|Death||April 8, 1897|
Thomas Church Haskill Smith, or Thomas C. H. Smith, (1819-1897) was a lawyer, businessman, soldier and U.S. government reformer. He served as a Brigadier General in the Union Army during the American Civil War and later helped fight government corruption during the administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes. As the Hayes administration ended, Smith accepted a position as a Major and paymaster in the U. S. Army, and moved to California, where he died.
Early and family life
Born in Acushnet, Massachusetts, in 1819, Thomas Church Haskill Smith graduated from Harvard in 1841, went to Marietta, Ohio and took up the study of law. He completed his law studies and practiced in Cincinnati until 1848. On October 11, 1847, he married Lucy Woodbridge of Marietta, and they later had two daughters. In 1848 he became involved in a business venture that completed a telegraph line from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati, and another line from Sandusky, Ohio, to New Orleans. In 1851 he again returned to the practice of law, this time in Cincinnati.
Thomas C. H. Smith was enrolled as lieutenant-colonel First Ohio Cavalry September 1, 1861. He served with the First Ohio Cavalry in the fall of 1861 and through the winter of 1862 in Kentucky, and participated with his regiment in the siege of Corinth after the battle of Pittsburg Landing and until June, 1862. During his service with the regiment he was mentioned in special orders by General Buell for bravery and military ability while in command of a detachment of the First Ohio in a fight at Booneville, Mississippi, in June, 1862.
He was then promoted to Brigadier-General, to date from November 29, 1862, and was transferred to the staff of General Pope, and served with General Pope during his campaign, while in command of the Army of the Potomac in the summer of 1862 and was at the 2nd Battle of Manassas. Following that battle he was a witness against the accused at the courtmartial of General Fitz John Porter.
He was promoted to colonel January 1, 1863, and honorably discharged April 27, 1863, by reason of appointment as brigadier-general, United States Volunteers. He was appointed brigadier-general, United States Volunteers, March 16, 1863, to rank from November 29, 1862. Afterwards he accompanied General Pope to Minnesota and served on the staff in the Department of the Northwest. In 1863 he commanded the District of Wisconsin where he was cited for his work in subduing the resistance to the draft. His last command was as head of the Department of Missouri of the Military Division of the Missouri again under the command of Major General John Pope. He served as brigadier-general until January 15, 1866, when he was honorably discharged.
General Smith remained active in business, veterans' affairs and Republican politics. When his friend Rutherford B. Hayes was elected President, Smith moved to Washington, D.C. and became one of Hayes' unofficial advisors for cleansing the corruption charges that had dogged the Grant administration. He served in the Treasury Department in 1878 and on April 17, 1878, was appointed Paymaster and Major in the regular army.
Major Smith retired from the army in March 24, 1883, at the age of sixty-four, and moved to California.
Death and legacy
General Thomas Smith died at Ojai, California on April 8, 1897, and was buried in Santa Barbara, California. His wife Lucy survived him for another dozen years.