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PVT: RUFUS SMITH of the 95th Illinois Infantry of Company K. Civil War Veteran of Monterey County. 

Rufus Smith was born in New York in estimated 1836. During the Civil War he enlisted into the 95th Illinois Infantry, Company K on August 11, 1862 and was mustered out on August 17, 1865. He was a farmer and farmed in the Salinas Valley for many years. On November 20, 1905, Rufus Smith was found face down in a furrow in the field where Mr. Smith was working. He had Brights Decease. He was a member of the James Blair Steedman GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) Post #56 based out of Salinas, Calif. 

The following Transcription is from the obituary in the “Salinas Daily Index” issue November 21, 1905. 

SMITH, RUFUS (1836-1905) SALINAS, IOOF Cemetery 
(Salinas Daily Index November 21, 1905) 
Rufus Smith Drops Dead 

Body Found in a Furrow in the Field Where He Had Been Plowing Had Been Dead For Sever Hours When Found- Brights Disease The Cause The body of Rufus Smith, an old settler of the Salinas valley, was found yesterday afternoon at 4 o’clock on his ranch in the San Miguel Canyon. The deceased had been dead several hours as the body was cold and the team had trampled the ground hard where they were standing. The indications were that Mr. Smith had stopped his team to rest and had lighted his pipe. He may have leaned against the plow and while resting in this position have fallen forward with his face in the furrow. His pipe was nearby and there was no indication of any struggle, which would make it appear that he died suddenly. 

For several years the deceased had been troubled with Bright’s disease for which he was taking a patent medicine but was not receiving treatment from any physician. Years ago he had consulted a physician who told him the nature of his malady. He was not convinced and went to another doctor who told him the same thing. He scorned the idea of having such a disease and said he had no faith in what the doctors had told him. Of late he had become worse and had frequent fainting spells. He told his brother James on several occasions that he expected to be found dead in the field some day and his expectations came true. 

Yesterday morning he went to work, apparently in as good health as usual and during the early part of the forenoon was seen following the plow. This was the last time he was seen alive. The deceased was unmarried. He leaves four brothers, Frank and James Smith of this vicinity and two in the East. He was a veteran of the Civil war and after serving his country came West and has lived in the Salinas valley for many years. He was a native of New York and was aged 69 years and 7 months 

No funeral arrangements have been made.

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Compiled and Submitted: by Tim P. Reese, PCC  
Camp Abe Lincoln #10 based out of Santa Cruz, Ca  
Dept. of Calif. and Pacific  
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War  
Sep 2009