Biography of Gaines Chism Smith

BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD-February 23, 1827 in Giles County, Tennessee

MARRIAGES AND CHILDREN- MATLIDA JANE DAVIS- (born 1831 in Giles County, Tennessee in the 1850 census and 1829 in Alabama in the 1860 census) married Limestone County, Alabama records, Vol. 187, Date November 15, 1845, license no. 491-2080 signed by Isaac Dial, J.P. At the time of their marriage, Gaines was a teacher. Matilda was 19 years old in the 1850 census which means she was 14 when she married Gaines . Capp or Capps may have been her mother's name.(?) On the 1850 census she is listed as 19 years old and born in Tennessee. On the 1860 census Matilda is listed as 31 and born in Alabama. Matilda Jane Davis died before 1868 since Gaines remarried in 1868. She may have died in childbirth since Emma was born in 1867.


Mary Ann-born December 25, 1846 in Giles County, Tennessee according to the 1850 census, was 4 in the 1850 census, 13 in the 1860 census and was born in Alabama, 23 in the 1870 census and was born in Tennessee, had left home by the 1880 census. Married in 1872.

Phelps Shepard-3/31/1848-2/4/1902, birthdate from a tombstone has his birthdate as 3/31/1849, nickname "Shep". Phelps was 3 in the 1850 census and born in Giles County, Tennessee, 11 in the 1860 census and born in Alabama, had left home by the 1870 census. Married in 1868.

Harriett D.-born 1850. Harriett was 4 months old in the 1850 census and born in Giles County, Tennessee, 9 in the 1860 census and born in Alabama, had left home by the 1870 census. Married in 1869.

In the 1850 Census of Limestone County, "Gains" Smith household included Matilda J., Mary Ann, Phelps and Harriet D.

Elizabeth (Betty)-b. 1852. Elizabeth is listed as age 8 in the 1860 census and born in Alabama, 18 years old in the 1870 census and born in Alabama, had left home by the 1880 census. Married in 1873.

Milton Walton-born in1854, listed as 6 years old in the 1860 census and born in Alabama, 16 in the 1870 census and born in Alabama, had left home by the 1880 census. Milton had a son named Harry who moved to Union city, Tennessee. Box #101-the will of Milton Smith, Probate Judges Office, Limestone County Court House. Brother John mentioned in will.

Matilda Jane-born 1856, listed as 4 in the 1860 census and born in Alabama, age 14 in the 1870 census and born in Alabama, and had left home by the 1880 census. Married in 1872.

In the 1860 Census of Limestone County, Gaines C. Smith's household consisted of Matilda J., Mary A., Phelps, Harriet, Milton, and Matilda

John-born 1860, is not on the 1860 census, he is 11 in the 1870 census and born in Alabama, and had left home by the 1880 census.

Margaret (7/14/1860-7/21/1954) is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Goodsprings, Alabama. Margaret was 9 in the 1870 census and born in Alabama, 20 in the 1880 census and born in Alabama, had left home by the 1900 census. Married in 1883.

Melissa L.-born 1863, listed as 7 years old in the 1870 census and born in Alabama, 18 in the 1880 census born in Alabama, had left home by 1900 census.

Emma -born 1867, listed as 3 years old in the 1870 census and born in Alabama, 14 in the 1880 census and born in Alabama, had left home by the 1900 census. Probably married in 1887.

In the 1880 census, Margaret, Malisa L., and Emma have their mother Matilda Jane Davis as being born in Tennessee.

ELIZA WICKHAM-married Gaines on April 7, 1868, license 145, Limestone County witnessed by Mrs. Wickham and J.W. Todd as minister. On April 6. Eliza Wickham is the grantee in a land transfer from Samuel Wickham, grantor, deeded 8/23/1867, Book 12, page 26, part SE, 32A. The United States government had granted this land to Samuel 4/28/1847. She may have died with the birth of her child Robert Lee since she is not on the 1870 census unless she is listed as Louisa.

Mary Toone Wickham is mentioned as a daughter but may have been a child of Eliza from a previous marriage or Mary Ann Smith Toone may have married again to a Wickham.(?)

Robert Lee-1869. Listed as age 1 in the 1870 census and born in Alabama, 11 in the 1880 census and born in Alabama, had left home by the 1900 census. Married in 1893. Box #122- the will of Robert L. Smith, Probate Judges Office, Limestone County Court House

LOUISA MANNIE-born 1847in Alabama, on the 1870 census as a housekeeper, age 23 and born in Alabama. Louisa and Mary Ann are the same age. There is not a marriage license in Limestone County so they may have been married in another county. She died before 1884 since Gaines had married Elizabeth by then. Louisa may also be another name for Eliza. I have not found Eliza's grave marker yet to know exactly when she died.

In the 1870 Census of Limestone County, "Gains" C. Smith's household consisted of Louisa, Mary, Betty, Milton, Jane, John, Margaret, Melissa, Emma and Robert L.


Jefferson Davis-born 1872. listed as 8 years old in the 1880 census and born in Alabama, had left home by the 1900 census.Probably married in 1903.

Ida J.- born February,1873, listed as 7 years old in the 1880 census and born in Alabama, 27 in the 1900 census and born in Alabama, had left home by the 1910 census. Probably married 1903.

Flora (Florie ?)-born 1876, listed as 4 years old in the 1880 census and born in Alabama, had left home by the 1900 census.

Alice O.- born September, 1879-was 1 year old in the 1880 census and born in Alabama, 20 in the 1900 census and born in Alabama, had left home by the 1910 census. Probably married in 1902.

On the 1880 census, the household consists of G. C. Smith, Margaret, Malissa, Emma, Robert Lee, Jeff D., Ider J., Flora, and Alice.

On the 1880 census Robert Lee, Jeff D., Ider J., Flora, and Alice have their mothers Eliza Wickham and Louisa Mannie (?) as being born in Alabama. However in the 1900 census, Ida and Alice have their mother being born in Tennessee.

