Mr. B. L. Smith, prominent citizen, leader in Methodist church circles and Confederate veteran, who succumbed to a 2-year illness at the home of his son, Lucian Smith, at 1:45 o’clock Friday morning.
B. L. SMITH IS
Respected Local Citizen Succumbs to 2-Year Illness at Home of Son
Death claimed another in the thinning ranks of the Gray Army when Benjamin Lafayette Smith, who made West Point his home for fifty-one years, Friday morning at 1:45 o’clock at the home of his son, Lucian Smith, as a climax to two years of illness, during which time he was an invalid.
Mr. Smith’s death leaves, it is believed, only one other Confederate veteran living in West Point--Mr. George Bryan.
Funeral services will be conducted from the Methodist church at 10:30 o’clock Saturday morning with Rev. T. M. Bradley, pastor, officiating assisted by Rev. W. R. Lott of Aberdeen, Interment will be in Greenwood cemetery.
Mr. Smith was born on a Lowndes county farm October 11, 1842 and was 91 years old, believed in be the oldest resident living in West Point prior to his death. He moved to West Point in December 11, 1881 with Mrs. Smith and six small children. From that time he took keen interest in developments of West Point and several years ago reviewed the changes in the city and improvements made over the course of the years. He moved from the farm in Lowndes county in order to give his children an education.
One of the prized possessions of the family is a story of his life which Mr. Smith prepared and which gives many interesting accounts of incidents in the Civil War.
Mr. Smith served four years in the war and was wounded on three occasions. A brief memorandum of his activity is interesting.:
He first joined the Agency Rifles company G, 14th Mississippi regiment in May 1861 at Corinth, Miss. with which group he remained until February 1862. He then went to Fort Donelson and was captured and sent to prison.
His first wound was a badly shattered left arm. Following his injury he was sent by boat to Clarksville, Tenn., later being furloughed and joined company B of the “Lowndes” riflemen of the 43rd Mississippi regiment in September, 1862. Later he was made color bearer of the regiment and in October, 1862 camped at Snyder’s Bluff near Vicksburg. Here he suffered his second injury when his skull was slightly fractured.
Through an exchange of prisoners he joined Johnston’s army in Georgia. Later he was shot through the thigh at Franklin, Tenn., and captured there and taken to Louisville. It was while there that the war ended and he was paroled in June, 1865.
Mr. Smith was known as a militant dry and his activities to rid West Point of gambling and drinking are well known to his friends.
He was always an ardent member of the Methodist church and has been described as doing more for the local church than any one other member. He was the personification of clean living and devoted to his church and religious beliefs. He was a member of the board of stewards of the local church for more than fifty years.
His last active work was the preparation of a booklet on the Christian Home.
Mrs. Smith preceded him in death on April 5, 1929.
He is survived by two sons and ...