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Confederate Belt and Picture

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Civil War161 of 188Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) CollectablesMy Great Great Grandpa's civil war discharge paper
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Posted 3 years ago

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jaxspies
(1 item)

This Belt and Picture is of my Great Great Grandfather Joshua M. Smelser who served in the Confederate Army out of Bedford County Va. He was a 2nd Lieutenant. He was captured in the battle of Sailors Greek and takened prisoner. He was in prison in Old Capital Prison Washington DC. and was later released when the war ended. He lived in Jeffersonville Indiana till he died. The Belt has been in our family since my mom was a teenager which would have been in the 1920's. She got it from her aunt who lived in Evansville Indiana. She told me that his Confederate uniform was in a barn at her aunts at one time too. Don,t know what happened to that.

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  1. scottvez scottvez, 3 years ago
    Information on your GG Grandfather.

    Residence Bedford County VA; 22 years old.

    Enlisted on 9/17/1862 as a 2nd Lieutenant.

    On 9/17/1862 he was commissioned into "C" Co. VA 20th Battn Heavy Artillery
    (date and method of discharge not given)


    He was listed as:
    * Detailed 8/31/1863 Bedford County, VA (On recruiting duty)
    * On rolls 1/1/1865 (place not stated) (Present)
    * POW 4/6/1865 Sailor's Creek, VA
    * Confined 4/14/1865 Old Capitol Prison, Washington, DC
    * Confined 4/19/1865 Johnson's Island, OH
    * Oath Allegiance 6/20/1865 Johnson's Island, OH (Released)


    He was described at enlistment as:
    5' 9.0", dark complexion, blue eyes, dark hair

    Here is a unit history from the NPS site/ Dyer's Compendium:

    20th Battalion, Virginia Heavy Artillery

    20th Heavy Artillery Battalion was organized and accepted into Confederate service at Drewry's Bluff, Virginia, in June, 1862. It contained four companies and a fifth was added in September. The unit was attached to the Department of Richmond and aided in the defense of the city. Converted to infantry in 1865, it participated in the Appomattox Campaign and surrendered with 11 men. Majors Johnston DeLagnel and James E. Robertson were in command.

    Scott
  2. jaxspies, 3 years ago
    Thanks Scott for the info. I have some books I purchased from Va that have alot of info too.
  3. scottvez scottvez, 3 years ago
    Sorry for being redundant!

    It is great that this has stayed in the family. Enjoy and treasure it.

    Scott
  4. jaxspies, 3 years ago
    No you told me a couple of things I didn't know. I forgot and put a couple of things wrong like the prison that it was in. I was going on memory and just screwed up. He had a couple of brothers that served in the 20th also that I recall. Thanks again I appreciated seeing the info again.

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