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The Goat Man

2010 October 7

"The Goat Man" at the end of his life.

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“The Goat Man is here!” Word would quickly spread through town as soon as someone spotted the famous wanderer and his band of smelly goats on the outskirts. Adults and children alike would drop whatever they were doing and dash over for a visit with the Goat Man.

McCartney in 1945

An article in the New Georgia Encyclopedia says Charles (“Ches”) McCartney was a significant folk and religious figure in Georgia for more than four decades. After being injured on a Works Progress Administration job, McCartney experienced a religious awakening and began traveling to preach his message of eternal damnation for sinners.  It is widely held that McCartney was an influence on the writings of Georgia author Flannery O’Connor.


People would flock to visit the "Goat Man" when word of his appearance on the outskirts of town was reported.

After being brutally attacked several times, McCartney settled in South Georgia,  his unique life’s story ending in a Macon nursing home in 1998.

Newspaper articles about “Goat Man” can be found in the Georgiana Collection clipping files of the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Additional images of McCartney and his goats can be found in the Vanishing Georgia Collection by searching for “Charles McCartney” or “Goat Man.”

If you have memories of the “Goat Man’s” visits, leave a comment — we’d love to hear from you!

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53 Responses leave one →
  1. D.A. Butler permalink
    September 19, 2016

    I remember waiting at a bus station with family in my late single digits or early double digits, to catch a bus back home after staying with relatives. Would’ve been the late 70’s to early 80’s. I remember people at the bus station saying “the Goat Man is coming up the road”. My what a sight!! Will never forget it. Only wish I would’ve had a picture taken with him and family. I am very thankful to have seen such a thing. Simple times back then, of a man who spent his time doing what he wanted and loved. We could all learn a lesson from this.

  2. D.A. Butler permalink
    September 19, 2016

    P.S. This was in WARNER ROBINS at the time.

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