Smith, Truman, 1791-1884

Alternative names
Birth 1791-11-27
Death 1884-05-03

Biographical notes:

Whig representative from Connecticut.

From the description of Letter, 1849. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 145409160

A lawyer, U. S. Representative (1839-1843, 1845-1849), and Senator (1849-1854) from Connecticut, and later judge of the court of arbitration (1862-1870), who was one of the earliest Whig supporters of Zachary Taylor and managed his campaign for president.

From the description of Newspaper prospectus, July 7, 1849. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 230922071

Biographical Note

  • 1893 August 25: Born, West point, New York
  • 1915: Bachelor of Arts, Yale College
  • 1916: Joined 12th Infantry Regiment of the New York National Guard
  • 1916 June: Ordered to the Mexican border to defend against Pancho Villa's army
  • 1917 July 14: Married Katherine Alling Hollister
  • 1917 - 1918 : Commander, 4th Infantry, Company B (later Company A) in World War I, in France
  • 1918: Instructor, U.S. Infantry School, Langres, France
  • 1919 - 1920 : Political advisor to the Officer in charge of Civil Affairs at Koblenz, Germany
  • 1920 - 1924 : Assistant military observer and assistant military attaché, U.S. Mission and U.S. Embassy, Berlin, Germany
  • 1928 - 1932 : Instructor, Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia
  • 1931 - 1935 : Commands 2nd Battalion of the 27th Infantry at the Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
  • 1935 - 1939 : Military attaché, U.S. Embassy, Berlin, German
  • 1939 - 1946 : German Specialist in Intelligence, General Staff (G-2), War Department
  • 1948: Military Advisor to the Eberstadt (Armed Forces) Committee on the Hoover Commission
  • 1970 October 3: Died, Fairfield, Connecticut

From the guide to the Truman Smith Papers, 1913-2007, (Hoover Institution Archives)

Served with New York National Guard on the Mexican Border in 1916; from 1916-1946 served in the U.S. Army, retiring with the rank of colonel; during World War I participated in the Marne defense battles and the Meuse-Argonne offensive and in the occupation of Germany, acting as political officer in the office of civil government; served as military attaché in Germany, 1920-1939, and as German specialist in Intelligence Division of General Staff, 1941-1946; from 1946-1947 was military advisor on the National Defense Committee of the Hoover Commission.

Truman Smith was born in West Point, New York, on August 25, 1893. He was the son of Captain E. D. Smith of Stamford, Connecticut, and grandson of Truman Smith of Connecticut, who represented the state in both the House of Representatives and the Senate from 1842-1852.

Smith was brought up and attended school in Stamford, Connecticut, and graduated from Yale University in 1915. In 1917, he married Katherine Alling Hollister.

Smith served on the Mexican border in 1916 as a lieutenant in the New York National Guard, and then was commissioned in 1916 as a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Army, from which he retired in 1946, having attained the rank of colonel. During World War I he served as company and battalion commander in the 4th Infantry of the 3rd Division, participating in the Marne Defense battles and the Meuse Argonne offensive. For the latter he received the Silver Star for gallantry in action and was promoted to major for the capture by his battalion of the Bois de Poret. Smith later took part in the occupation of Germany from December 1918 to June 20, acting as political officer in the office of civil government.

From 1920 to 1924 Smith served as assistant military attache in Germany, and from 1935-1939 as military attache. Though retired in 1941 because of physical disability, Smith continued in active service from 1941-1946 as German specialist in the Intelligence Division of the General Staff. For his work in Germany and in the Intelligence Division he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 1949.

In 1946 and 1947, Smith served as a military advisor on the National Defense Committee (Eberstadt Committee) of the Hoover Commission, and afterwards as military aide to the governor of Connecticut. He translated, edited, and wrote the preface for Invasion, 1944: Rommel and the Normandy Campaign, by Lieutenant General Hans Speidel, Rommel's chief of staff.

Smith died in Fairfield, Connecticut, on October 3, 1970.

From the guide to the Truman Smith papers, 1824-1956, 1954-1956, (Manuscripts and Archives)


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  • Franking privilege
  • Meteorology
  • Coins
  • Army wives--United States
  • Authors and publishers
  • National socialism
  • Republic, The--Newspapers
  • Secret service--United States
  • World War, 1939-1945--Secret service
  • Anesthesia
  • Legislators
  • Women--United States
  • Correspondence


  • Military attachés


  • United States (as recorded)
  • Connecticut--Stamford (as recorded)
  • Connecticut (as recorded)
  • Germany (as recorded)