Lieutenant Thomas Washington Smith of Suffolk was born at Somerton, Nansemond County, June 1st, 1832.
At the outbreak of war in 1861, being thoroughly devoted to the cause of Virginia and the Confederacy, he raised a company for the defense of his state and was elected Second Lieutenant of this company, which was assigned to the Sixteenth Virginia Infantry Regiment, and brigaded in
Mahone's division of A.P. Hill's Corp.
He participated in all the Battles and Campaigns of the Army of Northern Virginia, bravely taking his place among the heroes, being much of the time in command of his company.
At Seven Pines and through the Battle of Seven Days around Richmond, at Second Manassas, Smith Mountain, Sharpsburg, in the Wilderness, on the Petersburg lines and at the Crater he struggled for the cause. Three times wounded, once severely at Spotsylvania Court House and twice slightly at Malvern Hill and Hatcher's Run.
With rare comradeship for the men in the ranks, he repeatedly refused offers of promotion.
Under his command, the remnants of two companies surrendered at Appomattox and he returned to Suffolk
After the war he was engaged in the mercantile business. For three years he held the position of President of the Farmers Bank and in 1889 he became President of the Suffolk National Bank.
In Civil, as in Military life, he disregarded title and never permitted himself to be drawn into public office.
He was elected Lieutenant Colonel of the Fourth Virginia Regiment in General Fitz Lee's Brigade after the war, but resigned the position in 1892.