One of the Banks County Guards Who Comes Back to Life After Twenty-Three Years
Athens, Ga., March 23 -
James Smith, of this place, has been legally dead for twenty-three years. He was a member of the Banks County Guards, and during their stay at Acquia creek, Virginia, the boys concluded to have some fun out of him. He was carried out on a foraging expedition about one mile from camp, where two of the company were posted behind trees with loaded muskets. The boy that was with Smith commenced telling him about Yankees, and that they had gone far enough and had better return or they would be captured. About this time a shot was fired and the young man fell, telling Smith to run, as the Yankees were upon them. Smith ran the mile back to camp in race horse time, and after finding out it was a joke played on him, he went crazy, and was sent to the hospital in Richmond. He had been in Richmond about one month, when Captain Candler was notified officially by the chief physician that James Smith, of Company A, Second Georgia regiment, had died on a certain day of pneumonia, and accordingly Jim was marked on the payroll as a dead man, and was therefore out of the service. Jim knew that a dead man couldn’t be much of a soldier, and he came back to Banks county, and couldn’t never be carried back into the army. He, however, is not dead, although the confederate records, if they are in existence, will state that Jim Smith is a dead man.
Source: The Atlanta Constitution, issue date March 24, 1888
Note: The Banks County Guards enrollment roster shows a James C. Smith. In the Smith/Lacy family cemetery (Banks County, Ga.) lies a J. C. Smith, April 15-1826-Aug. 10, 1889. This birth year coincides with the age of 35 stated by James C. Smith in the 1860 Banks County Census.
Compilation 2005 by Jacqueline King
Copyright 2007©Vicky Chambers & Jacqueline King