spoke the charming thought filled the minds of his hearers that such a speech was 
adding another leaf to the crown of laurels with which his mother State will some 
day crown his brow, ' when the King shall claim his own again.' " 

Through such instrumentalities the wisdom of our State had proclaimed a plat- 
form and had selected candidates to uphold and maintain it. The president of the 
con% T ention (Mr. Stuart) in returning thanks for the honor of his selection, anticipated 
the platform, and proclaimed undying hostility to the negro constitution. Colonel 
Baldwin, at the convention which selected our State candidates, gave " another proof 
of the wisdom of his head, and the patriotic love of his heart," in firing up all to the 
undying determination to sustain and elect them. And I feel fully warranted in de- 
claring that there never has been a popular organization, under more trying and im- 
posing circumstances, to the action of which was more thoroughly and fully pledged 
the troth, the plight, the honor of each and all of its members. 

Our candidates, occupied moreover, a most anomalous position — a position of ex- 
traordinary, indeed, unprecedented, trust and confidence. We had a clear majority 
in the State; our candidates might easily be elected, but if the same vote should be 
thrown against the constitution, it would be defeated, and our candidates would take 
nothing for their pains. The defection of a few voters here and there for and not 
against the constitution would have easily changed the result, and it might have been 
that the constitution, by a very little management, might have been adopted, and yet 
our candidates be elected. Surely, then, they had a right to expect the hearty, un- 
broken support of everyone, at least, who participated in their nomination. It was 
under such circumstances our candidates opened the canvass, which they prosecuted 
with an activity and ability rarely equalled. Everywhere the enormities of the pro- 
posed constitution were exposed, and the framers of it held up to the scorn and con- 
tempt of the people, until at last the public mind was so fully enlightened and public 
opinion was so thoroughly consolidated, that the frightened enemy shrunk from the 
election, while the Conservative party reposed in their strength, awaiting, like the 
strong man, the summons to renew the conflict. 

It was at this time that signs of dissatisfaction began to appear. And, finally, in 
the month of December last a circular was issued from Staunton, Va., subscibed by 
five gentlemen of that town, and addressed to some forty of the most prudent of 
Virginia's sons. It was an open disloyalty to that grand organization of which they 
were voluntary members, and of which I will add, they were conspicuous ones, and 
to fidelity to which they were bound by every tie and duty which gentlemen recog- 
nize among each other. Nor was there any necessity, as far as can be seen, for this 
summary proceeding. The Executive Committee was in being, enjoyed to a great 
extent the confidence of the State, was intelligent and patriotic and would doubtless 
have hearkened to the "recent intelligence from Washington," had it beencommu- 


nicated to them, and which was the pretext upon which the revolutionary movement 
of our Staunton gentlemen was predicated. If, however, they saw fit to jump the Ex- 
ecutive Committee, why did they not summon the people to re-assemble in conven- 
tion to receive their report ? These gentlemen, in the circular of December last, an- 
nounce that "recent intelligence from Washington satisfies us that the best interests 
of the State of Virginia urgently require that there should be a consultation of some 
of the most prudent of her sons, in Richmond, on Thursday the 31st inst., in 
regard to the best policy to be pursued in the present condition of the country." 
Manifestly, it was deliberately intended to set at nought the grave and well-considered 
conclusion of the grand convention of eight hundred of Virginia gentlemen, selected 
by the sovereign people and by them approved, by the conclusions of a coterie of 
forty gentlemen or less, selected by the five gentlemen of Staunton !! Thank God, 
the history of our beloved State can furnish no precedent for such conduct on the 
part of any of her sons as this. I will not say that those gentlemen have committed 
a crime against the law, but undoubtedly they have committed a grievous fault, and 
grievously should they answer it. 

The Executive Committee and County Superintendents were duly summoned to 
meet in convention on the 2Sth of April, to take into consideration the President's proc- 
lamation, etc. No proclamation had been issued, but it was confidently expected be- 
fore the period designated. The convention assembled, but it had not appeared, and 
the business for which it had convened was, it may be rightly said, coram non judice. 
It was in vain, that it was urged that the convention should adjourn over— that to act 
in anticipation of the proclamation would be to act in the dark — would make confu- 
sion worse confounded, and might and probably would, compromise the most vital 
interests of the State. The same gentlemen who had repudiated the Executive Com- 
mittee by initiating an independent movement, strangely appeared in the body con- 
vened under its authority, and assuming to be members thereof, brought their 
dangerous influence to bear and defeated this reasonable and most prudent proposi- 
tion; nay, in a body in which conciliation and harmony was of prime consequence, 
adopted the five minutes rule, refused to permit a gentleman who had the floor to 
transfer his time to another of distinction and ability, who had not been heard upon 
the subjects under consideration, and finally, to cap the climax, carried a resolution 
proposing to bind the members of the body to sustain its action, although they were 
in open contumacy of a similar obligation imposed by the action of the grandest as- 
semblage ever convened in Virginia, and of which they were conspicuous members. 

Well, proceeding to act, our State ticket was withdrawn, our grand organization 
was thoroughly disorganized, and proud old Virginia graciously allowed the privilege, 
or I should rather say, reduced to the necessity, of choosing between two carpet- 
baggers; yes with 30,000 majority at least, upon a new registration, we by our own 
act, with our own consent, are degraded to such a choice. Nor was there the slightest 
necesssity for such a shame. Were concessions necessary we could easily have 
made them by modifying our platform and accepting the constitution, less the test- 
oath disfranchisement and county organization clauses. This would have strength- 
ened us with the blacks. Secured in their own suffrage, thousands would have re- 
fused to deny it to us. A mutual confidence would have sprung up, and the negroes, 
naturally aristocratic, would have looked up to their old masters and present em- 
ployers for protection and support, and down upon scalawags and carpet-baggers 
with loathing and contempt. With our platform modified and our State ticket elected, 
as it could easily have been, a frugal honest State government would have been cer- 
tain, while at the same time, we should have been protected against all damage from 
the remaining obnoxious provisions of the constitution. 

At length, however, the President's proclamation appears, and to our consterna- 
tion, without submitting the county organization clause to a separate vote. And here 
we are without a State ticket, which we could easily have elected, and which would 
have given us almost complete protection, compelled to accept or take a constitution 


with all its unbroken horrors and a Governor, it may be with a government a dis- 
grace to civilization, and an exemplar to those of Arkansas and Tennessee; or a con- 
stitution which, in its most favorable aspect, will be without one essential modifica- 
tion, and with a Governor who, however favorably spoken of, is a stranger, and not 
free from our suspicion and distrust. And whose dreadful work is this ? It is not 
that of the scalawag or the carpet-bagger or even of Congress, but of Virginians, 
bound to an organization they have scattered — of Virginians of talent and position — 
of Virginians under disabilities which they were anxious to have removed. And 
thereby hangs a tale : 

But och, mankind is unco' weak, and little to be trusted ; 

If self the wavering balance shake, its rarely right adjusted. 

But, it may be asked why this criticism, cni bono. The mischief is done, criticism 
cannot repair it. Now, sir, I am one of those who think that when one enters an or- 
ganization and assumes its obligations he should grapple them to his "soul with 
hooks of steel; " failing in this he should be brought up for public judgment. With- 
out this, organization would not have the strength of a straw — it would be a constant 
state of uneasiness and distrust. Without confidence, unity and strength, success 
would be the accident, and defeat the expectation. But the mischief is done, now let 
us consider how it can be repaired. 

It is part of true wisdom to accept the situation, whether it be created by our- 
selves or not. It is our palpable duty — nay, we have no right to refuse to perform it. 
We owe it to ourselves, our families, our posterity and our State. The third article 
of the constitution, provides for universal suffrage with sundry exceptions, as speci- 
fied in four separate clauses. By the fourth clause of this article, every person 
thought worthy of Federal or State, city, town or county office, and shall have actually 
held the same, however unimportant, is denied the right of suffrage through all time. 
The right of suffrage is the power of the State, and it is accorded by the third article 
to every negro male adult, pauper and carpet-bagger in the State, giving to these 
classes, with but little property and no fixed interest, the power to tax, at will, for the 
numerous and extravagant purposes of the constitution, the property of the State 
held by the native born, intelligent and educated classes thereof, or by those who in 
good faith, bought and settled among us with a purpose of incorporating themselves 
with our society. Without self-protection through the ballot box, industry and im- 
provement would cease, and a rapid emigration of our most worthy and valuable 
people would ensue. Having provided, in this way, for the exclusion of all those 
who have held office, the proposed constitution proceeds to exclude from office in the 
future all of our people who by education and intelligence are fitted for them. The 
test-oath as it is called, being the seventh section of the third article of the constitu- 
tion (with which the people of Virginia are familiar), was inserted for this purpose, 
and will effectually accomplish its object, so far as the present generation is con- 
cerned; and thus our State government, under our present trying and perplexed con- 
dition, demanding for itself the largest prudence and wisdom, will be placed in the 
hands of our negroes, wholly uneducated, without the slightest knowledge of public 
affairs; and it is no reflection or disparagement to say, utterly incompetent to their 
management. So monstrous are these propositions, so grossly outrageous of every 
right and duty, that General Schofield appeared in the convention, and in a public 
speech, protested against them. But that body, drunk with power, and madly bent 
upon riding our poor old Commonwealth to her destruction, offensively rejected his 
counsels. Congress, similarly impressed, left the offensive features of this constitu- 
tion to the President, and that high functionary, sharing in the common repugnance 
of all liberal and enlightened minds to these obnoxious provisions, ordered an elec- 
tion, and specifically ordered a separate vote upon them, that those they were de- 
signed to oppress might reject them. Even Governor Wells, yielding to the force of 
these authoritative opinions of the high functionaries, with whom he claims to be on 
terms of liberal affiliation, in a recently published letter takes ground against them. 


True, it is disclosed, that he does not desire his supporters to follow him, but that by 
it he hopes to divide the white vote, while through the leagues the negroes are 
notified that they are to vote for the constitution as a whole, and of course, against 
striking out the obnoxious provisions referred to. A despicable trick which should 
excite the indignation of every honorable man. Is it possible that there can be found 
in all Virginia any native born citizen, or anyone who has bona fide settled among us, 
so lost to the instincts of his race and so indifferent to the prosperity of the State, that 
they will not with heart and soul, rush to the polls and save our present generation 
from disfranchisement and utter ruin, and the State from the control and power of 
those utterly incompetent to manage her and those who have only come within her 
border for place and plunder? What, refuse to go to the polls — refuse to make every 
effort to take his neighbors with him, to vote down provisions condemned by all 
liberal and enlightened Radicals, and which, if once put upon us, will cover our fair 
land with ruin and desolation ? Never ! never ! I cannot think of it with patience. 
And I cannot, will not, believe that with the power in our hands we shall not have 
the intelligence and patriotism to use it for our own safety and the well-being of our 

Having secured the excision of the disfranchisement and test oath clauses, we 
can pause and take our breath; for then we know that the State will soon, if not at 
once, be under the control of her intelligent masses — that the other obnoxious pro- 
visions of the Constitution may be borne until we can be relieved from them by 
amendment, according to the twelfth article thereof, or otherwise. In*the meantime, 
it is of the greatest importance that we should carry the Legislature. Many of the 
obnoxious provisions of the proposed Constitution, including the county organization, 
article seven, will essentially depend, for their mischievous or innocuous character, 
upon the laws enacted for putting them into operation. Indeed, we cannot over- 
estimate its importance. That the Radicals of the convention fully appreciated it, 
is fully demonstrated by their shameful gerrymander, by which they have en- 
deavored to secure to themselves the Legislative power of the State, although a clear 
minority of the population thereof. It is, however, without doubt, within our power, 
if we exert it, to control the Legislature. And will we neglect or refuse to do it? It 
surely cannot be possible ! With the Legislature, corrupt and ignorant Judges can- 
not be put upon us; the vast system of mixed schools which are intended, with the 
expenditures, which must be the necessary consequence, will be prevented; and that 
huge scheme for an army of office-holders, and the plunder of the people in provid- 
ing salaries for them, known as the "County Organizations," may be deferred, or, 
at any rate, emasculated. 

