Charles J. Munnerlyn created a book called "Sketches of Decatur County, Georgia."His book doesn't have an ISBN number but does have an OCoLC number (Library of Congress).The OCoLC number is 49496651.
Here is something that I retrieved from the Bainbridge Library.
"CHARLES J. MUNNERLYN (Georgia) was born in Georgetwon, South Carolina, on Feb 14, 1822.The family moved to Gadsden County, Florida, in 1833 but found conditions too primitive there and in 1837 moved near Bainbridge in Decatur County, Georgia, where the senior Munnerlyn became a successful planter.Charles was educated at Emory College, and then studied law under its president, Judge A. B. Longstreet, the uncle of Lieutenant General James Longstreet, C.S.A.He was admitted to the bar but never practiced, having inherited his father's large property holdings at an early age.Munnerlyn's first public office was as a member of the secession convention in January, 1861, where he voted for immediate secession.When war began he volunterred as a private in the First Georgia Volunteers and saw service at Pensacola and in West Virginia.His health, however, forced him to give up his commission.In November, 1861, he was elected by a comfortable majority over two opponents to represent his district in the Confederate Congress."
"In Congress, Munnerlyn was Georgia's silent member, abstaining from debate, proposing no bill or amendment, and only occasionally offering a petition or a resolution relating to some local-interest group in Georgia.but Munnerlyn was one of the government's strongest backers.A survey of his voting revord shows his consistent support of every major program before Congress to mobilize the Confederacy for war.He campaigned in 1863 for reelection on this faithful record - particularly his advocacy of conscription - and ran a poor third in a field of four."
"After his defeat, Munnerlyn reenlisted in the army, this time as a private in the cavalry.But when President Davis heard this he had Munnerlyn commissioned as a major and ordered him to Florida to organize a regiment of reserves there.The special duty of these reserves was to collect and forward supplies to the armies in Virginia.Munnerlyn performed his duties so successfully that he shipped one hundred thousand head of cattle northward and was made lieutenant colonel for his efforts."
"After the war Munnerlyn remained in Florida for several months helping Confederates flee the country; Judah P. Benjamin was one of his refugees.He then returned home to rebuild his fortune.Though Munnerlyn had lost over two hundred slaves, he was able to retain most of his land and successfully make the transition to free labor.He realized the value of railroads to the New South and was instrumental in building the Savannah, Florida, and Western Railroad.In 1884 he was elected ordinary of Decatur County, which necessitated his living in Bainbridge.Munnerlyn died on May 17, 1898, and is buried in the family cemetery near his old home, Refuge, outside Bainbridge.
History of Decatur County
Another item of interest that I found:
"Both Elisha Harrell, the yeoman farmer, and James Ingram, the overseer, aspired to become planters.Had either been asked what man in Decatur County they admired most and would wish to emulate, each would have replied with the name of Charles J. Munnerlyn.Munnerlyn was the largest slaveholder in the county and one of its leading planters.Advocate of railroads, reluctant but successful politician, and dedicated civic leader, Munnerlyn was a man whose success merits attention."
"He was born in 1822 in Georgetwo, South Carolina, and was the son of aristocratic parents (Charles Lewis Munnerlyn and Hannah White Shackelford).The elder Munnerlyn moved his family to newly opened lands in Gadsden County, Florida, in 1833.Hedging his speculation, the planter bought tracts in nearby Decatur County.When the second Seminole War, 1835-1842, made life difficult for them, the family moved to Decatur in 1837."
"The Munnerlyns settled in the rich Fowltown district.Charles Lewis build an impressive home which he called Refuge.Expensively furnished, Refuge boasted a large library.Gardens and trees surrounded the mansion and led onto an estate of over 3,000 acres.As Charles James matured he helped his father manage the estate.He attended Emory at Oxford, Georgia, was admitted to the bar, and, in 1845, married Harriet Eugenia Shackelford (she was the daughter of his mother's half-brother).After a fashionable wedding in Charleston, the couple returned to Refuge.Instead of practicing law, Charles Hames helped his father, whose health was deteriorating, operate the plantation.Harriet must have contrasted life in Southwest Georgia with that in Charleston, but she made the transition.It was made easier by her father-in-law who admired Harriet's talent as an artist and musician and installed a pipe organ at Refuge for her.The plantation became the social center of the county and famous as a stopping place for friends traveling between Bainbridge and Quincy in Gadsden County."