ELIZABETH JOHNSON-"Lizzie" (6/7/1861 in Alabama-5/18/1945) military records show marriage occurred on June 26, 1884. There is a marriage license in Limestone County. They were married by Robert S. Partrick and George W. Toone was their witness. Elizabeth was born on June 7, 1862 in Goodsprings, Alabama. She was 22 years old and Gaines was 57 at the time of their marriage. Her father was Pascal Johnson, born in Virginia according to the 1910 census. The 1900 census shows Gaines and Elizabeth married for 16 years, had four children, three surviving. According to the 1900 census, Elizabeth was born in Alabama. The 1900 household consists of Gaines, Elizabeth, Ida, Alice O., Forrest, Custer, and Ewell. She is buried in City Cemetery next to Gaines. Box #62-the estate of Elizabeth Smith, Probate Judges Office, Limestone County.


Thomas-not on any census but may have been born after 1884 and had left home by the 1900 census.

Bedford Forrest (April 24,1885-February 12,1917) Forrest was killed in a train wreck and is buried in City Cemetery next to Gaines C. Smith. Listed as Forest S. and 15 years old in the 1900 census and born in Alabama, had left home by the 1910 census.

Custer W.-born September 23, 1886-listed as 14 years old in the 1900 censusand born in Alabama, had left home by the 1910 census.

Robert Ewell (April, 1892-1933) buried in Athens City Cemetery. He is listed as 8 years old in the 1900 census and born in Alabama, 18 years old in the 1910 census and born in Alabama. Box #62, Probate Judges office, Limestone County-the estate of Robert Ewell Smith

In the 1900 Census of Limestone County, Gaines C. Smith's household consisted of Elizabeth (wife), Ida, Alice O., Forest S., Custer W., and Uwell.

In the 1900 census, Forest S., Custer W. and Uwell have their mother as being born in Tennessee. Ewell has her being born in Alabama in the 1910 census.

In the 1910 census of Limestone County, "Gain" C. Smith's household consisted of Elizabeth (wife) and Ewell.


1850 Limestone County

Smith, Gains m 23 teacher TN (1827)
  Matilda J. f 19   TN (1831)
  Mary Ann f   4   TN (1846)
  Phelps m   3   TN (1847)
  Harriett D. f 4/12   TN (1850)

1860 Limestone County

Smith, Gaines C. m 33 farmer TN (1827)
  Matilda J. f 31   AL (1829)
  Mary Ann f 13   AL (1847)
  Phelps m 11   AL (1847)
  Harriet f   9   AL (1851)
  Elizabeth f   8   AL (1852)
  Milton m   6   AL (1854)
  Maltilda f   4   AL (1856)

1870 Limestone County

Smith, Gains C w/m 43 farmer TN (1827)
  Louisa w/f 23 housekeeping AL (1847)
Smith, Mary w/f 23   TN (1847)
  Betty w/f 18   AL (1852)
  Milton w/m 16 farm laborer AL (1854)
  Jane w/f 14   AL (1856)
  John w/m 11 farm laborer AL (1859)
  Margaret w/f   9   AL (1861)
  Melissa w/f   7   AL (1863)
  Emma w/f   3   AL (1867)
  Robert L w/m   1   AL (1869)

1880 Limestone County

Smith, G. C. w/m 53 TN/TN/TN (1827)
  Margret w/f 20 dau AL/TN/TN (1860)
  Malisa L w/f 18 dau AL/TN/TN (1862)
  Emma w/f 14 dau AL/TN/TN (1866)
  Robert Lee w/m 11 son AL/TN/AL (1869)
  Jeff D w/m   8 son AL/TN/AL (1872)
  Ider J w/f   7 dau AL/TN/AL (1873)
  Flora w/f   4 dau AL/TN/AL (1876)
  Alice w/f   1 dau AL/TN/AL (1879)

1900 Limestone County

Smith, Gaines C head w/m Feb/1827 73 m/16   TN/TN/TN (1827
  Elizabeth wife w/f Apr/1862 38 m/16 4/3 AL/AL/AL (1862)
  Ida dau w/f Feb/1873 27 s   AL/TN/TN (1873)
  Alice O dau w/f Sep/1879 20 s   AL/TN/TN (1880)
  Forest S. son w/m Apr/1885 15 s   AL/TN/TN (1885)
  Custer son w/m May 1886 14 s   AL/TN/TN (1886)
  Uwell son w/m Apr/1892   8 s   AL/TN/TN (1892)

1910 Limestone County

Smith, Gain C. head w/m 83 m2/26   TN/TN/TN (1827)
  Elizabeth wife w/f 48 m1/26 4/2 AL/VA/AL (1862)
  Ewell son w/m 18 s   AL/AL/TN (1892)


1860-farmer, Justice of the Peace issuing marriage licenses
1861-1865-officer in the Army of Northern Virginia, C.S.A.
1866-the first tax collector
1868-member of the executive committee of the Conservative Party of Alabama, also tax collector
1876-1877-state legislature-representative

1866-G. C. Smith made payments to the city treasury as follows:
November 16-$750.00
November 22-$475.00
November 24-$285.00
December 11-$1375.00

April 1, 1867-Gaines C. Smith assessments 14,089.59 less county expenses $12,234.91l and balance of $7, 019.70.

July 30, 1868-County paid Gaines C. Smith $25.00 for expenses to collect taxes.

April 6, 1876-The Limestone News- "Mr. Editor-The time has come for the people of Limestone to consider who shall represent in the next Legislature. This county, be it remembered, is entitled to two representatives and we think that the North side of Elk River is justly entitled to one of the number and we must earnestly insist that Col. Gaines C. Smith permit his name be used by his friends as a candidate. He is a true man, well qualified, and we assure him of the warm support of hundreds of good citizens, if he will allow his name to be brought before the County Convention. An early response is respectfully requested by a large number of voters."