Now, my dear sir, although it is my wont to believe that we can accomplish 
whatever may be thought right and proper, yet it is the part of common prudence to 
consider what we ought to do should we be disappointed. We may loose the Legis- 
lature — it would be a great calamity, full of untold evils which would severely op- 
press us all. What should we do to provide against the consequences of so sad an 
event. I see but one thing left us, and that is to elect the Walker ticket — I will not 
say our ticked, but I say the "Walker ticket; " for our ticket was buried — was buried 
with the gallant Withers, and the memory of those who brought it about should be 
cherished, for our reprobation, as long as life itself shall last. 

It is a deep humiliation for Virginians to have to choose one of two carpet-bag- 
gers for their Governor. And it is deeply aggravated when we remember that it has 
been brought about by those who were bound to prevent it — that in this regard we 
"have been wounded in the house of our friends." But so it is, there is no help for 
it — we are compelled to choose. Wells or Walker must be Governor. If both are 
bad, prudence says choose the one who will do the least evil, and patriotism urgently 
demands that we should give the preference to him, who, in his antecedents, general 
bearing, character and affiliations, gives the strongest assurance that he can appreci- 
ate the dignity of office to which he aspires, and that in his personal and official con- 


duct he will emulate the fame of his illustrious predecessors. Wells came to the 
State during the war — posted in Alexandria as provost, he did not, as I learn, make a 
favorable impression upon the people. Certainly he made no historic fame as a 
soldier. Returning from the army about the close of the war, or having been retired, 
I know not which, he commenced the practice of law in Alexandria. 

While thus engaged he was appointed, by military authority, Governor of Vir- 
ginia. Accepting the office he moved to Richmond, and at once compromised the 
dignity of his station and offended the sentiment of the State by practicing his pro- 
fession in said city, and when sufficiently induced, elsewhere. He became a candi- 
date for Governor under the reconstruction acts, and relied almost entirely upon the 
negroes for support. Charged with improperly possessing a private letter and prose- 
cuted therefor, he permits the United States Attorney to dismiss the proceedings, the 
testimony being absent, and then claims a triumph. He appears before the recon- 
struction committee and reviles and villifies the State. He opposes the removal of 
Congressional disabilities. Yielding to what seemed to be the policy for his situation, 
and especially the official opinions of the high functionaries with whom it seemed he 
was desirous of being considered on terms of intimate association, he published a 
letter taking grounds against the disfranchisement and test-oath clauses, and then, ac- 
cording to the testimony before us, suggesting to the central association that they 
could, through the leagues, notify the negroes privately that they must go for the 
Constitution intact. At least such seems to be the fact, and if so, instead of being 
elevated to the position to which he aspires, he can expect only the scorn and con- 
tempt of every honorable man. Nor is this all. He stands upon the same platform 
with a negro for Lieutenant-Governor, who, in the event of a vacancy in the guber- 
natorial office, would be Governor, and proclaims in the face of the world "we are 
well beloved cousins, all." 

We cannot look upon Wells other than an unscrupulous adventurer, supported 
by the most ignorant and depraved of our population, and bound, by his wretched 
associations if not by his instincts, to a policy which will humiliate, and degrade, and 
impoverish our State. No true-hearted Virginian, proud of his State, and cherishing 
his own self-respect, can vote for such a man. Walker is the other candidate, and 
enjoys the supreme advantage, it may be, of being but little known. We are told 
that he t&o came to the State upon the termination of the war with a well-filled carpet- 
bag; that he became a Republican candidate of the city of Norfolk, for something 
which I do not recollect, but was found too respectable for the constituency he 
desired to represent, and was defeated, and, for the same reason, failed in obtaining 
the Republican nomination for Governor at Petersburg; that while he is for the Con- 
stitution, which gives the negroes the right of suffrage and to hold office, he is for, 
and will vote accordingly, to strike therefrom the disfranchisement and test-oath 
clauses, which deny similar rights to the whites; and that, if elected, he will favor 
the policy of freeing the Constitution of these obnoxious measures incorporated 
therein by the unworthy factions which created it, and which will still remain. It is, 
moreover, represented that his character is spotless, his views liberal and enlight- 
ened, and his fortune, which is considerable, actually invested in the business and 
operations of his adopted State. If this be true, and I have no reason to doubt it, 
then the claims or merits of Wells and Walker are in striking contrast indeed, "as 
wide as the poles assunder." From Wells we have nothing to expect but injury and 
wrong. His character, his associates, his revenge — yes, I say revenge, for the uni- 
form repugnance with which he has ever been treated by our educated masses leaves 
no room to doubt that; and in the event of his election and the adoption of the Con- 
stitution unamended, we may expect to have the frightful scenes of Arkansas and 
Tennessee re-enacted here, and our beautiful State a perfect pandemonium upon 
earth. With Walker, however, our case is widely different. With good character, 
as I am bound to believe, and which, in itself, gives assurance of a desire for the 
good opinion of his fellow man — elected by our friends, and bound to look to them 


for support, and concurring with us, in the main, in the general policy to be pursued, 
I cannot see how we can doubt as to our choice, or think seriously of permitting the 
election of Wells by refusing to attend the polls. 

You can but notice, my old friend, that I have treated the questions I have dis- 
cussed as if the Constitution in a modified form would be adopted. Of this I have 
no doubt. It would not be by my vote, had I one to cast; but it will be carried by 
thousands. How vitally important is it then, to secure the rejection of the disfran- 
chisement and test-oath clauses. These clauses rejected, the State would soon be in 
the hands of our enlightened masses, even should we lose the Legislature and the 
Governor, the loss of which, however, would, in the meantime, inflict upon us an 
amount of annoyance and actual loss it would be difficult to estimate. But, should 
the obnoxious provisions referred to be voted out, as I have no doubt they will be, 
and we should carry the Legislature and Governor, as we can and must, and Congress 
should not give us further trouble, then we may soon see our State government re- 
lieved of all embarrassments, the busy hum of industry everywhere within our bor- 
ders, and our desert " smile and blossom as the rose." Then let us gird up our loins, 
and like the strong man go forth conquering and to conquer. Let us resolve as of 
the first importance to vote out the disfranchisement and test-oath clauses. Without this 
all is lost. As second in importance let us carry the Legislature, that we may be saved 
from ruinous Legislation. And third and last, let us defeat Wells and elect Walker, 
who, if he be as we hope will, armed with the veto power, be able to protect us 
from the hungry pack already in full cry for our destruction. The unparalleled 
effrontery of the clauses I have so often referred to, strikes down almost the whole 
of our present generation, by excluding them from the ballot box and from office, 
and thus throwing the whole power of the State into the hands of the minority of 
our population, alike mercenary, selfish and ignorant, and every man thus wronged 
and injured should go forth into the canvass as a missionary and for his own sake, 
and for that of his country, "cry aloud and spare not," until the day of election has 
passed and the battle shall have been won. 

I have thus, my old friend, given you my views of our duty in our present great 
emergency. In the course of my remarks I have freely criticised the movement 
which has brought us into our present peril. I am one of those who think that it is 
no unimportant public duty firmly to bring those to the bar of the public, who, bound 
to a great organization by every tie recognized in such associations, deliberately 
undertake to supercede it by ''a new movement," alike unnecessary and mis- 
chievous, and which, to this day, is without any sufficient explanation, and hold them 
responsible for the evil they have done. 

And now as the oldest of Virginia's living sons who has been honored with her 
high positions; as one who has mingled but little in our struggle since the war for 
liberty and independence; and as one who, through a long life, has ever performed 
his duties to his beloved State to the best of his ability, and in an earnest, zealous 
and patriotic spirit, I implore you as I would every friend I have within our broad 
limits, to go into the present frightful, fearful struggle in no hesitating, halting man- 
ner, but freely censuring where censure is due, resolutely perform our whole, entire 
duty; and so our good God will preserve us from impending ruin, and our noble 
State that high destiny which we have always believed was His will and Providence. 

I am, my dear sir, most truly yours, 

William Smith. 


Hon. William Smith : 

The undersigned members of the convention, having great regard for your 
opinions, and knowing that from your long experience in the administration of 
the government of Virginia as its chief magistrate upon two occasions, that 
your views will have great weight with the people of our State, do hereby re- 
quest that you will favor us with your views upon such reforms as will, in your 
opinion, tend to relieve us from the present oppressive taxation under which the 
people are now suffering, and, whatever in your opinion, the same can be effected 
by change in the organic law of the State. 

D. C. DeJarnette, F. McMullen, 

C. F. Suttle, H. W. Thomas, 

J. V. Brooke, C. E. Sinclair, 

J. H. Stringfellow. 

Warrenton, Va., September 18, 1871. 

To D. C. DeJarnette, C. F. Suttle, J. V. Brooke, F. McMullen, H. W. Thomas, C. E^ 

Sinclair and J. H. Stringfellow : 

Gentlemen — I am in receipt of your esteemed favor of the 1st, in which you are 
pleased to express great regard for my opinions, which, from long experience in pub- 
lic affairs, having been twice Governor of the State, would exert a large influence 
over the views and sentiments of our fellow-citizens; and requesting of me an expo- 
sition of such retrenchments and reforms as can be Constitutionally effected, and at 
the same time diminish that vast mass of taxation, which is crushing out the life and 
hope of our people. 

