Commander of "Kirby Smith's Confederacy" dies
On this day in 1893, Edmund Kirby Smith, former commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department of the Confederacy, died in Sewanee, Tennessee. The Florida native attended West Point, served in the Mexican War, and was an officer in the Second United States Cavalry on the frontier. He entered the Confederate service in 1861 and rose to the rank of lieutenant general in October 1862, when he was given command of the Trans-Mississippi Department, including Texas. His competent administration of the department, sometimes called "Kirby Smith's Confederacy," and successful defense of the region against Union general Nathaniel P. Banks's Red River campaign in 1864 were marred by his inability to cooperate amicably with his principal field commander, Gen. Richard Taylor. In February 1864 Smith was promoted to the rank of full general, and during this time he presided over the Marshall Conferences. Kirby Smith was almost the last Confederate general in the field, but in a hopelessly isolated situation he finally surrendered to Gen. Edward R. S. Canby in June 1865.