Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Nicaragua Smith and Joseph Cronea

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on January 8, 2013

One hundred fifty years ago today, at exactly noon, Private Thomas “Nicaragua” Smith was shot by a military firing squad on a parade ground on the west side of Galveston. Although he was ultimately tried and condemned by a court-martial as a deserter from the 1st Texas Heavy Artillery, Smith was a bonafide bad actor, with a long criminal past as a civilian, going back before the war. A few years before, in fact, a delegation of citizens had escorted him onto a steamship bound for New Orleans, with orders never to return — he was just that kind of guy.  Few mourned Nicaragua Smith then, and no one mourns him now.

But the fate of a man captured with Smith, Private Joseph Cronea of the First Texas Cavalry, U.S. Army, needs to be told as well. My colleague Jim Schmidt has the details.

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