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Smith, Hiram Jr.

MILITARY SERVICE

Age: 18, credited to Barre, VT
Unit(s): 11th VT INF
Service: enl 12/3/63, m/i 12/11/63, Pvt, Co. E, 11th VT INF, tr to Co. A 6/24/65, m/o 9/14/65

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations

VITALS

Birth: 04/01/1845, Marshfield, VT
Death: 06/28/1899

Burial: Mountain View Cemetery, Orwell, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Alan Lathrop
Findagrave Memorial #: 46649752

MORE INFORMATION

Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes
Portrait?: Unknown
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: None

Webmaster's Note: The 11th Vermont Infantry was also known as the 1st Vermont Heavy Artillery; the names were used interchangably for most of its career


DESCENDANTS

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BURIAL:

Copyright notice

Tombstone

Mountain View Cemetery, Orwell, VT

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Medical Documents/Photographs

Medical Document

(Compiled Military Service Record)

Biography

Nothing in Hiram Smith, Jr.'s early life intimated that anything extraordinary would ever happen to the native Vermont son of an agrarian father. In fact, his entire existence was unexceptional; rather mundane, actually. Normal, ordinary, common were all accurate descriptors of how young Hiram, Jr.'s childhood looked. Yet, deep in the interior of his psyche lay a nugget of resiliency that only a horrific incident later in his life would elevate to the surface.

Hiram Smith, Jr. was born April 11, 1845, in Marshfield, Vermont. [1] He was the son of Hiram Smith, Sr. (1817-1898) and Lois Kaelton Haskins (1816-1852). Hiram Jr.'s father was married twice. He married Hiram Jr.'s mother, Lois, in 1840 when they both lived in Marshfield. She bore Hiram Sr. four children. Hiram Jr. was the third child of the couple. He had an older sister, Laura (1841) and an older brother named Harvey Lee (1843-1921). Hiram Jr. also had a younger brother named Frank who was born in 1852. He only lived until 1862. [2] His brother, Harvey, grew up to be a successful judge. Unfortunately, he died at an early age in 1921 when he was asphyxiated by a gas stove. [3] Lois, Hiram Jr.'s mother, also died at an early age (thirty-five) on February 2, 1852, in Marshfield leaving her husband alone with four young children to care for. [4] Hiram Sr. remained a widower for only a short time, marrying a second time circa 1853 to Mary McCrillis Pike (1828-1900). Their marriage produced only one child, Allen F. Smith, half-brother of Hiram Jr. and his other siblings. [5]

Hiram Jr. was five years old in 1850. He lived with his immediate family in Marshfield, Vermont with his father, mother, and siblings Laura (9) and Harvey (7). His father worked as a carpenter. His total estate was valued at $1,800, a modest sum for a skilled tradesman in 1850. The three children attended school. There were two lodgers living with the family at the time. One was William L. Sawyer aged nineteen who was also a carpenter by occupation. The other person was a female named Lucinda Clark who was twenty-three. Her occupation was not stated but was assumed to be that of a domestic assisting Lois with the household and the children. [6] As was stated earlier, Lois died prematurely in 1852. The cause of her death was undocumented, but she died the same year that Frank was born.

By the time Hiram Jr. reached fourteen, he had a step-mother, Mary, mentioned earlier. Besides himself, his brothers Harvey (17) and Frank (8) also were living in the household with their step-mother. In addition to these three boys from his first marriage to Lois, Hiram and Mary had a child of their own. His name was Allen F. Smith age six. Laura, Hiram Jr.'s only sister, was not listed in the 1860 census. Hiram Sr.'s occupation was farmer. He had increased the value of his real estate holdings to $2,500. His estate value also included personal property valued at another $800. His two sons, Harvey (listed in the census as Harry S.) and Hiram Jr. were also labeled as farmers. No one of school age attended school within the year (the 1860 Federal Census was taken in Morristown, Vermont on August 15, 1860). [7] 1862 was a rough year for the Smith's. Hiram Jr. lost two of his brothers; Frank died sometime in 1862 when he was eight years and six months old. Allen died on July 14 of the same year. [8] Perhaps the personal loss of two siblings contributed to Hiram Jr.'s decision to take an active part in the War of the Rebellion. Regardless, the fact is that early in December of 1863, Hiram Jr. signed his name on the enlistment papers and prepared himself for a new phase of his life. One that would prove to be calamitous.

