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Smiths That Served with Custer

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Surname/tag: Custer, Smith
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10 SMITHS served with Custer’s Troops, 5 died at Little Bighorn (as of 2014 – no one in our SmithConnections Northeastern yDNA GROUPS claimed these men....)

  • Smith, Albert A. Co.E Private b.1838 Queens Co.NY –Soldier enlisted 1 Jan 1873, with Custer's column -d.25 Jun 1876 Little Bighorn
  • Smith, Algernon Emory Co.E 1st Lt b.17 Sep 1842 Newport NY -Student enl 9 Aug 1867, with Custer's column -d.25 Jun 1876 Little Bighorn
  • Smith, Frederick Co.K Private b.1846 Mulhausen Prussia/Germany -Soldier enl 7 Mar 1876, on detached service – d.18 Aug 1905 place unknown
  • Smith, George E. Co.M Private b.1850 Kennebunk ME -Shoemaker enl 6 Sept 1875, in valley fight – d.25 Jun 1876 Little Bighorn
  • Smith, Henry G. Co.D Private b.1849 Lake County IN -Butcher enl 8 Sep 1875, in hilltop fight - date/place of Death unknown
  • Smith, James Harrison Co.G Private b.9 Apr 1848 Madison IN -Soldier enl 20 Jun 1876, not present, enroute – date/place of Death unknown
  • Smith, James Co.E Private b.1851 Tipperary Ireland -Laborer enl 20 May 1874, with Custer's column - d.25 Jun 1876 Little Bighorn
  • Smith, James Co.E Private b.1847 Lynn MA -Shoemaker enl 1 Dec 1874, with Custer's column - d.25 Jun 1876 Little Bighorn
  • Smith, William E. Co.D Private b.3 Aug 1853 Rouses Point NY -Farmer enl 13 Sept 1875, in hilltop fight – d.10 May 1918 S.Deerfield MA
  • Smith, William M. Co.B Corporal b.1851 Trenton NJ -Blacksmith enl 11 July 1872, w/pack train & hilltop fight –d.4 Jan 1921 Phila PA
  • “’’The Mystery of E Troop (Company), Custer’s Gray Horse Company at Little Bighorn’’” by Gregory Michno (1994 & 1997) Mountain Press Missula, MT
    • 6 SMITHs died in Battle of Little Bighorn (aka Custer’s’ Last Stand). The 7th Cavalry was organized at Fort Riley, KS Aug 1866. Co E was organized in Sep. What is unique about E Troop (aka Company E) is they had the fastest horses. Custer assigned all the men Gray horses (making them easily identified), and their remains were “missing” on the battlefield until this author showed what really happened. (A misunderstanding of who called what the “Deep Ravine”)

The following SMITHs served in the 7th Cavalry, Co E, all died 26 Jun 1876, at Little Big Horn.

  • 1) Col. Andrew J. Smith (aka A.J. Smith) was commanding officer of the regiment; the second in command was Lt. Col. George A. Custer. “Since A.J. Smith also commanded the District of the Upper Arkansas, command of the 7th fell to the young Lt Colonel Custer.”
  • 2) Lieutenant Algernon E. Smith, b.1842 New York, sometimes called “’Fresh’” Smith, as a counter to another 7th Cavalry lieutenant, Walworth H “’Salty”’ Smith. Algernon served in 117th NY Infantry during the Civil War, achieving the rank of captain. He participated in the fights at Fort Wagner, Petersburg, Richmond, and other notable incidents. A bullet wound in the Civil War prevented him from lifting one arm above his shoulder (no mention which arm). Lt. Algernon Smith fought at the Battle of Washita under the command of Custer, for which Custer was court-marshalled. They had attacked a sleeping village of a peaceful tribe who honored their peace treaty with the whites. Lt. Algernon Smith took command of Co E in Apr 1876.
  • 3) Lieutenant Walworth H. "Salty" Smith. No information.
  • 4) Private James Smith from Massachusetts served under Lt. Algernon Smith.
  • 5) Private James Smith from Ireland served under Lt. Algernon Smith.
  • 6) Private Albert Smith from New York served under Lt. Algernon Smith.
  • The 3 privates rode behind Lt Algernon Smith before and during the Battle of the Little Big Horn. During the Battle, Lt Algernon Smith knew things did not look good, because they could not cross the ford to get back to camp, and Indians had been able to surround them (more time and familiarity with the landscape). Custer moved his troops north away from Smiths' and Yates’ troops. Therefore, “…by mutual agreement, Smith and Yates pulled back and angled north and east, up the banks of another coulee.” They saw Custer eventually turn east, but it was not to help Smith and Yates; Indians were chasing Custer, who was “firing at some other target.”
  • from Quentin GR 12
    • My then 13 year-old maternal grandmother and her mother were returning home from the winter of 1875-76 spent in California. Their train stopped in Cheyenne, WY, to pick up General Custer's body bound for Washington, DC.
    • Over a decade earlier, my maternal Great Aunt Mollie Link, in a letter about her 1861 trip to Colorado in a covered wagon – described the Indian tribes stopping by their campsites each night on the trail. She said the Sioux, who were responsible for Custer's death, as handsome; the Cheyenne were tall and muscular; and the Apaches were fat and greasy.
    • She also told of a humorous episode at camp one night on the trip. A Sioux Indian offered her husband Sam a swap of squaws. When Sam refused, the Indian upped the offer to include a pony and a rifle. Sam repeated "No swap". Mollie said they got great laughs over that !!

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