| 8th MO Infantry (US)
(Click here for a
explanation of why people from other states joined the 8th Missouri)
Phillip Smith came to America from Prussia in 1842.
The photo above is from the front of his Civil War diary; the caption reads
(Phillip Smith, Color Bearer 8th MO Vol Inf of Co. H.
Taken at Memphis Tennessee 1862). His war diary survives intact today, and
has been verified as authentic at the University of Chicago. It has now been
digitized by the Peoria Historical Society, and you can purchase a copy at the
Peoria Historical Society website.
After the Civil War, Phillip Smith lived out his life in Peoria, Illinois.
HERE IS THE OPENING ENTRY IN PHILLIP SMITH'S DIARY:
Diary of Phillip Smith of Company H. 8th Regiment Missouri Volunteer Infantry
Through Three years Service in the Army of Federal Government in the time of the
great Rebellion of the Southern States 1861-1865:
"Jefferson City Mo. July 22nd 1861. As I lay in my bed this morning I got to thinking that as I had enlisted in the Army for the period of Three years. Through which time many an incident would occur and many an event take place that would be a pleasure and likely of much interest not only to myself if God so wills that I pass safely through this war, but to my friends in the future, I have concluded to Keep a Diary, and shall endeavor to keep it as accurate as can be done under the circumstances and conditions under which for what little experience I have already had, I will have to contend with."
"I have left home and a good situation thrown all peaceful avocations aside and have grasped the weapon of death for the purpose of doing my part in defending and upholding the Integrity Laws and the preservation of my adopted Country from a horde of Contemptible traitors, who would if they can accomplish their Hellish designs destroy the best and Noblest Government on Earth. Merely for the purpose of benefiting themselves on the slave question. They want to have a Government of their own whose chief Cornerstone shall be Human Slavery. They say that the reason they have seceded was that the North having elected a man to the Presidential chair who is opposed to slavery, will use his Power to oppose and even crush it. That they stand No show of security, That the future will or would be an aggression of the People of the North on their state Institutions and to secure themselves from all this, they would Withdraw from the Union."
"Well! We shall see about this scheme..."
Phillip Smith attended the 8th MO Peoria area reunion.
(Click here for a photo of the 8th MO Peoria area Reunion in the 1890's)
BIOGRAPHY OF PHILLIP SMITH
(Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Peoria County, 1902, Page 627)
SMITH, PHILIP; Insurance and Real Estate Agent; born in Prussia, May 5, 1841, is the son of Paul and Anna M. (Diedrich) Schmitz, natives of Prussia, and emigrants to America, arriving in New York August 24, 1842. After they had tried several other localities they settled in Peoria in the summer of 1844. Here the mother died May 2, 1852, and the father on February 28, 1864. Subsequently the death of two sisters and a brother left Philip Smith the only survivor of the family. Mr. Smith has always made Peoria his home.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, in company with several others, he went to St. Louis and enlisted in the Eighth Missouri Volunteer Infantry. He served in this regiment for three years, participating in the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, the Siege of Corinth, General Sherman's attack on Corinth by way of the Yazoo Bayou, the battles of Mission Ridge, Resaca, and Dallas.
After leaving the Service he was engaged in various pursuits until the fall of 1873, when he was appointed letter-carrier, by Postmaster General D. W. McGee, serving until Mr. Dowdall was appointed Postmaster under President Cleveland, when he was discharged. In August, 1892, he was appointed Surveyor of Customs, and served in this position until President Cleveland's second term, when he was again "invited to take a rest from public duties," as Mr. Smith puts it.
At the town election in Peoria, in April, 1895, Mr. Smith was elected E Supervisor and Overseer of the Poor for two years, and at the expiration of that time received the compliment of a re-election. When his second term had expired, Mr. Smith started a real-estate and insurance business which has assumed very satisfactory proportions.
Mr. Smith was married in Chicago, Illinois, October 1, 1864, to Miss Mary C. Vanscoyk, a native of Peoria County, to whom on December 21, 1865, was born a son, Howard F. Smith, who has for years been employed in railroad business. On July 19, 1876, they adopted a little girl, aged five years, by the name of Edna M. Lewis, who on April 21, 1888, married Frederick A. Walker. Mr. Smith's wife died on September 17, 1890 and on June 19, 1901, he was again married to Mrs. Cynthia A Lewis, mother of Edna, the little girl above mentioned.
Mr. Smith is a member of the Congregational Church, in politics a Republican, and belongs to the following fraternal societies: G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic, I.O.O.F.(Independent Order of Odd Fellows), and the A.O.U.W. (Ancient Order of United Workmen).