Major Thomas Smith

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Thomas Ingles Smith

Birthdate: (47)
Birthplace: Montgomery, Virginia, United States
Death: March 30, 1848 (47)
Austin, Travis, Texas, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of General Byrd Smith and Rhoda Smith
Husband of Juda Louisa R Winkler; Rebecca Smith; R. Hogsett and Mary Louisa Bartlett
Father of William Ingles Smith, Jr. and William Ingles Smith
Brother of Abram "Abram" Trigg Smith; Juliette Lewis McClellan; Janie Smith; William Ingles Smith; Susannah Smith and 7 others

Managed by: James Hutchison
Last Updated:

About Major Thomas Smith



One military mission of T.J. Smith’s Mounted Volunteers is found in the biography of the old Ranger “Rip” Ford. Ford described an encounter of Smith’s Rangers as they headed south to Mexico to serve in the war. It reads something like an episode of “Lonesome Dove”. . . “The next day the battalion started for Carmargo, Mexico. The march was without many incidents. Two days before reaching Rancho Davis, a white flag was displayed on a hill to the right and west of the road. Major Tom I. Smith asked Captain Ross to ascertain what it meant. He moved forward with a detachment. On nearing the flag he was met by Yellow Wolf, the celebrated Comanche Chief. Yellow Wolf was anxious to know where the Texians were going. “To fight in Mexico” was the answer. Yellow Wolf averred (to affirm positively) that he was at war with Mexico and agreed not to

molest the Americans”.

“ That night wild mustangs stampeded many of the rangers’ horses and quartermaster’s mules. The next day the Comanche’s returned the horses. While at Rancho Davis, Major Smith received orders from General Taylor directing him to return to the Texas frontier and to post the different companies of his battalion, so as to give protection to the border settlers. Major Smith marched the command to Carmargo so as to obtain supplies for the long march he had to make. Here General Croghan ordered Major Smith to take his battalion and to escort him to Monterey. The major took fifty men and accompanied the general to Cerralvo, where he was relieved by a regular officer and force. Ross as senior captain marched the battalion to Guerrero, Mexico and remained there until Smith and (H.E.) McCulloch returned from Cerralvo. The order to return to the Texas frontier was repeated. Major Smith returned the battalion to Laredo, turned in his wagons, retained the pack mules, and marched for the upper frontier”. 5

Source: Rick Still, is a Life Member of the TGCA since 1973. He has written several articles for The Texas Gun Collector. Research Of Patricia McMahan-Chambers.



SMITH, THOMAS INGLES (?-1847). Thomas I. (often J.) Smith, Texas Ranger and Indian Agent, was born in Tennessee and emigrated to Texas, in 1836 after the Battle of San Jacintoqvas a Volunteer in Brig. Gen. Felix Huston'sqv Army of The Republic Of Texas.qv In response to the raids of Rafael Vásquez and Adrián Wollqvon San Antonio in 1842, Smith enlisted as a private in Capt. John Rugeley'sqv company of volunteers in Col. Clark L. Owen'sqv regiment; he served from March 06 through April 13, 1842. He was wounded at the Battle of Salado Creekqvon September 18, 1842. On October 17, 1842, with the announcement of the Somervell expedition,qv Smith enlisted as a private in Capt. Samuel Bogart's company of Col. James R. Cooke'sqv First Regiment of the South Western Army. On November 09, 1842, he joined Capt. William S. Fisher'sqv company of the Second Regiment and was elected third lieutenant. He accompanied the expedition to the Rio Grande but returned to San Antonio with Gen. Alexander Somervellqv and thus did not participate in the battle of Mier and was spared capture on the Mier expedition.qv In 1843, Smith was appointed by Governor Sam Houstonqv to organize and take charge of the party that removed the archives from Austin to Houston (see ARCHIVE WAR). Later that year he moved to a farm on Chambers Creek in Ellis County. In 1844 he led a scouting party into the Wichita Mountains in search of hostile Indians. From February 16 through December 16, 1845, a Thomas J. Smith served as lieutenant commanding the Robertson County Rangers.

