Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Hugh H. Wilson U.S. Civil War papers, 1862-1868 MS 125

creator Wilson, Hugh H.
Title: Hugh H. Wilson U.S. Civil War papers,
Dates: 1862-1868
Abstract: Many of these letters are courtship letters toWilson's future wife, Mary Grier, containing information on the aspirations and attitudes of the South Carolina upper classes during the U.S. Civil War period. Wilson also relays information about hospitals, medicine, schools, cemteries, camp life and the military, and the issue of conscription.
Identification: MS 125
Quantity: 0.1 Linear Feet
Quantity: (1 folder)
Language: English
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Biographical Note

Hugh H. Wilson was a resident of Sumter District, South Carolina. He owned several slaves (at least) and ran a farm or plantation with them. In the summer of 1862 he began to court Mary Grier (or, at least, one letter has a pencilled-in notation by the name "Mrs. Grier": "Our grandmother"), a resident of Cheraw. In October, Mary and Hugh were married.

In the meantime, Hugh Wilson was searching for an appropriate position in the South Carolina army. Concerned with various possibilities of the Conscription Act and its Exemption Bill, Wilson sought a position either in medical or commissary work. Exploiting a family connection with the Witherspoon family, he finally became quartermaster sergeant on the staff of Col. James H. Witherspoon, 8th Regiment of the South Carolina Reserves, assigned to coastal defense.

That Wilson survived the war is attested by a letter written in 1868. An oblique reference in a letter written in 1874 seems to indicate he was living in that year. The course of his subsequent life is unknown.

Scope and Contents

The letters of H.H. Wilson consist of 21 autograph letters with 7 drafts for the letters. In addition, a letter of January 3-4, 1864, is preserved in an undated newspaper clipping, and there is a letter of 1874 written to Mrs. Wilson on the death of her child by Betty M. McLeod. With the exception of one letter, written in 1868, all of Wilson's letters cover the period from 1862-1864.

Many of the letters are courtship letters. They contain much information on the aspirations and attitudes of the South Carolina upper classes. In addition, Wilson pays special attention to hospitals and medicine, schools, and cemeteries. Some material is contained in the letters which pertains to camp life and the military. Much of the material concerns the problem of conscription.


Letters are in chronological order. In cases in which a draft letter is also present, the draft is filed after the letter, and in the listing is indicated by a "d" after the date.


Access Restrictions

This material is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Hugh H. Wilson U.S. Civil War papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.

Index Terms

Courtship -- South Carolina
South Carolina
United States
family papers
personal papers
Wilson, Mary Grier
McLeod, Betty M.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Hugh H. Wilson U.S. Civil War papers, 1862-68, MS #125, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University]

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. Hardin Craig, Jr. (granddaughter of Wilson), 1956.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by John Fowler, 1978.

Detailed Description of the Collection

1 Series I: Hugh Wilson Correspondence
Scope and Contents note
The following is a chronological listing of the letters in this collection. A subject index follows this list.
C. Wadsworth to [D.] McNair 1839 August 10
H. H. Wilson to "Miss Mary" 1860 June 30
H. H. W. to "Miss Mary" 1860 July 11
H. H. W. to "Dear" 1862 July 11 d.*
H. H. W. to "Miss Mary" 1862 July 21
H. H. W. to "Miss Mary" 1862 July 21 d.*
H. H. W. to [Mar]y 1862 July 23
H. H. W. to "Miss Mary" 1862 August 6
H. H. W. to "Miss Mary" 1862 August 22
H. H. W. to "Miss Mary" 1862 August 22 d.
H. H. W. to "Miss Mary" [1862] August 29
H. H. W. to "Miss Mary" [[1862 August] 29] d.
H. H. W. to "My Dear Marie" 1862 September 8
H. H. W. to "My Dear Marie" 1862 September 8 d.
H. H. W. to "My Dear Marie" 1862 September 11
H. H. W. to "My Dear Marie" 1862 September 20
H. H. W. to "My Dear Marie" 1862 September 25
H. H. W. to "My Dear Marie" 1862 September 25 d.
H. H. W. to "My Dear Marie" 1862 October 1
H. H. W. to "My Dear Marie" 1862 October 10
H. H. W. to "My Dear Marie" 1862 October 15
H. H. W. to "My Dear Marie" 1862 October 15 d.
H. H. W. to "My Dear Marie" 1862 October 23
H. H. W. to "My Dear Marie" 1862 October 24
H. H. W. to "My Dear Marie" 1862 December 5
H. H. W. to "Dear Wife" 1863 May 22
H. H. W. to "My Dear Marie" 1863 June 23
H. H. W. to "Dear Wife" 1868 July 3
Bettie M. McLeod to "My Dear Marie" 1874 February 20
Newspaper clipping publishing Wilson letter n.d.
General note
*d. denotes draft

