Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 1.djvu/647

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CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

times, have placed his memory firmly in the esteem of his countrymen.

George Wythe Randolph, second secretary of war, was born at Monticello, Virginia, March 10, 1818, the son of Thomas M. Randolph and his wife Martha, daughter of Thomas Jefferson. At the death of his illustrious grand father he was sent to school at Cambridge, Mass. Then at thirteen years of age he became a midshipman and served in the United States navy until nineteen years of age, when he entered the university of Virginia. Two years later he embraced the profession of law. At the time of the John Brown raid at Harper's Ferry he organized a company of artillery, which was subsequently maintained and operated against the Federals at the battle of Bethel, early in 1861. He was then commissioned brigadier-general and given a command, which he held until appointed secretary of war. He assumed the duties of that portfolio March 24, 1862, and resigned them on November 17 of the same year, then reporting for duty in the field. He was one of the commissioners sent by Virginia to consult President Lincoln, after his election. He died at Edge Hill, Va., April 10, 1878.

Gustavus W. Smith, who was acting secretary of war for the brief period between November 17, 1862, and November 21, 1862, was born in Georgetown, Scott county, Kentucky, January 1, 1822. At the age of sixteen years he entered West Point military academy, was graduated in 1842, and appointed brevet second-lieutenant in the corps of engineers; promoted second-lieutenant, 1845; joined the army in Mexico in 1846. By the death of his captain he was thrown into command of the only company of engineers in the army, and in that rank participated in the siege of Vera Cruz, and the battles of Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Churubusco, Chapultepec and City of Mexico. He was commended by General Scott and bre-