April 20, 1876-The Limestone News-"Limestone County Executive Committee list Gaines C. Smith as one of the twelve members of this committee in 1876."

April 27, 1876- The Limestone News-"ANNOUNCEMENT-We are authorized to announce Col. Gaines C. Smith a candidate to represent Limestone County in the House of the next Legislature. Election, first Monday in August.

May 18, 1876-The Limestone News-"From Col. Smith-May 15, 1876-Mr. Editor: You will please publish the following:-Being charged by Mr. Hunley with voting for what is known as the 4th Resolution, adopted some time ago by the Executive Committee, I at first, stated positively that I did not vote for it, perhaps I was I was rather hasty. On reflection, it is possible I may have voted for it, there was considerable wrangling over the resolution and substitutes, and if I voted for it I did so under a mistake in the question. And I am perfectly willing to go before the people with this apology. Believing the people will always forgive and forget honest mistakes. If I was under a mistake then and wrong, there is no reason I should be wrong today. Wise men change, fools never do. Gaines C. Smith " Note-Resolution 4 pertained to requiring all democrats to vote for the nominees of the Democratic Party.

July 2, 1876-The Limestone News-"OUR NOMINEE-Col. Gaines C. Smith was born and has always lived in this county. No man, who has saved his life, has made greater sacrifices for his country than Col. Smith. On a hundred hotly contested battlefields has he risked his life and now our people propose to reward him with honor and public confidence. Naturally, he is a man of more than ordinary intellect, but like most really brave men, he is extremely modest. He will study carefully every question brought to his attention and when his opinion once formed, he will wield a mighty influence for what he deems the right.

With such men as Townsend and Smith in the Legislature, Limestone need not fear for her interest or her honor." Note-Smith received 474 votes; the next candidate received 448 votes.

1876-1877-State Legislature-Representatives-Gaines C. Smith; B. W. Townsend -The History of Limestone County, Alabama by Robert Henry Walker, Jr.

April 12, 1878-The Athens Post-Col. Smith's Reply-"Allow me through your columns, to say to those who have called upon me to become a candidate for re-election to a seat in the General Assembly of Alabama, that I cannot, under the circumstances by which I am unfortunately surrounded, make the canvas. If Limestone County did not afford so many, who are much more competent than myself, then it would I be induced to absent myself from my family for any length of time and that would be in deference of my country. I hereby tender to them, and to my constituents, who so generously bestowed their confidence in me, in honoring me with a seat in the councils of the State, my heartfelt thanks. Gaines C. Smith"

November, 1886- Gaines C. Smith made inspector for bridge over Beaver Dam Creek.

February 23, 1888-The Alabama Courier-"Appointees by the Democratic Executive Committee to hold elections in their respective boxes. Gaines C. Smith listed to conduct election in Beat 6."

April 12, 1888-The Alabama Courier-Shows Gaines C. Smith elected to the Democratic executive Committee from Wickham, Beat 6.

April 23, 1888-The Alabama Courier-"LOCAL NEWS-We had a very pleasant call last week from Col. Gaines C. Smith of Goodsprings. He reports things moving along very nicely in his neighborhood."

January 18, 1896-The Alabama Courier-"Goodsprings, Ala. Jan. 10-Some weeks ago I announced as a candidate for tax collector. Since that time, numerous friends have approached me and urged that I make the race for tax assessor, and knowing the friendship of these gentlemen and recognizing their wishes in the matter, I shall accept their desires. I, therefore, withdraw my name as a candidate for tax collector and present my name to the good people of Limestone County as a candidate for tax assessor. Gaines C. Smith Note-He was not elected to this office.

Served as postmaster in Goodsprings until he moved to Athens.


Indian Wars-joined army at the age of 16 as a volunteer. Fought in the Seminole wars in Florida.

1846-Mexican War Veteran-Captain- He served with General Winfield Scott in campaign to Mexico City.

Enlisted June 1861 in Captain David Houston's company, which later became Company H of the 9th Alabama Regiment, Wilcox Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia. His beginning rank was Lieutenant Company Muster-in-Roll, Gaines C. Smith, 1st Lt., age 33, Capt. Houston's Company of Infantry, Alabama Vols., joined June 10, 1861-Limestone County, Alabama-roll dated June 18, 1861, Lynchburg, Va. The Ninth Alabama Regiment lay at Manassas, Centerville till March 1862 when it marched to Yorktown under the command of General Kirby Smith of Florida. General J. H. Forney of Calhoun succeeded to the command of the brigade and was relieved by General Wilcox in January. The regiment was under fire at Yorktown with slight loss-April, 1862.


Williamsburg-"As these companies were advancing, that part of the companies that had not fallen back made a move for the battery, some of them acting with Captain Warren and his company and others with Captain Smith and his company. The rallying companies at the same time made a dashing move for the battery, which was taken in fine style." War of the Rebellion, Official Records of the Union & Confederate Armies, Series 1, Volume XI, Part 1, Reports, page 595 this reference was made to Gaines C. Smith regarding the capturing of a battery on a road leading from Williamsburg to Wynn's Mill called Yorktown Road. The regiment's loss was not severe.

"The battery was entered first by Captain Warren's and Smith's companies of the 9th Alabama. "Captains Smith and Warren and Lieutenant may deserve praise for their conduct at the capture of the enemy's battery." These references, regarding Gaines C. Smith in his efforts in leading his company in rushing and capturing a battery containing eight guns and taking 25-30 prisoners, are from a report signed by Sam Henry, Colonel, 9th Alabama Regiment, Headquarters 9th Alabama Regiment, May 11, 1862.

"Among those that call for special notice in the 9th Alabama are Captains Warren, Smith, Gillis, and King. The companies of the first two were the first to enter the captured battery."Report signed by C. M. Wilcox, Brigadier-General, Brigade Headquarters, May 12, 1862, Series 1, Volume XI, Part 1, Reports, page 593.

