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In honor of Memorial Day, I’d like to profile the military information that I have for my great-great-grandfather, Elias Smith. I am a complete novice when it comes to military information, so all of the military information I have on Elias comes from his pension packet and from information posted on http://www.geocities.com/~etelamaki_home/8thkent.html which states that the information for this company was supplied by Judy Shamp.  A transcription of the Adjutant General’s Report was supplied by Larry R. Henson.  (Thank you Judy and Larry!)

Elias served with the 8th Kentucky Cavalry, Co C.  He enrolled in Casey County, Kentucky on July 28, 1862 to serve for 12 months.  He mustered into service on Sept. 8, 1862 at Russellville, Kentucky. 

This battalion (second) was organized by Colonel Bristow and commanded by Major J.M. Kennedy.  The second and third battalions were engaged in a number of skirmishes with the rebel Colonel Woodward, and, finally, by a night march under Major Kennedy, they came upon his forces at Camp Coleman, in Todd County, Ky., dispersing the whole force.  Upon the invasion of Kentucky by Bragg, General Buell ordered the second and third battalions to join his command at Bowling Green, Ky. In conjunction with a part of the 4th Kentucky Cavalry, were assigned to the responsible duty of guarding General Buell’s immense wagon train across Green river. Upon returning to Bowling Green, two companies of the 8th Cavalry were sent upon a scout into Tennessee, where they surprised and captured a party of over one hundred rebel soldiers who were engaged in collecting supplies for Bragg’s army.  During the winter and spring the first and second battalions were engaged in many skirmishes, and were assigned the duty of protecting the country west of the Nashville railroad.  This regiment and a battalion of the 3rd Kentucky Cavalry, under command of Colonel Bristow, were in pursuit of John Hunt Morgan in his raid through Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio, and did good service in that long and fatiguing march, and were present at the taking of the notorious raider.

The regiment was mustered out of service at Russellville, Ky., September 23rd, 1863.

Elias was reported “present” on October 31, but contracted the measles in November.  On the muster rolls for November and December, he was listed as “absent on detached duty in hospital”.  A note in his file indicates that he was “left at the hospital in Russellville, Kentucky for 15 days on or about December 24, 1862.  For January and February of 1863, he was present, but “sick”.  Considering the fact that 117 men from the regiment died, and 109 of those were from disease, I think Elias was one of the lucky ones.

Elias honorably mustered out of service on Sept. 17, 1863 in Lebanon, Kentucky.

I wish this could be more eloquent and detailed!  I plan to continue researching Elias’ military service and would love to hear suggestions and comments.

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