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Smith, Francis H. (Francis Henney), 1812-1890

 Person

Major General Francis Henney Smith (b. 1812 d. 1890) was appointed VMI's first Superintendent in 1839. An 1833 graduate of West Point, he had previously served briefly in the U. S. Army and was a Professor of Mathematics at Hampden-Sydney College (VA) when he accepted the position as head of the newly established Virginia Military Institute. He served for fifty years, from the Institute's infancy, through the Civil War, and through the difficult post-war period. He is known as the "builder and rebuilder of VMI." Smith retired on January 1, 1890 and died only a few months later, on March 21, 1890.

Found in 4 Collections and/or Records:

John T. L. Preston Craney Island journal (photocopy and transcription), 1861 July 24 - September 22

 File
Scope and Contents Copy and transcription of John Thomas Lewis Preston journal, which he called "Jottings", written during his military assignment at Craney Island, Virginia in the the summer and fall of 1861.

Relating to his activities while with the 9th Virginia Infantry Regiment under the command of VMI Superintendent Francis H. Smith. Includes comments on the cuase of the Civil War, the defense of Norfolk, military science, and family.

Letter to Eugenia S. Gatewood (Massie), 1864 April 16

 Item
Scope and Contents Letter written from the 11th Regiment camp. Letter regards the regiment's presention of the VMI Corps of Cadets with a captured flag and a review of troops by General Smith.

Letter to Eugenia S. Gatewood (Massie), 1864 April 16

 Digital Image
Identifier: https://digitalcollections.vmi.edu/digital/collection/p15821coll11/id/1903

Sara Henderson Smith collection

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0536
Scope and Contents The collection contains three manuscript notebooks containing verse letters, poetry, notes, and a few newspaper clippings, bulk 1861-1865. One of the volumes is titled "Order Book, 9th Regiment Va. Volunteers, Craney Island"; on the endsheets of this book are glued original manuscript signatures of VMI faculty and others , apparently clipped from letters. The pages of this volume contain Sara's writings. A folder that contains Sara's writings on loose pages within the "Order Book" is also part...