"After his father died in 1857, Charles James inherited Refuge.Making such a plantation function properly was a task requiring intelligence, hard work, and managerial ability.The slave population varied from year to year but average over two hundred.They were quartered at different places, and each settlement had an overseer.Some of the first Munnerlyn slaves were brought from South Carolina and spoke a West Indian dialect.The problem with English was a small one and with the passage of time ceased to exist."
"By any standard, Refuge was well planned and diversified.In 1860 Munnerlyn had 1,500 improved acres and 1,700 unimproved acres, all valued at $25,000.His farm equipment was worth $1,800.His livestock evaluation was $4,850 and included 10 horses, 26 mules, 20 milk cows, 40 other cattle, 8 oxen, 100 sheep, and 200 hogs.His estimated value of animals slaughtered was $1,900.Refuge also had a number of minor crops and products that added interest to its major function.The 350 pounds of wool had both commercial and domestic uses.Nothing was completely frivolous; not the Irish potatoes, the peas and beans, the beeswax, the honey, or the 10 gallons of wine.Yet it was as a producer of cash crops and crops that sustained the workers that Refuge attained its prominence."
"In 1860 the plantation produced 5,000 bushels of sweet potatoes and 1,000 gallons of molasses (also a 1,000 pound hogshead of cane sugar).The cotton acreage yielded 150 bales of cotton.Munnerlyn's cribs could hardly contain the 7,000 bushels of corn.In addition, his workers harvested 8,000 pounds of rice and an equal crop of tobacco.not many plantations in Georgia were better coordinated or more profitable than Refuge.Munnerlyn's landing on the Flint River was a place of constant traffic."
"During the Civil War, Munnerlyn served with the Bainbridge Independents until illness forced his retirement.From 1862-1864 he was in the Confederate Congress.Defeated for reelection, Munnerlyn returned to the army and spent the last years as a major in charge of raising shipments of cattle in Florida and forwarding them to Confederate armies.After the conflict he returned to planting, invested in railroads, and served as Judge of Ordinary for Decatur COunty for fourteen years.He died in 1898.His life spanned the glories of the Old South and the hardships of the New South.His political rights were stripped because of his prominence as a planter and his role in the Civil War.Not until a special act of Congress passed in 1873, which applied to him and eighteen other Decatur Countians, was Munnerlyn restored to hus full status as a citizen."
"The arrow-straight planter was handsome, articulate, and devoted to Masonry and the Methodist church.That only one of his lightly guarded slaves ever ran away was evidence of his compassionate nature.He and Eugenia Shackelford had seven children (only two survived him).One sone, James S., was killed in 1882 when he was thrown by a horse.Young Munnerlyn, who lived at Savannah, was only thirty-three-years old.Another loss came in November 1883 when fire caught from a crack in the chimney between the ceiling of the second floor and the roof at Refuge.Despite what the Bainbridge Weekly Democrat described as 'herculean efforts,' the grand old home burned to the ground.Most of the furniture on the ground floor was saved, but the well stocked library was lost as were outbuildings and cabins.There was no insurance."
"Eugenia died February 19, 1887.Eleven years later, Charles Munnerlyn was buried beside her in the family cemetery at Refuge.The tombstone read that he was:
'Lofty in body and noble
Patriot and Christian
Venerated and admired by his country
and lamented by his posterity.'
"He was proud to be what he was: a man of the earth, a planter."
SOURCE:Wiregrass Outpost - Rogers Pg. 110-113 Munnerlyn Family.
There is more on Charles J. Munnerlyn but I need some sleep.I will try and post more this next week.
If you have questions, you can reach me at 229-220-1854.I don't mind questions in the middle of the night.If I don't answer my cell phone, then I am asleep!No problem!
Nina Anne Kramer