"Gaines Smith-very distinguished at the Battle of Williamsburg , page 91, From Alabama to Appomatox by Price Parker

A brief history of the 9th Alabama with references to Gaines C. Smith in capturing a battery at Williamsburg, pages 595, Confederate Military History published by the Confederate Publishing Co., Atlanta, Georgia, 1890.

Seven Pines-The regiment was held in reserve and did not suffer losses. It was now brigaded with the Eighth, Tenth, Eleventh and Fourteenth Alabama regiments, still under Wilcox.

Gaines Mill- Seven Days Battle, report written by Captain Gaines C. Smith on 27th Infantry Virginia Regiment of the Battle of Gaine's Mill and Malvern Hill(of the 27th ultimo and the 1st instant). signed by Gaines C. Smith, Captain, 27th Regiment Virginia Volunteers, Headquarters 27th Regiment Virginia Volunteers, July 7, 1862 Series 1, Volume XI, Part 2, Reports, page 583

At Gaines' Mill, the regiment sustained severe loss.

Frazier's Farm-The regiment was "rent and torn by the wall of fire at Frazier's Farm."

Second Manassas- The regiment was under fire but not actively engaged.

Harper's Ferry-The regiment was part of the "investing force."

Sharpsburg-The regiment lost 8 killed, 42 wounded, and 9 missing. The Ninth wintered on the Rappahannock.

Fredericksburg-The regiment was under fire with few casualties.

Salem-The regiment's brightest renown was won at Salem where it bore the brunt of a successful assault and loss was very heavy.

Gettysburg-"Captains Gaines C. Smith, 9th Alabama Regiment, was severely wounded through the body while leading a charge in an open field." (entitled to the promotion of Lieutenant-Colonel) report signed by C. M. Wilcox, Brigadier-General, Headquarters, Wilcox Brigade, Bunker Hill, Virginia, July 17, 1863,Seies 1, Volume XXVII, Part 2, Reports, page 619 The regiment sustained severe loss where the brigade had 781 killed and wounded.

"Captured at Gettysburg, Captain John Chisholm, Lt. Col. Gaines C. Smith, Col. William H. Forney, and Lt. Alex Chisholm were bound for Fort Delaware. Of the above all lived through the ordeal except Captain Chisholm." Page 69 From Alabama to Appomatox by Price Parker Ninth Alabama Field Officers: Lt. Col. Gaines C. Smith, page 92, From Alabama to Appomatox Records show Gaines C. Smith's name on a list of prisoners at a depot near Sandusky, Ohio while being transferred from Fort Delaware to Point Lookout on March 14, 1865. He was paroled at Johnson's Island, Ohio and forwarded to Point Lookout, Maryland for exchange on March 14, 1865. This roll was signed U.S. Forces, Johnson's Island, Ohio, March 14, 1865.

A brief account of Gaines Chism Smith being wounded at Gettysburg, page 619, Confederate Military History published by the Confederate Publishing Co. in Atlanta, Georgia, 1890 Gaines Smith was promoted to Colonel on March 19, 1865 when he rejoined the 9th Alabama for the brief time before Appomattox. Alabama, Her History, Resources, War Record and Public Men, From 1540 to 1872 by Willis Brewer, The Reprint Company, Publishers, Spartanburg, S.C., 1975 pages 602-604

A description of the progress of the 9th Alabama on the right of Pickett in A History of the 9th Alabama Regiment, Birmingham Public Library, Birmingham, Alabama

"The campaign at Gettysburg began on July 1. It was near Cemetery Ridge that the Ninth and Tenth Alabama under Wilcox suffered the heaviest losses of the war under a single command. The Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Fourteenth Alabama regiments moved forward to support the famous charge of General George Pickett, where so many were killed or wounded. It was here that Limestone Countian Gaines C. Smith, commanding Company H of the Ninth Alabama, was badly wounded and captured, along with Colonels William H. Forney of the Tenth Alabama and L. Pickard of the Fourteenth Alabama." History of the Ninth Alabama by Price Parker

While Gaines Smith was a prisoner of war at Fort Delaware, The regiment passed fall and winter in camp near Orange C.H. Then the Ninth participated in the fierce struggles at the Wilderness and Appomattox with severe loss in both battles. General Sanders of Greene took command of the brigade. The fighting was almost continuous for several weeks, culminating in the terrible repulse of the invading army at the second battle of Cold Harbor, in which the Ninth participated without severe loss. For the next nine weary months, the regiment was in the trenches of Petersburg. A remnant of the Ninth surrendered at Appomattox. The brigade was under the command of General W. H. Forney of Calhoun.

"I am still in Houston's Company. It makes no difference whose company you are in here. We all fare alike. Colonel Wilcox is very kind to the privates and very stringent with his officers. We have abandoned our tents and sleep in the open air. All of the Company are in favor of Gaines Smith as Captain. In fact, he is really Captain now-he will be the man to lead us in battle." William C. McClellan's letter written at Manassas, July 22nd, 1861-reprinted in the Limestone Legacy 1991

Company H was commanded by Gaines Smith after the resignation of David Houston. A roster of the company known as the " Limestone Grays" shows Smith as 1st Lieutenant, with Thomas McDonald, 2nd Lt.,F. Colbert 3rd Lt., L. Goldsmith, William Cox, John N. Glover, and William Hobbs as sargents, T. Hill, G. Strange, M. Hill, and W. M. Roberts as corporals. Privates were: Benjamin Batts, L. Bates, J. Black, J.J.Bradshaw, C.G.Beckham, James Cain, W.J.Cox, J. Cox, W. Chambers, Sam Crabb (killed), G.B.Clifton, J.J.Crayton, H. Clem, William P.Everett(killed), D. Evans, R.M.Evans, A.B.Ewton, J. Freeman (killed), R. Fuller, W.T. Fain, George Grisham, William Grisham, G. Graham, D. Green, M. Gullett, John Havey, George Hendricks(died measles 1861), P. Henderson, W. M. Isabell, Z. Isabell, J.R. Isabell, R.C.Jones, James Johnson, C. Jackson, H. Jackson, V. Jackson, J. Kline, G.D. Mingea, J. McDonald, G.M. Morgan, H. Morgan, J. McCellan, Robert Menifee, William Oglesby, D. Owen, J. Odear, D. Patton, John Patterson, T. Rambo, Mat Stewart, G.R. Smith, J. Smith, A.B. Smith, S.D. Stephenson, Thomas Sandefer, Hillard Thompson, R. H. Thach, William Toone, J.C. Twitty, T.T. Twitty, G.A.Varellman, H. Watkins, Ike Webb, B. Williams, H. Wilburn, and H. Yancey.

