THOMAS NEWTON HUGHES
12 Oct 1832 - 4 Mar 1904
Thomas Newton Hughes was born in Lincoln County Tennessee, on Oct 12, 1832. About 1868, he married Mary Priscilla Gilliam, who resided a few miles north by west of Somerville, Tennessee. Her father, Allen Pettus Gilliam, owned a farm in a community locally known as Plantersville. After their marriage they made their home in Shelby County, acquiring property, on which their home was made, within about a mile, of the home of Joshua Hughes, father of Thomas Newton, somewhere between Gratitude and Bolton College. About 1873 they moved to Dancyville, Tennessee. The property was then know as Mebano Place and they remained there for about two years. They then returned to their former home in Shelby County and remained there until the latter part of 1879 or early 1880. He then moved his family back to Dancyville to a piece of property adjacent to Mebano Place, known as Thompson Place, on which he thereafter continued to reside.
During subsequent years he was engaged both in his farming properties and the conduct of mercantile in the village of Dancyville.
Thomas Newton and Mary Priscilla Gilliam Hughes had six children: Maggie Ethlene 'Lena' Hughes Dancy, Thomas Allen Hughes, Viola 'Ola' Hughes Boswell, Emma Clark Hughes Edwards, William Wightman Hughes and William Mattox Hughes. See the Genealogy page for known vital statistics for this Hughes 'branch'.
All the above Children are living at this time (1941) except Thomas Allen Hughes, who died February 24, 1939.
Thomas Newton Hughes died Mar 4, 1904. Mary Priscilla Gilliam Hughes, who was born March 29, 1845, died November 5, 1914. Both are buried in the Dancyville United Methodist Church Cemetery.
THOMAS NEWTON HUGHES IN THE CIVIL WAR
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Thomas Newton Hughes entertained the Confederate Service as a volunteer and member of a Company know as the Shelby Grays. The writer is unable to give the company or regiment╣, in which he originally served but recalls, from a statement made in his presence, by Thomas Newton Hughes, and also later made to him by a comrade in service, part of his service was with General Cheatham's Brigade.
Concerning his service as a Confederate Soldier, this further is recalled from his statements:
He participated in the two day battle at Shiloh on April 6 -7, 1862. At some point of time, during his service, he became ill and had to return home for recovery. After about three months he had recovered enough to return to service, and became a member of General Nathan Bedford Forrest's Calvary Regiment, in which he continued to serve until the close of the war. He was in the engagement at Brice's Crossroads near Holly Springs, Mississippi. He related to the writer the facts concerning the raid which was made into Memphis by a portion of Forrest's Regiment, in August 1863. At this time and at the close of the war he was serving with the rank of Lieutenant. The title Colonel, by which he was familiarly called, during the later years of his life, was merely an honorary title, not one he really enjoyed.
No other details concerning engagements, during the Civil War, in which he participated, are known to the writer, for the reason the subject was reluctant to discuss his war experiences, sometime commenting, "He preferred to forget it all."
Note: The editor of these pages does not know the identity of the interviewer and author of the above paper. The reference to 'writer' in this paper, refers to the unknown author. The paper was dated 1941.
╣Records in the Tennessee State
Library and Archives indicate that T. N. Hughes was a second lieutenant in Company
"E", of the 9th Tennessee Confederate Infantry, which was formed in
Shelby County. The records also give his date of commision as May 24, 1861. (note:
the organization date of the 9th Tennessee was May 22, 1861.)
Bib: Information provided by Chad Gray, Archival Assistant and researched by Mary Kay Dancy Smith. March 28, 2000.
Some of Thomas Newton Hughes' Engagements
FORREST'S RAID INTO MEMPHIS
When a force marched out against Forrest's Troops they might have bagged him if he fought along regular lines. Without consulting anybody, he fought most irregularly. Forrest took 1500 men on a dawn raid into Memphis. While he actually defeated the grandest of all expeditions by raiding their base, to the men in his command the satisfaction was purely personal. Memphis was the home of many. Forrest had lived and made his success there before the War, and the town was about the most splendid of all the oases the Union kept for it's people in the South. For men starving in their own desolate countryside, and reading of the lavish 'goings-on' of the occupiers, of their own hometown, it must have been a satisfaction to send the invaders scurrying though the streets. It gave one boy the chance to ride by and wave to his mother and sisters at their window.
BRICE'S CROSSROADS, MISSISSIPPI, June 10, 1864
Since that ferocious man of violence had gone on his own in the preceding fall, from the nucleus of remnants of his old command, he had raised a well-gunned Calvary force of 5000, In raising this force, Forrest showed himself to be a highly effective one-man conscription bureau: he grabbed up infantry deserters, conscript evaders and likely-looking citizens who should be conscripted. Forrest became the greatest mobile striking force in the South, and the one most feared by Sherman.
