Lieut. Charles Smith
Written and Contributed By Lisa K. Slaski
Charles Smith was born about 1833 in NY. He enlisted in the Civil War
serving first in company C of the 32nd NY Infantry and later in company I of
the 142nd NY Infantry. He mustered out of the 142nd as a 2nd Lieutenant.
After returning home, he married Amelia R. Leonard, daughter of Hiram M.
Leonard and Roxanna Stanley. Amelia was born in Johnstown in Jun 1848. In
1870, they are living with her parents and he is working as a Glove
Manufacturer, same as her father. Charles died before 1880 leaving Amelia
with two young children. About 1886 Amelia married Leonard B. Yale, a
jeweler, and died unexpectedly on 12 May 1897. The following articles were
published in a local newspaper:
A WAR REMINISCENCE.
May 21st 1894
Recalled by the Arrival of an Old Sword Captured from a Gallant
An old, battle-worn relic, its pristine brightness dimmed by time, and
around which are clustered memories of the Great Rebellion, arrived in
this city a few days ago and now occupies an honored position in the home
of Leonard B. Yale. It is the sword, with the time-stained belt attached,
which was worn in battle by Lieut. Charles Smith of the 142d New York
volunteers, and surrendered by him at the time of his capture while
serving under General Butler at Fort Fisher on Christmas, 1864. Lieut.
Smith is kindly remembered by many residents of Gloversville, his old
home, where he died some years after the close of the war, of a disease
contracted through exposure while making his escape from the southern
prison pen to the Union lines. The sword referred to is a present to his
wife, now Mrs. L. B. Yale, and the donor is S. V. Daniel of San Marcos,
Texas, the Confederate officer who captured Lieut. Smith and retained the
sword until its transfer to Mrs. Yale.
In a letter which accompanied the gift, Lieut. Daniel tells the store
of the capture.
The Federal troops had hurriedly landed on the beach opposite Surgar
Loaf in the afternoon of Dec. 25, 1864. Lieut. smith was sent out in
charge of skirmishers. Col. Sharp's (Confederate) regiment was at Sugar
Loaf, distant about three-fourths of a mile, and marched in double quick
to a position near the Federal troops who were landing, deployed as
skirmishers. Lieut. Daniel's company was on the left and did not connect
with the other troops. The Federal transport fleet was in their immediate
front and so near that orders given on board could be heard by the
soldiers on land. After the troops had landed they were hidden from view
of the Confederates by a dense thicket, except toward the left, where was
a narrow opening extending to the beach. Lieut. Daniel first saw Lieut.
Smith advancing alone through the opening, and, mistaking him for Col.
Sharpe, went to meet him. The mistake was quickly discovered, and Lieut.
Smith, being caught too near the enemy to escape, passed into their lines
a prisoner, his only comfort being, as expressed by himself, that he had
surrendered to his equal in rank. He was passed to the rear in the custody
of C. E. Landis, a Confederate soldier. His men, in the meantime, escaped
to the boats.
Lieut. Smith was lodged with other prisoners in the lunatic asylum yard
at Columbia, S. C., where he remained until the 14th of February,
suffering untold hardships. On that date Lieut. Smith, with other
prisoners, were packed into cars, 25 in a car, to be taken to Saulsbury
penitentiary. Frequent attempts to escape had been made, by tunneling and
otherwise, but all had been foiled, but some, including the lieutenant,
had determined to make a final effort aboard the cars and succeeded. A
kind-hearted negro had supplied them with an old case knife with raw teeth
cut in the back, and with this crude implement they had cut a hole through
the bottom of the car before they were 10 miles out of Columbia. Thirty
miles out the train stopped where there was no station and down through
the hole went the men who had worked so hard for freedom. Some were caught
and put back by the half-frozen guards, for the night was bitter cold and
rainy, but several escaped and took the road to Columbia, toward which
they knew Sherman was approaching. Among the successful ones were Lieut.
Smith, of the 142d N.Y.S.F., Lieut. Crosby of the 115th Pennsylvania,
Capt. B. B. Porter, Lieut. Thomas Johnson and Capt. David Getman of the
10th New York cavalry. The details of the escape are graphically related
by Capt. Porter in the "History of the 10th regiment Cavalry,"
but for the present purposes, let it suffice for us to say that Lieut.
