BILL (W.G.) HUGHES INTERVIEW

 

The following information is taken from a Cassette tape recorded by Mr. Walter Smith during a visit with Bill (W.G.) Hughes.

 

Mr. Smith: I have been making tape recordings of conversation of some of the citizens of Dade County. In what year were you born?

Mr. Hughes: 1892.

Mr. Smith: Here in Dade County?

Mr. Hughes: Yes.

Mr. Smith: Do you remember hearing your Dad tell you about when he came to the County?

Mr. Hughes: Yes, he came from Walker County to Dade.

Mr. Smith: His parents brought him over here?

Mr. Hughes: Yes, He was three weeks old. He lived here except for the time he spent in the Civil War. He spent his entire life in Slygo Valley.

Mr. Smith: Well, How did he finally get in the Civil War? Do you remember whether several men joined at the same time?

Mr. Hughes: Yes, several of them. They went to Virginia to enter.

Mr. Smith: Was that Richmond?

Mr. Hughes: Yes, Richmond.

Mr. Smith: Was that where he started fighting?

Mr. Hughes: Yes, I think it was.

Mr. Smith: Did you say he was wounded while serving in the Civil War?

Mr. Hughes: Yes.

Mr. Smith: How was that battle going? How was it fought? Did he tell you that?

Mr. Hughes: It was down here in Florida. Just across the Georgia line.

Mr. Smith: Were there negroes fighting in the Civil War?

Mr. Hughes: Yes, they were put on the front line and the whites followed them up.

Mr. Smith: You mean the Yankees, the Yankee Army did that?

Mr. Hughes: Yes.

Mr. Smith: When and where did your Dad get his wound?

Mr. Hughes: During the battle just across the Georgia line in Florida. His leg was shot. (Added information – A negro shot him. When the negro raised his head to see what was going on, one of Mr. Hughes’s comrades killed the negro.)

Mr. Smith: Anybody else get shot?

Mr. Hughes: (Chuckle) I guess so. All the negroes were killed. I don’t know about the others.

Mr. Smith: Did other soldiers get shot in the leg too?

Mr. Hughes: All that did get shot were shot in the leg.

Mr. Smith: How long did your Dad lay on the battlefield before he received medical help?

Mr. Hughes: All day and all night.

Mr. Smith: How was the weather?

Mr. Hughes: Frost.

Mr. Smith: Did he tell you about how they operated on his leg?

Mr. Hughes: He said it took five or six of them to hold him and then they could hardly hold him.

Mr. Smith: When they took his leg off! That’s terrible! I don’t guess they had medicine to deaden the pain in those days.

Mr. Hughes: I don’t think they did.

Mr. Smith: How long after he was wounded, before he came home?

Mr. Hughes: That was nearly a year. He started home three weeks after he was wounded. After a short distance he was delayed. Trains were not running.

Mr. Smith: Did your Father have brothers, Mr. Hughes?

Mr. Hughes: He had one brother in the Civil War.

Mr. Smith: What was his name?

Mr. Hughes: His name was Joel. Everyone called him Joe.

Mr. Smith: What happened to him?

Mr. Hughes: He was killed in Tennessee.

Mr. Smith: Where did your Grandfather settle when he came here, Mr. Hughes? Did you say he settled over here near where Roy Harris lives?

Mr. Hughes: Yes, He bought that farm. I believe it extended down to where Brad lives. You know where Brad lives don’t you?

Mr. Smith: Brad Gross?

Mr. Hughes: Yes, down to the lane, he owned all of that land. Then he got hold of this property where I live.

Mr. Smith: Is the old house he settled in still up there?

Mr. Hughes: Yes, the same one.

Mr. Smith: Your Dad lived there with your Grad Dad from the time he was three weeks old until he was grown.

Mr. Hughes: He got this place then.

Mr. Smith: Was he married when he entered the service?

Mr. Hughes: No, he wasn’t married.

Mr. Smith: How old was he when he entered the service?

Mr. Hughes: Twenty-two years old, I am pretty sure.

Mr. Smith: I believe you said he was bed-fast for quite awhile before he died.

Mr. Hughes:  Six years.

Mr. Smith: How old was he when he died?

Mr. Hughes: He lacked a few days being eighty-two years old.

Mr. Smith: Eighty-two years old! Well, he was pretty old himself in spite of being wounded in the Civil War and all. What did he do for a living?

Mr. Hughes: His trade was shoemaker.

Mr. Smith: Shoemaker, eh.

Mr. Hughes: Yes.

Mr. Smith: Did you say he made shoes in Florida while waiting to be transported home? Did he make shoes for the service men?

Mr. Hughes: Yes.

Mr. Smith: Did he continue his trade when he came home?

Mr. Hughes: Yes, that was really his trade. He was also Tax Collector in a few years. It didn’t pay very much.

Mr. Smith: Tax Collector, eh. Mr. Hughes did you know any of the Tanners?

Mr. Hughes: No, I just heard of them.

Mr. Smith: What about John Murphy’s people, did you know them?

Mr. Hughes: No, none of them except John.

Mr. Smith: Here in this community where you live now, I believe you told me your Daddy bought a tract of land here, divided it up in two eighty acre tracts. Is that right?

Mr. Hughes Yes.

Mr. Smith: Do you know of any older people who are still around who had people living back in those days? When you were a boy?

Mr. Hughes: Henry Dugan and Babe Sanders.

Mr. Smith: I visited with Mr. Sanders. You all were boys together? What about Felt Moore?

Mr. Hughes: Felt came here from Durham. I can’t remember the year, but I was about fourteen or fifteen years old.

Mr. Smith: Mr. Moore is about ninety or better.

Mr. Hughes: He will be ninety-one his birthday. They had two children when they came here.

Mr. Smith: Mr. Sanders and Mr. Dugan are the only ones you can remember who were living here back then.

Mr. Hughes: The only two who are now living.

Mr. Smith: Where did Mr. Sanders live back then? Do you remember?

Mr. Hughes: About a mile above here at the foot of the mountain. Do you know where Harold Dugan lives?

Mr. Smith: Yes.

Mr. Hughes: Just this side of Harold’s up in a hollow in a log house. He had about eight or ten brothers and sisters.

 

Many of the descendants of William George Hughes are still living in the area and making their contributions to society in the traditions of their forefathers.(Used by permission HISTORY OF DADE COUNTY GEORGIA, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, 1981)

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