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Edmund Kirby Smith

Smith, Edmund Kirby, or Edmund Kirby-Smith, 1824–93, American soldier, Confederate general in the Civil War, b. St. Augustine, Fla. A West Point graduate, he was cited for gallantry in the Mexican War. A major when he resigned from the U.S. army (Mar., 1861) to fight for the Confederacy, he served in the Shenandoah under J. E. Johnston, and fought at Bull Run (July). Smith led the Confederate advance into Kentucky and defeated a Union force at Richmond, Ky. (Aug., 1862). He ably commanded the isolated Trans-Mississippi Dept. (1863–65) and was promoted to general in Feb., 1864. The unsuccessful Red River campaign of Nathaniel P. Banks was directed against his forces. Smith was one of the last Confederate generals to surrender (May 26, 1865). After the war he was chancellor of the Univ. of Nashville from 1870 to 1875 and professor at the Univ. of the South, Sewanee, Tenn., from 1875 to 1893.

See biographies by A. H. Noll (1907) and J. H. Parks (1954); R. L. Kerby, Kirby Smith's Confederacy (1972).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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