Joshua G. Smith, Alamo defender, was born in North Carolina on August 21, 1807, the son of Alexander and Rachel Gist Porter Smith. By 1810 the family was living in Green County, Tennessee, though they moved to Bedford County, Tennessee, while Joshua was still in his teens. Shortly thereafter Smith moved to Pickens County, Alabama, where he bought a farm in partnership with his half-brother, John Porter. In 1828 Smith was living in Jackson County, Tennessee. From there he immigrated to Texas. In March 1835 he received a quarter league of land in Robertson County. The next year he became a sergeant in the Regular Texas Cavalry and traveled to San Antonio de Béxar and the Alamo in Capt. John H. Forsyth's company. Alamo survivor Susanna W. Dickinson described Smith as "a man of about 5 feet some inches in height, spare made, dark eyes and complexion and appeared to be between 25 and 35 years of age." Smith died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.