This, gentlemen, is a large field which you invite me to enter, entirely too com- 
prehensive for a canvass already upon us, and, therefore, after much and anxious 
consideration, I have concluded to confine my suggestions to the reform of the Legis- 
lature. The Legislature, in theory, is of the people, in sentiment and opinion, in 
poverty, in ability, to bear the burden of expensive government, sharing their wants 
and hardships, and in all things sympathizing with them. In this sense only, is the 
Legislature the real representative of the people, and entitled to the people's confi- 
dence. In any other, the Legislature is a tyrant, a plunderer, and should be held up 
for scorn and reprobation. In short, it is not the true, loyal representative of the 
people, except when earnestly endeavoring to promote their interests. If the Legislature 
should, through idleness and inattention, lengthen its session — if it should, regardless 
of economy, improvidently waste the public money — if it should be unwilling to 
sympathize with and share the hardships of the people — manifestly, it is not such a 
body as the people should countenance and retain in their service. Just out of a 
cruel war, in which all was lost but land and honor — stripped of a property chiefly 
relied upon for the payment of debts, at the time they were created — enveloped, by 
the tyranny of the Federal government in doubt and uncertainty as to that which the 
war had spared — denied the right of self-government, and at the same time saddled 
with a military and cruel despotism — borne to the earth with desolation, debt and 
taxes, an opportunity was at length afforded them to free themselves of the despotism 
which oppressed them. Nobly did they embrace it. And in the adoption of a Con- 
stitution, in many respects it is true, not as they would have had it, but freed of its 
proscriptive features, they saw, with infinite satisfaction, as was then supposed, relief 
from military government and a Constitution which could be amended as experience 
and wisdom taught to be necessary. The stake was great, the struggle fierce and 
their triumph thorough and complete. They manifested the strength of numbers and 
the wisdom by which they were managed, in the election of a Governor and Legisla- 
ture by large majorities. True, in the profound excitement of this great struggle, 
but little^heed was given to the material to constitute the General Assembly. It was 


enough that it was anti-radical, intus et in cute ; and in all other respects, it was, I 
have no doubt, confidently believed that the members coming directly from their 
constituents and thoroughly acquainted with their poverty and distress, would feel 
themselves bound by every consideration of patriotism and duty, to forbear the ex- 
penditure of every dollar which could be spared from the public service. How has 
■this natural and reasonable expenditure been vindicated? Let us see. I shall, as I 
have said, confine myself, in the consideration of reforms, to the Legislature. It is 
the great power in the State. Reforms there will assuredly produce reforms in every 
department of the public service. And there is a peculiar propriety in commencing 
at that point, those reforms so urgently demanded by the universal out -cry of our suf- 
fering people. Physician, heal thyself ! Let this be done— and who would dare 
resist that retrenchment and reform which the people must have and which the Legis- 
lature must sooner or later accord. 

When the last Assembly met it was composed of 181 members— 43 Senators and 138 
Delegates. Our entirejpopulation, according to our late census, is 1,224,948 souls, not 
quite 8,887 persons for each member. This body was more numerous than that prior 
to the war and prior to our dismemberment by the formation of the State of West 
Virginia. Why was so numerous a body necessary? It was, however, the number 
provided for in the Constitution, and that was the work of a Radical convention, 
manifestly gloating over the prospect of plundering the State, and aiming, doubtless, 
to provide the places for so doing. Did the late Legislature correct this great and 
grinding oppression ? Let us see. 

I have said that the Legislature provided for by Radical rule for our State as it is, 
is a more numerous body than that provided for by our Constitution for the State as 
it was. So much for our precedent. Now let me call attention to the three great 
commonwealths of our Union, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Ohio has a pop- 
ulation of about 2,600,0000— a Legislature, as well as I remember, of 149 members, 
with an average constituency for each member of 17,449 persons. Pennsylvania has 
a population of about 3,500,000— a Legislature of 133 members, and a constituency 
for each member of 26,575, or nearly that number. New York has a population of 
nearly 5,000,000, with a Legislature of 160 members, averaging a constituency of 
31,250. Now, if those populous and prosperous States can be successfully managed 
■by Legislatures greatly less in numbers than ours, why should not ours be reduced 
ito a number in proportion to that of Ohio, at least? Such a reduction would reduce 
our Legislature below 109 members— the number I propose, greatly improve that 
Ibody and diminish its expenses annually, over one hundred thousand dollars. Are 
mot these considerations of the highest import? Our Constitution accords, to the 
•most depraved and ignorant, the right of suffrage and eligibility to the same, some 
of whom have and will find their way into the Assembly. That I do not unjustly 
-designate the greal body of our new born fellow-citizens, you will readily admit. In- 
deed, I find in the recent Republican address to the people of Virginia, it is sub- 
stantially admitted, for in arraigning us for our intolerance, it says, "they then 
endeavor to make it impossible for intelligence and respectability to join the party of 
the Government, and then they effect to execrate the party, because it is composed 
only of the stranger, the humble colored man, and the adventurous native who dares 
•to defy the terrors of the home proscription." Again, the address charges us with 
refusing to vote upon the convention question: " Thus causing the convention to 
be composed of men, who, however honest in purpose, and loyal to principle, to the 
State, and to the Nation, had no experience in the important work devolved upon 
them," Is it not then the plainest duty, to free ourselves, as far as practicable and 
proper, of a material component of our Legislature, that is without "intelligence and 
respectability," and has "no experience in the important work devolved upon 
them?" Looking to this question as one of the gravest importance whether we 
regard it as seriously affecting the purity of the Legislature, or as bearing heavily 
and needlessly upon an impoverished people, I deem it important to look into the 



action of our late representatives and to enquire about their mode of disposing 
of it.. 

The 4th Section of the 5th Article of the Constitution reads as follows: "At the 
first session of the General Assembly, after the enumeration of the inhabitants of the 
State by the United States, a reapportionment of Senators and members of the House 
of Delegates, and every tenth year thereafter, shall be made." The General 
Assembly was thus enjoined to re-apportion the State, and if possessed of the census, 
had the clear and unquestioned right to make the re-apportionment so as to effect 
this great reform. But, although the Legislature recognized the duty and the power, 
it was not equal to the great occasion. It took up the subject and unmindful or re- 
gardless of the considerations I have feebly presented, it was content, on, most lame 
and impotent conclusion, to reduce its members from 181 to 176 members, so that 
the next Legislature will be still more numerous than that which existed prior to the 
war and prior to our dismemberment — more numerous than the great States of Ohio, 
Pennsylvania and New York, saddling us with over one hundred thousand dollars a 
year, without any corresponding equivalent that I have ever heard or been able to 
divine. And shall we quietly submit to this great grievance? Shall we continue to 
pay over $100,000 a year and feel and know that we do not derive the slightest 
advantage from so doing? It is a wise maxim of the common law, that every wrong 
has its remedy, and it is by common consent agreed, that when there is a will there 
is a way. Did the last Assembly rightfully exercise the power granted or rather im- 
posed as a duty, and, in so doing, exhaust it. Undeniably, it had no power to act 
until the Federal census had been taken and promulged. Recognizing this as the 
correct and proper rule, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, under a resolution of 
the General Assembly, asked the superintendent of the census for a statement there- 
of as far as Virginia was concerned. This statement was furnished under date 18th 
February, 1871, and upon that the Legislature acted. In the letter accompanying 
this statement, the superintendent explicitly states: "In furnishing these statements, 
however, I must say that this office is not, by so doing, concluded from making 
changes in the official publications of the census." Again: "Until it becomes 
necessary to furnish the certificates of population, for the purpose of re-distributing 
representation in Congress, these statements will be left open for correction and re- 
vision as occasion may appear." 

Are these statements not official, but open for correction, such as the Constitution 
contemplated as the guide in the important work of reapportioning the State? That 
mistakes are expected is clear — that they exist is undeniable, for my own village of 
Warrenton is set down at 446 souls, when every resident thereof must be fully satis- 
fied that our population is three times that number. But whether mistakes exist 
or not, it cannot be doubted that the Legislature could not legally proceed in the 
important work of reapportioning the State without having first procured an official 
statement of the census thereof. All, therefore, that was done by the last Legislature 
in this regard, is null and void; and the power in full force and vigor, enures to the 
Legislature we are soon to elect. Other views might be added, but I must not too far 
expand my reply. But, should any serious doubt be entertained about the reght of 
our next Legislature to re-apportion the State, there can be no doubt about its right 
to pass an amendment to the Constitution provided therefor. Let it then be done, and 
if necessary, done quickly. It will never do, annually to collect from our people $100,- 
000 to be paid over to those who, instead of giving us corresponding equivalent, are 
an unqualified and dangerous nuisance. 

In view, then, of this important reform, I would earnestly press upon our people 
that they instruct their Representatives to reduce their number to eighty-four Dele- 
gates and twenty-five Senators, the number recommended by the minority report of 
the committee of the convention, on the basis of representation and apportionment, 
making one hundred and nine members in all, nearly as large a body as that of 
Pennsylvania, with her millions of population and wealth; and to secure obedience 


to their will that they fully commit their candidates to the policy I have indicated. 
By reducing the number, the ignorant and corrupt element would be greatly 
diminished and the intelligent conservative element, in the wider range of selection 
afforded them, in all probability, greatly improved. Are these considerations of no 
importance? Is $ 100,000 a year taken from our taxes not worth an effort ? I have 
dwelt more upon this subject than might be thought fitting for a letter; but deem- 
ing it of the first importance in all its aspects, moral, social, political and econom- 
ical, and easily effected if the people will it, I feel almost unwilling to cease my 
efforts to stir them up to the necessary vigilance and effort. 

The next reform, I would earnestly commend, are those in connection with the 
pay and allowances of the members of the Legislature. Prior to the war, the whole 
theory was simply to re-imburse to members the sums necessarily expended by them 
in their comfortable and decent outfit and support. The per diem was allowed to pay 
board bills and other moderate personal expenses, and the mileage was allowed to re- 
imburse to members the sums actually expended by them in reaching the seat of 
government, and, after their duties have been performed, of returning to their homes. 
These allowances were liberally commuted for the convenience of members and the 
State; but the per diem, even in our flush and prosperous times, never exceeded four 
dollars a day, while the mileage allowed was twenty cents a mile when the members 
had to travel by private conveyances or the slow and lumbering mail coach. But 
when the war terminated, and our people, stripped of everything, had to scuffle for 
bread, it was to have been expected that the government placed over us would have 
taken into consideration the desolation of our lands and our stricken and impoverished 
condition. But not so. Without dwelling upon this subject, I will merely remark 
that the Pierpont government was put upon us by Federal power, and ridiculous and 
absurd as it was, we found ourselves constrained to accept the Legislature, the laws 
enacted by it, the Constitution and all, as the true genuine authority of Virginia. 
Pierpont was soon superceded by Wells, and a mixed civil and military government, 
which, in its turn, gave place to that organized upon the adoption of our present 
Constitution. The Legislature elected under and by virtue thereof, in fixing its pay 
or wages, as termed in the Act of Assembly passed April 20th, 1870, provided, " that 
the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates shall each 
receive the sum of ten dollars per day, and each of the other members of the General 
Assembly the sum of six dollars per day, for attendance upon the duties of their re- 
spective Houses." Yes, gentlemen, six dollars per day, fifty per cent, more than was 
ever paid to our members prior to the war, when all were men of "respectability 
and intelligence," and not as now, when a material portion of them are men "who 
had no experience in the important work devolved upon them," and who, outside of 
their Legislative functions, can't make a dollar a day, with an occasional exception 
perhaps, by their usual employments. And this great wrong upon the people was 
perpetrated by their representatives just from among them, intimately acquainted 
with their desolated fields, dilapidated houses and general destitution, and cannot be 
justified or excused. It is in vain for members to say that they cannot live on a 
smaller compensation — I know otherwise. Let members try respectable private board- 
ing, study and inform themselves and give diligent attention to their duties, and I'll 
answer for it that four dollars a day will be found not only sufficient, but leave a 
considerable surplus to spare. Of course six dollars a day will not suffice for lux- 
urious living and the usual appliances which attend it; for that demoralizing habit no 
State has ever undertaken to provide. New York pays her members but three 
dollars per day, and Ohio pays her members but four dollars per day; and yet they 
have small Legislatures and rich and prosperous communities. Why should we do 
more ? I ask for a reply. 

