MONTGOMERY COUNTY SOLDIERS
REVOLUTIONARY WAR SOLDIER
Born in NC about 1760, and fought in the Revolutionary War. He was later given 1000 acres of Montgomery County as a pension. While in his 70's, he moved his entire family to Tennessee. During the Bicentennial, the Army and the Girl Scouts created a memorial to him on what is now Ft. Campbell.
The attachments include stories about the memorial and the trees he brought from North Carolina.
OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS 101ST AIRBORNE DIVISION (AIR ASSAULT) AND FORT CAMPBELL
FORT CAMPBELL, KENTUCKY 42223
12 August 1976
From this date on the cemetery and environs located at coordinates DR 468535, Fort Campbell Kentucky, are hereby designated as the SAMUEL SMITH MEMORIAL PARK in honor of Private Samuel Smith, a soldier in the Army of the United States during the American Revolution.
Samuel Smith was born in Warren County, North Carolina. He enlisted in the Army of the United States in 1778 in Warren County, North Carolina and, again, in 1779with Captains Allen and Hopkins and Colonels Lytle and Green. He participated in the Battle of Brier Creek with great distinction. He later retired with private pension file number 7560. Samuel Smith died 16 January 1837 in Montgomery County, Tennessee and is interred in the cemetery in this park named in his honor.
Samuel Smith Memorial Park
A Bicentennial Project of the 20th Engineer Battalion and the Girl Scouts of America
1000 12 August 1976
PRESENTATION OF HONORS
Remarks by Brigadier General Charles W. Bagnal
Reading of General Order
Unveiling of Dedication Plaque
Remarks by Mrs. E. W. Coppedge, Descendant of Samuel Smith
Remarks by Mrs. Ursula Beach, Historian, Montgomery County, Tennessee
Remarks by LTC Paul W. Taylor
Dedication Prayer By Chaplain Edward White
Rendezvous with Destiny
The Army Song
Music Provided by the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Band
Inscription on Bronze Plaque at Entrance to Samuel Smith Memorial Park
to Bicentennial Memorial to Samuel Smith, a Revolutionary War Soldier and
Tennessee Pioneer. He was born in Bute County (now Warren County), North
Carolina, in 1762. He died in Montgomery County, Tennessee, on January
Inscription on Bronze Plaque at Entrance to Cemetery
During the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War, Samuel Smith fought in the Battle of Brier Creek. Brigadier General John Ashe, with 1,200 militia, including Samuel Smith, and some 200 North Carolina Continentals, organized into a light infantry detachment under Lieutenant Anthony Lytle and moved down to Brier Creek south of Augusta, Georgia. The British, under Lieutenant Colonel Mark Prevost attacked and defeated the Americans at Brier Creek.
In later years, Samuel Smith led groups of settlers from North Carolina into Tennessee. In 1833 he brought his family and settled here. Samuel Smith also brought some pine trees from North Carolina. The large pine tree near his grave is possibly one of those trees.
Samuel R. Smith was born in Granville County, N.C. in 1762.
He enlisted as a private in Warren County, N.C. in 1778 and served three months as Captain
Charles Allert's Company in the Regiment Commanded by Colonel Lytel. And again in 1779
we find him serving in the Company Commanded by Captain Hopkins in the Regiment
Commanded by Colonel Green.
He came to Montgomery County in 1832 and settled in what is now District
4 on Piney Fork.
The Creek. The land on which Asbury Church now stands was given by him for the purposes of establishing a church. The first church was of logs and served as church & school house. This is the third church to be built on the same spot, on destroyed by lightning, the last by fire.
The trip from North Carolina was a long and arduous one. They came thru the Cumberland Gaps and at the season of the year when streams were the lowest. They came in ox-carts, many of the men walked most of the way. They were detained for a week by a stork party - a baby girl was born, a granddaughter of the subject.
An advance party was sent ahead to blaze the trail by cutting the bark off the trees with hatchets. That was called "blazing the trail." There were some three hundred and fifty people in this particularly calvary - this included the slaves & their families.
Among them were people whose names are well known in Montgomery and
counties today. There were families by the names of Southall, Rives, Gold, Oldham, Smith,
Turner, Moss and others.
Samuel R. Smith was twice married. First to Miss Sallie Williams and
then to a Miss Dobson.
To the first union were born four sons and one daughter, namely, Harry, Elizabeth (Betsy)
Charles, John and Wiley. By his second marriage there were three children. Mary, Samuel R.
Jr., and Sarah Long. He has many descendants living in Clarksville, Montgomery and Christian
Samuel R. Smith died at the old homestead in 1837 and was buried at
this cite selected by him
for a burial ground. On this cite today stands three giant pine trees which he bought as seedlings
in his saddle bags from our mother state.
