Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Too Young to Serve But Old Enough to Die

He wasn't old enough to enlist, but he did. Morgan Smith was 15, or, at most, 16 years old when he enrolled in the 48th Kentucky Infantry (USA)  at Fords Ferry, Kentucky on 10 August 1863. During the Civil War men between the ages of 18 and 20 were supposed to have parental permission to enlist, but there is no record of a parent giving permission. Morgan's parents, Morgan and Sarah (Holder) Smith, were living in separate households in Eddyville, Lyon County, Kentucky in 1860 and disappeared thereafter so maybe there was no one to give permission.

The 48th Kentucky  was organized at Princeton, Kentucky 26 October 1863 and Morgan was present, but just one month later, on 24 November 1863, he was dead of disease.[1] He never left Princeton and he never saw action.

Morgan was just one of many young men who promised to serve faithfully against all enemies during that terrible war and lost his life before he could fulfill that promise.  Reddick Smith, his older brother, was my great-grandfather and also served in the Civil War, enlisting first in the 131st Illinois Infantry and later in the 6th Illinois Cavalry.

 Published 11 November 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

[1] Morgan Smith, Co. D, 48 Regt. Kentucky Infantry Company Muster Roll, National Archives, Washington, D.C.  

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