But one of the most inexcusable allowances made by the Legislature to itself, is 
that made by the Act of April 20, 1870, which provides that a member, when absent 
from his post with leave, " shall receive wages for every day " he may "be so absent" 


— "*'« the same manner as if he had sat in the House." The first section of the Act re- 
ferred to allows to each member "six dollars a day for attendance" upon the duties of 
his House and then allows him, if absent, with " leave of absence" the like sum. As 
this leave is rarely, if ever, refused, this allowance is a strong temptation to inatten- 
tion and neglect of duty. Do members wish to visit Washington, the marriage or 
funeral of a friend, with the railroad frank and the State to pay the expenses, the trip 
is taken; or should a member think his business at home requires his attention, with 
these advantages, he would not hesitate to take it. Nor is this all. During such 
absence the board bill and other personal expenses in Richmond would be stopped, 
and at home or with a friend, the member, without expenses and without the per- 
formance of any public service, would pocket the whole per diem. Now this may be 
a pleasant operation to the members, but I take it. that it is not what we, the people, 
bargained for or will submit to. "We had a striking illustration of the grossness of 
this allowance or perquisite rather, about two weeks before the adjournment of the 
Legislature. The Senator from Nelson offered a resolution granting him leave of 
absence for the balance of the session, with the relinquishment of his per diem, during 
such absence, and asked its adoption solely upon the ground of urgent private busi- 
ness at home. A Senator offered an amendment to strike from the resolution the 
clause relinquishing the per diem, and it was adopted, and thus amended it passed. 
1 understand the Senator did not accept the resolution as passed. Why, I do not 
know; but as far as I may infer, it was for a reason highly creditable. But why 
Senators should have refused the relinquishment of the per diem is so marvelous 
that I am compelled to infer that it was denied because it would have been a prece- 
dent to confront similar applications by Senators less scrupulous and wise than the 
Senator from Nelson. 

It is known that the Legislature elected at the same time with the adoption of the 
Constitution, assembled on the 5th of October, 1869, for the purpose of organizing 
the State government according to the act of Congress, and having done so, received 
their mileage and four days' pay and adjourned on the 8th, to re-assemble on the 18th 
of October for the purpose of electing United States Senators. Here was an interval 
of ten days, without service rendered and without leave of absence, a mere adjourn- 
ment to the time stated. Of course they, the members, could not draw pay for this 
interval, but I find the difficulty was promptly settled by the passage of the Act of 
February 19th, 1870, which directed the clerks of the two houses to issue their cer- 
tificates "for the per diem of the members and officers of the General Assembly, for 
the recess from the 8th day of October, 1869, to the 18th day of the same month." 
This act, without reference to a committee, and under a supervision of the rules, was 
put through with race-horse speed; and thus members divided out amongst themselves 
about $10,000 of the people's money. 

Again on the iSth of October, Legislature re-assembled and having elected Sena- 
tors and adopted the 14th and 15th Amendments, to please our masters, adjourned un- 
til Congress should approve the Constitution the people, by an overwhelming vote of 
both parties, had adopted. After great hesitation and delay, Congress was pleased 
to declare its approval of our Constitution, and the Legislature re-assembled on the 
8th of February, 1870, for the first time clothed with the full powers of such a body. 
You must not forget, gentlemen, that members at their 5th of October session had 
drawn their mileage from and to their homes — had on the 8th adjourned over to the 
18th of October, and on the 20th of the same month had adjourned over again and 
re-assembled as above stated. The Legislature soon took up the question of mileage 
to and from this session.. No law or established usage existed, to warrant the ac- 
counting officers to pay it; and legislation thus became necessary. The Legislature 
took it up, and after much hesitation called for the opinion of the Attorney-General, 
who finally gave it (oh, most lame and impotent conclusion !) in favor of the claim. 
Thus relieved of responsibility, as it was hoped and doubtless believed, the bill 
promptly passed the Senate without a division, was sent to the House and was there 


rejected, and then the vote rejecting it, was reconsidered and the bill passed by a 
vote of 70 ayes to 45 noes. And the Legislature full of doubt and hesitation, the cus- 
todians of our treasury divided among themselves another handsome sum, some nine 
thousand dollars of the people's money. The pretence of the Attorney-General for 
this allowance, to wit: " that having closed the business of the extra session, the 
members were necessarily compelled to travel to and from their homes to attend the 
regular session, and are entitled to mileage for the same, " really detracts from his 
high position. Will not this reason equally apply to the session commencing the 5th 
and ending the 8th of October, 1869, which met for the purpose of organizing the 
State government, and having completed its work, adjuurned. And if so, what be- 
comes of the recess of ten days, and for which members promptly helped themselves 
to $60 each ? But, the true enquiry is how did the Legislature regard its various ses- 
sions, as they occurred. The Legislature assembled on the 5th of October for the 
first time under the Constitution and organized. On the 8th it adjourned over to the 
18th, and on the 20th of October, 1869, having elected United States Senators and 
ratified the 14th and 15th Amendments, adjourned over to the second Tuesday after 
Congress shall have approved the Constitution, or to such day as Congress may 
designate, and thus uniformly treated it as one continuous session. At their first 
meeting they drew mileage and their per diem for four days; at their second, they 
drew for three days. Neither the ten days recess nor mileage, was, as far as I can 
learn, claimed or even thought of, and yet they had a right to draw for the recess, 
then if at all. It was only after Congress had approved our Constitution, and the 
Legislature had re-assembled on the 8th of February, 1870, clothed with full powers 
and with none to make them afraid, that they seem to have become aware of the 
claims I have been treating. If so, it is marvelous and well calculated to excite dis- 
trust and suspicion. 

The next reform I suggest is in the allowance for mileage to members. Origin- 
ally and in the early days of our State, and before the introduction of railroads and 
steamboats, traveling to the seat of government was slow, laborious and expensive. 
It was a matter of course, that the State should pay the expenses of traveling by those 
called into her service, and frugally support them while thus employed. Hence the 
mileage and per diem of which we hear so much. It was inconvenient to keep a de- 
tailed account of personal expenses, and hence on the part of the State, they were 
liberally commuted. As the State progressed with her improvements and traveling 
expenses declined, until they became a mere bagatelle, the allowance of four dollars 
for every twenty miles traveled, became enormous and ought long since to have 
been reduced. For instance, the traveling expenses from Warrenton to Richmond, 
by rail, a distance of about 130 miles, is about seven dollars, while that allowed a 
member is about twenty-six dollars, making an aggregate disbursed among the mem- 
bers of the Legislature of about $7,000, for which they do not render the slightest re- 
turn. Now shouldn't this be reformed? Should not an impoverished people stop 
this leak in their treasury ? But there is another and a higher view to be taken of 
this question. It is not a mere question of dollars and cents, interesting as it is to us 
in our straightened circumstances; but it is one directly antagonizing the indepen- 
dence of our representatives. It is a notorious fact that our railroads are free to 
members of our Legislature, and equally palpable that they are expected to pay by 
their votes for this exemption when bills come up before them in which those roads 
are interested. This will never do. The independence of the representative being 
impaired, endangers the prosperity and safety of the people: and every practice, 
whether it consists of free riding, free drinking, free eating, etc., or not, should be 
sternly repressed by the necessary legislation. And first in order, I would 
earnestly advise that the law allowing mileage be repealed and that members be 
allowed their real and reasonable expenses, upon account rendered, and verified by 
affidavit, in lieu thereof. Second, that members who shall receive any advantage 
or enjoyment from anyone interested in a bill before them shall be expelled. And 


third, that anyone directly or indirectly interested in such a bill who shall offer to a 
member such advantages or enjoyment shall upon conviction thereof, be sent to the 
Penitentiary. Such measures may be regarded as harsh by some, but the downward 
tendency of official morals is absolutely frightful, and all who love the State and her 
traditions and cherish the memory of the past as furnishing us a safe guide now and 
for the time to come, can but see in what is passing around us, that all which is dear 
to Virginians, and the Christian gentleman is lost, without the sternest measures of 

You will observe, gentlemen, that I have freely referred to the late Legislature. 
I beg to assure you and that body that I have not done so in personal unkindness; for 
I feel it not. But I have felt it to be my duty to speak of the body collectively, 
although, in so doing I would seem to censure some, who, I doubt not, would have 
gladly sustained the reforms I commend, and not a few I trust whom I may claim as 
my friends, and for whom I entertain regard and esteem. Nor do I make these dec- 
larations from apprehension of injuriously affecting my popularity in my beloved 
State; for I have long been in the habit, indeed, I do not recollect if it were ever 
otherwise, of speaking my mind with manly frankness, and of trusting to the truth 
and soundness of my utterances, and the good sense and intelligence of my fellow- 
citizens, for my vindication. But my great object has been to show the important 
reforms which ought to be made in the Legislature itself — how that body had failed 
in embracing the noble opportunity it had, of building up its reputation and promot- 
ing the best interests of the State, and how from the constitution of the body a differ- 
ent result could not have been expected and might not hereafter, unless the people 
took up these reforms and fully committed their representatives, before their elec- 
tion, to carry them out by the necessary legislation. 

I have said that the Legislature, as at present constituted, is not likely to reform 
itself, although clearly demanded by the best interests of the people. A few words 
of explanation will make this manifest. About one-third of the last Legislature was 
of the Radical party. This party in Virginia, the recent Republican address substan- 
tially admits is without "intelligence and respectability," and distinctly avers that 
" most of its members are humble laborers who have little interest in the subject of 
taxation, having to their sorrow small property to be taxed." Of course, such a con- 
stituency has and will select representatives like unto themselves, in sympathy and 
condition; and the same address, speaking by authority, distinctly avers that the 
representatives of the Republican party in the late convention " had no experience 
in the important work devolved upon them. Nay, so far is this view carried in the 
paper referred to, that it proclaims that, "They do not feel that it is for them to lead 
in devising ways and means for preserving the State credit, etc, " and that "when 
the party representing the wealth of the State, brings forward measures of State 
finance, the Republicans will, under proper protest, aid them in carrying them out, 
etc." Again, it says: "But though in this spirit, they may support unwise and un- 
just measures, still they will hold the majority party responsible for faults, etc." 
Now here is a most important element in our Legislature, admitted by itself to be 
out of place, " humble laborers," and without "experience in the important work 
devolved upon them," and who, poor ignorant fellows, and because they arc such, 
claim that they, even when they " support unwise and unjust measures " are not only 
irresponsible therefor, but have a right themselves to call " the majority party " to 
account for them. t Can it be expected that such a party — drawing, while dressed in 
a little brief authority, six dollars a day, will consent to reduce that amount, or will 
favor short sessions, when by so doing they hurry their return to their ordinary em- 
ployments which do not, I suppose, pay more than fifty cents to a dollar a day and 
rough fare? It would be simply absurd to expect it. Another portion of our Legis- 
lature is apt to be composed of worthy, excellent young men, without experience or 
business habits, who go to Richmond with the best intentions, but who soon become 
wedded to the fascinations of city life. Will they willingly see their pay and allow- 


