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Bill Thayer

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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1851

Vol. II

(Born Ala.)

Melancthon Smith​a

(Ap'd Ala.)


Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1845,º to July 1, 1851, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Bvt. Second Lieut., 8th Infantry, July 1, 1851.

Served: in garrison at Ft. Columbus, N. Y., 1851‑52; and on frontier duty at Ft. McKavett, Tex., 1852, — Camp Johnston, Tex., 1852, — Ft.

(Second Lieut., 8th Infantry, Dec. 7, 1852)

Chadbourne, Tex., 1852‑53, — Scouting, 1853, — Ft. Chadbourne, Tex., 1853, — and Ringgold Barracks, Tex., 1853‑54.

Resigned, Nov. 9, 1854.

Civil History. — Cotton Planter, Quitman, Clark County, Mis., 1854‑61. Major-General, Mississippi Militia, 1859‑61. Member of the House of Representatives of the State of Mississippi, 1857‑59.

Joined in the Rebellion of 1861‑66 against the United States.​b

Civil History. — Planter, Quitman, Mis., 1866‑71. Principal of High School, Enterprise, Mis., 1871‑74. Editor of "Pascagoula (Mis.) Democrat-Star," 1874‑76, and of "Mobile (Ala.) Cycle," 1876, and of "Mobile News," 1877.

Died Nov. 1, 1881, at Mobile, Ala.: Aged 53.

Thayer's Notes:

a There are several other notable men by the same name, the most famous of whom are Melancton Smith (1744‑1798), a member of the Continental Congress, and his grandson Admiral Melancton Smith, U. S. Navy (1810‑1893), a Union Navy ship commander best known for his part in the passing of Forts Jackson and St. Philip below New Orleans in 1862; for the latter, see the biographical memoir by Reuben Thwaites. It would be reasonable to think that the subject of this entry in Cullum's Register was related to them, very possibly the son of the Admiral; but despite the unusual name, I've been unable to determine that.

The spelling of the first name of all of these men varies: Melancton, Melancthon, and the etymologically correct Melanchthon are all seen.

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b As with other Confederate officers, Cullum's Register omits his war record. He commanded an artillery battalion raised in Tennessee, and reached the rank of Colonel. His contribution to the war effort doesn't seem to have been particularly notable and he is a bit shadowy to track down. (If you have good information, please drop me a line of course!)

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Page updated: 24 Apr 13