catalyst that sparked Steve's interest in the Civil War is the diary (see
sample entry below) of
his great-great grandfather, William Fletcher Hughey of Yellowbud, Ohio. William served as a private
in the 73rd
Ohio Volunteer Infantry (battle flag to the right, used with permission), and later in the 19th
Veteran Reserve Corps, from October 1861 to January 1865. He enlisted one
week before his 17th birthday (born November 5, 1844). His military
records indicate that he stood 5'7" with brown hair and blue eyes.
Steve is also excited to have recently been given William's
Civil War New Testament Bible
by God's miraculous provision.
was severely wounded on October 29, 1863 at the Battle of Wauhatchie in
Tennessee (see diary entry below). He was shot in the face, right wrist,
and left shoulder and spent 6 months in 3 Union hospitals before
transferring to the Veteran Reserve Corps in March 1864 to finish his
enlistment term. William did, however, accompany his regiment home for a
furlough in February 1864. He is in the picture on the left (click to enlarge,
used with permission) of the
73rd Ohio taken on Paint Street in Chillicothe, Ohio on February 18, 1864.
The buildings you see in the background are still there today.
the war, William returned to Yellowbud and married in 1868. He fathered
5 children but only his two daughters survived to adulthood. In 1880
he graduated from the Columbus
Medical College (later part of Ohio State University) and returned to
Yellowbud to establish
his practice as evidenced by this advertisement for
Harter's Iron Tonic on the left (click to enlarge and notice his last name is spelled
incorrectly). He was also active in local
Republican politics and in the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic, a
veterans organization). The picture on the right is of G.A.R. Post 338 and was
taken in Yellowbud in 1886 (click to enlarge). William is the first person on the far left
and has a very long beard. Family lore says that he wore a beard to hide
the damage to his face from his gunshot wound.
In 1902, William completed a new office next
to his home for his medical practice (the home and office remain to this
day). However, his health was failing and his war wounds were
taking their toll. The wound to his face had
left William with no lower left jaw bone or teeth. All of his remaining
teeth were removed in 1902. He could not be fitted with dentures because
of the severe pain from nerve damage in his mouth. Also, the scar tissue
on his right wrist made it very painful and difficult to use his right
hand. William died on July 23, 1906 at the age of 61, having paid the
price for his service in the Union army for the last 43 years of his life.
_____________ William's Diary
William kept a diary for the year 1864 when
he was convalescing from his battle wounds and serving in the Veteran
Reserve Corps. At the end of his diary, he recounts the battle in which he
was wounded. Below is the full text from William's diary describing the
battle scene from one of the rare night battles of the Civil War, the
Battle of Wauhatchie, which took place in the foothills surrounding
Lookout Mountain on the outskirts of Chattanooga, Tennessee during the
late hours of October 28 and early morning hours of October 29, 1863.
In a few minutes time orders came from General Hooker [Brigadier General
Joseph "Fighting Joe" Hooker] for the 73rd Ohio and the 33rd Massachusetts
to clear a portion of the mountain, no sooner ordered than commenced. We
were ordered to load and move steadily up the mountain.
In a short time we were hailed by an enfilading volley which mowed our
brave boys down like chaff before the wind. And the volley was returned
with promptness and ______. Maj. Hurst [Major Samuel H. Hurst] at the head
of the ______ saying ______ to be steady and cool, yet we were met by
volley after volley and each was answered by as prompt as could be, for it
was almost impossible for us to load and move forward at the same time as
it was very dark, being by this time midnight, and the mountain was thick
with bushes, trees, and tree tops making [it] almost impossible to get
along. Yet we moved forward steadily and with a determination to conquer
or fall in the effort, and on we went.
At last we began to get very close. Men were falling in every direction,
screaming and crying with pain. The Maj. gave the order to fix bayonet and
charge, and we did charge, and we did charge with a zeal worthy of the
cheers, moving forward amid cheers and yells, firing and falling by
scores. We were getting in very close quarters, almost within reach of the
points of our bayonets, and feeling as though we were certain of victory
and thinking of nothing but victory. When alas my hopes were all blasted,
and that very suddenly, for all of a sudden I was struck in the face, as I
thought by a cannonball, and for a moment thought my whole head was shot
away, but my presence of mind did not desert me.
I put my hand up to feel and found
that it was not as bad as I supposed, but found it bad enough, for I found
that my jaw was broken and my mouth cut about 4 inches longer than its
usual length. At the same time I felt a sharp pain run through my right
wrist and hand, and felt it fall useless and powerless to my side, and
very soon found that my right wrist had also been pierced by a minni ball,
and at the same time I felt a pain in my left shoulder and afterwards
found upon examination that I also had a slight wound in my left shoulder.
All of this query and examination occupied a space probably of five
minutes, all of which time the boys were steadily driving the enemy.
After examining and ascertaining that my wounds were not so bad as I
supposed, although they were very serious, I made an attempt to go to the
rear as the balls were falling too thick for to be healthy for a wounded
man, so I made for the rear as fast as I could in consequence of the
bushes and treetops. I just made out to get out of range of the enemy’s
guns when I fainted away from the loss of blood, but very soon my
regimental doctor found me, got me in an ambulance, and sent me to the
rear. In the same ambulance was my second Lieut. seriously wounded and
Capt. James Q. Barnes. About ten o’clock that morning our wounds were