Thanks for reading and commenting about my blog postings. My goal is to accurately document the genealogy of my family and allied families living in Chesterfield County, SC and Anson County, NC. If you have a Chesterfield County surname you are interested in please send me an e-mail.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Days of Terror and a March to Death

Wednesday, 1 March 1865 - The Union Twentieth Corps entered Chesterfield, South Carolina.

Thursday, 2 March 1865 - General Sherman entered the city and stayed overnight in this "dirty little town"[1] of about twenty houses, one hotel, and a court house.

Sunday, 12 March 1865 - Chesterfield County, South Carolina.

Hezekiah "Hugh" Brock and his wife Sallie along with their six boys are enjoying a quiet day after working all week in the fields.

During the past week Gen. Hugh Judson Kilpatrick and Gen. Sherman has both entered this quite community and had established camp at Cheraw while the Union soldiers made raids on local farms in Chesterfield County, South Carolina and nearby Anson County, North Carolina. On 12 March the soldier visited the farm of Hugh and Sallie Brock.

Hugh was taken prisoner while his wife and children watched him being taken away from their farm home in Chesterfield, SC. Hugh & Sallie's oldest son (Benjamin Franklin), my great grandfather, had just turned 14 and the youngest (Pleasant Elmore) wasn't quite 12 months old. Hugh never saw his family again. After being taken prisoner, he was forced marched to Wilmington, NC and sent by train to the Confederate Prison at Point Lookout, Maryland.

I know that you, my readers, have heard of stories about the living conditions at Andersonville in Georgia. In the North, Point Lookout was their equivalence to Andersonville in the South.

Sunday, 9 April 1865 – THE WAR IS OVER – General Lee surrender's to General Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

Monday, 12 June 1865[2]- Exactly 3 months to the day of his imprisonment Hugh passed away at Point Lookout. Cause of death was listed as inflammation of the lungs which probably translates to pneumonia. This is also 2 months and some days after the War has ended and he is still being held as a Prisoner of War (POW)[3].

Hugh was in a SC Reserve outfit. He was a Private, Co. C. 5th Battalion, SC Reserves enlisting 15 Sept 1864 and present through 31 Oct. 1864. He was also a Private in Co. K, 4th South Carolina State Troops from 1 Aug 1863 to 1 Feb 1864. He was a civilian farmer when imprisoned on 12 March 1865.

As a young kid I used to listen to my mom tell the story passed down from generation to generation on the imprisonment of great great-grandfather Hezekiah. Mom would say that the Yankee's took him and his family never ever heard from him again. If you believe the story as passed down through the ages my g-g-grandmother Sallie was never notified of his death. Sallie, my g-g-grandmother, never got over the loss of her husband, she never remarried; maybe she was waiting for Hezekiah to come home. She raised her six boys to adulthood and lived with her son Alsey during her later years.

This is one of the first stories I researched when I became interested in genealogy. At that time I was serving with the Air Force and stationed in Ogden, Utah.

With help from the wonderful volunteers in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City I found that indeed Hezekiah was a civilian and had been taken prisoner on 12 March 1865 and learned of his death at Pt. Lookout, Maryland.

Don't discount those family stories, while they may not be entirely true there is also the chance that a sliver of truth can be found in the story.

Hezekiah "Hugh" Brock, b. 29 February 1827; d. 12 June 1865, Pt. Lookout Prison Camp for Confederates, St. Mary's County, Maryland.

Gone but not forgotten

[1] John G. Barrett, Sherman's March Through the Carolinas (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, February 1996), Page 106.

[2] Randolph W. Kirkland Jr., Broken Fortunes (Columbia, South Carolina: SC Historical Society, 1995), page 38.

[3] "POW's held at Point Lookout Maryland", FHL Film #1303418, Entry #3906, H. Brock died 12 June 1865, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.


  1. Very excellent story, Charlie, you know my grandmother was Lucy Brock Rivers. Did she come from this line?

  2. Ruth,

    Not directly, but indirectly. All the Brock's in Chesterfield County are descendants of Valentine Brach/Brock.
    Lucy Ellen is most like a first cousin once removed.


  3. Nice story dad. Thank you for preserving our history. You're turning into quite the prolific little blogger.