"Gaines Smith eventually became a Colonel and commandant of the 9th Alabama Infantry. He was a prisoner briefly after being wounded at Gettysburg. After the war, he became a member of the state legislature. Members of Company H under Smith's command included these men whom McClellan mentioned in his letters: James Cain-wounded at Manassas, killed at Gaines Mill, William Everett, George Hendricks-died of measles 1861, G. Dudley Mingea-"Dud" returned to Limestone County, married Amanda Hendricks in 1867 and served as sheriff of Limestone County for many years, Robert Thach-"Dink" husband of Eliza Coleman was able to return home but died in December 1866, His sons were both distinguished, one becoming president of Alabama Polytechnic College, Thomas Tweedy-"Tom" Dr. Tweedy and his family were neighbors of the McClellans, and Ben Williams." Limestone Legacy 1992

"Friday…Went to see Miss Sue Snead a few minutes this evening. She has just returned from Decatur and says that citizens there have been treated about as badly as they have here. She says they heard from Corinth everyday as there was a line of couriers from there to Chattanooga and they sometimes carried mail. She saw in anewspaper that Dud Mingea and two more of Smith's Company were killed at Williamsburg. "Tis a year today since Eppa went away. What wouldn't I give to know where and how he is now. When I think of the day they started, it seems a short time ago: but when I think of the events of the past year it seems a age. I hope we'll not see such another." Mary Fielding's diary , June 1862

Requisitions for supplies signed by Gaines C. Smith-October, 1861, October 2, 1862, November 27, 1862, and December 25, 1862-Military Service Records, National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Pay vouchers-June 10, 1861-June 30, 1861-Gaines C. Smith, 1st Lt. Ala. Vol. (accepted appointment June 10, 1861)-$63.00, July 31, 1861-1st Lt. Co. H-$180.00, December 1, 1861-January 1, 1862-$130.00-Captain Co. H, 9th Regiment Alabama Volunteers (promoted to Captain October, 1861)

Retired: April 1865 on account of "surrender of the armies"

Member of the Thomas H. Hobbs Camp #400 United Confederate Veterans, Athens, Alabama. Certificate of Membership dated October 2, 1895

August 15, 1889-The Alabama Courier- article about the Confederate reunion plans list Gaines C. Smith on the planning committee. Also stated that there would be a parade of all the "old rebs" on the public square in Athens under the command of Col. Gaines C. Smith.

August 29, 1889- The Alabama Courier-"Colonel Gaines C. Smith, whose record as a soldier, shines brightly through two wars, and is still a young man, was a pleasant caller at the Courier office last Friday. He came in to see the boys who wore the gray under his command and, in fact, all others on hand. He ranks higher than any officer in the county and by reason, ther of, was the commander of the day. He is now a prosperous farmer and lives in the "over Elk country" where hogs and hominy are raised at home."

August 29, 1889-The Alabama Courier-"THEY WORE THE GRAY-Veterans of the Lost Cause Gather at Athens, Immense Crowd, Plenty to Eat and Speech-Making-Last Saturday was a good day for all Limestone and especially the Confederate soldiers of this county-the occasion of their reunion, and there were present, as handed us by the officer of the day, Capt. Geo. King, in line 336, but this did not near the number those present for there were many stragglers. Early in the morning, just as the early streaks of the sun were beginning to show themselves, wagons filled with men, women and children were seen coming into town from every direction, and also hundreds came on horseback and on foot, all bent on seeing the many old "verterans" that would meet, many for the first time since the days when they last met on the field where the "dead and dying lay." It was a sight not often seen, and many tears ran down the cheeks of the sturdy old soldier as he grasped again the hand of the man that had stood beside him in the thickest of the fight, where shot fell as hail from the enemies' guns. They had many things to talk of and each one wanted to make the other the hero and the bravest man of the war, which they all succeeded in doing to the satisfaction of each other. Early in the morning, the splendid brass band, from Cullman, Alabama, which had been secured for the occasion, was in the court yard and sweet strains of music greeted the old soldier as he came in town and as soon as he had hitched his horse or mule, he would join the ranks over in the county's grassy yard of justice, and such a greeting as one could see if he were on the outlook, and as each new arrival came there would be words and handshaking. As each old soldier would register his name, the editor of the Courier, who had printed about five hundred beautiful badges, bearing the following "C.S.A.", would pin on each of the dear old soldiers showing where he stood, and it was a pleasure to see how happy it made them feel. At half past ten o'clock, the order to fall into line was given by Col. Gaines C. Smith, as well as if it had been yesterday, did they understand what it meant, and they formed aline, two deep reaching across the court yard, and then at the well-known tap of the drum, they took up the line of march and followed the band to the beautiful college grove at the Male College Grounds, where they were addressed by Gen. Joe Wheeler who many of them followed through the thickest of the fight, then following an address by Maj. E. C. Gordon, and then that great and grand man, Gen. Wm. B. Bate, of Tennessee, one of the grandest leaders of the Southern Confederacy, made the old soldiers a speech such as he alone can make. After his beautiful and able address, the immense crowd present, were invited to the long tables that were weighted down with the richest and best prepared barbecue meats and all the other things that were needful to such an occasion, and bade to help themselves, and to say that one or any of the crowd went away hungry would, we think, be to tell an untruth. There were about one hundred cues nicely prepared, and sent up to the tables. When such men as Charley Tyrone, John Owen, Thomas J. Carter, Dan Hare and Newt Hodges were at the head of affairs, all may know that it was prepared fit for the gods to have enjoyed. The pit where the meats were cooked, on Friday night about ten o'clock presented a beautiful appearance and when the scribe took them in, and found the above named gentlemen at the head of the cooking department, we were satisfied it was a success.