The eighteen year old, six foot farmer with fair skin, dark eyes and hair presented himself before the recruiter in Barre, Vermont on December 3, 1863, to sign up for three years. [9] Hiram Jr. had his father sign the consent portion of the enlistment form to verify he was of legal age to enroll in the service. He was mustered-in on December 11, 1863, at Brattleboro, Vermont and officially became a member of Company E, First Heavy Vermont Artillery Regiment. By the eighteenth of December, he had been paid $25.00 bounty with $242.00 owed him. Private Smith also received $35.00 bounty paid from the commutation fund. [10]

The regiment, to which Hiram Jr. was a member, was originally mustered-in as the Eleventh Vermont Volunteer Infantry in September 1862. In mid-December of that year, it was re-designated as the First Heavy Artillery. Unfortunately, official and personal records used both designations which has caused great confusion.

The Eleventh Regiment was the largest Vermont regiment sent to the war, both in original membership and in total enrollment. It was recruited as an infantry regiment at the same time as the Tenth, under the call of July 2, 1862 from President Lincoln for 300,000 volunteers. By the middle of August, ten companies had been organized. The Regiment rendezvoused at Camp Bradley in Brattleboro, Vermont where they were mustered into the U.S. service September 1, 1862 for three years. It left the State on September 7 for Washington, D.C. where it arrived on the ninth and was immediately assigned to duty in the chain of forts constituting the northern defenses of the capital. By order of the Secretary of War, dated December 10, 1862, it was made a heavy artillery unit becoming re-designated as the First Heavy Artillery.

The Eleventh remained in the defenses of Washington, D.C. for a period of eighteen months, during which time it was chiefly employed strengthening the works, constructing and garrisoning Forts Stevens, Slocum and Totten. During the latter part of its artillery service at Washington, the Regiment garrisoned four other forts and occupied a line of about seven miles. It experienced little of the real hardships of war during 1863 and the first months of 1864. It had comfortable quarters, the men enjoyed excellent health and rations - even luxuries were abundant for a price. It maintained an excellent state of discipline typical of Vermont troops, and was rated the best disciplined regiment in the defense of the capital. After the terrible Federal losses at the Battle of the Wilderness, the Eleventh was ordered to join the Army of the Potomac. It reported for duty as infantry near Spotsylvania Court House with nearly 1,500 men.

During the severe Overland Campaign that followed, the Regiment participated in every major engagement of the Sixth Corps from May 1864 to April 1865: Spotsylvania; Cold Harbor; Petersburg; Welden railroad; Fort Stevens; Charlestown; Gilbert's ford; Opequan; Fisher's Hill; Cedar Creek; Petersburg siege. In the debacle at Welden railroad, June 23, 1864, the Regiment suffered the greatest loss sustained by any Vermont Regiment in a single action. It lost nine killed, thirty-one wounded and two hundred sixty-one captured. All the captives were sent to Andersonville prison where two hundred thirty-two of them died.

