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 It was in action that he shone to best advantage. His bearing which, when in repose, was essentially military and dignified, rather than graceful, assumed a heroic type when in the heat of battle. He looked and felt a different man. The roar of artillery and the rattle of musketry sounded as thrilling music to his ears, imparting to him new life. Then, with face aglow with the inspiration of his soul, he was ready for any ‘deed of high emprise.’ Throughout the two days battle of Shiloh—on the 6th and 7th of April, 1862—Colonel Smith was conspicuous for his gallantry and the splendid handling of his troops. No regiment on that bloody field did better service or achieved greater triumphs, and this was due as much to the sterling qualities of its Commander, his coolness, intrepid bravery and influence over his men when in action, as to the excellence of his troops. His gallantry and unflinching courage, his high sense of honor, and his aptitude to grasp the arts of war, together with self-abnegation at the bidding of duty, won the respect of all his superiors, and the unlimited confidence, respect and esteem of his troops. From that day his eminence as a true soldier was assured. It was confidently believed by those in the army that had there been a vacancy to be filled by a Mississippi soldier, Robert A. Smith would at once have been promoted to the grade of Brigadier-General. As it was, his services were so highly appreciated by the General commanding, that he was, from this time forward, almost constantly in command of some brigade of the army by special assignment. General Bragg's estimate of Colonel Smith may be judged by the following extract from a letter written by him after the termination of the war, and addressed to a friend of the deceased Colonel: ‘Entering the service at an early age, without military experience or education, the Colonel fell in the gallant discharge of an almost desperate assault in less than eighteen months, esteemed and honored for his acquirements and heroic deportment. To me his loss was severe, for I had looked to him for support in a much higher and more extended command.’ Passing over the intervening time between the battle of Shiloh and Bragg's Kentucky campaign, we come to speak of Colonel Smith in his last battle,—the one here,—known as the battle of Munfordsville, fought September 14, 1862. Immediately prior to entering Kentucky Colonel Smith had been ordered to resume command of his regiment. On reaching Glasgow with his main force September 12, 1862, General Bragg ordered forward the same night Chalmers's brigade of
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