Rob Girardi on "General John E. Smith, Galena’s Forgotten General"
Galena Illinois boasts that it sent nine generals to the Civil War, the most famous of whom is Ulysses S. Grant. Many cannot name the other eight generals, but in addition to Ely S. Parker, Jasper Maltby and John Duer, there were two John Smith's. John Corson Smith fought in most of the major battles of the Army of the Cumberland, but this talk focuses on John Eugene Smith. Our Smith operated a silver shop on Main Street in Galena near the Rawlins law office and the Grant Tannery. John E. Smith befriended U.S. Grant and was instrumental in restoring Grant to the army. He is the player behind the scenes in many well-known events of the war and is perhaps the most important unknown general of the war. Robert I. Girardi has a master’s degree in Public History from Loyola University of Chicago. He is a past president of the Civil War Round Table of Chicago, a fellow of the Company of Military Historians, and is on the Board of Directors of the Illinois State Historical Society. He is a popular speaker and consultant on all aspects of the American Civil War. He has written or edited many books on the American Civil War, including The Military Memoirs of General John Pope, Campaigning with Uncle Billy, and The Civil War Memoirs of Sgt. Lyman.
Presented to the Chicago Civil War Round Table on Jan. 14th, 2022