My friend Larry Reber of West Virginia knows I wrote a popular, award-winning book on Confederate General William “Extra Billy” Smith. He was the oldest general in either army at the 1863 battle of Gettysburg and was the governor-elect of Virginia (Smith had previously served as the commonwealth’s governor during the Mexican War years).
A few years ago, Larry graciously made me a customized 15mm miniature of Extra Billy. Here, I show the tiny general sitting on his horse in the shade of his characteristic blue umbrella that he always carried with him (even into battle!).
The colorful Smith had been a five-time U. S. congressman from Virginia after being a 49er in California. He served in the Confederate Congress and was colonel of the 49th Virginia before becoming a brigadier general under Jubal Early.
After Robert E. Lee evacuated the entrenchments surrounding Richmond in April 1865, Governor Smith took $21,000 in gold from Virginia’s treasury to protect it from the oncoming Federals. He finally surrendered to Union troopers several days after Lincoln’s assassination.
Here is the cover of my book on General Smith! Please consider picking up a copy from your favorite book retailer.