October 10, 1889-The Alabama Courier-"Col. Gaines C. Smith of Goodsprings was in Athens last week."

May 9, 1889- The Alabama Courier-"It is with pleasure that we note the fact that our popular friend and county man, Col. Gaines C. Smith, has been granted a pension for services rendered in the Mexican War. The Col. is one of the leading men of his county, and is a true citizen and we are not afraid to assert that no braver man ever went to war against the Mexicans than he. May he live long to enjoy his pension."

June 26, 1900-Application for the Relief of Confederate Soldiers (pension application)-age 73

Wounded in following battles: Williamsburg, Frazier's Farm, Salem Church, Virginia, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

A note hand written by Dr. Theo Westmoreland states that " Gaines Smith was as gallant a Colonel as ever commanded a regiment."


1860-$500.00-Federal census, Limestone County

May 22, 1868-November, 1890-various mortgages and notes were recorded to various merchants and individuals for crop loans. This indicates that Gaines C. Smith lived in the Goodsprings, Alabama area and farmed.

March 23, 1880- Gaines Smith, grantor, and Andrew Jackson, grantee filed for a deed to the land Section 17, Township 1, Range 6 West, mort 1/29/1880, Book 19, pages 780 & 23, 125 NE, S ˝ SE., $100.00 Land Records of Limestone County.

May 26, 1900-Total $82.00 included 1 horse @ $20.00, 2 cows @ $30.00, 1 clock @ $2.00, household and kitchen furniture @ $25.00, mechanical and farming tools @ $5.00


May 1856-Gaines C. Smith is the trustee of a land agreement. Book 9, page 178, Limestone County Legal Records

1860-$800.00-Federal census, Limestone County

May 22, 1868-James B. Davis deeded to Gaines Chism Smith 80 acres of land for the sum of $40.00. This land was the west half of the north east fourth of section 20 township one range 6 west. Book 12, page 129 Limestone County Legal Records, Probate Judges Office, Limestone County Court House

March 1, 1879-Gaines Chism Smith owns the south one half of the south east quarter of section 17 township one range 6 west containing 80 acres. A later mortgage shows Gaines C. Smith as owning 160 acres. Book 15, page 691, Limestone County Legal Records

March 23, 1880-Gaines Smith, grantor, and Andrew Jackson, grantee, filed for a deed to the land Section 17, Township 1, Range 6 west, mort 1/29/1880, Book 19, pages 780 &23, 125 NE, S1/2 SE, $100.00. Land Records of Limestone County.

October 17, 1899-Gaines C. Smith purchased lots #4 & 5 being part of the southwest of the southeast section Z Q a township one range 6 all north of the public road containing one and one half acres more or less for $75.00. Isaac M. Roberts and his wife Polly authorized John C. Hill and his wife S. A. Hill to make a good and sufficient title to Gaines C. Smith. Authorized by G. W. Christopher, Justice of the Peace on October 21st.

1900-One and three quarters acres of land located in Limestone County valued at $50.00

September 3, 1907-Gaines C. Smith purchases a lot at the corner of Clinton and Wood Street (also described as Morris or East Wood Place) Book 88, page 513, Limestone County Legal Records. This lot was given to Robert Ewell Smith by Elizabeth Smith on September 20, 1912.

Built a house at 411 North Houston. Now the house is described as follows: "With a side and front gable, brick foundation, this house has recessed front and side porches of concrete, an extended wing in front, is wood covered with aluminum siding, is rectangular irregular, and has a detached garage and storage building.

PERSONAL DESCRIPTION- He was a modest, reserved man. He voted against secession but stayed with his home state Alabama and raised 100 volunteers. General Wilcox made references requarding Gaines C. Smith's conduct, courage and spirit.

DEATH-April 28, 1910 died at the age of 83 after a long illness

May 2, 1910-The Birmingham News- Col. Gaines C. Smith was a hero of three wars- the Indian wars, as Captain in Mexican War, began as Lieutenant in the War Between the States promoted to Colonel by the end of the war.

May 4, 1910- The Alabama Courier-"Col. Gaines C. Smith-Col. Gaines C. Smith, one of the most esteemed citizens this county ever had, died at his residence in Athens last Friday afternoon after a long and tedious illness. Col. Smith was a most remarkable man in many particulars. He was nearly ninety years of age, had served his country in three distinct wars. He went out as a youth and fought the Indians in the early Indian wars. When the war with Mexico broke out, he went to the defense of his country and served throughout the war, coming out a Captain. He then, laid down his arms and sought the comforts of a home life, rather than follow the life of a soldier. When the great division arose which divided the north and south, he was early in the action, offering his services to his native country and went forth from Limestone a First Lieutenant in a company of Limestone boys, and it was not long until his ability and courage brought him to the attention of the men higher up and he was rapidly advanced until at the close of the war, he came out a Colonel. It was said of him by those who knew his record best that in all the southern ranks, there was no braver or more determined leader of men. He was always in the front. He led while his men admiring his supreme courage followed blindly. He returned to Limestone after the close of hostilities in 1865 and settled down to his former pursuit and since then has resided in our county, admired and respected by all who knew him. A few years ago, he came to Athens to spend the few remaining days allowed to him. He was very feeble for many months before the end and only those who visited him at his home saw the old veteran of three wars. He was a modest man and unless you knew of his valor and his war record, you would never get any of it from him. His remains were laid to rest Saturday in the city cemetery. No braver or nobler body was ever laid to rest under the southern skies than that of Col. Gaines C. Smith."

