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Ephraim P. Smith


Mr. Ephraim Smith is buried in Ellsworth Cemetery, a cemetery that he helped established in 1876.

Mr. Smith was born sometime in the 1820s to Thomas and Hannah Berry Smith in Mount Airy. They were likely enslaved, although the records have not been found yet. The earliest census records showing the family are 1870, which may mean they were enslaved as late as 1860.

By 1863, Mr. Smith was free. He was drafted in the US Army in Frederick, Maryland in August 1863. His age is recorded as 41 years old, although he may have been younger. He had been working as a carpenter. Perhaps because of his age, he was appointed the rank of Sergeant in Company “G” of the 28th Regiment of US Colored Troops (USCT). The 28th USCT was originally from Indiana. Sgt. Smith joined following the Battle of the Crater, where the 28th had sustained heavy losses, and was likely sent to join their ranks to fill in for the lost NCOs (non-commissioned officers). He was with the regiment when they went to the US-Mexico border following Appomattox. The Regiment mustered out in Corpus Christi, Texas in November of 1865. Records indicated that Sgt. Smith had mustered out in June of 1865, although the reasons are unclear.

Sgt. Smith returned to his native Maryland, living near Westminster, with two of his children, Ida and Harrison. His first wife is not with them. By 1880, he is listed as being widowed.

In 1884, Mr. Smith married Margaret (Maggie) Moffitt, a woman about 27 years his junior. They had at least one son, William F. Smith. They adopted a son, Benjamin Cooper.

Sgt. Smith was active in the local Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) post. While the GAR was not strictly speaking a segregated organization, the posts in Carroll County were segregated. Sgt. Smith attended the Thaddeus Stevens post, near New Windsor, rather than the all-white Burns post in Westminster.

By 1902, he had retired and died at the age of 72 years.

Sergeant Ephraim Smith is buried in Ellsworth Cemetery, near Westminster, Maryland. His headstone, which annotates his GAR involvement, has recently been cleaned.

Democratic Advocate, September 13, 1902

American Sentinel, September 13, 1902

Maryland State Archives