Manuscript volume, 1 January 1864-16 June 1865, 11 July 1865, 31 July 1866, of Charles Jones Colcock Hutson (1842-1902) chronicles Hutson’s Civil War military service as adjutant for the First Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, listing items issued, dates of issuance, the company or individual the items were issued to, and in some instances the prices paid for supplies.
Lists included in the volume account for the ordering and distribution of various items—blankets, clothing, shoes, cooking gear, and writing supplies. They also give information on foraged items, indicating the amount of grain, corn, or fodder collected and the names of the businesses or farmers from whom the agricultural products were impressed. In some cases there are promissory notes signed by Hutson and farmers for forage items collected. The volume also lists the names of officers and non-commissioned officers, officers and enlisted soldiers assigned to picket and guard duty near Petersburg, and miscellaneous addresses, names, and accounting records.
Charles Jones Colcock Hutson was born 11 February 1842. He attended South Carolina College between 1856 and 1859, leaving due to illness. Hutson enlisted in Co. H, Eleventh Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers in 1861 and was subsequently elected third lieutenant. He resigned in June 1861 to join the army of Virginia. He entered that army as a private attached to Co. H, First Regiment (Gregg’s), South Carolina Volunteers, being promoted to adjutant and served in that capacity in Virginia until his capture near the Appomattox River toward the end of the war. Hutson was wounded at Cold Harbor on 27 June 1862, imprisoned at the Old Capital Prison at Washington and then transferred to Johnson’s Island on Lake Erie. He was released from prison 6 June 1865 and returned home to South Carolina. After the war Hutson was admitted to the bar and practiced law. While living in McPhersonville, he was elected in 1876 to represent Hampton County in the South Carolina House of Representatives and continued to serve until 1890. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1895. Hutson died 27 November 1902 and was buried at Stony Creek Church.
An unusual entry dated 11 July 1865 and headed “Shiloh Academy” gives the names and subjects for students enrolled at the school, presumably during a time when Hutson taught there. There is also a narrative account by Hutson, with daily entries 29 March-16 June 1865, concerning the actions of Hutsons’ regiment at the siege of Petersburg, his capture and imprisonment, his release from prison, and his journey home.
Hutson’s account of events on 2 April concerns the siege of Petersburg is noteworthy because it chronicles a series of military actions that broke the Confederates’ hold, started their retreat to Richmond, and ultimately led to their surrender at Appomattox. “Enemy attacked breastworks at our old camp,” the diary records. “Broke the line & Hill’s corps forced to evacuate position—Lee’s army in motion—our brigade retreated across ‘Hutcher’s Run’—formed line of battle on Cox’s Road—enemy attacked us in temporary breastworks—easily repulsed—remained in our position till 2 or 3 pm when enemy attacked left flank & caused troops to break when whole line retired in some disorder. A good many captured—remainder succeeded in getting to Appomattox & tried in vain to cross during night.”
According to his own account, Hutson was “captured by enemy’s scouts disguised in Confederate Uniforms” the following day after he failed to cross the Appomattox River during the night. Imprisoned first in the “Old Capital Prison” at Washington, D.C., he was moved by railcar and ferry to Johnson’s Island across Lake Erie. On 6 June 1865 Hutson received the ”welcome news of my release upon condition of taking an oath of allegance.” Two days later he arrived in New York City by train and then sailed for Hilton Head. By 16 June 1865 Hutson was once again reunited with ”the family circle from which I have so long been separated.”