William Smith was born on April 2, 1842 in Franklin County, Virginia, the seventh of ten children of Elizabeth and James B. Smith, Sr. The family moved to Tennessee, settling in Bledsoe County. William enlisted in the Union Army on June 16, 1862 at McMinnville, Tennessee. He served in the 4th Kentucky Calvary Volunteers, Company D. In April of 1863, in the line of duty at Franklin, Tennessee, William received a pistol wound that resulted in him being removed from strenuous duty. He continued to serve out his term as an ambulance driver and was promoted to Corporal in January 1864 and to Sergeant in March 1865. He was discharged June 28, 1865 at the war's end.
After returning home from the war, he worked as a farmer and a grocer. He married Melissa A. Kelley and they had one daughter, Mary Elizabeth (Molly) Smith, who was was born in 1869. His wife, Melissa, died in 1901 and their daughter, Molly, died in 1949.
In 1903, William married his second wife, Margaret (Maggie) Vandergriff. At the time of the marriage, William was 61 years old and Maggie was 16. They had two daughters, Elsie who was born in 1910 and Anna Lee who was born in 1916.
William died July 31, 1919 at the age of 78 and was buried at Lone Mountain Cemetery in Graysville, Tennessee. His wife, Maggie, died in 1964 and his daughter, Elsie, died in 1966. Anna Lee is his only surviving child and she is a member of Mary Ann "Mother" Bickerdyke Tennessee Tent #2, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
Photograph and information submitted by William's grandson and member of the Missionary Ridge Camp #63, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Robert E. Dobbs.