FRANCIS HENNEY SMITH
Smith signed this card "VMI" in 1868, just a few years after the end
of the Civil War and the destruction, and reconstruction, of Virginia Military
Signature: "Francis H Smith/VMI/Feby 13, 1868.", 3¾x2¼.
Accompanied by: Envelope addressed to R. O. McNiel, Roanoke 12, Virginia,
postmarked Lexington, Virginia, Sept. 15, 1954, with "Gen. Francis
H./Smith/First Superintendent of/Virginia/Military/Institute/(Preserved
by/his/daughter)" written in lower left in unknown hand. Francis Henney
Smith (1812-1890), West Point Class of 1833, was Professor of Mathematics at
Hampden-Sydney College from 1837 to 1839 when he was asked to help establish the
state's military college, the Virginia Military Institute, and serve as its
superintendent. He was appointed Colonel of a Virginia regiment soon after the
beginning of the Civil War, shortly after writing this letter. The Virginia
Military Institute buildings were destroyed by Union forces under General David
Hunter in June, 1864, and Smith took active measures to reconstruct them when he
returned to his duties there in 1865. Smith served as superintendent at VMI
until he retired in 1889, a few months before his death. VMI, the
nation's oldest state-supported military college, is located in Lexington,
Virginia. Signature and envelope are lightly toned. Envelope is folded in
half vertically and unfolded. Otherwise, fine condition.
For more documents by these signers click the names below:
GENERAL FRANCIS HENNEY SMITH
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