General Smith

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General Smith
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Smith, General
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A Union general named Smith is mentioned in four of the Yoknapatawpha fictions. His first name never appears. There were two Union Generals named Smith who fought Confederate Nathan Bedford Forrest in Mississippi at various times after the fall of Vicksburg. General William Sooy Smith was defeated by Forrest on February 22, 1864 in the Battle of Okolona, and did in fact fight Forrest "up and down the road to Memphis" - as Faulkner's General Smith does in "The Unvanquished" and again in the novel with that name (79, 128). However, most scholars assume that the General Smith Faulkner has in mind is Andrew Jackson Smith, who fought Forrest at the Battle of Tupelo in July, 1864. Faulkner had a particular reason to know this Smith: that same summer he led the Union soldiers who burned both Oxford (the original of Jefferson) and Ripley, where among the houses they destroyed was the home of Colonel William Falkner, the author's great-grandfather.