"Gaines C. Smith was a recipient of the Cross of Honor." Page 135, Confederate Soldiers from Limestone County, Alabama by Jerrye Todd Austin, published by Joseph E. Johnston Chapter #198, U.D.C.

BURIAL-Athens City Cemetery, lot number 339-small rounded tombstone and United Daughters of the Confederacy iron cross over grave site. Limestone County Cemetery Book VIII, page 50.


Mary Ann Smith-born December 25, 1846 in Limestone County, Alabama. She was married to Thomas W. Toone on August 4, 1872 by H. F. Archer with Gaines C. Smith as a witness. Thomas was the son of William Toone (a member of the Limestone Grays) and Rachel Bales.Their children were all born in Texas and are as follows: Thomas W., born 1874 , Eunice Ann born July 1878 , Lillian born February 1880 , Ella born September 1882 , Virgie born September 1885 , and Gaines born July 1888 . Gaines Toone was a private in Co. H, 331 Infantry in World War II. Mary Ann died April 22, 1923 in Wolf City, Hunt County, Texas.

Phelps "Shep"(3/31/1848-2/4/1902)-married Sarah Jane Brownlow on December 31, 1868 by J. W. Todd.. Their children are named Forrest, Bertie Phelps , Ernest Edward, Milton M., Egbert Gip born 1888, Selman Dewitt , Eugenia, Amner, Gaines, Sarah Beulah, Una Blanche, Adain, and Ina Bland. After the death of Forrest and Eugenia, they moved to Texas. Phelph's son, Egbert was born and raised in Henderson County, Texas and moved to Indian Territory in 1906. Egbert married Ellie Hughes in 1907. Judge J. R. Blades wrote an obituary for Phelps in the Athens Review described him as "one of nature's true nobleman- a grand, good man."

Harriett D. born 1851. Hattie D. Smith married James H. Croney on January 2, 1869 according to the Limestone County Marriage Book.A descendent of G. C. Smith said she married a Kronny or Crony and lived in Dallas, Texas.

Elizabeth (Betty)-born 1852 married Charles M. Cates on September 25, 1873 witnessed by G. C. Smith and H. F. Arthur as minister. Elizabeth and Charles moved to Texas where he died. Their children were Mary Emma born 1876 and Myrtle L.born 1872. Elizabeth and her children came back to Alabama on a buckboard wagon. Elizabeth Cates married William M. Garrett on April 6, 1884 in Limestone County. The minister and witness was James B. Davis. William Garrett owned a lumber mill.

Milton Walton- born 1854.Milton had left the Smith household sometime before 1880. No marriage license listed in Limestine County. We know Milton had a son named Glenn who lives in Ft. Worth, Texas and a son Harry who moved to Union City, Tennessee. There was a daughter named Myla. Box #101 has the will of Milton Smith, Probate Judges Office, Limestone County Court House. His brother John is mentioned in the will.

Matilda Jane-Born 1856-married John Thomas Cates (b. 4/5/1849, Alabama-d.1926, Woodward, Oklahoma). They were married on October 11, 1872 in Limestone County, Alabama. H. F. Arthur was the minister and G. C. Smith the witness.Their children were Robert G. born 1874, James Milton born 1875, Adkirson Eugene born 1877, Lenora born 1879, Don Wesley born 1897, Charles Phelps born 1885, and Ella.

Emma-born 1857. There is a Ema T. Smith married to Champ Marable on December 7, 1887 in the Limestone county Marriage Book. The witness was the bride's father-no name given. One descendent of G. C. Smith said she married a Marabee and lived in Sulpher Springs, Texas.

John-born 1859. John had left the Smith household before the 1880 census. There is a marriage of John Smith to Puss English on January 2, 1873.(?)

Margaret-(7/14/1860-7/21/1954) was married J. N. Hester on March 28, 1883 in Limestone County. She was married by J. B. Davis with Gaines C. Smith as a witness. She may have married a Tucker in a second marriage and lived in Florence, Alabama. She is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Goodsprings, Alabama.

Melissa-born 1863. Melissa had left the Smith household between the 1880 census and the 1900 census.

Robert Lee.-born 1869. Robert married Elmira Maclin in March 11, 1893 in Limestone County by F. J. Givens at Bride's residence.

Jefferson Davis-born 1872. He had left the Smith household after the 1880 census and before the 1900 census. There is a marriage license for Jeff Smith and M.V.(Victory) Thompson on June 10, 1903. Jefferson D. Smith is on the 1910 Limestone County census as a 37 white male farmer head of household. His wife is Victory is a 28 year old white female born in Tennessee. Their children are Thomas J.,age 6, Nettie L., age 4, and Milard L., age 4.

Ida J.-born February, 1873. Ida had left home by the 1910 census. Ida Smith married John H. Davis on May 28, 1903 by A. W. Todd at Mt. Rozell.

Flora-born 1876. Flora had left home between the 1880 and 1900 census.

Alice O.-born September, 1879. A descendent said that Alice married a Holden and lived in Anderson, Alabama. There is a J. F. Holden married to Alice Smith on January 15, 1902 by John C. Hill with Odell Fox as a witness.

Thomas-not on any census. May have been born after the 1880 census and had left home before the 1900 census.

Bedford Forrest-(April 24, 1885-February 12, 1917)had left home before the 1910 census. Bedford was killed in a train wreck and is buried beside Gaines C. Smith in Athens City Cemetery. He had a son named William D. He lived in Athens, Alabama. There are two marriages of a B. F. Smith between 1900 and 1910. One married Jennie Young and the other married Nannie Young. (?)

Custer W.-Born September 23, 1886. Had left home by the 1910 census.