ances, insufficient, doubtless, to pay the expenses of their gay career, reduced, or 
hasten the sessions to a close to return to the plain and homely habits, it may be, in 
which they have been reared, and which it may be feared, too many soon learn to 
despise ? Not they. Again, we have some, of broken fortunes, accustomed to a life 
of ease and luxury, who anxiously look about for the means of escaping the hardships 
and self-denial of humble life. Such men seek the Legislature in the spirit I sug- 
gested, and if elected will in heart at any rate, bitterly oppose short sessions and all 
reduction in their pay and emoluments. Again, there are those who go to the Legis- 
lature for what they can honestly make out of the position. Their morals and habits 
are fixed and defy the temptations of a luxurious city. They save every dollar be- 
yond what is necessary for decent and respectable living, and take home such sav- 
ings to build up their private fortunes. This is all right and proper, and such mem- 
bers are worthy and valuable citizens, and I do them no injustice when I infer that 
they too would not be zealously anxious for reduced pay and short sessions. There 
is yet another class, which with those specified comprise the component parts of our 
General Assembly. It is composed of men, who, like angels visits, are few and far 
between. They study the true interests of their constituents and earnestly endeavor 
to foster and promote them — they resist the creation of offices not of indispensable 
necessity, and when formed struggle to attach salaries to them, so moderate in 
amount as not to excite the cupidity of the mercenary — they push forward the business 
of the sessions with activity and industry. Spotless in character and lofty in bearing, 
corruption dares not approach them, and entering into the philosophy of their rela- 
tion to the people, they ask no allowance for themselves beyond what is necessary 
to a moderate and frugal support and the approbation of those who have trusted 
them. It is thus manifest, that we, the people, must rely mainly upon jourselves for 
those reforms of the Legislature which our interests require — that our candidates 
should be committed to carry them out before their^nomination — and that when this 
has been neglected, that they should be promptly instructed as to our wishes. 

To sum up — I would earnestly recommend: 

1st. That the Legislature be largely diminished. 

2d. That a Legislature of 109 members — 25 Senators and 84 Delegates — is suffi- 
ciently numerous for all useful purposes. 

3d. That the per diem now allowed should be reduced to $4 a day. 

4th. That members should only be paid for their actual attendance upon their re- 
spective houses, except when absent therefrom by sickness at the seat of govern- 
ment; and that the Act of April, 1870, allowing members their per diem if absent 
with leave, even if absent on their private business or pleasure — should be repealed. 

5th. That mileage, as such, should no longer be allowed, but that the traveling 
expenses of the member, upon an account stated and verified by affidavit, should be 
in place thereof. 

6th. That all attempts, by anyone interested in a bill before either house of As- 
sembly, to influence any member thereof be severely punished. And that any mem- 
ber accepting such advantage shall be expelled. 

It will be observed, gentlemen, that in the reforms I propose, I have confined 
myself wholely to the General Assembly. You are not however to consider that I do 
not regard other reforms as necessary and important, far from it. But it must not 
be forgot that when the Constitution was voted upon, it was obnoxious to us in many 
essential features. But the Canby & Wells Government, under which we then lived, 
was so repugnant to our feelings, and was so surely and insidiously underminding 
the virtue and independence of our people, that it was thought best to adopt the Con- 
stitution, with the disabling clauses voted out, especially as we would have the power 
to reform it, " at a more convenient season for calm and dispassionate enquiry." 
But, that time is not yet, and for reasons so obvious to your intelligent minds that I 
need not take time or space to express them. But the reform of the Legislature is 
the grand work. As the embodiment of the real power of the State, there is a 


peculiar propriety in beginning there. Important results can be promptly reached. 
In thirty days the laws can be passed which will reduce the annual expenses of that 
body from $220,000 to $75,000. What a noble Christmas offering it would be for our 
representatives to tender such a glorious consummation to their tax-ridden con- 
stituency ! They can do it and they should do it. Will they be equal to this impor- 
tant duty ? 

It will no doubt, be thought that I have freely criticised the late Legislature, but 
if so, I have confined myself strictly to measures affecting itself. It is true every re- 
form I have proposed, it could and ought to have made. It could have reduced its 
own numbers — its own pay — refused pay except for service rendered — repealed the 
law of mileage, reimbursing to members, actual disbursements only in lieu thereof — 
and passed laws punishing all persons who would offer any advantages to members 
with bills before them; and to expel members who accepted them. But they were 
not equal to these reforms and did nothing. And now the people in view of the past, 
must commit their candidates to these measurers at the time of their nomination or 
if this has been neglected, they must instruct them. Unless this is done the next 
Legislature will do as the last, nothing, nothing whatever. 

But, gentlemen, while I thus complain of the last Legislature, I would by no 
means have one of the Conservatives, however censurable, displaced by a Radical; 
for the Radicals, as a body, opposed every reform I am endeavoring to have made. 
The journals of the two Houses show this. And can it be expected to be otherwise ? 
Without character — with but little property, it can scarcely be expected that they will 
consent to reduce their pay and emoluments. Besides, they are the party of plunder 
■everywhere. Here they have never had a chance to indulge their proclivity to any 
great extent. They gave us our present expensive Constitution with its crowd of 
officers, and had they been able to retain the proscriptive clauses of their Constitution 
■they would have had a majority, and then our fate would have been like that of 
Tennessee, Louisana, etc. As it was, they voted themselves eight dollars per day 
while thus engaged, and have opposed all reduction in the public charge and expend- 
iture. 1 say all, uniformly, systematically and upon principle. Our Constitution 
made by them, authorized contracts for interest as high as twelve per cent, per annum 
and they voted for the bill regulating it. They passed the funding bill, for without 
their vote, which was unanimous in the House, it would have been defeated there, a 
majority of the Conservatives voting against it, the vote being seventy-eight for and 
forty-two against the bill and the Radicals casting forty votes, their entire strength, 
•of the seventy-eight. Their celebrated Homestead clause of the Constitution, has 
six exceptions, covering so many of the daily transactions of men as to be of little 
value, and the law enacted to carry it out, for which they voted, still further impairs 
its presued policy. And in the same article, the eleventh, containing the Home- 
stead provision, the fourth section provides that " the General Assembly is hereby 
prohibited from passing any law staying the collection of debts, commonly known as 
stay laws." In Article 1st, section 10, of the Federal Constitution it is expressly pro- 
vided that " no State shall pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto law, or law impair- 
ing the obligation of contracts." And which provision, in words even, is transferred 
to our Constitution, the work of Radical hands, and is to be found in the fourteenth 
section of the fifth Article thereof. There is scarcely one man in ten who owns 
$2,500 worth of property, and if the Homestead provision was designed to protect it 
against the claims of outstanding creditors, will it not clearly impair "the obligation 
■of contracts? " These wretched tricksters and miserable demagogues well knew that 
it did so, and that whenever the question was raised in the State or Federal Courts, the 
Homestead clause, so far as prior obligations were obstructed, would be declared null 
and void. I am in favor of a real Homestead, subject to none of the exceptions 
specified in the Constitution except that which makes it liable for "taxes, levies or 
assessments." I want it as a permanent home for wife and children, in which the 
wife can be contented and happy, with none to make her afraid, and in which she 


can train her children to walk in the paths of virtue and piety, a comfort to her, 
valued citizens, and " humble followers of Him who died that all might live." And 
as a public policy I deem it, eminently wise and proper. But the Radical scheme of 
the Homestead is "a deception and a snare," and was manifestly so intended. They 
complain that we are not carrying out the school system, to which, as they allege, we 
are opposed; and that its execution ought to be entrusted to them, who are its friends. 
And yet we have passed the necessary school law, organized under it, opened public 
schools all over the State and raised $500,000 to defray its expenses. True, we have 
not commenced big school houses, as they would have done if they had had the 
power. But in the name and for the destitute children of the country they would 
have let out fat jobs to pets and favorites, under color of which they would have 
done here as everywhere else, plundered the people. Again, they complain of our 
electing partisan judges. Now, look at Underwood — look at Rives — look at Bond — 
look at the whole class of Federal and State appointments when the Radicals were in 
power, all bitterly partisan, all hungry cormorants, all howling hyenas, utterly in- 
capable of being gorged by any variety or abundance of plunder. But the County 
Judges at least, must be " learned in the law of the State." Where shall we find such 
in the Radical party ? The idea is simply absurd. And the only alternative was for 
the Conservatives of the Legislature to choose those as judges who were most accept- 
able to them, or by allowing free fights among ourselves, permit the Radicals to 
choose the Conservatives most acceptable to them. Of course, with the invariable 
practice of the Radical party before them, our Conservatives of the Legislature did 
not hesitate to choose our County Judges from among their friends; not as partisans 
however, but as men of spotless character and unblemished reputation and fully 
within the requirements of the Constitution; men who stand proudly before the people 
of Virginia and challenge all persons to show that any prisioner was ever denied, in 
any of her courts, a full, fair and impartial trial. 

I have said that the Radical party is the party of plunder, everywhere. I repeat 
it. The States south of us have been plundered to an extent unknown in the history 
of mankind. I have not time to go into detail upon this subject, and it can hardly be 
necessary, for the fact is notorious; but I will give certain tables of aggregate re- 
sults, the general accuracy of which, I am assured by the Washington Patriot, may 
be relied on — indeed, they are, to a great extent, official. The indebtedness and 
liabilities of the subjoined States before the war, to wit, in 1860-61, will be seen in 
the first column and that of 1871 in the second column: 

Louisana $10,099,074 $76,473,091 

Georgia 3,170,750 50,137,500 

Tennessee 20,115,666 45,688,263 

North Carolina 14,575,375 30,215,915 

South Carolina 5,000,000 17,500,000 

Alabama 5,000,000 17,258,010 

Texas, debt for railroads 12,000,000 

Arkansas 3,000,000 13,500,000 

Mississippi, debt reported 1,800,000 

Florida, lowest estimate 6,000,000 

$60,768,451 $270,572,779 

I have no full, official returns from Texas or Mississippi, but the taxes in both 
are enormous, greatly beyond our experience. In Texas, before the war, the tax 
was ten cents on the hundred dollars — it is now two dollars and twenty-five cents — 
the taxes of 1871 are $5,890,000 " or ten times the amount ever levied before re-con- 
struction." To the following from the Patriot of 22d September, I invite attention. 

"The following table just prepared at the Census office exhibits the comparative 


value of property in eight States for i860 and 1870, respectively, and for reference 
in the county taxes for those two periods: 

States. Assessed Valuation. County. Taxation. 

1870. 1S60.* 1870. i860. 

Alabama $153,234,652 $432,198,762 (c) $309,474 

Arkansas 92,399,897 $180,211,330 $1,738,760 285,773 

Florida 29,700,022 68,929,685 165,851 74-4 2 5 

Georgia 226,119,519 618,232,387 901,600 283,365 

Louisana 243,870,274 435,787,265 4,109.999 440,238 

Mississippi 177,278,888 509,472,912 2,170,993 384,908 

North Carolina 127,613,954 292,297,602 923,604 255,417 

South Carolina 174,409,491 489,319,128 575>°°5 59-5° 6 

It is thus seen, that while the aggregate value of taxable property is reduced 
more than one-half, the county taxation alone has been increased four, five and even 
ten-fold beyond any experience before re-construction If this system of extortion 
and robbery had been imposed upon a people ordinarily prosperous, it might 
possibly have been endured. But it was applied to a population exhausted by the 
privations of four years of unequal strife, suddenly deprived of their accustomed 
labor, and utterly destitute of any resource but their own hands to recommence the 
battle of life. The history of the civilized world presents no such spectacle of tyranny 
and spoliation combined, or of tranquil submission to such monstrous wrongs on the 
part of a spirited people, educated in the ideas of personal and public liberty." 

