ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Edward Hughs Jones


Edward Hughs Jones, Watertown, Wis., member of G.A.R. Post O.D. Pease, was born December 25, 1820, in Marcy, Oneida Co., New York.  His father, Ebenezer Jones, was born in Wales and came to America prior to marriage with Martha Hughs.  He was a farmer and reared his family on the farm.  The mother was of mixed Welsh and English stock and descended from ancestors who were prominent in the Revolutionary war.  Mr. Jones was married to Mary Bryant in Utica, New York, Dec. 2, 1842, and, six years later, they began life in the Badger State on a farm in the town of Burnett, in Dodge County.  Mrs. Jones is a relative of the poet Bryant and is lineally descended from Miles Standish.


October 10, 1864, Mr. Jones enlisted in Battery G, 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery, and was mustered into service November 1st following.  On the 12th he left the State for duty at Fort Lyon, one of the defenses of Washington, and, after a few weeks, was transferred to Fort Ellsworth.  He drilled as light and heavy artilleryman and also became familiar with light infantry tactics, adding to the three-fold labors the duty of the camp and guard. 


Sometimes, even then, a restless spirit prevailed which led to adventures.  On one occasion a foraging party discovered a warehouse on the Potomac and they crawled under it from the river side.  With an auger they investigated the floor and finally struck an object and continued to bore.  Suddenly a stream of molasses poured down with which they filled their canteens and went away, leaving the molasses flowing.  It was discovered and also in the empty barrel was found the body of a young negro girl, fearfully mutilated and gashed.  Conjecture invented a theory of the deed being done where the molasses was made, but a sure result was that many appetites were spoiled permanently for molasses, among them being that of Mr. Jones.  He saw the funeral of the girl, which was conducted by the colored people.


Mr. Jones was on duty on the night of the assassination of the President and watched the signal lights on the hills on the Maryland side and on Arlington Heights, as well as the rockets that were fired from the Capital.  The next day, a merchant from Alexandria asked several members of a Pennsylvania regiment if they were not glad the President was killed.  As answer they scattered his merchandise, dragged him from beneath a bed, where he sought secrecy, and delivered him to the proper authorities. 


A little before the fall of Richmond, the rebel pickets approached so near the pickets near the Blue Ridge mountains that they could talk, and some of the former came across and traded tobacco, sugar and coffee with the man who was stationed within one of Mr. Jones.  Not long after, a rumor of the approach of Mosby became general and the command of Mr. Jones was ordered back to the fort.  In the haste he fell, the sleety rain having rendered secure foothold impossible, and injured his right knee.  He took his position at his gun, but could not carry ammunition and was transferred to serve the lanyard, which he did, while several rounds were fired in the direction of the supposed enemy.  But the alarm was a false one, Mosby being nowhere in that vicinity. 


After the assassination of Lincoln, the injured knee of Mr. Jones became worse and he was ordered to the hospital.  He went next to the general hospital at Alexandria and thence to Washington, where he was discharged in 1865.  He was on crutches for many months and has a permanent lameness. September 1, 1883, he quit farming and rented the place, not being capable of active labor from his injury.  Since the inauguration of President Harrison he has applied for a pension.


Mr. and Mrs. Jones have had seven children, four of whom are deceased.  Their two sons and a daughter are married and settled in the West, leaving the parents alone.


Cross Reference:

Jones, E H, Civil War veteran, GAR Personal War Sketch, 1890