Hildreth Civil War Veteran of Grafton, Massachusetts

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Martin Hildreth - Civil War Veteran

An email from his great-great niece - September 1999

Martin T. Hildreth enlisted in the 4th Cavalry 12/15/1863 in Grafton at the rank of Private. He eventually made Sergeant. He was killed at Gum Creek (or Gum Swamp or Gum Ford), Florida 10/24/1864
(all info. per his pension record).

According to the book "Confederate Military History", p. 119, this is what I believe occurred (paraphrased):
on 10/23/1864 a Confederate Captain learned that the enemy had been met & driven back app. 3 miles away (near Green Cove Springs, FL). He immediately responded. Arriving the morning of the 24th he planned an attack expecting the enemy to reappear. They didn't but he learned of a crossing app. 5 miles above the ford and a scout confirmed their placement on the road to Middleburg. He went to meet them and the enemy "were seen returning, driving in a large drove of fine cattle to enrich their commissary stores with what they called 'rebel beef'". The Confederates killed or captured almost the entire command.

Sounds like they were doing some Union "cattle rustling." My mother has confirmed that my father used to tell the story of his ancestor whose horse returned without him. Martin's mother claimed his pension, as she was a widow and he had been her support before the war.

I am hoping to check the area near Green Cove Springs one day to see if he was buried "decently" although I don't expect to find much. War was war after all, but there's always a chance for a marker.

Proud descendant of a Union soldier,
Barb Froman
great-great niece