Henry Hughes (65th USCT)

Henry Hughes was born around 1836 in Albemarle County, Virginia. Prior to the war, Hughes was an enslaved farmer owned first by W. A. Goodman and later by his son Manoah S. Goodman, both of whom lived in Pike County, Missouri. He married Peggy Davis in slavery, and they had a daughter named Evelyn Higgins, whose birth date is unknown. Some sources claim there was another child whose name is unknown. Hughes later married Martha A. Hughes in slavery. They had two children, including Henry Hughes, who was born around 1862. 

On December 28, 1863, at the age of 27, Hughes enlisted in the Union army in Louisiana, Missouri. He mustered in on January 9, 1864, at Benton Barracks in St. Louis. His service record describes him as 5 feet, 6 inches tall, with black hair, black eyes, and a copper complexion. He served in Company G of the 65th USCT Infantry Regiment. The regiment served primarily on garrison duty in Louisiana. During the war, Hughes was often sick during his service. For instance, he was in the hospital from June to October 1865. Additionally, he also served detached duty in the quartermaster department following the end of fighting. He mustered out on January 8, 1867, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Following the war, Hughes did not return to his family in Missouri and instead married a woman named Amy. Together they had three children: Philip, born about 1872; Lucy, born about 1874; and Lizzie, born about 1877. After Amy died in 1880, Hughes married Tennessee Cage on March 7, 1885. Together, they had three children: McHenry, born in 1887; Miller, born in 1889; and Cora, born in 1891. Hughes remained in Louisiana, living in Zachary in East Baton Rouge Parish and working as a farmer. He suffered from flux, rheumatism, sunstroke, and an injury to his breast. He began filing for a pension in 1896 and was rejected several times. He finally received a pension of $6 a month for senile debility in 1906 that was upgraded to $15 a month in 1910 due to his advanced age. While he was drawing a pension, his second wife, Martha A. Hughes, initially filed for a widow's pension in 1901, thinking he was dead. The government denied her application because Hughes was still alive. His first wife, Peggy Davis, also unsuccessfully tried to receive a pension. Hughes died of unknown causes on October 14, 1910, in Zachary. The government finally granted Tennessee Hughes a widow's pension, and it had increased to $40 per month by the time of her death in 1934. Her daughter Cora filed for compensation for the expense of Tennessee's end-of-life care and funeral.


Conflicting Widow Claims, Henry Hughes Pension

Name:Hughes, Henry
Alternative names:
  • Soldier
65th Regiment Infantry U.S. Colored Troops G
Branch of service:Army
Enlistment1863-12-28Louisiana, MOaccepted27Slave
Muster In1864-01-09Benton Barracks St. Louis, MO
Muster Out1867-01-08Baton Rouge, LAMustered Out
Residence at enlistment:
Rank In:Private
Rank Out:Private
Highest rank achieved:Private
Person 1Person 2NumberRelation Type
Hughes, HenryHughes, Henry1174197application-invalid
Hughes, HenryHughes, Martha Ann527187application-widow
Hughes, HenryHughes, Tennessee Butler957683application-widow
Hughes, HenryHughes, Henry1120195certificate-invalid
Hughes, HenryHughes, Tennessee Butler745128certificate-widow
Birth date:1836
Birth date certainty:About
Birth place:Albemarle County, VA
Death date:1910-10-14
Death place:Zachary, LA
Causes of death:
Person 1Relation TypePerson 2
Hughes, Henryparent ofHiggins, Evelyn
Hughes, Henryparent ofHughes, Jr., Henry
Hughes, Henryparent ofHughes, McHenry
Hughes, Henryparent ofHughes, Miller
Hughes, Henryparent ofHughes, Cora
Hughes, Henryparent ofHughes, Philip
Hughes, Henryparent ofHughes, Lizzie
Hughes, Henryparent ofHughes, Lucy
Hughes, Martha Annwife ofHughes, Henry
Hughes, Tennessee Butlerwife ofHughes, Henry
Goodman, Noelowner ofHughes, Henry
Hughes, Peggywife ofHughes, Henry
Hughes, Amywife ofHughes, Henry

Compiled Service Records for Henry Hughes, RG94, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington, D.C.; Pension Records for Henry Hughes, RG15, NARA, Washington, D.C.; 1880 U.S. Federal Census, accessed on Ancestry.com; Frederick A. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, vol. 3 (Des Moines, IA: Dyer Publishing Company, 1908).