By Linda Cunningham Fluharty.

     Jacob Smith, born 1 June 1843, was the son of German immigrants, Michael and Catharina (Ewinger) Schmidt (later Smith), residents of Marietta, Washington County, Ohio, at the time of the 1840 census: 1 male < 5; 3 males 10-15; 1 male 30-40; 1 female <5; 1 female 5-10; 1 female 30-40.

     By 1850 they were living across the river in Wood County, (W) Virginia.

1850 Census, District 65, Wood County, (W) Virginia
Michael Smith, 47, Farmer, $100, b Germany
Catharn Smith, 47, b Germany
John Smith, 20, Farmer, b Germany
Elizabeth Smith, 19, b Germany
Maria Smith, 15, b Md.
Philip Smith, 11, b Va.
William Smith, 9, b Va.
Jacob Smith, 7, b Va.
Mary Smith, 7, b Va.
Caroline Smith, 5, b Ohio

     According to the family history, the two oldest children, not with the family in 1850, were sons, George Adam and Christopher George Smith. Michael and Catharina may have had other children who died while young.

     The family has not been located in the 1860 census but they probably lived in Wood County. The mother, Catharina, died before 7 Jan 1863, at which time Michael Schmidt (then Smith) married Sophia Lorenzen in Williamstown, Wood County. Michael and his wife remained in Williamstown until his death 7 Oct 1891. He is buried at Mound Cemetery, Marietta, Ohio.

     On 28 Aug 1862, brothers Philip R. and William Smith mustered in with Company "E" 11th (W) Virginia Infantry; Philip was a corporal.

     William Smith died 31 Mar 1865 of wounds received at Hatcher's Run, according to various records of the West Virginia Adjutant General. However, the soldier is buried in Plot 3034, City Point National Cemetery, Hopewell, Virginia, and his date of death is stated as 17 Apr 1865. It could be that he was wounded 31 Mar and didn't die until 17 Apr.

     Philip R. Smith was wounded in action at Hatcher's Run and was taken to a hospital at Point of Rocks, Maryland on 2 Apr 1865. He was discharged, date and number of order and by whom issued unknown. According to family historian, Don Smith, Philip was originally wounded in the elbow but died of dysentery 19 May 1865. He is buried in Plot 651, Loudon Park National Cemetery, Baltimore City, Maryland.

     Meanwhile, Jacob Smith, a 20 year old recruit, mustered in at Wheeling, (W) Virginia in Company "C" of the 1st West Virginia Cavalry on 15 Mar 1864. He was missing in action 19 Oct 1864, at Cedar Creek, Virginia.

     It is very likely that Jacob Smith was the man of that name who perished aboard the steamer, General Lyon, that burned in the Atlantic, near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, at the end of March 1865. See articles from the New York Times.

     The document stating the death of Jacob Smith on the General Lyon was found in the files of a few different men of that name. However, the Prisoner of War record of this Jacob Smith, in Company "C" of the 1st West Virginia Cavalry, seems to be the most convincing that it was he who perished in the disaster: Date and place of capture was Cedar Run, Va., 19 Oct 1864; brought from Lynchburg, Va. and confined at Richmond, 23 Oct 1864; transferred to Salisbury, North Carolina 4 Nov 1864; paroled at N. E. Ferry, North Carolina 3 Mar 1865. The General Lyon burned at the end of that month.

     Michael Smith, father of Jacob, applied for a government pension based on his son's service and death. SEE DOCUMENT.

     As stated above, there were numerous men named Jacob Smith in the West Virginia regiments during the war. Unfortunately, their records were blended together and it was a daunting task to sort them out. See Jacob Smiths in the Civil War.

     The Civil War medal of William Smith, issued by the State of West Virginia, was claimed from the West Virginia State Archives by Don Smith, a descendant of William's brother, George Adam Schmidt/Smith.

     James Jeffery, III, gr-gr-gr nephew of the soldiers, is a descendant of the soldiers' brother, Christopher George Schmidt. James purchased the Civil War medal of Philip R. Smith, after having the good fortune of seeing it listed here: The Civil War Medals of West Virginia... Where Are They?. Here is a PHOTO of James C. Jeffery, III, with Philip's medal, as well as a photo of the medal of William Smith that is owned by Don Smith. This photo was taken at the grave of James' mother, who spent many years researching the Smith brothers in the Civil War. She had plaques made for each of their graves and Philip's is shown in the photo.

     Thanks to James Jeffery, III, for bringing this soldier's story to my attention. And thanks, also, to Don Smith and Carol Oswald for their helpful comments.