Thursday, May 26, 2011

Civil War Anniversary- A Personal/Sewing Story

This is Horatio Cornick Hoggard (1846-1919), my great, great grandaddy.  Now politics aside, this is interesting on a personal/sewing level.  And by the way, I had relatives on both sides of the war.  I'm related to Robert Gould Shaw, portrayed in the movie Glory  by Matthew Broderick.  Its a great movie showing how Shaw lead the Civil War's first all-black volunteer company against prejudice on both sides.  Worth seeing.  Back to Hoggard though.  He is shown here wearing two uniforms, one on top of the other.  On the back of the photograph is this letter from Hoggard himself to his son, years later.

"This picture was taken a few days ago from an old daguerreotype, which I had taken in Petersburg, Va. in the later part of Dec.1863, on my return trip from my home on Broad Creek Princess Anne Co. Va. which was then (and had been in the enemies lines) since May 1862 when we evacuated Norfolk.  I left camp near Orange Court house on Dec. 7- with an 18 day furlow, went home, and remained there 8 days, and returning arrived at Camp Xmas eve night, the very night my furlow expired.  The suit of clothes I have on, was bought at Peter Smith's Store on Main St. Norfolk, of Mr. Wm. Hall, by my Sister Margaret, who secured the cloth, and trimmings under her hoop skirts, and carried it home past two Union Soldier guards without being detected, cut it out, and made the suit (without a pattern) and made it for me, and while it did not fit quite as well as a Tailor made suit, it was worth much more to me and was very comfortable.  I also carried out two extra hats (one in the other you will notice) one for my brother Thurmer, and one for N.F. Bill whom I left in camp- beside my inside pockets were filled with socks and hankerchiefs for three.  The Union Soldiers kept guard on the river in front of our home while I was there (patroling the river) but they never knew that I was ever home, and although Lucy (our cook) was there, and knew it, she never reported me."

I think this shows a very personal, private peek at people during the war.

This story along with many others is published in the Virginian Pilot- Voices of the Civil War book.

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