See what a terrible category awaited us, but from which we happily escaped by 
maintaining ourselves in the great struggle of 1869, is which we routed the cohorts of 
Radicalism, horse, foot and dragoon. It was a glorious achievement of which we 
were justly proud. 

But time and tide wait for no man, and the biennial election, provided for in our 
Constitution, is upon us. Our former adversaries, although defeated, are again rally- 
in^ to renew the contest, and the highest obligations of patriotism and duty demand 
of us unity, thorough organization, and the firm resolve, as the only sure and certain 
means of retaining in our onw hands, by which we can hope to retain the control of the 
State, and to protect her from the plunder and misrule of Radicalism. It is amazing 
that our former slaves, now our fellow-citizens, with whom we are in daily and inti- 
mate association as our laborers, who look to us, not only for employment, but for 
advice, kindness and assistance in their troubles, should band together and under 
such leaders as Wells and Underwood, and Piatt and Porter and Stowell, aliens 
to the State, and, until recently, strangers; such renegades as Rives and Wick- 
ham and others, all of whom show their disinterestedness and patriotism by 
clutching places and plunder, should attempt to wrest from us " to the manner born " 
the government and management of our State. But it is so; and shall we, with the 
power to prevent it, permit it? In union there is strength and victory; in division 
weakness and defeat — shall this important axiom be disregarded? Shall young am- 
bition, in its impatient eagerness, be allowed to rend asunder our firm array and 
deliver us over to our enemy; and such an enemy! everywhere, when they have 
the power, plunderers and robbers, and, only not so, here, for want of power. Nay, 
this universal proclivity is not without its illustrations here. Look at the Federal 
appointments in our midst and we see, I believe I may say invariably, large wealth 
suddenly accumulated — does not thereby hang a tale ! We complain of our taxes, 
and rightfully, because they are more than we ought to have been called upon to pay 
under sound and judicious reforms. But let us make them ourselves; for God's sake 
don't call in those to diminish our taxes, who, in the ten States where they have the 
power, have foully robbed and almost devoured them. Our victory in 1869 saved us 

* Including value of slaves. 


from a like disastrous fate, our defeat now, would bring us into line and inaugurate 
the plunderer and robber. Our taxes, now so enormous and paid with a sense of 
weariness and distress, would be remembered as the sunny spot in the past, while 
the magnitude of the taxes and assessments levied upon us by our new masters, 
would wring from us such a wail of sorrow and distress and excite in us such a pro- 
found feeling of desperation as to drive us, as it is charged some of our Southern 
sisters have dune, into combinations for our protection and for vengeance upon our 
oppressors. But such need not be our fate. It is fully in our power to avert it. We 
have a heavy majority in the State, let us not fritter it away by our dissensions, and 
thus become the prey of the spoiler. Let us organize everywhere — nowhere can it 
be neglected without danger. Let us reform the Legislature as I have suggested — 
we can do that now, if we are wise and firm. Other reforms are necessary, but those 
of the Legislature will be glory enough for one day. It must not be forgotten, that 
Rome was not built in a day, and that by undertaking too many reforms, we may 
lose all. We must reform the Constitution too, it was so understood at its adoption; 
but not now, the time has not come. The Radicals made the Constitution, the Con- 
servatives must reform it. 

And now, gentlemen, I must bring this letter to a close — prepared amid constant 
interruptions, it must necessarily abound in imperfections, and I am also ready to 
admit its great prolixity; yet, the subjects I have touched are far from being exhaust- 
ed; but if I shall impart information or arouse to wise and vigorous performance of 
duty any who may honor it with a perusal, I shall be amply requited^for the labor it 
has cost me. Pardon me, gentlemen, for concluding with the admirable rule laid 
down by a Romish Father as a guide for his Christian brethren, and to which I think 
I may most appropriately call the attention of our Conservative brethren of every 
hue as furnishing an unerring guidance for them in their severe and trying struggles, 
for their rights, their liberties and the Constitution. 

He says, (I quote from memory): "In non-essentials let there be liberty, in 
essentials unity; in all things, charity." 

I have the honor, gentlemen, to be, with great consideration, very truly yours. 

William Smith. 






We think it not inappropriate to insert some extracts from 
a speech delivered in the Congress of the United States by 
Hon. Wm. Smith, in 1842, on a subject then, as well as at the 
present time, engrossing the public mind and engaging the 
earnest attention of the American and English statesman. 

It bristles with the effective logic of facts and figures, and 
is now, as ever, deeply interwoven with the private fortunes 
of the people. The whole speech is as fresh as when de- 
livered, and will well repay persual and study. 


For my views, gentlemen, upon the tariff, allow me to ask your consider- 
ation — not for myself, but for the grave importance of the subject. It is 
thoroughly interwoven with your private fortunes, and is deeply interesting to 
the whole country 

In the general accuracy of my statistics, you may safely confide. Of the 
truth of my principles, and the soundness of my conclusions, you are fully 
competent to judge. But I will remark that, in the course of my reasoning, 
I have always preferred the cool demonstrations of ascertaining results to the 
attractive theories of speculative philosophy. 

I am, gentlemen, your friend and fellow-citizen, 

William Smith. 
Washington, August 20, 1842 



Mr. Chairman — The question under consideration is one of the highest import- 
ance. Its object is two-fold: First. To raise revenue for the support of the govern- 
ment. Second. To protect manufactures. The first object is a legitimate and in- 
dispensable duty. The second object is unwise, inexpedient and destructive of the 
true interests of the country. 

There are four modes of raising revenue. 

First. By internal taxes. This mode has prevailed, to some extent, for about 
twenty years of the last fifty of our Federal existence. It is recommended: First. 
Because it taxes the property, and not the consumption of the country. Second. Be- 
cause it is an honest tax, levying directly upon the people the sum necessary for the 
support of government; and thus, in an effective way, keeping the people informed oi 
the millions collected from them for taxes. Third. Because, flowing directly from the 
pockets of the people, they will exercise greater vigilance over both charge and 
expenditure, secure stricter economy and responsibility, and thus arrest, to a con- 
siderable extent, the progress of corruption. Fourth. Because it will subject our 
collecting officers to fewer corrupt temptations. Fifth. Because it in no respect 
leads to the corruption of the public morals. Sixth. Because it is less liable to defal- 
cations, and, when they occur, to loss of the public money. Seventh. Because by it 
our revenue will be more cheaply collected. * Eighth. Because it places, as near as 
can be, the burden of government on the whole people, and upon each person in 
proportion to his property. Ninth. Because it gives to our domestic industry its 
widest scope and span; the markets of the world and the friendship of all nations; 
secures the largest amount of exchangeable values, and the most rapid accumulation 
of wealth. Tenth. Because it brings into premature existence no branch of industry. 
Eleventh. Because it leaves every man to that occupation or pursuit, to which his 
own taste or judgment may incline him; relieves the country from one source of 
agitation and excitement, and thus tends to strengthen and consolidate our free insti- 
tutions. For these and other reasons, which time will not allow me to enumerate, I, 
speaking only for myself, under a due sense of my responsibility, declare my decided 
preference for direct over indirect, internal over external taxes. 

Secondly. By imposing duties upon foreign goods, the like whereof is not made 
or grown in this country. 

Thirdly. By imposing equal, uniform duties upon all imports. This is the 
principle of the compromise act. 

Fourthly. By imposing duties mainly upon such imports only as come in con- 
flict with our factory system. Thus using a great and essential power of the con- 
stitution for the purpose of disturbing the industry of the country; pampering one 
interest at the expense of all the rest; exciting the hostility of foreign powers", and 
breaking up that equality of right, without which the Union cannot be preserved. 

This is protection, and this the character of the bill now under consideration. 

I am aware, Mr. Chairman, that protection, as such, is not generally contended 
for. It is revenue only which gentlemen profess to desire. If this were so. why was 
reference made at all to the Committee on Manufactures? Why not have referred, at 
once, the whole subject of duties to the Committee of Ways and Means, the appropri- 
ate committee, as its very name implies? The truth is, protection is the great 
object, and revenue the incident merely; inverting the legitimate powers of this 
government, and making it the instrument of wrong and oppression, and not of pros- 
perity and freedom. 

Of all the nations which ever joined in the march of time, this republic possesses, 
in a pre-eminent degree, the elements of real greatness. Blessed with a constitution 
formed by a rare union of the purest patriotism and the most enlightened wisdom — ■ 
with a population that mingles benevolence with enterprise, and morality with desire 
for gain — that possesses an industry that never tires, and an enterprise that fearlessly 
encounters every peril — a courage that dares to meet a foe, and a magnanimity that 
readily forgives him — with a country fertile as the Nile, and embracing the capacities 
of almost every clime — our young energies untrammeled, and our substance yet our 
own — nothing is wanting to enable us to realize the dreams of Utopian philosophy, 
but to let our industrial pursuits alone. But this, I fear, is not to be permitted. The 
high prerogative of freedom — to buy as cheap as we can, and sell as dear as we can 
— is not to be allowed. The doctrine that the selfishness of man is the safest coun- 
sellor in the selection of his occupation or pursuit, is to be exploded. And govern- 
ment, wiser and shrewder than individual man, is to prescribe and regulate the 
different branches of our industry. 

* I have a statement now before me, made at the Treasury, which shows that our net revenue ft 
toms, from 1830 to 1810, both inclusive, was 8210,707,992, and that the expense of collecting it was ?15,160,148, 
which is over seven and one-half per cent.; a per cent, greater than attends the collection of direct las 

is well known. 


This outrage upon the intelligence of the age is vindicated, however, upon a 
Variety of reasons, which I will now proceed to consider. 

First Reason for protection — That it will Create a Home Market for our 

The value of a home market, created by legislature, may be more than ques- 
tioned — it may be denied. It depends upon the mutable opinions of men. The 
policy of to-day may be abandoned to-morrow. A home market, which springs into 
being under the operation of natural causes, cannot be too highly appreciated. It is 
but little subject to changes is steady as the wants of man — and may be safely 
counted on in the operations of labor and capital. 

But any market created by law is a dear one. This truth is established by law itself. 
You create a home market, by refusing to our people the privilege of buying in the 
cheapest market, and compelling them to buy what they need at higher prices, of a 
portion of our people, who, in consequence thereof, have been induced to engage in 
manufacturing industry. Without duties, we will suppose we can get from the 
foreign manufacturer one hundred yards of cotton cloth for a barrel of flour. But 
our own manufacturers, under a specious idea of a home market, prevail upon us to 
impose upon the foreign article a duty of twenty per cent.; in consequence whereof, 
we get from our manufacturer only eighty yards of cloth for a barrel of Hour. The 
object is attained; we have a home market— but is it not a dear one ? 

