Gabriel Smith was born on January 5, 1836 in Orange County, New York. Gabriel was married and had two children before the Civil War. Gabriel was a school teacher.
Enlist ment papers show he was born in Orange, New York. Mustered into Company C, 5th Regiment of the New York Heavy Artillery with the rank of Private. He was paid a bounty of $25.00. Gabriel was wounded with the 1st Brigade Division in action near Snickers Ford or Gap, Virginia . He was hospitalized at Newton University Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Records show he was transferred from Company C to K, 26 July 1865, & that he was mustered out of Company C at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, 13 February 1865 & mustered into Company K at Harpers Ferry, Virginia 19 July 1865.
Family tradition has it that during the Civil War, while on guard duty, at the White House, in Washington D.C., while awaiting discharge orders due to an injury to his Achelles Heal, was ordered to not let anyone pass him w/o first advancing & being reconized. Gen. U. S. Grant refused to state who he was & Gabriel shot the off the tip of his nose.
August 1863, while in service received letter from home indicating his sick wife was near death & he had to have an emergency furlough to make arrangements for the care for his two children. His children were sent to live in New York, while Gabriel was fighting in the war. July 18, 1864, Gabriel was wounded in action at either Snickers Gap or Parkers Ford in Virginia. This gunshot wound in the left heel by a musket ball was the start of a lifelong disability which would grow worse with age. July 19, 1865, he finished his 3 year Army tour & returned home to his wife and 2 children.
In 1867, Gabriel moved from Elmira, N. Y. to Forrest, Illinois. His wife died in May of 1871. Gabriel then married Mary Katherine Cassell on August 19, 1871 in Pontiac, Illinois. In 1877, they moved from Forrest, Illinois to Sterling, Nebraska.
Gabriel and Kate had seven children. They were Arthur, Roy, Millie, Ella, Maud, Benjamin and Nettie. For several years Gabriel and his family lived around Putnam County. Gabriel wanted to own his own farm land though and the land was too expensive around Hennepin at 50 cents an acre! Gabriel moved his family to Nebraska in 1882 where they land was free. He continued to live out the remainder of his life on his farm in Nebraska. During the last, he was confined to the Old Soldier's Home in Burkett, Nebraska. After his death on March 10, 1917, Gabriel was laid to rest in Beatrice, Nebraska.