Not sure what you mean by “positive ground on the starter”. But I assume you had short from battery positive to battery negative, via the big thick wire that is bolted directly to the starter. So the damage (smoking, heat) occurred as soon as you connected the second connection of the battery.
That by itself shouldn’t prevent the car from starting now. I’m wondering if a grounding point got burned and corroded, like the ground between the engine and the chassis. That’s worth checking.
If other circuits were involved in the short, then almost anything could have been damaged. Certainly makes sense to first of all check the fusible links, then all the fuses in the various fuse boxes.
The only other thing I can think of is that when you disconnected the battery after you noticed this problem, it created a big voltage spike and that could have damaged something in the ECM. I don’t think that is the most likely explanation though.