G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
4th WISCONSIN VOLUNTEER CAVALRY
Organized: June, 1863
Mustered In: July, l863
Mustered Out: 5/28/66
This three year "western theater" regiment was organized at Racine, WI in June, 1863 with a numerical strength of 1,047. It was mustered into Federal service that July and was first assigned to suppressing bank riots in Milwaukee and Watertown, WI.
By 1864 the 4th was in the south fighting Rebels. On November 27th it formed part of a cavalry force around Mobile, AL keeping enemy forces from advancing toward the forces of Union Gen. W.T. Sherman as they advanced upon Atlanta, GA. It spent the winter at Baton Rouge, LA.
In April, 1865 the regiment returned to Mobile. Following the surrender of that city it was sent on a seventy day expedition through Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. In July of that year it was ordered to Texas where it served against smugglers, guarded against Indian attacks and "preserved the peace" until final muster.
Residence: Ripon, WI Age: Inf. Not Avail.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 2/27/64 Ripon, WI Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 2/27/64
Discharged: 5/28/66 Brownsville, TX
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Biographical information on Mr. Smith is, at best, sketchy. He was reportedly born in Chicago. The year was likely 1846. All that is known about his birth family is that his mother's name was Lucretia.
In February, 1864 Charles, then residing in Ripon, Wisconsin, enlisted in the U.S. Cavalry. Other than an inter-regimental transfer from company "M" to company "B" on 8/2/65, muster rolls show him present except as follows: 8/31/64 absent sick in hospital at New Orleans, LA and 4/30/66 absent on courier duty at Santa Maria, TX. His medical records are: 7/10/64 intermittent fever; 7/11-13/64, debility and 7/13 to 9/12/64 double pleurisy.
Following the War Mr. Smith's are not definitively known. However, it appears he returned to Wisconsin where he became active in Grand Army of the Republic in St. Croix.
First post-war documentation for Charles comes from 7/21/90 when, as a resident of the community of Hersey, St. Croix County, WI he visited a notary public apparently to lay the groundwork for receipt of a U.S. Government invalid pension based on his having, at some point in time, lost his left hand. A monthly stipend was subsequently granted although the monetary amount is not currently available.
According to his obituary, in December, 1890 Charles moved westward to the Puget Sound region of Washington State. Exactly why he came here is not known, but once here he reportedly performed clerical duties in the Snohomish County auditor's office. Later, he became the county's first deputy auditor. In 1893, with another, formed the "abstract company “of Smith and (E.A.) Strong.
Charles J. Smith, then 50 years of age, died 12/6/95 in Snohomish, WA. His passing came at the residence of a Mrs. Ida Curtis "after an illness of several weeks." Interment was initially in that community's Woodlawn Cemetery, but after the creation of the Snohomish G.A.R. Cemetery in 1898 his remains were removed to that location.
Charles Jay Smith was apparently never married, so following his death his mother, Lucretia Smith still residing in Wisconsin, petitioned the government to receive a portion of his pension as a dependent mother. According to the eighty year old Mrs. Smith, Charles had been monetarily supporting her during the previous eleven years. It is not known if the request was granted.
Buried at Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery Snohomish
Karyn Zielasko Weingarden
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