Smith, Capt. Getman and their party endured great hardships while,
half-clad, cold and hungry, they traveled stealthily at night, hiding
while day lasted, through woods and dismal swamps, until the night of the
20th of February, 1865, they heard the welcome challenge of a union
sentinel, once more found themselves among blue-coated friends and in the
morning feasted with joyful gaze on the beautiful stars and stripes
floating proudly in the breeze.
This is the history revived by the old war relic which Mrs. Yale now
has in her possession.
LEONARD B. YALE
12 May 1897
Dropped Dead at Johnstown This Afternoon.
A telephone message was received at The Leader office from Johnstown at
4 o'clock this afternoon announcing that Leonard B. Yale of the firm of
Yale & Dillon of this city, had dropped dead at the home of Isaac
Scott on South William street between 3 and 4 o'clock. Mr. Yale's family
and his partner, H. A. Dillon, were quickly notified and friends went to
Johnstown at once.
Mr. Yale came to Gloversville from Rome 30 years ago and worked for
several years with A. D. Norton until eight years ago, when he formed a
partnership with Mr. Dillon. He was about 50 years of age. He was married
eleven years ago to the widow of Captain Charles Smith and one child,
which died in infancy, was born of the union. His wife, mother and two
sisters, the latter living in Rome, survive him. Undertaker Keiner has
gone to Johnstown for his remains, which will be brought to his home in
this city to-night.
Mr. Yale was a man of many excellent qualities and none knew him but to
honor and respect him. His sudden death will be a blow to his many friends
in this city.
14 May 1897
Last Tributes of Affection and Respect Paid by Friends of Leonard B.
The funeral of Leonard B. Yale was held at three o'clock this afternoon
from his late residence on South Main street and was attended by a large
number of the relatives and friends with whom he had been intimate in his
business and social life. The services were conducted by Rev. W. E. Park
who preached a very impressive sermon, extolling the character of the
deceased and calling attention to the many traits which had made him
honored and respected by everybody. AT the conclusion of the services at
the house the remains were taken to Prospect Hill cemetery, where
interment occurred. The body rested in a square, hand carved chanceller
casket, covered with English broadcloth, and lined throughout with cream
satin. It was also fitted with silver extension bar handles and a silver
plate which bore the inscription, "Died, May 12, 1897. Leonard B.
Yale. Aged 50 years." The bearers were Harry Dillon, Wm. Wilson, W.
E. Whitney, John Richardson, S. H. Shotwell, C. E. Sweet and R. Delamater.
[handwritten: & C. K.? Roser]
The beautiful floral remembrances were as follows: Roses and ferns,
Mrs. Wm. Gilmour, Utica; roses, Mr. and Mrs. S. H. Shotwell; roses, Mr.
and Mrs. H. L. Burr; roses and pinks, Wm. Wilson and Wm. Walker, employes
in the store; roses and ferns, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Owen, New York; large
wreath, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Dillon; carnations, Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Sweet.
Undertaker Keiner, who had charge of the funeral, arranged the
surroundings of the grave in a very tasty manner, the latter being lined
with white muslin, with cherry blossoms around the edge, and the ground in
the immediate vicinity was covered with white canvas.
Referring to the death of Mr. Yale, the Rome Sentinel
Deceased was a son of Mrs. Sarah H. and the late B. Yale. He was born
in Utica 51 years ago and came to Rome with his parents when a child. His
boyhood and young manhood were spent in Rome. He attended the public
schools of this city, and afterward learned the trade of watchmaker and
jeweler of George J. Leach, who then conducted business in the store now
occupied by E. P. Bevillard. He was afterward employed by C. H. Norton,
who was in those days engaged in the jewelry business here. About 28 years
ago he went to Gloversville, where he was afterward engaged in the jewelry
business. Mr. Yale was a genial disposition, making friends easily and
holding them firmly. Although so many years away from Rome he always
retained a lively interest in the welfare of this city and his old friends
and acquaintances. All who knew him here will be shocked and pained to
learn of his death.