From the adoption of our present constitution, up to the late war, our manu- 
facturers were aided by the imposition of light duties. From the war, up to the 
present time, they have been aided with high duties, amounting, in many respects, 
to actual prohibition. Let us see the sort of home market the manufacturers have 
given us: 

American prices in boston, in the years: 

1S16 1S24 1828 1832 

Flour S7 37 $6 62 $552 I5 62 

Corn 1 00 48 55 62 

Pork 22 00 12 00 13 00 13 00 

Cotton 30 16 11 11 

Tobacco 20 00 10 00 6 40 5 50 

I have selected the periods of the former high tariffs, running through a period 
of sixteen years: and I ask if the policy which creates a home market gives for our 
principal articles any increase of price? I will now ask attention to tour periods, 
embracing a space of about fifteen years preceding the late war, and during the preva- 
lence of low duties. 

American prices in Boston, in the years: 

1795 I ^°° '805 1S10 

Flour $12 00 $10 00 $13 00 $S 25 

Com 1 00 75 1 25 1 15 

Pork per bbl 18 00 17 00 16 50 19 00 

Cotton 3,^ 36 25 16 

Tobacco 687 500 Sob 800 

This contrast of prices between the periods of free trade nearly, and that of high 
and oppressive duties, affords a most instructive lesson. In the one period, we see 
our products finding a market at good prices, to be exchanged for the cheap pro- 
ducts of other climes. 

But during the latter period, we see our products falling in value; and the articles 
for which they were exchanged coming to us enhanced in price, by reason of the 
duties imposed upon them; still further, in fact, reducing the real value of our pro- 
ducts. Am I not, then, right in maintaining that any home market, created by law, 
is a dear one? 

The fact is. the creation of a home market, otherwise than by the great prin- 
ciples of political economy, is seriously destructive of national wealth. It not only 
impairs the exchangeable value of all our great products, by enhancing the articles 
for which they are bartered; but the nations of the earth are placed in a state of 
hostility to them, by the policy 1 am now considering. 

The English would be glad to place bar iron in our seaports at two cents a pound. 
Vet, under the policy which goes for a home market, we are compelled to pay for the 
same artiele from three and one-half to five cents a pound. I might run out my 
illustrations of this great subject in many ways; but time will not permit. Suffice it 
to saw that I trust enough has been said to show that a home market, such an one as 
legislation gives us, is a dear one. 

But it is utterly impossible for any tariff', looking to revenue at all— ay, if raised 
to prohibition — to give us a home market. Upon examination of the census table, it 


appears that the number of persons engaged in " manufactures and trades" is 791,- 
749. (See Census Compendium, by Allen, page 103; by P.lair and Rives, page 99.) 
This number includes every description of mechanic, white or black, slave or free. 
By the subjoined statement, taken from the Compendium, page 358, it will be found 
that the number there stated as engaged in mining and manufacturing is only 473,288. 
Deduct from this number those engaged in machinery, granite, marble, bricks, lime, 
printing and binding, musical instruments, carriages and wagons, mills and houses, 
{none of which subjects are imported, and which would exist, many of them, in a 
greater degree than now, if we had free trade,) and the number sinks to 265,032 only. 
This number might fairly be reduced considerably — as tobacco, for instance; the 
manufacture whereof is entirely unaffected by a tariff. But take the number 265,- 
032 with such wives and children as they have; and what a poor prospect do they 
present of a home market for the surplus products of our 3,719,951 hardy tillers of 
the soil ! Why, sir, the idea is ridiculous — supremely absurd. My colleague [Mr. 
Stuart] gave us a very graphic picture of the productions of his district. As a 
Virginian, I rejoiced with him, and said, there is a single district in the Old Dominion 
able to feed every factory hand in the Union — a district that will hardly thank her 
representative for increasing, by his vote, the price of the articles for which she has 
to exchange her productions. 

The truth is, a home market is a wild and visionary conceit. Our productions 
must, for many generations of men, exceed our consumption. Our surplus must 
find a market at home or abroad. At home, legislation may compel it to the extent 
of our own consumption; but no further, Abroad, we can find no general market 
for our own manufactures, until we can give them the essential element of cheapness. 
This we can never do, until our operatives are willing to work for a bare subsistence, 
as is now the case in the workshops of Europe. And this, thank God ! they will 
never submit to, until our wild lands are all taken up and made "to smile and 
blossom as the rose." A home market, adequate to the consumption of our surplus, 
is then impracticable. Abroad we must seek and find one, or the most frightful 
calamities must overtake all the producing classes. 

It is, however, insisted that our legislation has not been such as to give us a home 
market. In answer to this, I ask attention to our production and importation of four 
great articles of consumption. 

Bushels of wheat $84,823,272 

Bushels of rye 18,531,875 

Corn 377.531.875 

Oats 123,071,341 

Had the vast amount of surplus products been without a foreign, and re- 
stricted to a home market, ruin would have swept over the land. It is actually fright- 
ful to think of it. And yet, gentlemen gravely urge that sufficient protection would 
give us a home market for our surplus. What folly ! Do they, who urge the argu- 
ment, believe in the soundness of its conclusion ? Credat Judceus, non ego. 

Second Reason for Protection — That it will Prevent the Flow of Specie 
from this Country. 

This reason is much used, and with great effect among the unreflecting. But it 
is not true in fact or theory. It has been our fortune, sir, to listen to many disserta- 
tions, both of eulogy and censure, upon the high tariff policy of England. Yet her 
banks, for about twenty-five years preceding (I think) 1823, were unable to maintain 
specie payments. And even within the few past years, the Bank of England has 
frequently stood upon the brink of bankruptcy, and has only saved herself "by deep- 
ening the sufferings of that kingdom, by the frightful agonies of frequent and severe 
contractions. Sir, the flow of specie is regulated by great causes, which disregard 
all human legislation. Those who undertake to control its gentle yet irrepressible 
currents, would feel as though rebuked for their foolishness, if they would but look 
upon the lights of science and study the lessons of experience, as were the courtiers 
of Canute for their fulsome adulation, when he took his seat upon the sea shore and 
said, in imperial tone, to ocean's approaching wave, " thus far shalt thou go and no 
farther." But the murmuring tide, heedless of his command, rolled on in its mighty 
and inscrutible destiny; and will roll on, until time shall be no more. And such is 
the destiny of money — ceaselessly, yet unseen, it regulates the relations of industry, 
adjusts the indebtedness of nations, and rolls on, until time shall be no more. And 
is this to be regretted? The flow of specie is ever a healthy operation. And, instead 
of being arrested, were it practicable, ought to have every facility for its departure; 
for it ever goes to stay some unproductive industry, or to pay some honest debt. 
Any legislation, therefore, that aims to arrest the flow from the country, is a species 
of quackery that cannot be too strongly denounced. 


But let us look into our own history to ascertain the facts. From 1821 to 1832, 
both inclusive, the imports of specie were $82,331,067. The exports for the same 
period were $85,604,131. This embraces the periods of all our high tariffs. Do we 
find the flow of specie from the country stopped? A comparison between the sums 
just stated gives a negative reply. 

In March, 1833, a tariff act (commonly known as the compromise act) was passed, 
providing for the gradual reduction of duties to twenty per cent., the revenue stan- 
dard. Let us see how specie fluctuated under reducing duties, and an abandonment 
of the protective policy. The honorable chairman of manufactures, in his elaborate 
report now before us, asserts the position I am controverting; and, in his first table, 
gives the following results. 

A statement exhibiting the value of bullion and specie imported annually free of 
duty (after deducting therefrom the re-exportations) from 1834 to 1840, inclusive: 

Bullion Imported. Specie Imported. Excess of 

1834 $792,810 $15,442,564 Specie Exported. 

1835 1,420,740 5,962,533 

1836 2,153,015 7,269,268 

1837 1,023,677 4,800.007 

1838 621,037 14,090,974 

1839 i5°,5 2 ° ^M-3<7 2 9 

1840 694,872 2,006,000 

Aggregate $6,856,671 $49,571,346 

Deduct excess 1,423,729 

Aggregate $6856,671 $48,147,617 

Could I ask a more triumphant reply? In twelve years of protective policy the 
exports exceed the imports of specie $3,273,064. But, in the seven succeeding years 
of duties sinking rapidly to a revenue standard, our imports exceed our exports of 
specie and bullion the sum of $55,004,288. The assertion is, that high duties will keep 
the specie in the country. The fact is, as proven by our records, that specie leaves 
the country under high tariffs, and returns to it under low ones. Do not these 
interesting facts prove that high tariffs destroy, and that free trade advances to pros- 
perity of the country ? 

Third Reason for Protection — That it makes Goods Cheap. 

This reason, Mr. Chairman, is certainly sufficiently amusing. In one breath we 
are told that, unless the duties are raised, our manufacturers must be ruined, and in 
the next, when they are told that this would only shift the burden from their should- 
ers to those of the farmers, they gravely reply: "Oh, no ! the tariff will cheapen goods, 
not enhance them." When we inquire how this can be? — when we ask if foreign 
goods are not so low that they cannot now compete with them? — when we ask if the 
very object of the duty is not to increase the price of the foreign article, that they 
may get a better one for their own ? — that if this be not so, how is it that they are to 
be benefited by increased duties? — they answer, gravely: "That the tariff will reduce 
prices, not enhance them;" and seriously appeal to the past, in confirmation. 

In support of this most anomalous conclusion, my colleague [Mr. Stuart] informs 
this committee that, when information reached Brazil that it was intended, at the extra 
session, to impose a duty of two cents a pound on coffee, the Brazilians instantly 
reduced the price of that article by the whole amount of the duty. This was marvel- 
ously kind in our Brazilian friends, truly ! What ! Not even wait until our intention 
was embodied into law. 1 I will, however, not undertake to explain the phenomenon, 
until I ascertain the fact. Is the fact so? Who will avouch it? We are told that 
while our scientific and practical countryman (Franklin) resided in France, as 
the representative of his country, it was stated that a living fish put into a vessel full 
of water would not cause it to overflow. The French academicians eagerly undertook 
to explain the apparent phenomenon. The most ingenious and profound essays 
were written to explain it, but without reaching any satisfactory solution. At a 
dinner party, I believe, the story goes, some of them submitted the question to the 
venerable Franklin. "Has the fact been ascertained ?" he inquired. "No, it has 
not been questioned," was the reply. " Then (he remarked) we will first ascertain 
the fact." Accordingly, a vessel was produced, filled with water, and a living fish 
put into it; when, to their surprise, the water burst over the sides of the vessel, blow- 
ing sky-high the fine-spun theories of the most learned philosophers of the day. 
Such, I have no doubt, will prove the character of my colleague's fact, the existence 
whereof I utterly deny; and the explanation of which I shall not, therefore, attempt. 


Fourth Reason for Protection — That the English will not buy from US. 

This allegation has been so repeatedly made, that it is really, to a great extent, 
believed. But never was a statement more destitute of truth. England is, by many 
millions, not only our best, but our largest customer. 

Driven from this position, the friends of protection then undertake to alarm the 
fears of the cotton interest, and give, as a 

Fifth Reason for Protection — -That IT is Necessary to Protect us AGAINST the 
Growth of India Cotton. 

