Posted By Norman Gasbarro on May 20, 2016
Previously here, the Confederate sympathies of Francis Wade Hughes were discussed. Hughes was a lawyer in Pottsville at the time of the Civil War. Several of his brothers, although they were born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, relocated to North Carolina. At the beginning of the war, one of the nephews of Francis Wade Hughes, John D. Hughes, who had been born in North Carolina, was working as a lawyer in his uncle’s law office.
John D. Hughes, the son of Isaac Wayne Hughes (brother of Francis) was born on 30 March 1830 and died on 9 September 1889. He married Jane Graham Daves of Craven County, North Carolina on 24 January 1854.
In the 1860 Census of Pottsville, John Hughes is enumerated as an Attorney at Law, born in North Carolina, with a real estate property worth of $56,900 and a personal property worth of $5000, a sizable amount for 1860. His wife and son John were living in the same household as well as several other persons including a nurse, two servants, and a younger brother Nicholas Colin Hughes, who was a Student at Law.
The Findagrave Memorial for John D. Hughes indicates he is buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery, New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina, as a Confederate veteran of the 7th North Carolina Infantry, in which he served as a Major and Quartermaster.
In checking the Confederate military records on Fold3, 25 pages of information were found. For those interested in researching John D. Hughes further, the records can easily be downloaded via a paid subscription to that service – or free, by visiting a library having a subscription.
The prior blog post on Francis Wade Hughes mentioned the unsubstantiated tale that John D. Hughes commanded a battery at Antietam (September 1862) and later fought at Fredericksburg December 1862) and Gettysburg (July 1863). As for Antietam, a military record card from the Fold3 file states that John D. Hughes was absent from the regiment from 1 July 1862 through 31 October 1862 because he was in North Carolina procuring “supplies of clothing, etc.” There are no military records in the Fold3 file to explain where he was in December 1862 or July 1863.
The story of why John D. Hughes left Pottsville during the war and later joined the 7th North Carolina Infantry, is explained in his application for a pardon, made to President Andrew Johnson, on 24 July 1865:
Raleigh, North Carolina, 24 July 1865
To His Excellency, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States
The following facts are respectfully submitted. I am a native of New Bern, North Carolina, am now thirty five years of age and by profession a lawyer at the time of the breaking out of the late war. I was working in the State of Pennsylvania, engaged in the practice of the law. I remained there until the 8th day of July 1861 at which time, because of many unpleasant and annoying incidents growing out of the then excited state of public sentiment in the North towards all persons known to be Southerners and also because the parents and other immediate relations of my wife and of myself were residents of North Carolina from where it was apparent we were about to be separate for an indefinite time by the then existing war which promised to be long and bloody. I determined to remove with my family to our former home in New Bern. This I did and remained quietly there until the evacuation of the place in March 1862. I then moved with my family to Raleigh and subsequently on the 1st day of May 1862, having received a commission as Assistant Quartermaster of the 7th North Carolina Regiment, with the rank of Captain, I entered the Confederate Service. I was subsequently promoted to the rank of Major in the same Department which position I held at the time of the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston, in whose army I was then serving. If this state of facts would cause me to be included in the exception regarding persons leaving the loyal States, as set forth in the Amnesty Proclamation of 29 May 1865, I respectfully ask that a pardon may be granted… wherefore, as it is it my fixed intention fully to comply with the accompanying oath to which I have sworn.
At this time it is not known whether John Hughes actually received the pardon he sought, but it should be noted that the President to which he applied and the Governor who recommended him were both impeached. Andrew Johnson was successful in his Senate trial. Unfortunately for William Woods Holden, he was convicted and removed from office.