Giles Alexander Smith

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Giles Alexander Smith
Giles Alexander Smith - Brady-Handy.jpg
Giles Alexander Smith
Born (1829-09-29)September 29, 1829
Jefferson County, New York
Died November 8, 1876(1876-11-08) (aged 47)
Bloomington, Illinois
Place of burial Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, Bloomington, Illinois
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1861 - 1866
Rank Union Army major general rank insignia.svg Major General
Commands held 8th Missouri Volunteer Infantry
Battles/wars American Civil War

Giles Alexander Smith (September 29, 1829 – November 8, 1876), was a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.


Smith was born in Jefferson County, New York. When he was 18, he moved to southwestern Ohio, and for a decade engaged in business in Cincinnati. In the late 1850s, he moved to Bloomington, Illinois, where he was proprietor of a hotel.

At the beginning of the Civil War, he joined the 8th Missouri Volunteer Infantry, in which he became a captain. He took part in the capture of Fort Donelson, the Battle of Shiloh, and the operations against Corinth, becoming, later in 1862, colonel of a regiment which he led at Chickasaw Bayou. After the final campaign against Vicksburg, he was promoted brigadier general of volunteers. He was wounded at the Third Battle of Chattanooga. He took part in the Atlanta Campaign, the March to the Sea and the Carolinas Campaign, and his promotion to the rank of major general of volunteers in November 1865 was the last one for the Civil War.

After the war, he declined the offer of a colonelcy in the Regular Army, and was subsequently engaged in Illinois politics, retiring from public life in 1872. Smith was an Illinois delegate to the Republican National Convention. He moved to California in 1874 in a futile attempt to improve his health, but returned to Illinois two months before his death. He died at Bloomington, Illinois, and was buried there.

His brother Morgan Lewis Smith was also a general.

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