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J. Mark Smither Civil War Letters

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

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J. Mark Smither Civil War Letters, 1861-1881 | SHSU Special Collections & University Archives

By Shaneil Snipe

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Collection Overview

Title: J. Mark Smither Civil War Letters, 1861-1881Add to your cart.

Extent: 1.0 Folders

Arrangement: The collection is comprised of transcribed civil war letters written by J. Mark Smither to his family and friends describing his experience as a member of the Hood’s Texas Brigade. The collection also includes letters from R. M. Powell to his family. The collection contains newspaper clippings, a poem and other materials relating to the Civil War.  All the materials are bound together in one booklet. The collection is located in the SHSU Special Collection’s Single Item Collections Archival Box.

Subjects: Chickamauga, Battle of, Ga., 1863, Confederate States of America - Army - Texas Brigade, Huntsville (Tex.) - History, United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865, Walker County (Tex.)

Forms of Material: Powell, Robert M. (Robert Micajah), 1827-1916 - Correspondence, Smither, John Marquis (Mark) - Correspondence

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The J. Mark Smither War Letters (1861 - 1881; 1 book) includes family correspondence, newspaper clippings and a poem relating his experience fighting in the Civil War. The letters in this collection are mainly between J. Mark Smither and his mother, brother, uncle and sister. The letters include details about J. Mark Smither’s health, the weather conditions and the encounters of the members of the Hood’s Brigade; including information on any soldiers that were wounded and those who died. There is also correspondence between R.M. Powell and his sister relating his war experiences. The J. Mark Smither Civil War Letters Collection also includes newspaper clippings recounting the events of a particular attack near the Occoquan River. A letter dated July 16, 1881 noting that Hollingsworth was unanimously elected as the Principal of the Sam Houston Normal Institute is also a part of this collection.

Collection Historical Note

John Marquis “Mark” Smither was born in Walker County, Texas on January 1, 1844. In 1845 his parents, Major Robert G. Smither and E.E. Calmes moved to Huntsville where they built a house. J. Mark Smither attended school at the Austin College in Huntsville and also at the Texas Military Institute. At the age of seventeen J. Mark Smither enlisted in Company D of the 5th Texas Infantry. He served in the famous Hood’s Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant major when he turned eighteen. Smither was wounded at the battle of Chickamauga but returned to war and was present for the last battles. After serving for four years Smither surrendered with the Confederate Army of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.

After returning to Texas, Smither began farming on the Trinity River. In 1869 he married Mary Hendon Thomason, the eldest daughter of Dr. And Mrs. Joshua Allen Thomason. Together they had six children: Allen Thomason, John Marquis, Jr., Francis, Will Fisher, Miles Temple and Mary Calmes Smither. Smither served as Walker County Judge from 1881 to 1892 after which he was elected as Judge of the Twelfth Judicial District for twelve years. He died on June 4, 1925.

Subject/Index Terms

Chickamauga, Battle of, Ga., 1863
Confederate States of America - Army - Texas Brigade
Huntsville (Tex.) - History
United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865
Walker County (Tex.)

Administrative Information

Repository: SHSU Special Collections & University Archives

Use Restrictions:

The materials represented in this finding aid have been made available for research, teaching and private use. For these purposes, you may reproduce (print, make photocopies, or download) these items without prior permission on the condition that you provide proper attribution of the source in all copies.

Please contact the Newton Gresham Library's Special Collections and University Archives department to request permissions to reproduce materials for any other purpose, or to obtain information regarding the copyright status of a particular digital image, text, audio or video recording.

Preferred Citation: J. Mark Smither Civil War Letters. SHSU Special Collections, Newton Gresham Library, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas.


