John T. Hughes Biography
John T. Hughes was born July 25, 1817, near Lexington, Kentucky. He died August 11, 1862, during the Battle of Independence, Missouri. His 45 years were spent during some of the most turbulent times in our nation's history.
Col. Hughes was near kin to General Sterling Price, and enjoyed the trust and confidence of that great man. Hughes had been with Price through the Mexican War, and the two men understood and loved each other as brothers. At the battle of Pea Ridge, when Slack fell mortally wounded, Price, who seldom made mistakes in choosing men for arduous duties, assigned Hughes to replace the fallen general. Price saw in Hughes the coming man and in this Price and Doniphan saw alike. After the battle of Pea Ridge, Hughes followed his kinsman to assist in the operations against Grant and Halleck, at Corinth. In one month he was directed by the Confederate Government, at Richmond, to return to Missouri, and raise a brigade; which meant a generalship for him. He was on this mission, making his way to Northwestern Missouri, when he brought together, near Lee's Summit, the forces of Thompson, Hays, and Quantrill, and planned so skill fully the battle of Independence. It was during this engagement that John T. Hughes lost his life.
John was more than a rising general. He was a graceful writer as well, and had he lived, would have done for Price, what Edwards did for Shelby-chronicled in classic English his achievements.
Prior to the War Between the States, John Hughes was one of the leaders of political sentiment in Northwestern Missouri. He had been a Whig all his life, until the Whig party became dominated by Knownothingism, when he acted with the Democrats. This was due to what he felt was the violent and radical assaults of the leaders of the then forming Republican Party on the constitution. This made it impossible for him to act with them. He was a member of the State Convention that sent delegates to the National Democratic Convention of 1860, the most stormy political assemblage, perhaps, that ever met in Missouri-one of which none but the master hand of Price could control.
He had strong, positive, and clearly defined views on all the questions then agitating the public mind, and expressed them with great force and energy, but, was at all times courteous and considerate of those that held opposing views. He was a strong and ardent advocate of the Union, and opposed every attempt made in the direction of taking Missouri out of the Union. He opposed calling a convention to consider the question, and when it was called, he advocated with all his strength and energy the
election of delegates who opposed secession.
He held a commission as Colonel in the Missouri State Guard, which was the state militia at that time. When the Federal government usurped the will of the people, and ousted not only the duly elected Governor of Missouri, but, the members of the Legislature and the Senate, the Supreme Court and District Judges and all other state officers, he moved the troops under his command and took his place alongside that brave and noble band of patriots who fought and were willing to die for their beliefs.
Promoted posthumously to Brigadier General, John T. Hughes ideals are representative of B/G John T. Hughes SCV Camp #614, and LTC John R. Boyd MOSB Chapter #236. John T. Hughes lies in Woodlawn Cemetery in Independence, Missouri.
Some information for this article came from:
Battles and Bios of Missourians: by W.L. Webb. From Oak Hills Publishing.