Martin Luther Smith was an American soldier and civil engineer, serving as a Major General in the Confederate States Army. Smith was one of the few Northern-born generals to fight for the Confederacy, as he had served most of his early military career in the South with the United States Army's topographical engineers. Graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1842. Served as an engineer during the Mexican–American War, and was brevetted for his performance in mapping the valley of Mexico City. Resigned from the army in 1861, to side with the Confederacy.
After resigning, he was commissioned as a Major of engineers. In February 1862, Smith was appointed Colonel of the 21st Louisiana Infantry. In April 1862, Smith was promoted to Brigadier General and transferred back to the engineers. In May, he took charge of constructing the defenses of Vicksburg, Mississippi, as well as leading a division. After the town fell in July 1863, he was captured and was held as a prisoner of war for seven months. He was exchanged in early 1864 and briefly was the head of the Engineer Corps for the entire Confederate Army from March until April, when he became the Chief Engineer for the Army of Northern Virginia. Later, he held the same position for the Army of Tennessee. As Chief Engineer of the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana at the end of the war, he prepared the defenses of Mobile, Alabama.
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Categories: United States Military Academy | United States Army, Mexican-American War | Confederate Army, United States Civil War | 21st Regiment, Louisiana Infantry (Patton's), United States Civil War | Department of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana, Confederate Army, United States Civil War | Confederate States Army Generals, United States Civil War