The monument for Smith’s Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia is southeast of Gettysburg on East Confederate Avenue. (East Confederate Avenue tour map)
The brigade was commanded at the Battle of Gettysburg by Brigadier General William Smith. At age 65, General Smith was the oldest Confederate General at Gettysburg. His brigade fought on Culp’s Hill against the brigade of the oldest Union General, George S. Greene.
Smith had served as Governor of Virginia in the 1840’s and was Governor-elect at the time of Gettysburg, due to take up his office on January 1, 1864. He had gained the nickname “Extra Billy” during the days he owned a stage company for the extra fees he generated on a mail contract between Washington and Milledgeville, Georgia.
The brigade had two other regiments not listed on the marker, the 13th and 58th Virginia Infantry. These had been detached on the move north as the garrison for Winchester, Virginia, Lee’s supply and communication base in the Shenandoah Valley.
From the monument:
July 3. The Brigade having been detached two days guarding York Pike and other roads against the reported approach of Union Cavalry was ordered to Culp’s Hill to reinforce Johnson’s Division. Arriving early formed in line along this stone wall receiving and returning fire of Infantry and sharpshooters in the woods opposite and being subjected to heavy fire of Artillery. It repulsed the charge of the 2nd Massachusetts and 27th Indiana Regiments against this line and held its ground until the Union forces regained their works on the hill. It then moved to a position further up the creek and during the night marched to Seminary Ridge where it rejoined Early’s Division.
July 4. Occupied Seminary Ridge. After midnight began the march to Hagerstown.
Present about 800 Killed 12 Wounded 113 Missing 17 Total 142