Biography of William H. Hughes
Carroll County, IN Biographies





WILLIAM HENRY HUGHES.

The respect which we freely accord to the brave sons of the North, who left their homes and the peaceful pursuits of civil life to give their services and their lives, if need be, to preserve the integrity of the Union, is certainly due to the venerable William Henry Hughes, a well known citizen of Clay township. He proved his love and loyalty to the government on the long and tiresome marches, on the lonely picket line, on the tented field, amid the flame and smoke of battle and in the horrors of the Southern prison pens. He was the only survivor out of ten soldiers of the Twenty fourth Indiana Battery, who were in the explosion of the famous prison ship, "Sultana." The great secret of his success has been devotion to duty, whether the duty pertained to his own private affairs or the public welfare. In war and in peace, his record has been signalized by honesty of purpose and integrity of thoughts and action. He well deserves the exalted position freely accorded to him by the people with whom he has mingled.

William Henry Hughes was born in Madison township, Carroll county, Indiana, January 22, 1843. He is the son of John and Elizabeth (Roar­baugh) Hughes, the former of whom was born near Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of William I. and Elizabeth (Copes) Hughes. They immigrated by ox cart from Ohio to Deer Creek township in pioneer times. William Hughes was born in Winchester, Virginia, April 28, 1790, and, when he was a small boy, accompanied his father to Clark county, Kentucky. The family moved from that county to Highland county, Ohio, and then returned to Clark county, whence they moved to Adams county, Ohio. When he was about twenty years old, William Hughes was married in Adams county, Ohio. In 1814, he volunteered his services in the second war with England and served six months, having been stationed at Upper Sandusky at the time when Colonel Crogan fought the battle of Lower Sandusky. While in the army, he had a pitched battle with the bully of another regiment and was able to thrash him. William Hughes was a Democrat. His wife was a member of the Christian church. The remains of William and Elizabeth (Copes) Hughes, his wife, are buried in the Masonic cemetery at Delphi. The remains of William Hughes first wife are buried in Ohio.

The parents of William Henry Hughes were married in Carroll county and were the parents of four children, one of whom died in infancy. After living in Madison township for a time, they moved to Clay township and, in the fifties, after his second marriage, John Hughes moved to Muscoda, Wisconsin, where he remained for a short time. He returned to Carroll county and settled in Clay township, where he purchased land. He then moved to Boone county, Indiana, and purchased one thousand acres of land near Thorntown, on what is now called Sugar creek. After keeping the land for a few years, he moved to Rossville, in Clinton county, where he died. His remains and the remains of his second wife are buried in the cemetery at Rossville.

William Henry Hughes received his education in the common schools and grew up on a pioneer farm. On June 2, 1862, Mr. Hughes enlisted in the Twenty fourth Indiana Battery, Light Artillery, and served until July 31, 1864, when he was taken prisoner in Stoneman's raid near Macon, Georgia. He was held a prisoner at Andersonville. Milling, Savanah, Jacksonville, and again at Andersonville. from August 2, 1864, until March, 1865, about nine months, and was then ordered exchanged. From Andersonville he was taken to Montgomery. Alabama, and then transferred across the river by boat. from which place he took a train to Vicksburg. With others, he was placed upon the steamer "Sultana," which boat was blown up on April 27, 1865, about one o'clock in the morning. William Henry Hughes was the only survivor of the ten members of the Twenty fourth Indiana Battery. who were held on that boat. The names of the ten members of the Twenty fourth Battery, who were on the boat at the time of the explosion are as follows: Robert Shagley, a half brother of Mr. Hughes' wife, a native of Clay township and born in the house now occupied by Mr. Hughes; Alonzo Maxwell; P. H. Bright, of Flora, Indiana; Isaac Bright, of Flora; John Appenseller, of Burlington, Indiana; Joseph Stonebrock, who, it is claimed, did escape and died later at St. Louis; Frank L. Willard, the sergeant of the detachment; Albert Hubbel; William Denny and Mr. Hughes. After the explosion, Mr. Hughes jumped into the water and finally got hold of and clung to a floating door until he was picked up after suffering cold and hardship which pretty nearly ended his life. Afterwards he returned to Indianapolis and finally to his home at Delphi.

William Henry Hughes was married, on January 21, 1866, to Sidney it Shagley, the daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Lester) Shagley, the former of whom was born at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, and the latter born near Washington, D. C. Jacob Shagley was married three times, the first time to Sarah Hurley, to which union were born six children, Harriet, Mary Ann, Lavina, Nancy, Robert and Sarah, all of whom are deceased except Sarah, who is the wife of Jacob Thatcher and lives at Sedalia. By Mr. Shagley's marriage to. Elizabeth Lester there was born one child, Sidney R., who married Mr. Hughes, the subject of this sketch. By his third marriage, which was to a Mrs. Hamilton, there were born two sons, William P., of Deer Creek township, and George W., of Democrat township. Robert Shagley, who was killed in the explosion of the "Sultana," was a son of the first marriage. Jacob Shagley, the father of Mrs. Hughes, was born on December 25, 1796, and died on February 20, 1867, in Carroll county, Indiana. He was a veteran of the War of 1812. Mrs. Hughes' mother died on August 16, 1849.

Mr. and Mrs. William Henry Hughes have been the parents of nine children, all of whom are living: Emma E., the wife of James McCune, of Carroll county; John A., who lives in Kalispell, Montana; James L., a resident of Santa Ana, California; Clifton C., who lives in Portland, Oregon; William O., who resides in Clay township; George I., who lives in Los Angeles, California; May, the wife of Albert Johnson, of Huntington, Indiana; Mary A., now Mrs. J. C. Coss, lives near Andrews, Indiana; David V., who conducts the home farm, married Stella Campbell and has one son, Morris Harold. David V. Hughes is a Democrat.

Mr. Hughes owns one hundred and sixty one acres of land in Clay township. He is now living retired on the farm, which is operated by a son. He is prominent in Masonic circles in Carroll county, being a member of the blue lodge at Delphi and of the Royal Arch chapter. He is also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.

From:
History of Carroll County, Indiana
Its People, Industries and Institutions
By: John C. Odell
B. F. Bowen & Company
Indianapolis 1916


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