Dr. Anderson P. Longstreet (1829-1873) was born in Augusta, son of Henrietta Eve Longstreet and Augustus Baldwin Longstreet. He graduated from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta in March of 1850. He married Laura Ayer, daughter of Dr. C. K. Ayer of Rome.
They came to Effingham County around 1858 (when he was about 30 years old) to practice medicine. He purchased from James Lee the large plantation now known as “Longwood” located near Mizpah. Half of the property was located in Effingham and half in Screven County with the center of the home straddling the county line. He became a cotton planter in the rich farmland there.
In the 1860 Census, A.P. Longstreet is listed as residing in Egypt and having 57 slaves, the largest number in the county.
Dr. Longstreet came from a family with the tradition of becoming a physician in his lineage. He stayed with his uncle, Paul F. Eve, who was one of the founders of the Medical College of Georgia, while attending medical school in Augusta. Another uncle was the infamous Civil War General James Longstreet of Confederate fame and glory.
Dr. Anderson Longstreet served as a surgeon in Co. B., 2nd Battalion, Georgia Cavalry, in the Confederate States Army. He was discharged due to an old knee wound in May of 1862 and continued to serve in the 12th Regiment, Georgia Cavalry, State Home Guards, achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Laura Longstreet died in 1861. They had four children. Dr. Longstreet married a second time to Mary B. Carmichael of Augusta in 1862. No children were born of that union.
After his death in 1873, his cousin who had encouraged him to live in Effingham County, Oswell Eve Smith, purchased the Longwood Plantation, originally known on old maps as the Longstreet Place, from the estate because of the rich soil which was more productive for farming.
His son Cone Edward Smith lived on the plantation and farmed rearing a large family including children: Sarah, Emma, Christine, Mirtie, Walter, Gus, Joseph C. and Martha Smith (Bevill). The farmhouse has since deteriorated and was torn down and material was used to build a lodge on the next farm on the Farr place next door. The accompanying picture is a photograph of the painting that Martha Smith Bevill’s siblings gave her of the home in which they were reared.
Joseph C. Smith’s son Patrick (Mike) and wife Karen Smith now own Longwood Plantation, 1549 Pryor Road, Newington. The farm was designated a Georgia Centennial Farm in 2008. This designation means that the farm has been in operation by the same family for at least 100 years, and in this case for nearly 200 years. Originally consisting of over 1,000 acres, the remaining 325 acres, owned by Patrick (Mike) and Karen Smith, is made up of prime woodland, pasture land, and 19 natural ponds. Of these natural ponds, several contain large deposits of high-grade, organic peat, rich in natural minerals and nutrients.
The natural underground Carolina Bays provide material for the base of their business, Longwood Plantation, LLC. A Carolina Bay is a phenomenon of nature that is present in an area of the country that stretches from North Carolina to northern Florida. A large number of these b ays are found in southeast Georgia. A number of different theories exist as to their formation.
Longwood Plantation is a supplier of organically-based compost and soils for all gardening and turf management needs. In addition the Smiths have a nursery known as Southern Native Plantings offering native and non-native plants. They sell shrubbery, trees, fruit and nut trees, herbs, ornamentals, perennials and water plants.You may find these businesses on the Internet at Longwood-Plantation.com and southernnativeplantings.com.
This plantation is rooted deeply in our history including the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. It is indeed a unique business that the Smiths operate today on the property based on the very unusual Carolina Bays that exist there, once owned by Dr. A. P. Longstreet.
Correction for photos from the recent Camp Meeting story — the location of the tent in 1906 that I published was not accurate. The Methodist Camp Ground was located in the area of what is now the Springfield United Methodist Family Life Center and did not extend to the area of the current City Hall. The published information had come from an incorrect article in an old Springfield Herald.
Information from this article came from: Norman Turner, Norma Morgan, Betty Renfro, The History of Medicine in Effingham County, and Mike and Karen Smith. This was written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact Susan Exley at 754-6681 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.