Original members, recruits for one year and recruits whose term of service expired before October 1, 1865, were mustered-out on June 24, 1865. The remainder of the Regiment was consolidated into one battalion of heavy artillery and stationed in the defenses of Washington until mustered-out on August 25, 1865. The original members of the Eleventh numbered 1,315. Recruits and transfers amounted to an additional 1,005. The total rank and file was 2,320. Of that number, 152 were killed in action; 210 died of disease; 457 were wounded; 339 where captured; 2 died by accident. [11]

The first months of the Regiment's service was spent in constructing, fortifying and manning the principal fortresses built as part of the defenses of Washington, D.C. When not digging building or mounting, Private Smith had plenty of time to worry about more personal affairs than the enemy. From Decembers of 1863 until August of 1864, his greatest concern was when he was going to get his next installment of bounty money and how soon he was going to be able to pay off Ferdinand Evans the sutler of the First Heavy Artillery. He never ran up more than a four dollar debt with Ferdinand Evans, but the Government sometimes owed him as much as $120.00 in bounty installments at one time. [12] Then, for Private Smith at least although he was not alone, the hammer fell like Vulcan's. It happened during Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign near a place in Virginia called Berryville six days before the Battle of Third Winchester (Opequon). In a series of clashes with General Jubal Early's Confederate forces, Sheridan and the Sixth Corps to which the Eleventh Vermont belonged, pushed the Rebels steadily back towards Winchester. On September 13, 1864, during a skirmish at Gilbert's Ford, Virginia, Private Smith was horribly wounded by a shell fragment. [13] He was triaged in the Regimental Hospital where his left arm below the shoulder and above the elbow joint was amputated. He also lost the lower portion of his left leg above the ankle joint form the same wounds.

On October 19, 1864, Private Smith was admitted to the General Hospital at Frederick, Maryland. [14] He spent a month there, receiving treatment for his wounds and healing from his amputations. While he was convalescing in the hospital in Maryland, an agent for the State of Vermont by the name of Frank F. Holbrook was writing a letter to the Secretary of War respectfully requesting that Hiram Smith Jr. of the Eleventh Vermont be transferred by special order from the hospital in Frederick City, Maryland to the Sloan Hospital in Montpelier, Vermont. His father would accompany him on the trip. [15] Hiram was on a train headed for home on November 19, 1864. He arrived at Sloan five days later. [16] He remained at Sloan as a patient for the rest of 1864. In February of 1865, Private Smith received a delayed Christmas present. He was paid a bounty of $100.00 with another $200.00 being owed him. His Hospital Muster Roll further stated that he was due the third and fourth installments of bounty. Furthermore, he had not been paid since February 29 of 1864 to December 31 of the same year. [17] That meant that he was owed $130 in back pay by the Federal Government and an additional $70.00 in pay from the State of Vermont for a total of $200.00 due him!

In August of 1865, Hiram was well enough to get a leave of absence in order to visit his family at home. That meant he was healed enough from his injuries to be ambulatory with the help of crutches. Shortly after his furlough, he was examined by army surgeons (between September 4 and 14) and found to be totally disabled. He was issued a Certificate of Disability for Discharge on September 14, 1865 and sent home permanently as a civilian. [18] On October 30, 1865 Hiram Jr. applied for a pension from the Government. [19] He didn't have to provide reams of proof of his disability; all he had to do was show the Commissioner of Pensions his photograph taken while he was recuperating in the military hospital.

Between his discharge in 1865 and the time the 1870 Federal Census was taken, Hiram Jr. had made up his mind to go to college. In 1870, he lived with his uncle, Ebenezer Smith and his wife, Caroline, in Middlebury, Vermont. Ebenezer was a clergyman who placed a high value on education. His home was a dormitory for college students. He had six living in his home. One was his own son, Eben E., twenty-two in 1870 and another was Hiram Jr. now 26. The other students were: Walter Hiap (22); John A. Hiap (21); Chas (Charles) E. Hale (23); and Sidney H. Foster (27). Besides these boarders, Ebenezer also housed a teacher by the name of Chas (Charles) F. Stone (27). Ebenezer's wife, Caroline, was busy keeping the house for all of these men. She had help from her daughter, Clara (20) who helped with the domestic chores of running a boarding house and also helped with the care of her little sister, Nellie, who was only six. [20]

