Orland Smith
Born(1825-05-02)May 2, 1825
Lewiston, Maine
DiedOctober 3, 1903(1903-10-03) (aged 78)
Chicago, Illinois
Place of burial
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Union Army
Years of service1861–1865
Brevet Brigadier General
UnitArmy of the Potomac
Army of the Cumberland
Commands held73rd Ohio Infantry
Smith's Brigade, XI Corps
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War
Other workrailroad executive

Orland Smith (May 2, 1825 – October 3, 1903) was a railroad executive and a brigade commander in the Union Army during the American Civil War. In 1864, he led a spirited bayonet charge during the Battle of Wauhatchie that took a significant Confederate position on a hill that now bears his name.

Early life and career

Smith was born in New England in Lewiston, Maine. He was educated in the local schools and became a railroad agent, serving as station manager at Lewiston until 1852 when he moved to Ohio. He became an official of the Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad and settled in Chillicothe, Ohio. When the railroad fell into financial difficulties, he was appointed receiver.[1]: 474  Smith was a lieutenant and commander of a militia company in the late 1850s, the "Chillicothe Greys."[citation needed]

Civil War service

With the outbreak of the Civil War, Smith joined the Union army and became the colonel of the 73rd Ohio Infantry, a regiment that was raised in Chillicothe in November 1861 and trained at nearby Camp Logan. Among his volunteer soldiers was Pvt. George Nixon III, the great-grandfather of future President Richard Nixon. Smith and his regiment saw action in western Virginia, fighting at the Battle of McDowell and the Battle of Cross Keys. During the late summer, as a part of the Army of Virginia, the 73rd OVI fought at the Second Battle of Bull Run near Manassas, Virginia.[2]

Smith assumed brigade command in the XI Corps on October 25, 1862, but he did not participate in the Battle of Chancellorsville. He returned to his command shortly before the Gettysburg Campaign, after Brig. Gen. Francis C. Barlow, who had led the brigade at Chancellorsville, was given command of the 1st Division on May 24, 1863. Smith's men held Cemetery Hill on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg at the orders of MG Oliver O. Howard, and provided an anchor for the retreating Federal soldiers. On the second day, three of Smith's regiments were engaged in heavy skirmishing in front of Cemetery Hill, and the 33rd Massachusetts, deployed between East Cemetery Hill and a knoll on the McKnight farm, helped repulse an evening attack by Col. Isaac E. Avery's North Carolina brigade.[2]

Smith's Brigade was sent to the Western Theater in the autumn of 1863 along with the rest of the XI Corps. During the Chattanooga Campaign, Smith led his brigade in the Army of the Cumberland in a successful bayonet assault up a steep hill that now bears his name (Smith's Hill) during the Battle of Wauhatchie. In the army reorganization later that year, his brigade was disbanded and Smith returned on January 3, 1864 to the command of the 73rd OVI. He resigned his colonelcy on February 17, 1864. In the omnibus promotions at the close of the Civil War, Smith was appointed a brevet brigadier general dating from March 13, 1865.[2]

Postbellum career

Share of the Cincinnati, Washington and Baltimore Railroad Company, issued 28. June 1887, signed by Orland Smith
Share of the Cincinnati, Washington and Baltimore Railroad Company, issued 28. June 1887, signed by Orland Smith
Share of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, issued 2. August 1894, signed by Orland Smith
Share of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, issued 2. August 1894, signed by Orland Smith

After the war, he returned to his career as a railroad officer and became President of the Cincinnati, Washington and Baltimore Railroad[3]: 45  and later, First Vice President of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad,[3]: 9 [4] with his office in Baltimore, Maryland. From 1884 to 1899 he was President of the Columbus and Cincinnati Midland Railroad.[3]: 47  [5]

Smith died in Chicago, Illinois.[6][7] He is buried in Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.[8]

See also

GPS for grave: 39.9383, -83.035 Section 43, lot 46, grave 3


  1. ^ Church, S. H., compiler (1898). Corporate History of the Pennsylvania Lines West of Pittsburgh. 2. Baltimore: The Friedenwald Company.
  2. ^ a b c Eicher, p. 498.
  3. ^ a b c Poor's Directory of Railroad Officials. New York and London: Poor's Railroad Manual Company. 1887.
  4. ^ "Gen. Orland Smith Ill". Buffalo Enquirer. Buffalo, NY. October 3, 1903. p. 10 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  5. ^ "Gen. Orland Smith". New York Times. October 4, 1903. p. 7 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  6. ^ "Death List of the Day". Buffalo Courier. Buffalo, NY. October 4, 1903. p. 14 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  7. ^ "Obituary Notes". The Sun. New York, NY. October 4, 1903. p. 5 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  8. ^ "Memorial 13266561: Orland Smith". Find A Grave. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  • Eicher, John H.; Eicher, David J. (2001). Civil War High Commands. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
  • Pfanz, Harry W. (1993). Gettysburg: Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-2118-7.
  • Dyer, Frederick H. (1978) [1st pub. 1908 by Dyer Publishing, Des Moines, IA]. A Compendium of the War of Rebellion: Compiled and Arranged From Official Records of the Federal and Confederate Armies, Reports of the Adjutant Generals of the Several States, The Army Registers and Other Reliable Documents and Sources. Morningside Books. ISBN 978-0-89029-046-0.
  • "Obituary". New York Times. October 4, 1903.