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Pvt. Thomas O. Hildreth was a native of Ansonville, Anson County, NC.  Thomas was born abt. 1820.  Prior to the War Between The States, Thomas had served in the Mexican War.  In March 1847, he enlisted to serve in the Mexican War as an infantryman in Co G and Co D of the 12th US Infantry.  The 12th US Infantry Regiment was a volunteer formed and mustered in in North Carolina.  Thomas enlisted to serve in the Mexican War with his older brother Rufus Reddick Hildreth.  Thomas and Rufus were in the same company and fought together in the Battle of Vera Cruz, Vera Cruz, Mexico on 20 July 1847.  Rufus was killed in the battle and is now buried in a mass grave of US Mexican War soldier in the US Mexico City National Cemetery, Mexico City, Mexico.  In January 1849, Thomas was discharge at Camp Carrolton, Georgia which is west of Atlanta.

On 20 August 1863, at the age of 43 years, Thomas enlisted to serve his state and the Confederacy.  He served in Co G, 40th Regiment, 3rd NC Artillery at Fort Fisher, North Carolina.  When Fort Fisher fell on 15 January 1865, Thomas was taken prisoner and shipped to Elmira arriving there on a very cold and snowy day, 30 January 1865, as described by Pvt. Thaddeus C. Davis who was a compatriot of Thomas’.   On 2 March 1864, the deadliest month for Fort Fisher men in Elmira in which 200 men died,  Thomas died of pneumonia.  He is buried in Plot #2007, Confederate Section, Woodlawn National Cemetery, Elmira, NY.  Thomas was one of the sick men who were scheduled for release and exchange in March.  He had been pardoned and paroled but was too sick to travel with the others and he died in the Elmira Prison a freed man.

Thomas is my great great granduncle.  Thomas had a younger brother who also served the Confederacy, my great great grandfather, Pvt. Berry Grove Hildreth, Co I “Anson Regulators”, 43rd NC Infantry Regiment.  Grandfather Hildreth fought in the Battle of Gettysburg at Culp’s Hill and was with Gen. Robert E. Lee at the Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, Virginia.  Berry Grove lived and died in Ansonville, Anson County, NC and is buried in the Bethlehem Cemetery, Ansonville, Anson County, NC.

Thomas was married to Celia William also of Anson County, NC.  They had five children when Thomas enlisted to serve his state and the Confederacy. Celia would tell this story about the war.  “When the Union soldiers came through their property during the war, we would hide hams and other food under a rope bed that had a curtain or bed skirt around it.  Celia would paint her face red and pull a scarf around her neck and get into bed.  When the soldiers would see her, they would ask what was wrong and she would tell them that she thought she had Typhoid fever.  The Soldiers would flee in great haste and their food would be saved”.   Celia died at the age of 93 on 2 Oct 1917 and she is buried in the Sandy Plains Methodist Church Cemetery, near Morven in Anson County, NC


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