For a clergyman, or maybe because of it, Ebenezer was a well travelled man. He was born in Randolph, Vermont on March 24, 1813. [21] As a minor and young adult, he lived in Cabot, Vermont with his growing family of brothers and sisters (he had ten of them in total). He married in Brookfield, Vermont at twenty-nine. His daughter, Clara Louise, was born in Tunbridge, Vermont. He lived for a brief time in Ukiah, California in 1860, returning to Barre, Vermont in 1863. By 1870, he was residing in Middlebury, Vermont. When he died in 1889, he lived in Hartford, Connecticut. [22] It appeared that Hiram was highly influenced by his uncle's life style and values. He, too, would become highly educated and well travelled.

Before the war, Hiram had been a farmer. With his war-time injuries, returning to that line of work was out of the question. Any manual labor job would have been extremely difficult for a double amputee. Hiram apparently had a good head for book learning. A college student did not need two arms and two legs to be successful. By 1870, Hiram was a matriculated student in a local college. A check of Middlebury College's yearbooks back to 1874 did not produce a student with his name in any class. The University of Vermont's yearbooks do not go back to the post-Civil War era, so it was not possible to determine if Hiram was a student at that institution. But he was living with his uncle and family in Middlebury in 1870, so whatever college he was enrolled in must have been local. It was during his college years that Hiram must have decided that he wanted to become a lawyer.

It was quite possible that Hiram Jr. graduated on or before 1874. For it was in that year that he married. August 11, in Sudbury, Vermont, Hiram took as his wife a young woman named Julia (Juliet) Sylvia Holmes (1849-1887) At the time of his marriage, Hiram was a resident of Cameron, Missouri and practicing law. So he must have returned to Sudbury in order to marry Julia. Since she lived in Sudbury, it was a mystery how the two of them knew each other. My guess is that he knew Julia before he went to Missouri and, once he had established himself there, came back to Vermont to marry. Julia was definitely a local girl having been born in Hubbardton, Vermont, the daughter of Fayette Holmes and Sylva Churchill. She was twenty-five and Hiram Jr. was twenty-nine. [23] The newly weds returned to Cameron, Missouri to live. Their first born son, Edwin Sherman, was delivered there on December 18, 1876. The birth of the couples second child, a daughter, soon followed on August 29, 1879. Her name was Fayetta Lois and she was also born in Cameron. [24]

Hiram Jr. was thirty-five in 1880. He was an attorney at law in Cameron, Missouri and the father of two children. His wife kept house. Hiram declared himself a cripple on the census form, which, indeed, he was. [25] In 1887, Julia (Juliet) passed away on October 15, in Denver, Colorado. [26] The cause of her death at thirty-eight years old was not uncovered in the public documents accessed for this research project.

A year later, Hiram Jr. married for the second time. His bride was Frances (Fanny) Forester Rice (1849-19170). She was a native Vermonter having been born in Rutland, Vermont. She and Hiram Jr. were married on October 7, 1888 in Cameron, Missouri. She was thirty-nine. [27] Three children were born to the couple in rapid succession: a daughter, Shirley, born 1890 in Washington, D.C.; a son, Ernest Rice born July 3, 1891 in Cameron, Missouri; and another son, Philip born June 9, 1893 in Cameron. [28] Unfortunately, Hiram Jr. did not have much time to spend with his new generation family. He died in Cameron on June 28, 1899. [29] The cause of his death also was undiscovered in the public domain. Two months after Hiram Jr's death, his widow, Fanny, applied for a pension from Missouri. [30]

In 1900, Fannie R. Smith still lived in Cameron, Missouri at 403 East Fourth Street. She was widowed and head of house. All three of her children were living with her. She was fifty years old. Her step-daughter, twenty year old Faye L., lived in the same household. Fanny could read and write. She owned the house she lived in free and clear of any mortgage. [31] Tens years later, in 1910, Fannie R. was living in Oberlin, Ohio at 202 North Profesor (sic). She was living on her own income - the government pension she was receiving as a widow of a soldier and whatever monies for her maintenance Hiram Jr. had left her when he died. She owned this new house free and clear also. Fayetta was gone from the household list. But Fannie's three children still lived at home with her. Shirley was twenty, Ernest was eighteen and Philip was sixteen. All of them were listed as students. [32]

