AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ANTHONY WAYNE MEREDITH
Although the subject, Anthony Wayne Meredith, lived until age 98,
this autobiographical sketch covers only about his first two decades.
In some instances punctuation was added and spelling corrected,
but in most instances they were retained as in the source document.
Whitfield County, Ga.
August 29, 1869
Anthony Wayne Meredith was born in Waynesborough, Wayne County, Tennessee in the year 1847, September 12th; his father C. B. M. was a North Carolinean by birth, his grandmother and grandfather Meredith was Quaker and lived to a good olde age in N.C.
C. B. Meredith was a wheat farmer by trade and followed this trade for some time in Tennessee & Georgia. He married Georgia Ann Reid, the daughter of Dr. Reid of Monroe County, Georgia, in the year of 1845.
Dr. Reid soon after moved to the southern part of the state, where he died in the year of 1858. He was from one of the best families of the state, and skillful physician, a man of moderate fortune. C.B. Meredith also moved to the North Georgia, where he remained a few years.
He merchandised there for a short time and from there emigrated to Western Texas. He went by private conveyance with his wife and three children—the youngest an infant. He lost his next-oldest child in Ark. [one or two illegible words] for Texas. C. B. Meredith did not remember much about the country as we passed through Texas—but I remember we stopped at a house build out of boards and a family of negroes that we had were lodged under a board shelter.
We were then into a desolate wilde country infested with wilde varments of ever description. The place where we stopped was soon surveyed out for a town and the country town of Henderson County. I distinctly remember the first court that was held in that town was held under a [illegible word] tree about the center of the town now called Athens, Texas. There I learned my A.B.C. under a Mr. Harrison in a little wooden court house. There I spent my happy days chasing butterflies and playing hide and seek among the bushes that grew where the city of Athens now stands.
After the town began to thrive my father put up a tavern and kept tavern in the place for several years. But soon he was addicted to drinking and soon the troubles of the peaceful little house hold began. There then I shed many tears of sorrow till I regretted the day I was born.
My father soon spent at the gro shop what little property he had accumulated and had it not been for a few negroes which my grand father had gave to my mother we would all perhaps suffered.
My mother prevallied on my father to quit town and move to a farm in the country. There we lived in peace and began again to prosper but my father soon began to give way under the fatal disease consumption which soon bore him to that land from where no traveller has ever yet returned. He closed his eyes in death after a long and severe spell of sickness which he bore with patience. He was a good neighbor and a kindly and generous husband and father. He was never known while under the influence of liquor or at any other time to misuse any of his family.
He died at his resident in Van Zandt County—near the line of Henderson in the year of 1859 and was buried by his brother Masons at Athens, Texas.
Soon after my father’s death my mother returned to southern Ga. Where my grandmother was then living. In 1861 my mother married again J. M. Eastelin [Easterling] of Walker County Ga. & my step father is now living at his resident in Walker Co. & in Armerchil Valley. After my mother marriage I continued to live with my grand mother as she had no children with her at that time. It was my grandmother intention to give me a collegiate education but the war was then pending between the North & South which soon swept over our happy homes like a fire deluge carring all away in its mad [illegible word]. I was even anxious to join in the struggle for southern rights – but being small with a feeble constitution my relatives all opposed. But I [illegible word] to the southern part of the state of George. Soon Governor Joseph E. Bown called out the milisha. I then being 16 years of age had a chance to quench my thirst for war. I bid adieu to teachers and schoolmates and went from Monroe County to Green where my stepfather had refused to and from there I went to eastern Ga. where the militia of the adjoining counties had assemblied for Macon & soon we all started for Macon after reaching Macon we were camped on the olde fair grounds, that being the rendezvous for the militia of the state & while at Macon we were camped near the cemetery. While there I got placed at [illegible word] for General Wayne but my command being order off to the front. I was anxious to go—had started to the war and there was no stopping me in the half way ground—so I shouldered my musket & started to Atlanta.
Juanita Mayberry provided a copy of the handwritten document from which this version was transcribed to Roger Bartlett in October 1975.