Robert Ewell- 1892-1933- Lot 4 0f Block 11, Athens, Alabama , was sold to Mr. And Mrs. Ewell Smith in May, 1922. The buildings on this land had been burned in 1862 by Federal troops. Ewell built a 11/2 story frame house ( now covered in siding). Ewell started his business career with Purina Mills. William Danforth was the president of this company. Ewell had such high requard for him that he named his son, who was born in this house, William Danforth Smith. William D. Smith bought this house in 1953 and lived there until 1962. Robert Ewell's grandson Ewell is business manager of Athens State College.


Phelps Smith-on an 1810 petition, he is named as an illegal white encroacher on the Indian lands of North Alabama.

Joseph Smith is on the 1870 census for Limestone County. He is age 49, born in Alabama. Wife is Rowena. Has a 7 year old son named Phelphs, born in Tennessee. He is listed on page 156B and Gaines is listed on page 177B. A brother?

J.P.Smith-1880 census- born in Tennessee, a farmer,wife is Sarah E., children are C. E., Martha L., E.D., Thomas B., William, and Walter. Related to Gaines?

Felps Smith on the 1812 Tax List for Giles County Phelps Smith on the 1820 and the 1830 Giles County census and the 1836 tax list for Giles County.

W. P. Smith on the 1830 Giles County census.

Phelps Smith vs James Harrison-"On 4th Monday in October 1819 was filed a petition in the name of Phelps Smith against James Harrison based on a note of hand to Phelps Smith for the sum of forty dollars in consideration of a parcel of pork bought of Smith and estimated 1000 lbs. Said Smith agreeing in case the pork did not hell? Out that amount to make a proportionable deduction on the bond and to meet petitioner at Athens at the election for members to the convention to make payment. Said Smith did not attend but shortly afterwards sued petitioner by a forthwith warrant about 20 miles from his place of residence..& petitioner not being able to attend & make his defense, judgement was rendered against him for the full amount although the pork did not make the quantity for which the bond was given by about 200 lbs. Petitioner prays for an award of a writ of certiorari to remove the action into the Circuit Court..Sworn the 24 Sept. 1819. Know all men..that we JAMES HARRISON and DANIEL HARRISON…are firmly bound unto PHELPS SMITH in the penal sum of $500…dated the 8th day of October 1819. The condition of the above obligation in such that whereas by order of John W. Walker, Judge this day made a petition of said JAMES HARRISON writs of certiorari are directed to be issued…The defendant failed to appear the plaintiff supported his action by note of hand it is thereby adjudged that the defendant pay to the plaintiff the sum of $41 principle and interest and also the further sum of $1.31-1/4 cost of suit this 21st day of August 1819..This cause having been continued and now.. on the 1st Monday in Sept., 1822 came the parties bt their attorneys and the plaintiff says he wishes no further to prosecute…the plaintiff recovers his cost in this behalf." Pages 225-227, Volume 12, No.2, Superior Court & Circuit Court abstracts 1818-1820, Limestone County.

Phelps Smith married Elizabeth____case date April 11, 1845 p. 130, Civil and Criminal Minutes Book1844-1848

December Term 1816-p.245-The State vs. Phelps Smith: Upon a presentment for an assault and battery on the body of Jacob Campbell, defendant is quilty by trial of jury in manner and form as he is charged in the bill of presentment and ordered to make his fine of $10.00 and costs of prosecution.

Monday, February 21, 1824-A deed of conveyance from Alexander McDonald to Phelps Smith for thirty acres of land was produced in court and the execution thereof acknowledged by the said Alexander McDonald and ordered to be certified for registration. Page 314, Giles County, Tennessee Court Minutes

June Session, 1814-page 154-Ordered that letters of administration with the will annexed of the estate of William Smith deceased issue to Alexander McDonald he having been qualified and given bond and security according to law. Giles County, Tennessee Court Minutes

Page 222-A nonceptive will of William Smith deceased divising to John Brown, the amount of his wages as a soldier in the service of the United States as one of the militia of this state under command of Major General Jackson was produced in open court and proven by oath of David Brown, a subscribing witness thereto. Giles County, Tennessee Court Minutes

Page 255-The administration of the estate of William Smith deed returned an inventory of the estate which is ordered to be recorded. Ordered that the Administrator of the estate of William Smith deed have leave to sell the perishable part of said estate except the dividends, divided the noncupitive wills heretofore proven and that an order of sale issue accordingly. Giles County, Tennessee Court Minutes

Pge 513-William Smith vs. William W. Crittenton,deft. Walker Felts, Georgia -Giles County, Tennessee Court Minutes

Beech Hill Cemetery:

G.W. Smith 4/2/1825-9/9/1904 Wife-Susan E. Smith 10/23/1837-6/25/1910

George Washington Smith-born Giles County April 14, 1856 and died April 18, 1926 and is buried in Athens City Cemetery. Masonic marker on grave. Married Martha L.. Carroll.

Gaines is buried in a section of Athens City Cemetery sectioned off by cement lines. Gaines' grave is between Elizabeth Johnson Smith (wife) and Bedford Forrest Smith (son). Also in this section is Ewell Smith (son) ,Leaton Smith Martin (October 12, 1895-February 4, 1975) and Terrah Cole Leopard (February 14, 1901-July 28, 1987).

There is a Joseph H. B. Smith who married Emily M. Davis on August 5, 1856 by William M. Redus and John Davis as a witness in Limestone County. Related?

1830 Census-Limestone County for Smiths-Alexander, Benjamin, Charles, Edward, Ezekiel, Gabriel, Harry, James, John, John N., Minor W., Peter, Pleasant, Samuel, Uriah, Will, William, William T.

George R. Smith died June 1900 in Decatur was in Co. H, 9th Alabama Infantry. He was married to Mary F. Steward.

All information I have compiled on Gaines Chism Smith is as accurate as possible as of March 5, 2001, but may change as I acquire further documents. If anyone has anything that can be added to this biography, I would appreciate your contacting me at the following address;

Submitted by: Gloria Barnett

There is no valid email link to this donor.
%Magic Memories
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Telephone: 615-794-2848 Click HERE to see a photo of the Colonel.