Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Euseba Fortenberry, Mother of MS Soldiers

Euseba Fortenberry Smith
3 December 1809 SC – 13 October 1878 MS
Daughter of William Jasper Fortenberry & Violette Kennington
Wife of Wyatt Smith

My 3x Great Grandmother

Euseba Fortenberry was the daughter of William Jasper Fortenberry & Violette Kennington. Her siblings were: Gasua C., Calvin C., Isabella, William J., Olevia, Burrell T., Alfred, Hollis & Willis J.[1]

Euseba married Wyatt Smith, son of Jeremiah Smith & Joanna Dillon. They lived in Pike County, MS where they raised nine children.[2] Son, Rankin b c 1844, was not listed in the 1850 census. He may have died before then.

Unfortunately, Euseba knew great sorrow in her life. Three of her six sons died in the Civil War. The first to die was Newton Oscar Smith who died 4 May 1862. He was only 20 years old when he died of typhoid fever.[3] A month later, William J M Smith died 4 June 1862 at the age of 26.[4] The next month there was another death. Jasper R Smith died 10 June 1862.[5]

Her youngest sons were too young to serve in the war. Adolphus S Smith went on to become a dentist.[6] Walter Lorraine Smith followed his father’s footsteps and was a farmer.[7] Euseba’s three daughters all married and had children of their own. Hopefully the births of her grandchildren helped ease the sorrow from the losses she endured.

The Wyatt Smith cemetery is not easy to access. There are trees, shrubs and weeds in a big tangle around the stones. Wyatt and Euseba’s stones are broken. Euseba’s name is missing from the top of her stone. It just says, “Wife of Wyatt Smith” with the dates.

Tombstone of Euseba Fortenberry Smith

[1] Fortinberry, G. K. Abstract History of the Fortinberry Family; 1795-1940′s; Family History Center Microfilm #1036152
[2] Criminger, Adrianne Fortenberry. The Fortenberry Families of Southern Mississippi. South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1984.
[3] Confederate Service Record; 1862; Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Archives and Library Division; N. O. Smith. Private, Company H, 7 Mississippi Infantry.
[4] Creel, Bevin J. A Patriot's Legacy: The Family of Richard Dillon and Ann Lawrence from Bertie County, North Carolina To Southern Mississippi and Louisiana. Franklinton, Louisiana: Privately Printed, 2002.
[5] Confederate Service Record; 1862; Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Archives and Library Division; Jasper R. Smith. Private K Company, Mississippi Volunteers.
[6] 1900 US Census Magnolia, Pike, Mississippi Sd 7, ED 115, Sheet 21; Adoolphus S Smith,
[7] 1910 US Census, Ward 2, Washington, Louisiana, SD 4, ED 125, Sheet 8A; Walter L Smith.


  1. "Euseba Fortenberry" -- what a fantastic name! It's even fun to say out loud. But poor Euseba -- losing those sons to war must have been the worst nightmare.

    1. It is difficult to imagine her grief. I am sure many of her neighbors were suffering as well.


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