Gustavus Woodson Smith papers

Gustavus Woodson Smith papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Smith, Gustavus Woodson, 1822-1896
Title: Gustavus Woodson Smith papers
Dates: 1858-1863
Quantity: 1.0 folder (84 items)
Coll. Number: ms848

Biographical/Historical Note

Gustavus Woodson Smith (1822-1896), civil and military engineer and Confederate Major General, born in Kentucky.


Scope and Content Note

The papers of Gustavus Woodson Smith, 1858-1863, include correspondence with CSA President Jefferson Davis, often quarreling about army administration and strategy, appointment of staff, and his subsequent resignation as Major General. There is one letter to his wife Lucretia from New Kent County, Virginia, three reports with revisions on engagements at Eltham Landing and the Battle of Seven Pines or Fair Oaks during the Peninsular Campaign in Virginia, and operations of the Georgia Militia near Atlanta during the 1864 Atlanta Campaign. Also included is an original battlefield map showing Smith's route through Virginia in the vicinity of Fairfax Court House (1861).


Arrangement

Arranged in chronological order.


Index Terms

Atlanta Campaign, 1864.
Confederate States of America--Politics and government.
Confederate States of America. Army. -- Officers
Confederate States of America. Army. Georgia Militia.
Davis, Jefferson, 1808-1889
Fair Oaks, Battle of, Va., 1862.
Generals--Confederate States of America.
Military administration--Confederate States of America.
Military maps.
Peninsular Campaign, 1862.
Smith, Lucretia Bassett
Virginia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.

General Notes

Cataloged as part of the Georgia Archives and Manuscripts Automated Access Project: A Special Collections Gateway Program of the University Center in Georgia.

Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available online as part of America's Turning Point: Documenting the Civil War Experience in Georgia.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Gustavus Woodson Smith papers, ms 848. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.


Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access note

Original letters signed by Jefferson Davis have been separated from the collection, photocopies are available for research purposes. Permission is required to use the originals.


Digital Version(s)

Gustavus Woodson Smith papers, 1858-1863


Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

 
Box
1Letter to President James Buchanan signed by seven members of congress, 1858 January 18
James B. Clay, in whose hand the main text written, J. M. Elliott, Samuel Peyton, John G. Mason, J. W. Stevenson, A. Gallatin Talbott and H. C. Burnett recommending an appointment for Smith to a "high position in one of the new Cavalry Regiments."
 
A letter, transcribed from the original into an official letter book in the handwriting of Major Jasper Whiting, from Major General G. W. Smith. To: President Jefferson Davis, Army of the Potomac, 1861 October 8
Appointments to Maj. Gen. Smith's staff.
 
A letter from President Jefferson Davis To: General Smith. Richmond, Va., 1861 October 10
Railroad transportation, army organization and movements, appointments.
 
A letter, a copy of the original from the official letter book, incomplete, from G.W. Smith. To: President Jefferson Davis (?), circa 1861 October 11
Movement of troops.
 
A letter, a copy of the original from the official Letter book, from G.W. Smith. To: J.P. Benjamin, Act. Secretary of War. Army of the Potomac, 1861 October 11
Smith's request that his application for the presidential appointment of Mr. Horace Randal to his (Gen. Smith's) staff be acted upon.
 
A letter, a copy of the original from the official letter book, from G.W. Smith (?), letter is incomplete. To: President Jefferson Davis. Army of the Potomac, 1861 October 14
Smith urging President to inform him whether Randal is eligible for appointment to his staff, railroad from Richmond to Manassas is inefficient, says "Let Beauregard apply the remedy ... [he] guarantees to regulate it. Try him.", army not in best condition-"relying upon the Character of our troops...".
 
A letter from J. P. Benjamin, Acting Secretary of War To: General G. W. Smith. Richmond, 1861 October 19
Acknowledgement of letter regarding Mr. Randal, copy of letter sent to Randal explaining his failure to achieve promotion to rank of Captain.
 
A letter from President Jefferson Davis To: General G. W. Smith. Richmond, Va., 1861 October 24
Denied request to promote Lt. Randal, reports of large union force at 'Fortrys Monroe', expected attack at York Tower, probable descent on coast of No. Ga.
 
A letter, a copy of the original from the official letter book, from General G. W. Smith. To: President Jefferson Davis. Centreville, Va., 1861 October 25
Resignation of Mr. Randal from Pensacola post and requested appointment to Smith's staff as Aid de Camp, reorganization of army.
 
A letter, a copy of the original from the official letter book, incomplete, from General G. W. Smith To: President Jefferson Davis (?), undated
Request for more officers required by Smith in his temporary command of the 2nd division of the Army of the Potomac.
 
