A Guide to the Requests to Governor William Smith for Military Service Exemption, 1864 Military Service Exemption, Requests to Governor William Smith for 44645

A Guide to the Requests to Governor William Smith for Military Service Exemption, 1864

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Accession Number 44645


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© 2009 By The Library of Virginia. All Rights Reserved.

Processed by: Jessie R. Graham

Repository
The Library of Virginia
Accession Number
44645
Title
Requests to Governor William Smith for Military Service Exemption, 1864
Extent
.68 cubic feet
Collector
Virginia. Governor (1864-1865 : Smith)
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Requests to Governor William Smith for Military Service Exemption, 1864. Accession 44645, State records collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

Acquisition information is unavailable.


Biographical/Historical Information

Governor William Smith was the third son of Colonel Caleb Smith and was born in King George County on 7 September 1797. Smith practiced law in Culpeper County beginning in 1818 and was a supporter of the Democratic-Republican party in the 1820s. He was elected in 1836 to two terms in the Senate of Virginia then as a representative in Congress as a democrat. In December 1845, the Virginia Legislature nominated Smith as governor for a three-year term. Following this first term as governor, Smith served in Congress for four more terms between 1853 and 1860. At the outset of the Civil War, at age 64, Smith raised a regiment of volunteers and received a commission. In February 1862, he was elected to the Congress of the Confederate States serving until the Congress adjourned, then rejoined his regiment.

Smith took office as governor on 1 January 1864, serving a one-year term. Governor Smith raised two regiments of Home Guard from exempt soldiers and fought to gain appropriations from the General Assembly for the purpose of supplying the army and people of Virginia with food and clothing. On 2 April 1865, President Davis evacuated from Richmond to Danville and encouraged Smith to do the same. Smith followed Davis to Danville, then surrendered himself and returned home to Warrenton, Virginia. Following the war, he again entered political life when he was elected to the Virginia legislature in 1877. Smith died on 18 May 1887.

Military service exemptions could only be granted by the governor and were usually reserved for city and county officials whose duties were essential to the governance of a locality. Exempt positions included justices of the peace, mayors, overseers of the poor, sheriffs, constables, and commonwealth's attorneys.

Scope and Content

Contains letters, petitions, and certifications sent to Governor William Smith from various Virginia county and city officials seeking exemption from military service during the Civil War. Each file contains letters to the Governor and usually a response from the Governor's Office in regard to the request. Also included are lists of justices in each county, as well as letters of exemption from Governor Smith that contain the names of mulitple exempted officials. These letters are not filed by applicant surname, but are instead titled "lists of exempted justices," and are filed at the front of each folder.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically by county and then alphabetically according to the applicant's surname within each county.

Contents List

Box 1
Folder 1
Albemarle County (G-M), 1864.
Box 1
Folder 2
Albemarle County (P-W), 1864.
Box 1
Folder 3
Amherst County, 1864.
Box 1
Folder 4
Appomattox County, 1864.
Box 1
Folder 5
Augusta County (A-F), 1864.
Box 1
Folder 6
Augusta County (H-R), 1864.
Box 1
Folder 7
Augusta County (S-T), 1864.
Box 1
Folder 8
Bath County, 1864.
Box 1
Folder 9
Bedford County, 1864.
Box 1
Folder 10
Bland County, 1864.
Box 1
Folder 11
Botetourt County, 1864.
Box 1
Folder 12
Brunswick County, 1864.
Box 1
Folder 13
Buckingham County (B-I), 1864.
Box 1
Folder 14
Buckingham County (J-T), 1864.
Box 1
Folder 15
Campbell County, 1864.
Box 1
Folder 16
Chesterfield County (Manchester), 1864.
Box 1
Folder 17
Clarke County, 1864.
Box 1
Folder 18
Craig County, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 1
Culpeper County, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 2
Cumberland County, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 3
Danville, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 4
Greensville County, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 5
Halifax County, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 6
Henry County, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 7
King and Queen County, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 8
Louisa County, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 9
Lunenburg County, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 10
Mecklenburg County, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 11
Monroe County, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 12
Nelson County, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 13
Nicholas County/Clay County, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 14
Orange County, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 15
Petersburg, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 16
Pittsylvania County, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 17
Portsmouth, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 18
Prince Edward County, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 19
Pulaksi County, 1864.
Box 2
Folder 20
Rockingham County, 1864.