Teacher of Civil War Generals
Major General Charles Ferguson Smith,
Soldier and West Point Commandant
From West Point to Fort Donelson, General Charles Ferguson Smith
was a soldierís soldier. He served at the U.S. Military Academy from 1829 to
1842 as Instructor of Tactics, Adjutant to the Superintendent and Commandant of
Cadets. During his 42 year career he was a teacher, mentor and role model for
many cadets who became prominent Civil War generals, and was admired by such
former students as Grant, Halleck, Longstreet and Sherman.
Smith set an example for junior officers in the Mexican War, leading his light
battalion to victories and earning three field promotions. He served with Albert
Sidney Johnston and other future Confederate officers in the Mormon War. He
mentored Grant while serving under him during the Civil War, and helped turn the
tide at Fort Donelson, which led to Grantís rise to fame. He attained the rank
of major general, while refusing political favors and ignoring the press.
Drawing on never before published letters and journals, this long overdue
biography reveals Smith as a faithful officer, excellent disciplinarian, able
commander and modest gentleman.
Buy the book at
H. Mesch is a Civil War author, educator, and historian from Plano,
Texas. He shares his 4,000-plus photographs taken at over one hundred
locations on his web site
Civil War Journeys, writes the blog
Salient Points, teaches classes in Collin Collegeís SAIL program, and
reviews books for the
Civil War Courier.