1. Education

May 26, 1865 - Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith (right) surrenders the last major Confederate field army at Galveston, TX.  An 1845 graduate of West Point, Smith saw extensive service during the Mexican-American War and served under both Maj. Gen. Zachary Taylor and Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott.  A native of Florida, he left the US Army in April 1861 and joined Confederate forces on the eve of the Civil War.  Made a brigadier general in June, he was badly wounded at First Bull Run.  Recovering, Smith took command of the Department of East Tennessee.  In this role, he supported Gen. Braxton Bragg's invasion of Kentucky.  Given command of the Trans-Mississippi Department in March 1863, Smith oversaw all Confederate territory west of the Mississippi River.  Effectively cut off after the falls of Vicksburg and Port Hudson later that year, he defeated Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks' Red River Campaign in the spring of 1864.  After a failed invasion of Missouri that fall, Smith was limited to raiding and guerilla activity.  The last major Confederate force to remain in the field, he surrendered to Maj. Gen. Edward Canby on May 26, 1865.  After the war, Smith largely focused on education and served as both an administrator and professor until his death in 1893.

Confederate Army Commanders:

Photograph Courtesy of the Library of Congress


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