I have heretofore demonstrated that 350,000 bales of cotton are fully equal to the 
whole consumption of the Union. Protection could not extend beyond this amount. 
The residue (not less than 1,700,000 bales) would have to go into the world for a 
market; which it could not procure without it presented a price and quality fully 
equal to that of all competitors. No protective laws here could avail it. The pre- 
tension, therefore, is a delusion and a farce. 

But, Mr. Chairman, this is no new pretension. It is one as old as the protective 
policy. It may not be uninteresting to look back to former days, and on occasions 
such as the present one. If I mistake not, we are but listening to a cuckoo-note, of 
which I do think those who utter it should be ashamed. 

In 1816 the celebrated Isaac Briggs, in a letter to William Lowndes, chairman of 
the Committee of Ways and Means, thus sounds the alarm about India cotton: 

"Let not even the cotton-grower sleep on his post in the hope that he will be 
able to obtain a foreign market and a good price, to the extent of his increasing 
crops, and commensurate to his wishes. I have no doubt he will soon find this a 
treacherous hope, however fair the prospect. Bourbon cotton has, for experiment, 
been planted in British India; the experiment has completely succeeded; and Britain 
may soon derive a full supply of good cotton from her own colonies and depend- 
encies. She will then take ours, or not, as may best suit her own convenience." 

Again: Niles's Register, of 1824, says: 

' ; It is high time that the planters of the United States should look at home for a 
permanent market, which may regulate and give steadiness to the foreign demand. 
* * * Egypt and Greece, and their islands, can apply three times the labor to the 
culture of cotton that we apply to it; and the quality raised _by the people of those 
countries is of a superior kind. We would not predict evil to any part of our fellow- 
citizens; but nothing, apparently, is more certain than that the product of cotton will 
soon exceed the amount required for consumption." 

The following extract is from the circular of Freeman & Cook, London, dated 
January 1, 1842, quoted in "American Interests: " 

"Cotton — The cotton trade with India, for the last two years, has been highly 
important in every point of view. The imports in 1841 reached nearly one-third 
those from the United States, which have a very depressing influence on the value of 
American cotton. The manufacturers, however, have been benefited by an ample 
supply, at very low rates," etc. 

In Niles's Register, of February 14, 1818, it is said — (this was four years after the 
East India trade had been thrown open to British merchants) — 

" Cotton can be raised in India cheaper than we can raise it; and, in the present 
state of commerce, the carriage on it has a very small effect on its price. The 
culture in India is extending, andean be extended to any degree that is material, from 
the vast population whose labor may be directed to it." 

Again: A tariff writer says: 

" Three years ago no cotton (comparatively speaking) was imported from India; 
but, last year, 90,000 bales were received in England; the present year may give an 
importation of 150,000; the next, of 250,000; the next, a quantity sufficient to exclude 
all American cottons, except Sea Island, from the British market, unless at exceeding 
low prices. The increase of ships, since the free trade to India, has been at the 
average of sixty ships, of four hundred tons each, per annum. Calculate the amount 
that the probable number of vessels now engaged in the trade will carry. 'A wise 
man foreseeth the evil.' Our planters have been told this over and over and over 
again; and it has been made known to them ' as though an angel spoke it,' that they 
must rely upon a domestic consumption to insure to them a liberal and just price for 
their article." 

The author of "American Interests" quotes from a Liverpool circular, dated 
December 11, 1818 : 

" The immense increase in the import of East India cotton is the most remarka- 
ble fact connected with the cotton market. The average import of the fourteen years 


past was 25,365 bales;'of the last year only it was U7,955lbales; and during the first 
eleven months of the present year it has amounted to no less than 215,000 bales. 
The low price at which this cotton has been pressed upon the market, has very much 
increased the consumption of it; several mills are building for the spinning of East 
India cotton only; and, mixed with Brazils, it is said to make an excellent substitute 
for American cottons," etc. 

In 1827, before the high tariff of 1828, a great tariff journal said : 

" We have often asserted that a great change was going on at the South in re- 
gard to the policy of encouraging domestic manufactures; we have expressed our 
belief that the time would come, and speedily (if it even has not already arrived), 
when the tariff would more benefit the cotton growers than the cotton spinners. We 
have ventured an opinion that our Southern fellow-citizens would receive instruction 
from experience." 

Above are the predictions of the tariff men from time to time. Recently, many 
flattering accounts have been published of the success of the efforts to raise cotton in 
India, under the management of planters from this country, It is also now known 
that the experiment has entirely failed, and that our planters have left India, and re- 
turned to this country. 

The Manchester Guardian, an English paper, says : 

"We have learned, through the medium of letters received by the last overland 
mail, that the efforts of the American planters, who went to the westerly side of India, 
have, so far, entirely failed." 

This failure is attributed to mismanagement on the part of the directors of the 
East India Company. But the article goes on as follows: 

" So far, the cultivation of the American cotton in Upper India has made no pro- 
gress; nor do we imagine it is very likely to do so hereafter. * * * On the whole, 
we fear the prospect of receiving any large supply of superior cotton from India is 
not, at present, very flattering." 

It may not be uninteresting to exhibit the growth of cotton in the world, and in 
the United States. It will be observed that, at the commencement of the predictions 
against our cotton, we grew but little, if any, over 80,000,000 lbs.; that, since then, 
the whole increase has been with us; while the quantity grown in the rest of the 
world, so far from increasing, has actually materially diminished : 

Cotton produced in the Cotton produced in the 

Years. world. United States. 

1791 490,000,000 pounds. 2,000,000 pounds. 

1801 520,000,000 " 48,000,000 " 

1811 555,000,000 " 80,000,000 " 

1821 ....630,000,000 " 180,000,000 " 

1831 820,000,000 " 385,000,000 " 

1834 900,000,000 " 460,000,000 " ' 

1840. 790,000,000 " 

I find no return of the growth of cotton in the world as late as 1840. 

To show that our cotton still maintains its ascendency, I will give a report of the 
business done in it, in the month of May last, in Liverpool, the great cotton market 
of the world: 

" The import during the month of May was 240,000 bales — in 1841, 159,000 bales. 
The total sales of the month were 129,000 American, and 1,800 Surat, on speculation; 
and 5,000 American, 600 Surat, and 600 Brazil, for exportation." 

I have previously demonstrated that the idea of finding a market at home for our 
immense supply of cotton is perfectly delusive. But, whether right or not in this, I 
am sure all will agree that the opinion that India is to become the great rival of this 
country in the growth of cotton is the veriest humbug ever started by scheming 
selfishness. We are next presented with the 

Sixth Reason for Protection — That it WILL MAKE US INDEPENDENT. 

This is an appeal to our nationality — an attempt, by pure selfishness, to arouse 
within us our disinterested feelings. We are asked if we will not free ourselves of 
dependence on foreigners for actual necessities, in time of war. And a glowing 
sketch is then presented of the sufferings of our soldiers during our late struggle with 
Great Britain. Without admitting or denying the correctness of this sketch, it must 


be admitted that no just fears upon this subject can be entertained for the future. 
With twenty millions of sheep, and upwards of two millions of bales of cotton, the 
man must be hardy who will venture to assert that we can ever suffer for want of 
clothing. Why, sir, in time of profound peace, with a strong appetite among us for 
every sort of luxurious indulgence, we did not import and retain for our use, in 1840, 
of blankets, more than about three cents worth to each of our people. Our whole 
importation of woollen goods, of every kind, retained for consumption, was only 
about thirty cents each. In 1840, we imported, of cotton goods, $6,504,584 worth; 
and exported, of our own manufacture, $3,549,607 worth; leaving for consumption, 
of cotton goods, about 15 cents to each person. In 1840, we imported, of gunpowder, 
only $4,521 worth, and exported $117,347 worth. Of arms, we have the most abund- 
ant supply, to wit: 692,542 muskets, 23,334 rifles, etc. We have also two public 
armories, which turn off annually 27,948 arms; and contracts with seven private ar- 
mories, which annually supply 13,100 small arms. In 1840 our whole import of iron, 
after deducting 32,786 tons used by railroads, and admitted free of duty, was only 
22,718 tons; being less than one-twentieth of our own production, and only about 
three pounds to each person. It is obvious, therefore, that, whatever may have been 
the force of this reasoning in the days that are past, now it is not entitled to the 
slightest consideration. 

Seventh Reason for Protection. — That, after a short time, the policy may be 


This reason concedes the injustice of the policy. It is but to say, As soon as I 
get rich enough to do without it, I will cease to plunder you. But let us look into 
this pretension. 

General Washington in his seventh annual message, of December 8, I795, says: 
"Our agricultural commerce, and manufactures prosper beyond former example." 
In the same paragraph he asks: "Is it too much to say that our country exhibits a 
spectacle of national happiness never surpassed, if ever before equaled ? " At this 
time duties were only 15 per cent. Mr. Monroe, in his fifth annual message, of 
December 3, 1821, says: "It may fairly be presumed that, under the protection 
given to domestic manufactures by the existing laws, we shall become at no distant 
period, a manufacturing country, on an extensive scale." On the 25th of May, 1816, 
in the House of Representatives, 

" Mr. Clay said, the object of protecting manufactures was, that we might eventu- 
ally get articles of necessity made as cheap at home as they could be imported, and 
thereby to produce an independence of foreign countries. In three years he said, we 
could judge of the ability of our establishments to furnish those articles as cheap as they 
were obtained from abroad, and could then legislate with the lights of experience. He 
believed that three years would be sufficient to place our manufactures on this desira- 
ble footing." 

The same sort of arguments were used in support of the tariffs of 1824 and 1828. 
In 1833, when the anti-tariff party was in the ascendency, or, as was conceded, would 
shortly be so; when Mr. Clay said of the tariff: " If it should even be preserved dur- 
ing this session, it must fall at the next session; " and when, under the apparent and 
lofty desire of preserving in harmony and peace the fraternal relations of this Con- 
fedracy, he was really struggling for the preservation of the tariff interest, did he not 
broadly repeat the same doctrine ? "What was the principle," he said, "which had 
always been contended for, in this and the other House ? That, after the accumula- 
tion of capital and skill, the manufacturers would stand alone, unaided by the Gov- 
ernment, in competition with the imported articles from any quarter. Now, give us 
time; cease all fluctuations and agitations for nine years, and the manufacturers, in 
every branch, will sustain themselves against foreign competition." In 1795, the 
prosperity of our manufactures was such, that General Washington thought it worthy 
of a place in his annual message to Congress. In 1821, Mr. Monroe, in the same 
form, expressed the opinion that the protection then existing would make us a great 
manufacturing people. In 1816, Mr. Clay thought three years enough to test the 
utility of protection. In 1833, Mr. Clay declared -give nine years of peace, and it 
would enable our manufacturers, " in every branch,'" to encounter foreign competi- 
tion. Well, sir, the anti-tariff interests, with a generosity rarely equaled, and with a 
manly confidence, about to be most shamefully requitted, grant nine years of peace 
to their adversaries — generous, uninterrupted peace. Are they now willing, l, tn 
e?>ery branch," or, indeed in any branch, to encounter foreign competition? No, sir; 
still they utter the same cuckoo note. Greedy and rapacious as ever, still the cry is, 
" Give, give." 

I have now, Mr. Chairman, with candor, considered the principal reasons in sup- 
port of a protective policy; and have satisfied myself, at least, that they are 
obnoxious, equally, to practical justice and the soundest pri