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Charles Henry Smith

humorist , lawyer , writer

Charles Henry SMITH, Humorist, lawyer, writer.


SMITH, Charles Henry was born on June 15, 1826 in Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States, United States. Son of the merchant Asahel Reid Smith and his wife Caroline Ann (Maguire).


Graduate Franklin College, Athens, Georgia, 1848. Studied law, 1849.


He left the University of Georgia in 1848 to manage his father’s store. In 1849, he married Mary Octavia Hutchins, by whom he had thirteen children. A Democrat and a lawyer, he rode the circuit in 1851 in the vicinity of Rome, Georgia.

Smith also practiced law in Rome until the end of the antebellum period. During the war, he was a major on the staff of Generals Francis Bartow and George T. Anderson. In 1864, he became judge advocate of Marion, Georgia.

He also wrote wartime letters which appeared in the Rome Confederacy and other Southern newspapers under the pen name “Bill Arp.” These letters are historically valuable for the insight they give into Southern sentiments and attitudes. His humorous anecdotes and tales became famous among the troops, and his stories circulated throughout the Confederacy. After the war, he practiced law and contributed weekly letters to the Atlanta Constitution for a period of twenty-five years.

He served in the Georgia legislature in 1865-1866 and was mayor of Rome in 1868-1869. In 1866, he published Bill Arp, So Called. Smith moved to Carterville, Bartow County, Georgia, in 1877 and died there on August 24, 1903.


  • Author: Bill Arp’s Letters. Bill Arp’s Scrap-Book. The Farm and the Fireside.A Side Show of the Southern Side of the War. Fireside Sketches, 1890. Georgia as a Colony and State, 1733-1893, 1890.


"Peculiar institution" of slavery was not only expedient but also ordained by God and upheld in Holy Scripture.


Stands for preserving slavery, states' rights, and political liberty for whites. Every individual state is sovereign, even to the point of secession.


Spouse Mary Octavia Hutchins.

A. R. Smith

Caroline Ann (Maguire) Smith