Correspondence Index

Antietam, Battle of 18621862, 9-25
Artillery Batteries n.d.
Benbow, Col. C.S.A.1862, 9-11
Bleeding (Medical procedure)1862, 9-11
Blockade of civilian traffic 2186, 9-11
Camp Hampton1866, 12-5
Camp life
Charleston Mercury1868, 7-3
Chesterfield Academy1862, 8-22
Church Services (Presbyterian)1862, 10-23
Cider1862, 9-11
Civilian desertion of countryside on CSA occupation1863, 5-22
Coit's Battery5-22
Colzy, Sam 1862
Commissary Department (C.S.A.)
Conscript Law (in South Carolina)
Conscript Law (Exemption Bill)
Cooper, Eli1862, 7-11
Cooperation between Confederate and state government
Corinth, Battle of 18621862, 8-22
Cox, Mrs. from Masiou1863, 6-23
Crane, Dr. and Mrs. 1862
Crane, [Elizabeth] "Lizzie"1862, 8-22
Deserters (C.S.A.) executedn.d.
Dick, J.H.1862, 7-11
Edgeworth Seminary1862, 7-21
8th Regiment South Carolina Reserves1862, 8-22 and n.d.
English, T.R., Rev.1862, 10-23
Family connections1862, 6-30
Foreigners, attitudes toward1862, 9-20
Furlough1863, 5-22
Friendship1862, 7-11
Gilmer, Congressman1862, 7-21
Grier, Mrs.n.d.
Hollywood Cemetary
Human Nature1862, 8-29
Jenkins, Micah Gen. C.S.A.1862, 9-11
Jews1862, 10-10
Joint stock companies
[K]no[w]-nothing Party1862, 7-21
LaCaste, Miller
LaC[a]ste, Sam1862, 8-6
Lee, Stephen Dill (?) Col. C.S.A.1862, 7-11
Mayes, William (Dr.)
McBride, James1862, 7-21
McCutcheon, George1862, 9-8
Medical personnel
Methodist College1862, 7-21
Mills, Mr. (H.H.W.'s neighbor)
Mills, Anderson
Mills, William
Molloy, T.1862, 8-6
Montgomery, Mrs. (H.H.W.'s sister)
Montgomery, John1862, 10-15
Montgomery, Sue (H.H.W.'s niece)
Moore, Hannah1862, 9-25
Morehead, Governor1862, 7-21
Moses, F.J. Col. C.S.A.1862, 7-21
Mount Pleasant, S.C.n.d.
Mount Zion, S.C.1862, 8-22
Music1862, 9-25
Negro Slaves
Passports, internal
Plantation managementn.d.
Planter's Cotton Bank1862, 8-6
Potatoes1862, 12-5
Powder mills1862, 8-6
Prices cloth
Prisoners, Confederate1862, 8-22
Reserves, South Carolina
Rice1862, 10-10
Rich and poor, conflict between1862, 10-10
Richmond Cemetary1862, 7-21
Richmond General Hospital1862, 7-21
Roberts, Lt. Col. C.S.A.1862, 9-11
Rutledge, Col. C.S.A.n.d.
Sanduskey, Ohio1862, 8-22
Sasnasky (sic.), Madam, High School of 18621862, 9-20
Savannah, Georgia1862, 9-20
School-mates1862, 9-20
Scott, Mrs. (H.H.W.'s sister)
Scott, John (H.H.W.'s nephew)
Scott, May (H.H.W.'s niece)
Scudder, "Sissie" 1862
"Second Revolution"1862, 7-21
Servants (free)1868, 7-3
Shaw, Dwight1862, 9-8
Shaw, Mary1862, 8-22
Smythe, Bob1862, 9-20
South Carolina, invasion of, 18611862, 9-11
Sullivan Island, South Carolinan.d.
Sumter Gazette1862, 9-8
Supply wagons1862, 12-5
Taxes and tarriffs1862, 7-21
Teachers (and Professors)
Telegraph1862, 9-8
Thornwell, Dr. and Mrs.
V[arun], James
Virginia Campaign (1862)1862, 9-11
Walker, William S. Gen. C.S.A.n.d.
Whilden, Maj. C.S.A.1862, 9-11
White's Battery1863, 6-23
Wilson, Dr.1863, 6-23
Wilson, Clara1862, 10-23
Wilson, Moultrin.d.
Wilson, R.E.1862, 9-8
Wilson, W.W.1862, 10-23
Witherspoon, Capt. C.S.A.1862, 9-20
Witherspoon, A.J., Rev.1862, 8-22
Witherspoon, Dunham, from Yorkville 18621862, 9-20
Witherspoon, James H. Col. C.S.A.
Witherspoon, J[ohn] E.
Word's Battery1863, 6-23
Worley Battery1863, 6-23