Robert Cowan Hughes was 10 when his mother passed away.
He was 19 and a merchant, perhaps with his older brother James, when he and his 60-year-old father, Singleton, enlisted in the Calhoun Rifles (Co. E) of the 2nd Mississippi Infantry. The date was May 1, 1861, about two weeks after the attack on Fort Sumter. He was mustered in Lynchburg, Virginia on May 10, 1861.
Update: He was discharged on July 8, 1861 due to “protracted sickness & constitutional weakness.”
Update: Robert reenlisted on March 22, 1862 at Guntown, Mississippi, just three days before his older brother Thomas Singleton Hughes was killed in battle. Thomas is buried in the Confederate plot of Crown Hill cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Robert was 21 when he was wounded and captured at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863.
And Robert was just 22 when he died died eight months later (March 1, 1864), one of 12,000 prisoners at Fort Delaware, probably as a result of the harsh winter conditions at the island camp. Update: Hospital records show that he died of hepatic disease (liver disease) and dropsy (abnormal collection of fluid in the tissues or body cavities causing severe swelling).
He is buried in Finn’s Point National Cemetery near Salem, NJ, one of the over 2,500 prisoners who died while imprisoned at Fort Delaware. [Read about the harsh conditions at this camp: http://www.destateparks.com/park/fort-delaware/civil-war/camp-trail/index.asp]
His brother James had died of typhoid at age 39 two years before (1861). He was a merchant before the war. James is buried in the Old Bethel Cemetery in Bethany, Lee County, Mississippi.
Sadly, Singleton Hughes outlived all of his sons and two of his three wives. He lived to be 80-something.
Note: If you are a descendant of Annabelle Gray Wilson (1907-2002), Robert Cowan is a your 2nd/3rd/4th great uncle.
His sister is Mary Francis Hughes Gordon (1831-1919; dressed in black and sitting in the photo below)
the mother of Anna Harriet Gordon Thompson (1859-1915),
the mother of Alice Madora Thompson Gray (1880-1907),
the mother of
Annabelle Gray Wilson.
Fort Delaware Society – http://www.fortdelaware.org
Constitution Society – http://www.constitution.org/csa/ordinances_secession.htm
Second Mississippi Infantry Regiment – http://www.2ndmississippi.org/2nd_miss_part_1/CoE/CoE13.html
Smithsonian’s Civil War timeline – http://www.civilwar.si.edu/timeline.html
2nd Mississippi Infantry wiki by FamilySearch – https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/2nd_Regiment,_Mississippi_Infantry