Amelia was registered with the Daughters of the American Revolution. Her
father was the son of Abner Leonard (1786-1869) and Candace Owen (b. 1789).
Abner was the son of Josiah Leonard (1750-1818) who was married in 1772 to
Elizabeth Hillard (1748-1820). Candace Owen was the daughter of Hezekiah
Owen (d. 1854) and Elizabeth Thrall (1769-1836). Elizabeth was the daughter
of John Thrall (1728-1791) who was married in 1748 to Rebekah Davis (d.
1758). Josiah Leonard served in 1780 as a private in capt. Jacob Pool's
company, Colonel Jacob's Massachusetts regiment. He died in Kingston, NY.
John Thrall was a lieutenant in 1779 in the 2nd company, 18th Connecticut
Amelia's grandfather, Abner Leonard, is found in the online
database by the Mohawk Valley Web Development "Gloversville, NY -
Prominent citizens and families of 1859" based on the book
"Gloversville: the Model Village," by Horace Sprague published in
The Leonards constitute one of the most numerous and most respectable
family connections of the first inhabitants of Kingsboro. The present
families are, descendants of some of the following six brothers. Rufus,
Reuben, Josiah, Daniel, Abner, Harvey.
LEONARD, ABNER, born June 4, 1786 ; married to Candace Owen, who was
born Aug. 14, 1789. Second wife: married to Susan Mills, Dec. l8, 1839.
Children?Candace E., Alvin H., Josiah C., Elizabeth T., Jason S., Hiram
M., Andelusia E., Harriet E.
Charles Smith and Amelia Leonard had the following children:
Harry M. Smith, born about 1791 in Johnstown, NY.
- Charles Leonard Smith, born 3 Oct 1874 in Johnstown, NY.
In the 1850 census, Amelia's grandfather, Hezekiah Owen is living with
her family along with a younger Owen relative. Amelia had one sister,
Candace O., who was born about 1844 and married Willard Burton. In the 1870
census, Charles and Amelia are living with her parents along with her sister
and husband and their young son, Hiram Burton, born in August of 1869.
In 1870 and 1880 Leonard Yale is in the town of Johnstown, a jeweler and
Amelia's son, Charles Leonard Smith, was married about 1904 to Pearl W.
(last name not known) and though he registered, as required, for WWI he was
not listed as a veteran in the 1930 census. He worked in a bank for quite a
few years before he finally became a glove manufacturer, like his father and
grandfather before him. By 1930 he owned his own glove factory. Charles and
Pearl had two children: Robert W. Smith (b. about 1914) and Charles E. Smith
(b. about 1920).
Anyone interested in more details of this family should obtain the
pension records filed by Amelia and the Revolutionary pension records of
Josiah Leonard and John Thrall.
- Articles are from a turn of the century scrapbook made by an unknown
person, saved from the garbage heap by William Weaver of Lake Pleasant.
Many articles appear to be about the history and people of Gloversville
and surrounding areas. Most of the articles are poetry, faith and other
non-genealogical material. Dates were handwritten.
- The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution
Volume 112 page 160: Mrs. Amelia Leonard Yale, DAR ID Number: 111488
- Civil War Pension applicaton:
widow Smith Amelia L.
minors, Leonard, Hiram M.
C 32 and I 142 NY Inf.
widow pension 11 Oct 1880 appl 278480, 204784
minor pension 11 Jun 1884 appl 316898, 215918
- 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 Federal Census records
for Johnstown, Fulton county, NY.
- Mayfield Central Presbyterian Church marriages, 1834-1854 (on this
Hiram LEONARD, Johnstown Roxana STANLEY, Johnstown Sept 15, 1842
- 1869-70 Johnstown Directory (on this site)
Charles Smith is associated with Leonard, H. M. & Co., Glove and
- 1888 Gloversville Directory (on this site)
Leonard, H. M. is listed as a Glove manufacturer.
- WWI draft registration
Charles Leonard Smith
67 second Ave, Gloversville
b. 3 Oct 1874
Banker at City National Bank, Gloversville
relative: Mrs. Pearl Smith
- Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System from the National Park Service -
an online index.