Before Fannie died, she returned to Vermont. In 1917, she was living in Benson, the town she and her mother were born in. Her father had been Martin Rice and her mother had been Nancy V. Smith. Fannie passed away on February 3, 1917 at sixty-seven years old. She died of angina pictoris, chronic nephritis and chronic valvular disease of the heart. She was buried beside her husband, Hiram Jr., in Mountain View Cemetery in Orwell, Vermont. [33]

NOTES:
1. Ancestry.com, U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600's-Current for Hiram Smith Jr; Headstone, Mountain View Cemetery, Orwell, Vermont.
2. Ibid., Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908, Marriage, for Hiram Smith Jr.; Ibid., Michael J. Allison Family Tree for Hiram Smith Jr.; Ibid., Martin Family Tree for Hiram Smith, Sr.; Ibid., 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Hiram Smith.
3. www.findagrave.com, Memorial #61427908 for Judge Harvey Lee Smith.
4. Ibid., U.S. Find A Grave Index, 1600's-Current for Lois Kaelton Smith.
5. Ibid., Memorial #60721413 for Hiram Smith Sr.; Ancestry.com, Martin Family Tree for Hiram Smith Jr.
6. Ancestry.com, 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Hiram Smith.
7. Ibid., 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Hiram Smith.
8. www.findagrave.com, Memorial #60721420 for Allen F. Smith; Ancestry.com, My Family Tree for Hiram Smith Jr.
9. Fold3.com, Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers Who Volunteered in Organizations from the State of Vermont, p. 3, image 309686686. Herein-after referred to as Compiled Service Records.
10. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, p. 5, image 309686688.
11. Vermont in the Civil War.org/Units/1st Brigade/Eleventh Vermont Infantry/History; www.en.wikipedia.org/11th Vermont Infantry.
12. Fold3.com, Compiled Service Records, pp 6-10, images 309686689, ...690, ...691, ...692, and ..693.
13. Ibid., Compiled Service Records. pp. 11 and 32, images 309686694 and ...715.
14. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, p. 12, image 309686695.
15. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, p. 30, image 309686713.
16. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, pp. 14-15, image 309686697 and ...698.
17. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, p. 18, image 309686701.
18. Ibid., Compiled Service Records, pp. 23 and 32, images 309686706 and ...715.
19. Ancestry.com, U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 for Hiram Smith.
20. Ibid., 1800 U.S. Federal Census for Hiram Smith.
21. Ibid., Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908 for Ebenezer Smith.
22. Ibid., Coile-Carroll Family Tree for Ebenezer Smith.
23. Ibid., Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908 for Julia S. Holmes.
24. Ibid., Michael J. Allison Family Tree for Hiram Smith Jr.
25. Ibid., 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Hiram Smith.
26. Ibid., Michael J. Allison Family Tree for Hiram Smith Jr.
27. Ibid.; Ancestry.com, Marriage License, Missouri, Marriage Records, 1805-2002 for Frances Forester Rice.
28. Ibid., Michael J. Allison Family Tree for Hiram Smith Jr.
29. Ibid., My Family Tree for Hiram Smith Jr.
30. Ibid., U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 for Hiram Smith.
31. Ibid., 1900 U.S. Federal Census for Fannie R. Smith.
32. Ibid., 1910 U.S. Federal Census for Fanny R. Smith.
33. Ibid., Vermont, Vital Records, Death, 1909-2008 for Fanny Forester Rice Smith; www.findagrave.com, Memorial #46649800 for Fanny Forester Rice Smith.

Courtesy of Bernie Noble.

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