Major Orren Randolph Smith (CSA)

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Major Orren Randolph Smith (CSA)'s Geni Profile

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Orren Randolph Smith

Death: March 03, 1913 (85)
Immediate Family:

Son of Lewis Farrar Smith and Olive Huff Smith
Husband of Mary Elizabeth Smith
Father of Jessica Randolph Smith

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Major Orren Randolph Smith (CSA)

Orren Randolph Smith, soldier, son of Louis Farrar and Olive Huff Sims Smith, was born near Manson in Warren County but moved to Louisburg as a teenager. On 1 Oct. 1846 he enlisted as a private in Company H of the First Regiment of Foot Volunteers, commanded by Captain George E. B. Singletary. The unit was called into service against the Mexicans on 19 Jan. 1847 and landed at Port Isabel, Tex., on 28 March.

Discharged on 7 Aug. 1848, Smith studied engineering in New York before moving to Warren, Ohio, to live with his uncle. Residing near Fort Leavenworth, Kans., in 1857, he joined the troops commanded by Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston sent to Utah to suppress the Mormons. Afterwards he returned to Louisburg, where he was living at the outbreak of the Civil War. On 1 June 1861 he enlisted in Company B of the Second Battalion of North Carolina Troops, commanded by Colonel Wharton Jackson Green. After injuring his right arm while on leave, he was appointed quartermaster, with the rank of major, at Marion, S.C., where he remained until the end of the war. Smith then worked as a building contractor and mover, with his business centered in Raleigh.

He married Mary Elizabeth G. H. McCampbell on 10 June 1863. They had one daughter, Jessica Randolph. At the time of his death, Smith was living in Henderson. He was buried in Elmwood Cemetery.

Orren Randolph Smith is noted chiefly for claiming to have designed the Stars and Bars, the first flag of the Confederate States of America. In his later years he stated that he had created the flag in response to solicitations made in February 1861 by the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States meeting in Montgomery, Ala. Catherine Rebecca Murphy (later Mrs. W. B. Winborne) of Louisburg sewed a flag according to Smith's specifications, and, as Smith related, it was sent to Montgomery on 12 Feb. 1861. However, it is unlikely that Smith's flag was in fact the Stars and Bars, for the Committee on the Flag and Seal rejected all of the "immense" number of designs sent for consideration. Though no definite proof has been discovered, it is more likely that Nicola Marschall, an artist on the faculty of Marion Female Seminary in Marion, Ala., submitted the favored design at the request of Alabama Governor Andrew Barry Moore.

Smith was honored on numerous occasions. The United Confederate Veterans in 1915 and the North Carolina General Assembly in 1917 recognized him as the designer of the first Confederate flag. Such recognition was chiefly the result of a lengthy campaign by Jessica Randolph Smith, who referred to herself as "Dad's Daughter." Several monuments, including one placed in front of the Franklin County Courthouse in September 1923 by the North Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, commemorate his efforts. On 3 Aug. 1927 the North Carolina Division of the United Confederate Veterans presented a portrait of Smith to the North Carolina Historical Commission.

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