Monday, May 5, 2014

52 Ancestors: #18 Andrew Harmon Smith, a Resilient Soldier

My 3rd great-grandfather, Andrew Harmon Smith was born on April 11, 1838, in Hanover, Germany.  His father's name was John Henry Smith, but I don't know his mother's name.  At the age of seven, Andrew immigrated with his family to America.  Andrew had fourteen siblings; eight were born after the family came to America.  They all lived in Ripley County, Indiana.  By the time he was 22, Andrew was boarding with a family in Aurora, Dearborn County, Indiana.

Pontoon Bridge over North Anna River, May 1864.
In 1861, Andrew enlisted as a private in the 7th Indiana Infantry, Company A. (Coincidentally, he was in the same regiment as George Holzlider, the father of his future son-in-law.)  At the Battle of Port Republic in Virginia on June 9, 1862, Andrew was seriously wounded in the right arm.  A note written by his granddaughter Stella Holzlider McCammon describes his injury:  "He didn't have any bone in his arm from the shoulder to the elbow; it was shot out in the war."

Andrew traveled back to Dearborn County and married Sophia B. Schroeder (whose family also came from Hanover) on March 17, 1864.  Soon after, he rejoined his regiment.

In mid May, 1864, Andrew was injured again at the Battle of North Anna in Virginia.  He sustained a wound in the left side.  Andrew was transferred to the 20th Indiana Infantry, Company G on September 20, 1864.  He was discharged on May 25, 1865, having fought in nine battles during his service.

Ella Dorothy Smith, Andrew and Sophia's first child, was born in 1866.  She was my great-great grandmother.  Sadly, Sophia died in childbirth in 1882, and Andrew was left a widower with eight children.  The newborn daughter, Ethel, lived only a year.  In March of 1884, Andrew, now 45, married again.  His new wife, 24 year-old Sarah Frances Baker, was just six years older than his oldest daughter, Ella.  Sarah and Andrew had three children together between 1885 and 1891.

Andrew Smith died December 27, 1921 at the age of 83.   Even though he was wounded twice during the war, he outlived both of his wives and six of his children.  Andrew was buried at Bear Creek Cemetery in Jennings County, Indiana.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a story of heroism and strength! Andrew wouldn't let those injuries keep him from living a full life. Glad we share our Dearborn County connections, Breanna.