Date of Award

Summer 1968

Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Klement, Frank


One of the most puzzling dramas that history has, directed is the unique role played by Charles Ferguson Smith, veteran of two wars, instructor of major Civil War officers, both Confederate and Unionist, and unsung hero of the first major battle in the Western Theater during the Civil War. His subordinate position at that time was considered one of the strangest anomalies of the war. William Tecumseh Sherman has stated that neither he nor Ulysses S. Grant, both of whom Smith had instructed, would have become renowned officers had it not been for Smith's untimely death early in 1862. A study of Smith's career confirms Sherman's statement. It is impressively regrettable that this stalwart man, possessor of convictions of unquestionable value, never realized his full potential as a major officer during the Civil War. But more impressive, perhaps, is the manner in which he conducted himself as a subordinate to those who had, at one time, been his subordinates. This, then, was Charles F. Smith--a person of vast experience, great successes, and admirable qualities-who knew how to follow as well as to lead.