Tuesday, January 8, 2013

An Anniversary Love Story

Dear Grandfather and Grandmother Hugunin,
An entry in your family bible, which was inherited by my mother Betty Werst Cone, gives 08 Jan 1865 as your wedding date. The entry does not specifically state the location but I imagine it was either at the home Grandmother Hugunin's parents, Newsom and Elizabeth Jones Gibson, at Edgefield, Tennessee or at a local church. Today Edgefield has been absorbed by Nashville and only a few old historic houses remain.

I do not know how you two met. I imagine the attractive, Southern girl catching the eye of First Sergeant Van Eps Hugunin as he is garrisoned in the area with his unit the 13th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. The Regimental History of the 13th, has them in Edgefield on picket and guard duty from the end of October 1863 until February 1864. Did you meet during that time period?  Van Eps' father Richard Hugunin died 15 Dec 1863 in Janesville, Wisconsin. Was Van able to return home on emergency leave so he may have been away part of the time.

The Regiment was sent home to Janesville for thirty day's leave at the end of February returning to Nashville on the 31st of March and made their camp at Edgefield. Your granddaughter, my grandmother Grace Colby, recounted stories of Grandmother Hugunin calling her a Southern lady. I wonder how your family felt about your relationship with a Yankee.

I believe that believe that Grandfather Hugunin left with the rest of his Company B comrades for duty guarding the Tennessee River between Stevenson and Decatur. By June, they were in Clayville, Alabama assigned to build structures to prevent the rebels from crossing the river and interfering with Gen. Sherman's communications. Grandfather Hugunin was mustered out of the Regiment on November 21st, 1864 in Nashville.

Had you already decided to marry when his term of service was up? I believe he and a partner started a general store. So perhaps you waited until January to marry so he could get his store opened. The 8th of January 1865 was a Sunday. Was your wedding ceremony part of Sunday church services or a quiet ceremony at home? There are so many questions I wish I had the opportunity to ask.

From all I've read and researched, your marriage seems to have been happy. My grandmother always said that Grandfather and Grandmother Hugunin adored each other. I'm sure it was so.
Happy Anniversary!

Your second great granddaughter,

Cecily Cone Kelly

P.S. When expecting my first child, I looked through family names and selected Amanda, only knowing that Grandmother Hugunin's maiden name had been Sarah Amanda Gibson. It was not till I visited the cemetery in Phillipsburg and saw on her headstone S. Amanda Hugunin that I realized you had gone by Amanda. So you have a third great grand daughter namesake who is thirty-one.

Van Eps Hugunin and wife S. Amanda Gibson
are the couple standing to the far left in this
photograph of a  GAR (Grand Army of the Republic)
encampment in Kansas, date is unknown.

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