Sherman, ordered out from Memphis, a veteran Calvary force, double Forrest's size, with the new breach-loading carbines and twenty-two artillery guns. In one of the small masterpieces of the war, Brice's Crossroads, Forrest routed his enemy, which included the Grierson who had enjoyed finding the Confederacy a shell when he raided through Mississippi, unopposed, the year before
BATTLE OF SHILOH, April 6 & 7, 1862
Shiloh Church...Painted by Capt. A.M. Connett
24th Indiana Vol. Infantry
Shiloh, a Hebrew word for 'place of peace', was also a battle where both the Federals and the Confederates sustained heavy losses. General US Grant and his 40,000 man Federal force, was on the offensive and marching toward Corinth, Mississippi. Awaiting reinforcements the Federals had camped around the tiny Shiloh Church near the banks of the Tennessee River. At dawn on the 6th of April, the Confederate Army, moving north from Corinth, launched a surprise attach. Grant's troops were in confusion and one position after another fell before the Rebel attack. Despite strong resistance at Hornet's Nest and the Peach Orchard - where blossoms "floated down on the firing line like a gentle pink rain" - the Federal Army was pushed back to the river by day's end.
The arrival of reinforcements during the night gave the Union the upper hand the next day. The Confederates continued to fight fiercely but were outnumbered and by evening were forced to retreat. Both sides sustained heavy loses and in those two brutal days, they could count 24,000 men dead, wounded,or missing.
Still existing today is Bloody Pond, where soldiers from both sides stopped to bathe their wounds, turning the water red.
The Battle of Shiloh proved to be a major victory for the Federals as they continued on and captured the Confederate railroad at Cornith, Mississippi.
GENERAL NATHAN BEDFORD FORREST
The ferocious Forrest of the legends, with his quotable and often miss-quoted, "Fust with the most", not "Fustest with the mostest", was one of the few Rebels that fought with an innate understanding of the needs of their cause. Born, as Southerners say, dirt-dog poor, of a family to the then new Southwest, he acquired wealth and power as a dealer in land, cotton and slaves. At the age of 40 he enlisted as a private when his state seceded (Tennessee was the last state to secede and the first to rejoin the Union after the war) , and by his native gift for warfare rose steadily, despite the lack of enthusiasm, with which he was regarded, by some regular West Pointers. He was the only Confederate soldier that went from private to general.
He raised his own commands, supplied them from the enemy and his own personal funds, and for wagoners used fifty-two of his slaves (to whom he had willed freedom in the event of his death). His non-blasphemous swearing could sear the hide off man or mule: he feared nothing on earth and was belligerent almost beyond comprehension. ( He told one high ranking Confederate General, Braxton Bragg , after a totally stupid action by the general, if they ever met again he would kill him.-ed.). Forrest's forces grew and armaments improved as his raids frustrated the Federals.
At Fort Donaldson, Stewart County, Tennessee, while inept Confederate Generals were surrendering, Forrest lead his Calvary out of the melee, through terrible weather, to fight again, another day.
In his later years, Nathan Forrest denounced some of his personal involvement's, especially his business as a slave trader. It is generally accepted that he 'left this world' much as he had entered it, 'dirt-dog poor'.
Ed.: Questionably the greatest Calvary commander that ever lived, Nathan Bedford Forrest has fascinated many with his determination to succeed on the battlefield. He was quick to dismount his troops and have them fight as infantry when the situation so dictated. He was also a master at deceiving the Union commanders, often making them believe they were out numbered three or four to one. He was a hard task master, with little patience when his troops didn't perform up to his standards but he also lived by his own rules and often was so far out front of his own lines he risked capture or worse. On one occasion he was so far out he ended up in the Union commanders party and was shot at point blank range. It is generally accepted that even Field Marshal Rommel, The Dessert Fox, was a student of Forrest's fighting tactics. It is also well documented, Forrest had little patience with many of the Confederate generals and their hesitant, bumbling, inept methods of command. The Union General Sherman considered Bedford Forrest the only threat to his 'March To The Sea'.
NOTE: Some of the information
regarding Nathan Bedford Forrest, Forrest's Raid into Memphis and the Battle of Brice's
was researched from; The History of The Confederacy 1832 - 1865, by Clifford Dowdey, Barnes & Noble Books,
New York, 1992.
Visit the Nathan Bedford Forrest Preserve
To Submit Early Family Histories
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Posted June 1999
Updated: April 24, 2000
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