Letters about J. H. Huggins’ Service
for the Confederacy:
A letter to Governor Joe E. Brown from C. J. Wellborn
mentioning J. H. Huggins
I received a letter from Capt. Huggins of Union County informing me of the completion of his company and of their readyness and desire to go into immediate service. Most of his men have been drilled frequently for several months past, having first belonged to Capt. Patterson’s militia company more than a year since, and also having enlisted previously with a view to entering the service for twelve months. It would not be too safe to say they are well drilled but I think it would be safe.”
C. J. Wellborn”
Capt. Patterson’s militia company was the Union [County] Invicibles [sic]. C. J. Wellborn of Union County was a lawyer and the son of Joseph P. Wellborn. From 1858 to1861, Carlton J. Wellborn was the State Librarian of Georgia. In 1861 until ?, he served as Commissary General for Georgia State Troops.
An autobiography of Hugh Washington Barclay of Union County
mentioning J. H. Huggins
H.W. Barclay enlisted as a private in J.H. Huggin’s company. Later H.W. Barclay commanded the 11th Georgia Cavalry Regiment. His brother W.P. Barclay was commanded the 23rd Infantry Regiment and was killed in action. H.W. Barclay wrote his story in Texas after the war. He served as a Judge in Texas.and died in the Confederate Veterans Home in Texas.
Page 4 follows:
“… When Georgia seceded James H. Huggins, recently a returned [returned from] Californian, and myself proceeded to raise a company. The county was a unit for war and soon we had a company of 100 men rank and file [in August of 1861]. They were a fine body of men, few of them over 21 years of age, the very pictures of health and dressed in their brown jeans pants and round abouts [a type of jacket], drawn up in line they presented a splendid appearance. This Company was called the Blue Ridge Volunteers, the first to leave the county and was officered as follows, J.H. Huggins, Capt., John Reece, lst Lt., H.W. Barclay, [the writer] 2nd Lt, and Jesse P. King, 3rd Lt. Now these were farmer boys, many of them had never seen a railroad, some of them never out of the County, but they were brave. The outside world was a revelation to them, and when well drilled and half starved, as many times they were, in after years they were fighters of the first quality. The traveled experience of our Captain [J.H. Huggins] was a great help towards securing his election, for as globe trotters at none of us were distinguished.
The whole county, it seemed to me, were in Blairsville the day appointed for our assembling and departure. We had a big dinner, speeches were made, flag* presented, general mingling and commingling of the crowd and the whole scene presented the appearance of a grand jollification. There was laughter and joking and pranks, some tears perhaps, but nothing to mar our pleasure, or indicative of the hard times before us. Mother was not present and just before we were to leave, I went to tell her good‑bye and found her in tears. She of all the people seemed to have a presentiment of the seriousness of our undertaking, so I left somewhat saddened to join the company, and soon we were on the march to Big Shanty [now Kennesaw]. The farmers proposed to haul us, but we were too patriotic for that and accepting one wagon to carry our baggage, we footed it all the way …”
A letter to Catherine Epps from C.D. Epps
mentioning J. H. Huggins
Commodore D. Epps, 6th G.V.C.R, to Catherine Epps
Tunnel Hill Georgia, August 3rd, 1862
Direct your letter to Tunnel Hill, Smith's Legion in care of Captain Anderson [of Union County], Camp Smith, Whitfield, GA.
Dear wife, I take my pen in hand to let you know that I am well at this time and hope these few lines will come safe to your hands and find you and all the rest enjoying the same blessing. I have nothing of importance to write to you. I received your kind letter. I was glad to hear from you all and that you all was well. Catherine, I have a notion to go to Richmond to [join] Huggins Company [Co. K, 23rd GVIR from Union County]. I can get $50 dollars to change with Van Cints' brother and I had rather be in a foot company. I want you and all the rest to write whether you are willing or not. Catherine, I haven't drawn any bounty yet [$50 for joining Smith’s Legion] and I don't no whether I ever will or not. I don't know when we will leave here. I want you to write to me if you have had any news from Hamp Ridley and what he is doing; whether he is a wagoneer or not. For Cints is a wagoneer and I aim to have his place if I go [wagoneers were paid $1.00 more a month than cavalry privates]. Catherine, you wrote to me to write to you about managing. You know best now. Do the best you can to make something to eat and if I can help you I will do it. I don't know when I shall get any money but when I do you shall have part of it if I live Catherine, if you can get anybody to come in my place on reasonable terms, do it. Tell mother and all the rest to write to me. I want to hear from you often. They was 3 men went home the other day to get substitutes in their place. Manuel McCoy went home to get him a substitute. If you get anybody, you come with them to the camps. I would like to to see you if I could. I had a smothering [respiratory or cardiac ailment] this day was was 2 weeks ago and I thought I would die but I sent for [?] and he eased me. I am well as common now. If you want to come to see me you can come to your daddy's and I will try to get 4 or 5 furloughs and come up there, If you want to come. start a letter from there and tell me when you will be there to a day, If you want to come you had better be in a hurry. Tell all my friends to write to me. Catherine, do the best you can. I must close, nothing more at present. Only remains yours truly until death God bless you. ........
Send me some of your hair
Epps was mortally wounded at Chickamauga.