Edmund Kirby Smith was born in St. Augustine, Florida on April 24th 1824. He got his nickname Seminole because of his native state. He went to a military boarding school, and then the United States Military Academy. Smith married Cassie Seldon and bore five sons and six daughters. In 1847, his elder brother Ephraim died from wounds obtained in the Battle of Molino Del Rey in which Smith also fought.
Smith joined the CSA
as a Major in the regular artillery with the Confederate forces. He was quickly promoted through the ranks to brigadier general in 1861. His neck and shoulder were badly wounded while leading his troops in the battle of Bull Run, but despite this, returned to duty a few months later. The following February, he was to command the Army of East Tennessee and won a victorious combat at the Battle of Richmond. On February 17th 1864 for his victory, Smith received the Confederate “Thanks of Congress”.
In 1863 he was sent to command the Trans-Mississippi Theater and he remained on the west side of the Mississippi for the remainder of the war. He found himself isolated from Richmond after the Union forces captured Vicksburg and Port Hudson. Smith established himself in command of an almost independent area, which became known as Kirby Smithdom. He continued to try to win back Vicksburg against the Union from the west side of the Mississippi but was never successful. In 1865, by which he was now a general, he had negotiated surrender on May 26th. Following the signed agreement, he fled to Mexico, and then to Cuba, fearing prosecution for treason. Smith returned to Virginia November 14th 1865 to take an oath of Amnesty. He died of pneumonia in 1893.