A letter from President Jefferson Davis. To: General G. W. Smith. Richmond, Va., 1861 October 29
Definitive denial of Lt. Randal's appointment as Smith's Aide de Camp, and the incensed Smith's own memo determining not to answer letter.
 
A letter from President Jefferson Davis. To: General G. W. Smith. Richmond, Va., 1861 November 9
Request to copy Davis' correspondence from originals in Smith's possession.
 
A letter, a copy of the original from the official letter book, from G.W. Smith. To: President Jefferson Davis. Centreville, Va., 1861 November 12
Requested copies of Davis' correspondence of October 10th, 24th, and 29th, 1861-all that had been received.
 
A letter from Jefferson Davis To: General G. W. Smith, Richmond, Va., 1861 November 22
Possible appointment of Randal as a Lieutenant, in the provisional army qualifying him for the position of Smith's Aid-upon resignation of his former post.
 
A letter, a copy of the original from the official letter book, incomplete, from G. W. Smith (?) To: President Jefferson Davis. Centreville, Va., 1861 November 28
Request to appoint Randal to the Cavalry of the Confederate army and finally as Smith's Aid de Camp.
 
A letter from President Jefferson Davis To: General G. W. Smith. Richmond, Va., 1861 November 30
Appointment of Mr. Randal to 1st Lieutenant in the provisional army to qualify him as aide de camp.
 
Smith to his wife in Richmond, 1862 May 14
Reassuring her that she is in no danger from any Union expedition to Richmond itself, "McClellan comes on very slowly ... I am satisfied that we will keep his gun boats from reaching Richmond, and give him and his army a good thrashing Cuss his eyes for disturbing you with anxious thoughts in your new comfortable rooms. But you are my own brave bright eyed darling little Pet Miss, and [I] will neither allow him nor his Yankee abolition followers tools of the blackguard Lincoln, to unnecessarily worry or disturb you. My command and in fact the whole army is in fine fighting condition. And will let the gas out of McCellan's baloon reputation. The arrogant insolent overbearing and presumptuous invaders will be sent howling out Virginia and will then have the war carried to their own homes. How they will repent spending so much money 'in preserving the Union.'"
 
A telegram from S. Cooper for President Jefferson Davis To: General G. W. Smith. Richmond, Va., 1862 July 5
Smith's health-is he well enough to assume command of dept. of South Carolina and Georgia.
 
A letter from G.W. Smith-never delivered To: Gen. George M. Randolf, Sect. of War. Richmond, Va., 1863 October 21
Promotion of six junior officers to outrank Smith, Smith's failure to be promoted and subsequent resignation.
 
A memo from G. W. Smith appended to letter to Gen. George M. Randolf, Sect. of War, 1863 October 21
Conversation between Smith and Randolf, Smith's professed dissatisfaction and intention to resign. Randolf begs Smith to reconsider and he conditionally agrees.
 
A written announcement from President Jefferson Davis To: Gen. G.W. Smith. Richmond, Va., 1862 November 17
Smith's appointment as Secretary of War ad interim
 
A letter from J. R. Davis To: G. W. Smith. Richmond, Va., 1863 January 21
 
A telegram from James A. Seddon, Sec. of War To: G.W. Smith, 1863 January 27
order to return to Richmond.
 
A letter from G. W. Smith To: James A. Seddon, Secretary of War, 1863 February 7
Smith's resignation from the provisional army
 
A letter from Col. S. Bassett French To: G. W. Smith, circa 1863
French's expression of sorrow and friendship.
 
A letter from Gen. Withers To: G. W. Smith, 1863 February 14
Presidential acceptance of resignation
 
A letter from G. W. Smith. To: President Jefferson Davis, 1863 February 23
Smith's justification of his resignation
 
Telegram transcribed on one foolscap 8vo sheet of blue lined writing paper, from Major Samuel W. Melton to Smith, Goldsboro, N.C., 1863 January 2
Discussing an engagement with Union troops, the loss of "our mortars and heavy guns," and the probable destination of the enemy expedition.
 
Smith's holograph (pencil) draft of his "Official Report of the Affair at Eltham Landing: Head of York river,"
designed as a letter to Major T.L. Bluett, Baltimore Crossroads, 12 May 1862. app., foolscap 8vo despite revisions and deletions this (as the following two) may be later transcripts from the staff letter-book, designed for publications--but the deletions and changes are of course interesting, and the entire reports are not always quoted in print.
 
Item
hmap1861c64Confederate Army battle map, 1861 View online.
Hand drawn, on both sides of glazed silk, illustrates proposed route to be taken by a company under Major-General Smith.