Joseph Smith


BirthApril 12, 1839
DeathApril 7, 1930
CemeteryLeigh (Leigh)
PostGrant (Leigh)
Unit11th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company K

Private Joseph Smith

Company K, 11th Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry – 40th Volunteers

Smith was born in New Bethlehem (Clarion County), Pennsylvania on April 12, 1839. He enlisted and was mustered in the regiment on July 18, 1861. He served about 44 months and was mustered out on March 4, 1865. Due to length of service, Smith would have re-enlisted at some time during his enlistment. The re-enlistment date was not available.

The 11th Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry – 40th Volunteers was organized at Camp Wright (near Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania in June 1861. The unit was engaged in many major battles and campaigns during the Civil War. Some of them include:

Battle of Gaines Hill (VA) (June 27, 1862).

2nd Battle of Bull Run (VA) (August 29-30, 1862).

Battle of Antietam (VA) (September 16-17, 1862).

Battle of Fredericksburg (VA) (December 12-15, 1862).

Battle of Gettysburg (PA) (July 1-3, 1863).

Battle of the Wilderness (VA) (May 5-7, 1864).

Battle of Spottsylvania Court House (VA) (May 12-21, 1864).

The regiment suffered heavy casualties during the War. Eleven (11) officers and 185 enlisted men were lost in combat operations. In addition, the unit lost 1 officer and 112 enlisted men due to disease. The total loss was 309 men. Some of the casualty counts for selected battles includes:

Battle of Gaines Hill. 54 men were lost, 18 were wounded, and 9 were taken prisoner.

Battle of Fredericksburg (12/13/1862). 20 men were lost, 50 were wounded, and 10 were taken prisoner.

Battle of the Wilderness (5/5/1864). 3 men were lost, 7 were wounded, 37 were taken prisoner, and 8 were reported missing.

Private Smith was taken prisoner on May 10, 1864 at the Battle of Spottsylvania Court House. He was sent to Camp Lawton near Millen, Georgia on November 11, 1864. Smith was released via a prisoner exchange on February 26, 1865 and was discharged from the regiment on March 4, 1865.

The “Find-a-Grave” website indicates that Smith was wounded in 1862 at the Battle of Fredericksburg. The Civil War Research Database does not indicate that he was wounded at that battle.

Smith died on April 7, 1930 at the age of 90 years. He is buried in the Leigh Cemetery in Leigh (Colfax County), Nebraska. At the time of his death, he was the last member of the Grant Post (#273) of the Grand Army of the Republic in Leigh.

Doc – Smith(11PA).doc

Note: Veteran bios were compiled and written by Dean Podoll.


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