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CIVIL WAR AND WESTERN INDIAN WARS
Oskaloosa Minnewando Smith
Aurelius Smith (mentioned)
Isaac Smith (mentioned)
Oskaloosa Minnewanda Smith was born in October of 1845 and was a natural for life in the army. Enthralled by the stories told by his father of his exploits in the Mexican War and instilled with a sense of duty and service to country, it would have been more exceptional had he not been an “army man”. While living in Madison he joined the 13th Indiana Infantry, Company I as a musician. His father, a printer by trade, and Oskaloosa’s younger brother, Aurelius, also joined up. Aurelius was wounded at Chickamaugua and returned home to join his father who had been released from duty because of illness. The elder Smith soon died of complications from the illness that struck him while in the service and the remaining Smith family members moved to Indianapolis.
Oskaloosa served in the 13th through October of 1863 during which time he engaged in the campaign in West Virginia and later in the Shanandoah Valley during which time he was promoted to Quartermaster Sergeant in 1863 and engaged in operations on Morris Island, S. C. (1863) and Seymour’s Florida campaign (1864). By 1864 he attained the rank of First Lieutenant and Adjutant in the 13th. He transferred in the 155th Indiana Volunteers and engaged in the operations of the Army of the Potomac from May to December in 1864. He was Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, and Assistant Inspector-General, district of Delaware and Eastern Shore of Maryland, Middle Military Department, 1865. Oskaloosa finished his Civil War stint in the military and was mustered April 25,1865. In 1867 he transferred to the regular army and was assigned to the 22nd U. S. Infantry. He was brevetted to Captain for “gallantry against hostile Indians” at the Battle of Spring Creek, Montana in 1876. He later wrote a detailed account of his experiences in the Twenty Second1. He was, for some years stationed at various western forts, including Fort Sully in the Dakotas and Fort Clark in Texas. He later (1881-1884) served as Regimental Adjutant for the unit. In 1885 he was assigned to Fort Sam Houston in Texas2. Here he was Judge Advocate and Aide-de-Camp to Brigadier General David S. Stanley. He transferred to the Commissary Department from which he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1900.
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