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Meet Horace H. Smith. Years ago, I saw his image on display at the Library of Congress, but it was labeled “unidentified.” I zoomed in on a scan of the photo and saw “H.H.S.” scratched on his cartridge box sling. The “G” and “16”on his cap, along with fact that he was wearing a style of jacket only issued by the state of Wisconsin, made for an easy identification.

Horace H. Smith was the only person in Company G of the 16th Wisconsin with those initials. Smith fought in and survived the April 6 and 7 Battle of Shiloh, but soon after got sick with a case of mumps. He never left military hospitals after that, and side effects from the disease plagued him until he died in the early 20th century. Even though he died decades after the Civil War, Private Smith was very much a casualty of the conflict.

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