Box and Folder Listing


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Series 1Add to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 2014.072Add to your cart.
Item 1: Letter to Mother from J. Mark Smither, 1861 September 12Add to your cart.
First letter from Va. Letter head reads " Stand firmly by your cannon, Let ball and grape-shot fly, And trust in God and Davis, But keep your powder dry."
Item 2: Letter to Aunt from J. Mark Smither, 1862 January 17Add to your cart.
Item 3: Letter to W.B. Smither from J. Mark Smither, 1862 January 18Add to your cart.
Item 4: Letter to Brother from J. Mark Smither, 1862 February 5Add to your cart.
Item 5: The Skirmish at Occoquan Heroic Courage of the Texans, 1862? January 29Add to your cart.
Newspaper Clipping. Washington
Item 6: Letter to Mother from J. Mark Smither, 1862 February 27Add to your cart.
Item 7: Letter to Mother from J. Mark Smither, 1862 February 18Add to your cart.
5th Regiment Texas Volunteers Camp near Archer on the Potomac near Dumfries
Item 8: Letter  from J. Mark Smither, 1864 May/JuneAdd to your cart.
This is only a part of the letter. The remainder cannot be found
Item 9: Letter to Brother from J. Mark Smither, 1862 April 6Add to your cart.
Item 10: Letter to Sister from J. Mark Smither, 1862 April 19Add to your cart.
Camp near Yorktown
Item 11: Letter to Mother from J. Mark Smither, 1862 April 28Add to your cart.
Camp "LA Bivouack, Reserve forces near Yorktown"
Item 12: Dear Little Rebel from R.M. Powell, 1862 October 14Add to your cart.
Richmond, Va.
Item 13: Letter to Mother from J. Mark Smither, 1962 December 28Add to your cart.
Item 14: Letter to Sister from J. Mark Smither, 1963 February 11Add to your cart.
Camp "Hope" near Fredericksburg Va. Talks about gaining possession of General Mclan's Division
Item 15: Letter to Mother from J. Mark Smither, 1863 May 12Add to your cart.
Item 16: Letter to Mother from J. Mark Smither, undatedAdd to your cart.
Item 17: Letter to Uncle, Mr. John R. Smither from J. Mark SmitherAdd to your cart.
Talks about possible vacancy in their Company because of plans to raise a Cavalry Company in North Western Va.
Item 18: Letter to Mother from J. Mark Smither, 1863 June 28Add to your cart.
They have now marched  into the "enemy's country" and are in Pennsylvania
Item 19: Letter to Mother from J. Mark Smither, 1863 July 29Add to your cart.
Remembers that two years ago his mother gave him her blessing as he went to serve his country
Item 20: Letter to Uncle from J. Mark Smither, 1863 August 7Add to your cart.
Item 21: Letter to My little friend from R.M. Powell, 1863 October 9Add to your cart.
Item 22: Letter to My Dear Little friend from R. M. Powell, 1863 October 29Add to your cart.
Stating that J. Mark Smither's Brother was wounded
Item 23: Letter to My Dear Little Sister from R.M. Powell, 1863 October 30Add to your cart.
R.M. Powell was a Colonel in the 5th Texas Regiment. Johnsons Island
Item 24: Letter to Mother from J. Mark Smither, 1863 November 3Add to your cart.
Item 25: To My Dear Adopted Sister from R.M. Powell, 1863 November 8Add to your cart.
Item 26: To My Dear Sister from R.M. Powell, 1863 November 1Add to your cart.
Item 27: To My Dear Sister from R.M. Powell, 1863 November 1863Add to your cart.
Item 28: To My Dear Sister from R.M. Powell, 1864 July 15Add to your cart.
Item 29: To Miss Ellas from E. A. Wood, 1864 February 22Add to your cart.
Item 30: Letter to Mother from J. Mark Smither, 1864 July 17Add to your cart.
Item 31: Letter to My Darling Little Sister from J. Mark Smither, 1864 January 7Add to your cart.
Item 32: Letter to Mother from J. Mark Smither, 1864 January 10Add to your cart.
Item 33: To My dear Uncle, Judge. Jas. L Smither, from J. Mark Smither, 1864 July 24Add to your cart.
Talks about setting up the camp as they will be there a while and discusses his prospects for promotion
Item 34: Dear Sissie from J. Mark Smither, 1864 November 12Add to your cart.
Camp 5th Texas Infantry Regiment. Fortifications East of Richmond Va.
Item 35: To Mrs. Wynne from Robert Campbell, 1865 April 13Add to your cart.
Item 36: To Hood's Texas Brigade. A Poem by Mollie E. Moore, 1874 May 7Add to your cart.
Third annual reunion
Item 37: Letter from Prof. J. Baldwin to O.N. Hollingsworth, 1881 July 16Add to your cart.
This letter is to inform that Hollingsworth was unanimously elected as the Principal of the Sam Houston Normal Institute. Department of Education. Austin. Baldwin is a professor at Peabody Normal Institute.
Item 38: Rest, undatedAdd to your cart.
These lines were found under the pillow of a soldier who was lying dead near Port Royal, South Carolina

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