Talk:Edmund Kirby Smith

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Kirby Smith vs. Kirby-Smith[edit]

Shouldn't the name actually be "Edmund Kirby-Smith" (hyphenated)? That's the usage at Sewanee, and it's on his tomb. --Spewey 14:14, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I searched through the ORs and couldn't find any correspondence or orders from him that used a hyphen. Hal Jespersen 01:20, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
That's interesting, because while I accept your explanation, I've seen it as "Kirby-Smith" almost my whole life. Not that it makes me an expert, but I attended a successor institution to Western Military Academy. I'm pretty sure (but not at all certain) that the name of the LSU dorm is correct. I'll try to go to the Sewanee cemetery the next time that I'm through there and read the tombstone, but that's probably inadmissible original research in any event. I'm for leaving it as it is. Rlquall 00:57, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
My uncle married his great granddaughter (or great-great granddaughter - anyway, a direct descendant), and she spelled her name "Kirby-Smith". Also, on his grave it does say "Kirby-Smith", with a hyphen. Here is a photograph of the tombstone:
Smyslov 02 June 2006
Jeffrey Prushankin, Associate Professor at Penn State-Abingdon has written a book published in 2006 by LSU Press on the relationship between Richard Taylor and Edmund Kirby Smith. He uses Kirby Smith as opposed to Kirby-Smith. I live in Tennessee, and know several graduates of the University of the South (Sewanee), where Kirby Smith spent the last 18 years of his life as a professor. They all refer to him as Kirby-Smith, and the monument to him and his gravestone all use the name Kirby-Smith. So the following appears to be the case: He went by Kirby Smith prior to and during the Civil War. After the Civil War he went by Kirby-Smith. My take anyways. User:Mpleahy 17:27, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Parks' 1954 Biography (See References in article) adds further information on the Kirby Smith vs. Kirby-Smith issue. To distinguish himself from all the other "Smiths" who were Confederate generals, EKS signed all his dispatches "E.Kirby Smith". By the end of the war, he was known simply as General Kirby Smith. Shortly thereafter, the hyphen appeared, and all his known descendants use the surname "Kirby-Smith." But as his fame was a result of his Civil War activities, it is probably best to refer to him as Edmund Kirby Smith, which was how he referred to himself throughout the war. User:Mpleahy 19:03, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

As can be seen from his signature, Smith did not hyphenate his name, and he appears under S, not K, in the index to Shelby Foote's "The Civil War: A Narrative". Obviously, the Kirby started out as a middle name, a matronymic, and later became more common than Edmund as a substitute first name.The article should be edited to give uniform treatment--he is routinely called "Smith" early, and "Kirby Smith" later in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:21, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Some additional discussion following the edits of January 4, 2011. If 'Smith' is offensive to family members, perhaps his father, Joseph Lee Smith, should have done something about his name. The secondary sources used for reference in this article do not cite a hyphenated surname. Those that are in encyclopedia format list him as "Smith, Edmund Kirby." It was moderately common in the 19th century for middle names to be used prominently, such as Dorsey Pender and Porter Alexander, but that does not affect the way we refer to them in their articles. Hal Jespersen (talk) 23:07, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

(Confederate) Army of the Potomac[edit]

It looked like a mistake to mention EKS as part of the Army of the Potomac in July, 1861. This is generally the name of the main Union army. Further investigation reveals that this was briefly the name for the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.

I fixed the link. This was an early army that was incorporated into the Army of Northern Virginia along with other forces. Hal Jespersen 20:30, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)


I rewrote this article because it was not in the typical format for a Wiki Civil War bio (which are normally presented in chronological order), but also because it was in copyright violation from You can't just copy text from websites unless they are known to be in the public domain, like National Park Service battle descriptions or Fox's Regimental Losses. Hal Jespersen 01:20, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Last Confederate General[edit]

I added a line in about him being the last confederate general, because I read it on a Trivial Pursuit card. I have no other source for this, but would tend to believe it. Gabefarkas 06:23, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately, it's inaccurate. Rather than basing entries on a one liner in a card game, since Wikipedia focuses on verifiability, I commend you to any major Civil War history; Shelby Foote's or Bruce Catton's will do. Come to that, Stand Watie's own Wikipedia entry has it right. Ravenswing 09:47, 18 November 2006 (UTC)


You say he 'resigned his commission in the U.S. Army on April 6 [1861] to join the Confederacy.' Then 'On March 16, 1861, Smith entered the Confederate forces as a major in the regular artillery.'

Was it an accepted routine to join the Confederates before resigning from the U.S./Union army? Valetude (talk) 14:08, 25 July 2013 (UTC)