In the shadows of these majestic pines he sleeps the dreamless sleep
as the gentle summer
breezes move among their leaves and a soft plaintive requiem to his honored memory.
P.S. The old gentleman was my great grandfather.
Friday, August 13, 1975
Army, Ancestors Dedicate Grave of Revolutionary War Soldier
By Richard Wordon
Say what you will about the Army. The federal government. Our sometimes plastic Bicentennial celebration. The undergrowth has been cleared, and Samuel Smith’s headstone feels the sun.
Samuel Smith was a revolutionary War soldier. He came to Montgomery County in 1833, at the age of 71, after the young government awarded him 1,000 acres of land for his service in the war.
He died four years later, on Jan. 16, 1837, but not before he convinced his wife to move from her beloved North Carolina to a wilderness where the only familiar aspect was the North Carolina pine trees her husband had planted.
Of the seven pine seedlings he brought in his saddlebag to the area that is now Ft. Campbell, some have flourished. One – believed to be the largest on the military reservation – is within a few feet of Smith’s grave, close enough to blanket it with pine needles.
Until last May, Smith’s headstone – along with those of five relatives – as obscured by undergrowth miles from the Post Headquarters. Only the thud of artillery fire disturbed the overgrown spot, which was part of an impact for military training.
With the approach of the Bicentennial celebration, however, funds became available to the Army to use on an appropriate project.
John Klose, then a colonel in charge of the post’s public information office, and Ursula Beach, Montgomery County’s historian, got their heads together.
With the help of the Girl Scouts of America and the 20th
Continued on Page 10, Col. 8
Continued from page 1
Engineer Battalion at Ft. Campbell, the gravesite was cleared. Work began May 11, according to Capt. Jack Morrison of "A" Co., 20th Engineers, and ended Wednesday of this week. It took 3,500 man-hours, 500 equipment-hours, and about $5,000 worth of materials, he said.
The result was "unveiled" Thursday before more than 100 onlookers. The original granite headstones have all been propped up again, all the undergrowth has been cleared away, and the area has been landscaped, including a long gravelled pathway to the area from Engineers Road.
On hand Thursday were Mrs. Rosalie Coppedge, Pvt. Samuel Smith’s great-great-granddaughter, and Mrs. Hattie Wooten, her mother and great-granddaughter of Smith.
Her ancestor, who fought in the Battle of Briar Creek in Georgia, was a "courageous, rugged individual," Mrs. Coppedge, a teacher who is taking a year’s leave, told the gathering, which included her husband, Erle Coppedge, of the Austin Peay State University business office.
Mrs. Coppedge voiced her appreciation to the Army, and to the Girl Scouts who had helped clear the land, and who researched information used on the historical marker, adding, "I really thank you from the bottom of my heart."
Mrs. Beach called it "a most glorious occasion." The park, she said, was symbolic of "God’s world, enhanced by man."
Brig. Gen. Charles Bagnal described it as "one of the most beautiful and peaceful spots at Ft. Campbell." He said Smith was "a veteran, a pioneer and a man who gave of himself" for his country.
Sunday, May 31, 1992
159-Year-Old Pine Tree Guards Family Cemetery
By THERESA LACEY
Special To The Leaf-Chronicle
Museums and monuments pay homage to the history of Fort Campbell, but none so well as the 159-year-old pine tree that now stands guard over a family cemetery.
Samuel Smith, a Revolutionary War hero who fought at the battle of Brier Creek in Georgia, brought the seedling from North Carolina in 1833.
It was no small task for the 71-year-old man, who finally convinced his wife to join him on the trek to wild country now called Fort Campbell, Ky.
Smith carried seven seedlings in his saddlebags. Only one survived. Eventually, Smith and five other family members were laid to rest at its roots.
The old pine weathered many seasons, and age eventually began to take its toll. But the decaying family plot where the tree stands was given a facelift in 1976.
At that time, Col. James Klose of Fort Campbell’s Public Affairs office and Montgomery County historian Ursula Beach decided to make renovating the cemetery a bicentennial celebration project.
Girl Scouts and members of the 20th Engineer Battalion cleared the grave sites, working for three months to finish the job.
On August 13, 1976, the spot was dedicated as Samuel Smith Park. Befitting a family event, one of the speakers on hand to help with the ceremonies was Smith’s great-great-granddaughter and Clarksville resident Rosalie Coppedge.
Now more than 100 feet tall, the pine tree continues to flourish. In fact, it’s grown so large that helicopter pilots use it as a landmark.
Visitors are welcome, but must register with the
Hunting and Fishing office, because the area is often used for training
exercises. For more information, call 798-2175.
Submitted by Larry Smith