BENJAMIN FORSYTH SMALLING was born in what was Bedford County but now is part of Marshall County, Tenn., November 24, 1825. He is the son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Bostic) Smalling, and is of German lineage. His father was born in Sullivan County, Tenn., about 1800, and his mother was born in Wilkes County, N. C. about the same year. They were married in early life and from this union were born three children.
Our subject was reared on the farm and received a practical education in the common schools. Farming has been his chief occupation, although he has spent some time in trading, saw-milling, etc. During the civil war he was commissioned enrolling officer of his district and afterward was as an officer of the commissary department in the Confederate Army, where he remained during the war. While he participated in no battles he was often exposed to the dangers incident to war.
October 5, 1847, he was married to Miss Ann F. Morton, who was born in Hardeman County, Tenn., January 13, 1830. To this union were born nine children, six of whom are living; these are Forsyth, James M., Constantine W., Benjamin, Mary C. and Elizabeth B. Mr. Smalling has a farm of 100 acres of fine land which he manages in a profitable way. He is a Democrat and he and family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
Our subject’s grandfather Col. Benjamin Forsyth, was a commanding officer in the war of 1812, and was killed in a skirmish near Lake Champlain. He wore a sword at the time of his death which he had captured from a British officer. He made the remark when putting the sword on that he would “fight them with their own weapons.” He was killed soon after this occurrence. The sword was labeled with its full history by Gen. Scott and sent to the widow of Col. Forsyth and may be seen at this time at the home of James M. Smalling, four miles east of Nashville, Tenn., on the Lebanon Pike.
Transcribed by Kathryn Hopkins
Goodspeed Publishing Co. History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Maury, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Bedford & Marshall Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Reminescences [Sic], Observations, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1988.