ARRON BORDMAN COOLEY SMITH SR. was born in October of 1845 in New Jersey. On March 25, 1865 he enlisted in the Union Army, serving as a Private in Company H of the 34th New Jersey Infantry Regiment. The regiment was sent to the fight the war along the Gulf Coast, and in April, 1865, it took part in the assault and capture of Spanish Fort, Batteries Huger, Tracey and Fort Blakely, in which action it lost 3 killed and 15 wounded.

The Battle of Spanish Fort took place from March 27 to April 8, 1865 in Baldwin County, Alabama, as part of the Mobile Campaign of the Western Theater of the American Civil War. After the Union victory in the Battle of Mobile Bay,Mobile nevertheless remained in Confederate hands. Spanish Fort was heavily fortified as an eastern defense to the city of Mobile. Fort Huger, Fort (Battery) Tracey, Fort (Battery) McDermott, Fort Alexis, Red Fort, and Old Spanish Fort were all part of the Mobile defenses at Spanish Fort.

Union forces embarked on a land campaign in early 1865 to take Mobile from the east. Maj. Gen. E.R.S. Canby's XIII and XVI corps moved along the eastern shore of Mobile Bay forcing the Confederates back into their defenses. Union forces then concentrated on Spanish Fort and Blakely Alabama. On March 27, 1865, Canby’s forces rendezvoused at Danley's Ferry and immediately undertook a siege of Spanish Fort. The Union had enveloped the fort by April 1, and on April 8 captured it. Most of the Confederate forces, under the command of Brig. Gen. Randall L. Gibson, escaped and fled to Mobile, but Spanish Fort was no longer a threat.

With Spanish Fort's fall on April 8 and Gen. Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House the next day (unrelated to the fall of Spanish Fort, as Lee’s forces were in Virginia), Fort Blakely remained the last organized resistance to the Union east of the Mississippi River. However, as early as April 1, when Spanish Fort's fall became inevitable, Union forces had begun moving north in order to concentrate on Fort Blakely, which eventually succumbed late on April 9 in the Battle of Fort Blakely.

The Battle of Fort Blakely took place from April 2-April 9, 1865 in Baldwin County, Alabama, as part of the Mobile Campaign of the American Civil War.

Maj. Gen. Edward Canby had concentrated 16,000 men for the attack on April 9, led by Brig. Gen. John P. Hawkins. Sheer numbers breached the Confederate earthworks, compelling the Confederates, including Confederate Brig. General St. John R. Liddell, to surrender. The siege and capture of Fort Blakely was basically the last combined-force battle of the war. Yet, it is criticized by some (such as Ulysses S. Grant) as an ineffective contribution to Union war effort due to Canby's lateness in engaging his troops. The falls of Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely permitted Union troops to subsequently enter Mobile unopposed after the conclusion of the Civil War.

Private Cooley Smith He was discharged on March 24, 1866 in Mobile, Alabama. The regiment was disbanded at the end of April, 1866. Cooley Smith returned to New Jersey, where he married Emily Countryman.

On April 8, 1876 Cooley Smith was appointed to the Camden Fire Departments to serve as an extra man with the Hook & Ladder Company replacing William F. Reed. He was then living at 225 Senate Street and working as a teamster. Cooley Smith served for one year. He was replaced by Elijah Morehouse in April of 1877.

When the Census was taken in 1880 Cooley Smith was working for the City of Camden as a policeman. He was then living at 411 Emerald Street with his wife Emily and their six children, ranging in age from 12 to 2, George, Jennie, Horace, Emily, Hannah, and A.B. Cooley Smith Jr. At some point, probably during the 1876-1879 term of Claudius Bradshaw as Fire Marshall, Cooley Smith served as a member of the Camden Fire Department. Bradshaw was elected Mayor in 1880 and most likely took Cooley Smith with him to the police force. That Bradshaw and Smith were close is beyond question, as a son Claudius Bradshaw Smith, was born to the family in 1881. Bradshaw served two three year terms as Mayor before he was defeated by Jesse Pratt while running for a third term in 1886.

The 1887-1888 City Directory gives address of 424 and 426 Jasper Street as the residential address of Cooley Smith. The directory also shows that he had a cigar store at 1731 Broadway. By 1890 he had moved to 1736 Broadway. On October 27, 1890 Cooley Smith filed for his Civil War invalid's pension.

The 1900 Census shows an address of 1736 Broadway, and that Cooley Smith was operating a cigar store. At home were sons George, Cooley Jr., and Claudius, as well as daughter Mrs. Hannah Britton and her daughter Evelyn. Nearby at 1788 Broadway were relatives of Mrs. Smith, her mother Jane Countryman and sisters Mrs. Kate Hammell and Jennie Countryman. By 1904 he had moved to 430 Van Hook Street, with his wife and son George, a blacksmith. He was still at that address as late as 1908. The April 1910 census shows that Cooley Smith and his wife were staying at 1511 Mt. Ephraim Avenue, the home of daughter Jennie Smith Brady, her husband Edward and their children Catherine and Jennie. 

Cooley Smith was a member of the Sioux Tribe, No. 25 of the Improved Order of Red Men, one of the larger of the many fraternal orders in Camden in those times.

Cooley Smith passed away on January 23, 1914. The 1920 Census shows Emily Smith and her son George living with daughter Emily and her husband Jacob Rock at 1820 South 6th Street, Camden. Emily Smith joined her husband on June 19, 1921.

Philadelphia Inquirer - August 17, 1886

Jesse Pratt - Wiliam White - William Smith
James Gibson -
Cooley Smith - John Kelly 
Kaighn Avenue - Mt. Ephraim Avenue

Industrial Review
New Jersey

New York:
Commercial Publishing Company 1890

Lovers of a good Cigar like to congregate where such an article can be obtained, and among the prominent places of that kind in this section may be mentioned that of Mr. Smith.

The store is about 20x30 feet in dimensions, with a sitting room back. A large and choice selection of Imported and Domestic Cigars can be obtained here, as well as a fine line of Smoking and Chewing Tobaccos, Cigarettes, Pipes and Smokers' Articles.

Mr. Smith is a native of the city, and has always
been prominent in looking towards the city's best interests. He formerly held the position of police officer in this district.

Philadelphia Inquirer - May 5, 1899

Joseph Dole 1426 Broadway - Joseph Hyde - 1600 Jackson Street
Adam T. Davis - A.B.C. Smith

Philadelphia Inquirer - May 6, 1899

Joseph Dole - 1426 Broadway - Joseph Hyde - 1600 Jackson Street
John Opfer -
Adam T. Davis - A.B.C. Smith

Philadelphia Inquirer - January 25,1914