Abner B. Smith
19th Georgia Regiment

The following was extracted and transcribed from a two-book set entitled Memoirs of Georgia - Historical and Biographical Illustrated. The inside cover sheet of volume I is inscribed "Memoirs ... of.. Georgia containing Historical Accounts of the State's Civil, Military, Industrial and Professional Interests, and Personal Sketches of Many of its People."; and "Atlanta, GA. The Southern Historical Association, 1895"

"Campbell County Sketches" (Pages 405 - 406)

ABNER B. SMITH, planter, Fairburn, Campbell Co., Ga. Four miles southeast of Fairburn, on one of the best plantations in the county, lives Abner B. Smith, one of the most respected and influential planters in the county of Campbell. He is a man of undoubted integrity and occupies a respected place in the social life of his community. He comes from one of the pioneer families, being the son of John B. and Temperance (Bailey) Smith, and was born in Campbell county, Dec. 4, 1842.

Abner B. Smith was reared in Campbell county, the war being the first great event of his quiet life. When but eighteen years of age, in June of 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company C, Nineteenth Georgia Regiment. In 1863 he was made a lieutenant of his company, in which capacity he served until he surrendered at Salem, North Carolina. He was mustered into service at Lynchburg, and was in the battles of Seven Pines and seven day's fight around Richmond, but was sick in the hospital during second Manassas. When he recovered he joined his command at Shepherdstown, Md., and was in the battles of Fredericksberg, the Wilderness, and was at Richmond when the enemy made a raid on that city, while Lee was at Gettysburg. He was also at the siege of Charleston, the battle of Ocean Pond, Fla.; Drury's Bluff and Cold Harbor; then in the trenches at Petersburg during the winter, where he took part in a large number of skirmishes of that eventful period. During Mr. Smith's service he participated in some of the most hotly contested battles of the war. In the fight at Ocean Pond, Fla., his brigade did most of the fighting. At one time they [19th GA] were stationed near where the famous mine explosion occurred [Obviously referring to his service at Petersburg.]. He was at the fall of Fort Fisher and at the battle of Kingston, his last fight being with Sherman in the last battle of the war - Bentonville. Returning home from such exciting scenes, he settled down to the quiet life of a farmer, and has since followed that occupation. To the marriage of Mr. Smith to Miss Mary H., daughter of Willis Morgan, which occurred Feb. 8, 1866, nine children have been born. Mr. Smith is a deacon of the Baptist church, having been a member many years before the war. He votes in conformity with the principles of the democratic party, and fraternally is a Mason.

Transcriber's notes and comments:

I first became aware of the existence of the Abner B. Smith biographical sketch in the late 1950's through a typewritten copy that my grandmother - the daughter of Abner B., Dora E. (Smith) Burdette - had in her possession. At that time, I had no clue why it was written or its original source. I knew its writing pre-dated my father's birth in 1905, because the sketch said my grandmother was still unmarried and living at home.

In the middle 1960's while talking with a fellow worker about genealogy, I mentioned my grandmother's sketch on her father. This person remarked that it sounded like one of the articles published in an old book owned by his mother. When he arranged for me to see book, I realized that I had found the source of my grandmother's hand-typed copy of the sketch! The book's owner stated that in the 1890's, book sellers traveled the countryside pre-selling this type book. The sales pitch was; the book buyer would have an opportunity to have their family sketch included in the book when it was printed. I assume the Abner B. Smith sketch was written by himself or, at his direction by one of his children.

The sketch above is a word-for-word transcription as written in the book. From my research, I believe it contains several spelling, and factual errors/omissions as follows:

(1) Abner B. Smith's middle initial is believed to be for 'Bailey', his mother's maiden name.

(2) Abner B.'s wife was known to the family as 'Marietta' Morgan. This article indicates her name to be Mary H. , the daughter of Willis Morgan. Although I've never seen it elsewhere, perhaps her name was really Mary Henrietta and was shortened to 'Marietta' by combining the two names.

By William R. Burdette, Jr., great grandson of Abner B. Smith. (March 24, 1999)

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