Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 26.djvu/90

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80 Sotlt/ifi'li J/i'xfnfi'rfil Nor/f///

proved too spirited for him, when the gallant major exchanged with him, loaning his own horse, which was easy going and safe-footed. This gave the General great satisfaction on their ride together to the battlefield.

He was appointed Secretary of War by President Davis, but served only a short time. In February, 1863, he took charge of a foundery in Georgia, casting cannon for the Confederate army. When General Sherman initiated his campaign against Atlanta in 1864 General Smith was chosen commander of the Georgia State militia, and was Governor Brown's right-hand man in those stirring times and remained with those troops until the end, proving himself a valuable officer and winning the entire confidence of the people of Georgia and the troops under his command.

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I make these extracts from General Smith's official report to Gen- eral Hardee :

" Upon arriving here, almost broken down with fatigue and want of rest, with officers and men similarly situated, I received,' before leaving the cars, a peremptory order, from yourself, requiring me to take the militia of Georgia beyond the limits of the State, which was in direct violation of the statute organizing and calling them into ser- vice. I determined not to move either the militia or the (two small regiments of State line troops) beyond the limits of Georgia until satisfied in my own mind that necessity demanded it. In a personal interview with yourself (2 o'clock A. M.) you informed me that the enemy had moved out from Broad River, were encamped within a few miles of the Savannah and Charleston Railroad, threatening Gra- hamville and Coosavvhatchie, and unless vigorously opposed would undoubtedly break the road at one or both of those points soon after daylight, and that the only force that you had in your whole com- mand, which could by any possibility be brought upon the ground in time was two regular Confederate regiments from Charleston, and you believed these would be there too late, and that if I could hold the enemy in check until 2 o'clock P. M., and prevent them cutting the road before that time, several thousand troops from North and South Carolina, intended for Savannah, would arrive. In this inter- view I showed you my qualified authority from the Governor (Joseph E. Brown) to withdraw the Georgia State forces, under my com-