Miles Rainwater was born ca 1820 in South Carolina or Georgia. The identity of his parents is unproven, though it is asserted by many that he was the son of James Rainwater the Blacksmith and Apposely Cunningham.
In 1840 he married Mary Blanchet, called Polly. They were the parents of at least nine children: Polly Elmira, born ca 1839; William B., born ca 1842; Mary, born ca 1845; Nancy Ann, born ca 1847; Elhannon, known as Jim, born Feb 1850; Clinton Maurice, known as Joe, born ca 1852; Sarah Ann, born ca 1854; Matilda, born ca 1855; and Miles Marion, born ca 1856. Mary Blanchet Rainwater died between 1880 and 1883.
Miles briefly served with the Georgia 30th Infantry, Company K, "Chattahoochee Volunteers" during the Civil War. He enlisted at Camp Bailey in September 1861 and was discharged in August 1862, apparently on account of his age. In 1898, he was granted a pension on the basis of his service. Upon his death, his 3rd wife applied for a continuance of the pension in her own name.
On April 23, 1883 in Douglas Co., GA, Miles married his second wife, Elizabeth Simmons. She died prior to 1885, when in August of that year, Miles married his third wife, Sabra Amanda Jane Smith. The couple had one son, John Brown Gordon Rainwater, born 1886, named for a Confederate general and later Governor of Georgia, John Brown Gordon.
Miles Rainwater died on January 4, 1903 and was buried in Friendship Baptist Church Cemetery in Rico, Georgia. Sabra Rainwater died eight years later, on May 9, 1911 and was buried in Sardis Baptist Church Cemetery, also in Rico. Family tradition holds that they are buried in different cemeteries owing to inclement weather. Though interment was planned for Sardis, the weather was so bad on the day of Miles Rainwater’s funeral, that the family simply chose the nearest church cemetery.
This photograph of Miles, Sabra and Gordon Rainwater appears to have been taken in the mid-1890s or early 1900s.
Photo and biographical information supplied by Rev. Terry Rainwater
© 2018 Rev. Terry Rainwater
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