Aaron Smith

The following information was submitted by Wes Bowden and Barbara. Aaron Smith was Barbara Bowden's great-great-grandfather.  All the information was taken from records that were passed on to Barbara after her mother's death.
Aaron Smith was born in 1824 and lived in Webster Co, MS. He married Julis Ann Bays on Jan 9, 1843. Five children were born to Aaron and Julis Ann. They were: Thomas Tristum, Nancy E., James Henry, Millie J. and Locky J. All of these children were born in Choctaw Co, MS. Julis Ann Smith died on Jan 20, 1857 at home near Greensboro, MS and was buried in Old Lebanon Cemetery.
Aaron then married Sarah Ann Elizabeth Miles in 1860. Aaron and Sarah had eight children: Martha A., William Dudley, Josephine, Reubin, Maggie, Irvin, Mary and George. All these children were born in Sumner Co, MS; Sumner later changed to Webster Co. (What is now Webster Co was once part of the original Choctaw Co before it was divided to form other counties.)

In 1863, Aaron joined the 11th Calvary Co I under Col. Muldrow and served until the end of the war.

In 1874, he was appointed as member of the first board of supervisors ever elected to Sumner Co (now Webster). Aaron spent eighty-four years of his life abiding to the laws of the land and the ways of God.

Aaron died at home Oct 25, 1908 in Walthall, Webster Co and was laid to rest in Ebenezer Cemetery. Rev. A. C. Ball conducted the services.Second wife, Sarah Ann Elizabeth Smith died Feb 18, 1912 and was laid to rest beside Aaron in Ebenezer Cemetery.

The following information was taken from the autobiography of Thomas Tristum (Tress) Smith, which is now in the possession of his great-granddaughter. The autobiography is about his connection with the confederate service. This autobiography was written in Feb 1899. The autobiography was found when Barbara"s great aunt and grandmother were compiling the family history.

Tress T. Smith was born Nov 13, 1845 and died Jun 24, 1919.  He volunteered in Aug 1861 at Greensboro, Webster Co, MS as a recruit to Co D 15th MS Reg, Capt William Brantley. The company was under Lt. Col Walthall and Brig Gen Z. B. Zolicoffer. He served with the 15th until Aug 1862 when he joined the 43rd MS Reg Co D. In the 15th he fought the Battle of Camp Wildcat, Mill Springs, Shiloh.
In Aug 1862 he joined the 43rd MS Co D commanded by Col. B. F. Moore, with Lt. Col Richard Harrison and Maj Sykes, commanded by Capt Thomas B. Thompson, Samuel DeLoach, First Lt.; J. M. Gilbert, Second; Lt Wm. Berryhill, Third Lt.  This command was in north MS under Gen Sterling Price. They were soon ordered to Iuka, MS and on Sept 19, 1862, fought in the battle of Iuka. "We found larger numbers of Federal soldiers than anticipated and were forced to give up Iuka and fell back some distance south of Iuka. It was on this retreat that one of my mess mates, named William Morris, was killed by Maj Skyles horse."
"We had just stopped and broke ranks and were sitting resting. The horse, a fine black, was tied to the fence as we marched into the field and just after we had stopped; the horse became frightened and pulled the rail out of the fence and came charging down the line with the rail swinging to the halter. He ran over Bill Morris and we never knew whether it was the rail or the horse"s hoof that struck Bill on the head and crushed his skull."
"We, in a few days, joined forces with Gen Van Dorn and on Oct 3rd and 4th fought the battle of Corinth, MS; in which in which Col. B. F. Moore was killed in battle and Lt Col Richard Harrison was promoted to Col and Maj Sykes was promoted to Lt Col."

"We then went on to Chickasaw Bayou, Grand Gulf, Snyder"s Bluff, Big Black River Bridge and Vicksburg. On July 3, an unconditional surrender was entered into and on July 7, 1863, he was paroled. In 1864, an exchange was declared by the Secretary of War for the Confederate States."

He joined the corps of Gen Leonidas Polk at Montevallo, AL. From there, he went to Resaca, GA; New Hope Church and Pine Knob (or Pine Mountain) where Gen Polk was struck by a cannon ball and killed on Jun 19, 1864.

The corps then fell back to Kennesaw Mountain; to Peachtree Creek and on July 22, to Atlanta; from Atlanta to Lovejoy"s Station, Decatur, AL, Columbia, TN, Spring Hill and Franklin on Nov 30, 1864.

He later went to West Point, MS and on to Mobile where he reported to Gen Maury, who was in charge. From Mobile, he went to Egypt, MS; West Point, MS; Tupelo, MS and Augusta, GA.

On March 1, 1865, the corps started to march across SC to rejoin Gen Johnston in eastern NC. They chased Stoneman as he made his raid across western NC, from Salisbury, NC to Greensboro, NC. Other places were Lexington, NC, Raleigh, NC and Goldsboro, NC. They joined the main army on Apr 1, 1865 and had a reunion with his command, the first since Tupelo, MS.

The following is a quote from his autobiography:
"The perils and ravages had told upon all and a great number had crossed the cold dark stream into the unknown beyond, never again to reunite on this earth. All were discouraged and disheartened and with sadness longed to be with their dear ones at home. We remained at camp for a day or two and began falling back in the direction of Raleigh, NC; closely pursued by Gen Sherman"s victorious and cheerful army. We made but a short halt at Raleigh and the Federals were coming into the city as our rear guard left it. We on this day began to hear rumors of the defeat and probable capture of Gen Lee"s army of the Potomac. We continued to fall back along the line of the N.C.R.R. in the direction of Durham, NC. We passed Durham and Hillsboro and crossed the Haw River at or near the Station of same name. We had expected that Gen Johnston would endeaver to give Gen Sherman battle at Haw River, but of this we were mistaken. On the day before crossing Haw River we saw some of Gen Lee"s army who confirmed the rumor of its capture. Our command halted all along the line of Railroad from Haw River to Company Shops, NC. At this place I stopped, not being able to keep up with the command."

"I drifted across the county during the day and spent the night with a Mr. John Troxler, near the Alamance Cotton Factory. On next day I started up the Alamance Creek, just where I did not know. I finally felt too sick to travel and stopped under a cedar bush to rest untill I felt better. While resting there I was accosted by a party who proved to be your grandfather, who requested me to accompany him to his house until I felt able to go farther."

"I remained here for an indefinite period and while there heard all manner of rumors of the result of the movement of the two contending armies. You grandfather finally went over to Company Shops (now Burlington, NC) to learn the particulars. He came back and reported that our army under Gen. J. E. Johnston had surrendered on Apr 26th, 1865."

"This virtually ended the Confederate War, or War between the North and South. I remained at your grandfathers until July 28th, 1865. I was met at McLeansville, NC, by your mamma, who with some of her cousins accompanied me to Greensboro, NC , where we were made man and wife and proceeded to my home near Greensboro in Choctaw County, MS."

This is an excerpt from the 1899 autobiography of T. T. Smith, Barbara Bowden"s Great Granddaughter. Wes Bowden

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