On September 08, 1845, Smith, James Clinton Neill, and Edwin Morehouseqv were appointed to meet with representatives of the Comanche, Caddo, Cherokee, Delaware, Ionie, Lipan, and Tonkawa tribes to work out a treaty of peace. After a series of councils on the Brazos River from September 12 through 21 the Indians agreed to return stolen property and discontinue their raids on settlements. Later that season Smith and George Whitfield Terrellqv were appointed commissioners to the Waco, Wichita, and Keechi Indians. The treaty of "peace, friendship, and commerce" that resulted from their efforts was signed on Tehuacana Creek near Waco on November 16, 1845, the last Indian treaty formulated by the Republic of Texas. On August 2, 1846, with the outbreak of the Mexican War,qv Smith raised a company of volunteers. In April 1847 he defeated Henry E. McCullochqv in the election for command of the battalion and the rank of major. Smith's Battalion, Texas Mounted Volunteers, spent the war defending the western frontier against Indian raids. The battalion mustered out of federal service on August 17, 1847. After the war Smith continued in ranger service, commanding a company on Richland Creek. He married Mary Louise (Bartlett) O'Neill, the Widow of John C. O'Neill. They had three Children. Smith died in Austin in 1847.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: John S. Ford, Rip Ford's Texas, ed. Stephen B. Oates (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963). Frances Terry Ingmire, Texas Ranger Service Records, 1830-1846 (St. Louis, 1982). Joseph Milton Nance, Attack and Counterattack: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1842 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1964). Charles D. Spurlin, comp., Texas Veterans in the Mexican War: Muster Rolls of Texas Military Units (Victoria, Texas, 1984). Homer S. Thrall, A Pictorial History of Texas (St. Louis: Thompson, 1879). Walter Prescott Webb, "The Last Treaty of the Republic of Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly25 (January 1922). Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813-1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938-43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970).

Thomas W. Cutrer

______________________ Thomas Ingles SMITH21,22 was born on 30 May 1800 in Virginia.23 He married R. HOGSETT.24 He died on 30 Mar 1848 in Austin, Travis County, Texas, at age 47.25 He was born in Tennessee and moved to Texas in 1836, after the Battle of San Jacinto, to serve in the Army of the Republic of Texas. In 1842 he enlisted as a private in a volunteer company and was wounded at the Battle of Salado Creek on September 18. When the Somervell expedition was announced the next month, he enlisted as a private in the South Western Army, later was elected a third lieutenant, and stayed with the army until it reached the Rio Grande; he then returned to San Antonio and thus avoided capture in the Battle of Mier and subsequent possible execution in the "black bean incident." The next year, 1843, at Gov. Sam Houston's direction, he led the party that removed the state's archives and attempted to move them from Austin to Houston in the unsuccessful Archive War. Later that year he moved to a farm on Chambers Creek in what is now Ellis County, Texas. He led a party that scouted for hostile Indians in the Wichita Mountains in 1844, and likely was the Thomas Smith who served as a lieutenant in the Robertson County ranger force for most of 1845. In the fall of 1845 he was a commissioner who negotiated peace treaties with ten Indian tribes, the last Indian treaty of the Republic of Texas. In the summer of 1846 he raised a volunteer company, Smith's Battalion of the Texas Mounted Volunteers, which he later commanded as a major, that defended the western frontier against Indian raids. His battalion mustered out of federal service on 17 Aug 1847, and he returned home, probably to Navarro County, where he commanded a ranger company on Richland Creek. His biography in The New Handbook of Texas states that he and "Mary Louise (Bartlett) O'Neill, the widow of John C. O'Neill," had three children, but no information on the children has been found. His biography in Annie Carpenter Love's History of Navarro County states that he had a son, Thomas I. SMITH, who died in childhood and was buried near what is now First Avenue in Corsicana.26,27,28 Click here to go to a page with links to on-line information about Thomas I. Smith.

Children of Juda Louisa BARTLETT and Thomas Ingles SMITH were:

3. i. Tom SMITH29,30 was born in 1848 in Texas.31

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Major Thomas Smith's Timeline

May 30, 1800
Montgomery, Virginia, United States
Age 28
Age 28
TN, United States
March 30, 1848
Age 47
Austin, Travis, Texas, United States