On May 17, 1861, at age 19, Elijah F. Smith enlisted as a private in Company A of the 26th NC Infantry Regiment in Ashe County. This group was known as the Jeff Davis Mountaineers. He was promoted to Corporal on April 17, 1862, and was wounded in action at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. He was promoted to 1st Sergeant on March 30, 1864, and eventually taken prisoner near Petersburg, Virginia, on October 10, 1864. He was detained at Point Lookout, Maryland, until he was transferred to James River for a prisoner exchange on February 21, 1865. Wounded at Gettysburg, family tradition says that Elijah—known as “Leige”—carried the bullet until he died.
Elijah Franklin Smith (1842-1926)—son of William Byrd Smith and Mary Eveline Baker—married Lovey Jane Davis Smith (1849-1929)—daughter of John Wilson Davis and Mary “Polly” Weiss—on April 30, 1864. They lived at Grassy Creek, and both are buried at the William Byrd Smith Cemetery at Grassy Creek.