James Robert Hilliard (January 15, 1834 - September 27, 1924) served as a private in Company I, 13th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry.
James Hilliard was born January 15, 1834 in Ashe County, North Carolina to Alfred and Rachel (Willis) Hilliard. He married Martha Eggers (1837-1901) with whom he had at least five children.
Civil War service
Hilliard first enlisted September 18, 1861 as a private in Company E, 37th North Carolina Infantry in Boone, North Carolina for a period of one year. In March or April 1862 he enlisted for an additional two years.
Hilliard was captured on May 27, 1862 at the Battle of Hanover Court House and sent to Fort Monroe, Virginia. He was then sent to Fort Columbus in New York Harbor on June 4, 1862. Hilliard was exchanged at Aiken's Landing, Virginia on August 5, 1862 and returned to his regiment in November or December.
On May 3, 1863, Hilliard was wounded in action at the Battle of Chancellorsville and sent to the 3rd Division General Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. He deserted from the hospital and returned again to his home in North Carolina. He was carried on the rolls of the 37th North Carolina Infantry as a deserter until the end of the war.
Hilliard changed his allegiance and enlisted as a private in Company I, 13th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry on February 1, 1864 in Taylorsville, Tennessee for a period of three years and mustered in April 13, 1864 at Nashville, Tennessee. He was appointed corporal April 14, 1864 by order of Colonel Miller.
He is described as 30 years old, 5' 10" tall, fair complexion, blue eyes, dark hair, and by occupation a farmer.
Hilliard deserted June 29, 1864 and was reduced to the ranks. He returned to the regiment on April 20, 1865 and pardoned by President Lincoln's proclamation. He was present for duty throughout the remainder of his term of service.
Hilliard mustered out with the regiment on September 5, 1865 at Knoxville. He had been paid to April 30, 1864, owed $36.68 to the government for clothing in kind or money advanced, had received a bounty of $60, and was owed a $240 bounty which was forfeited due to his absence without leave.
He applied for an invalid's pension on May 31, 1881.
Hilliard died September 27, 1924 in Clarks, Nebraska and is buried at Columbus Cemetery in Columbus, Nebraska.
- The Confederate records are not clear; it appears that he returned to his home in North Carolina before returning to the regiment and was listed as absent without leave.
- Most likely General Hospital #3, also known as Byrd Island Hospital, Gilliam's Factory Hospital, and Gilham's Hospital. It was a tobacco factory of George W. Gilliam and Brother Company before the war.
- Family oral history states that he lost and eye and was wounded in the leg by a bullet which was never removed. The examining assistant surgeon of the 13th Tennessee Cavalry makes no mention of any wound or loss of an eye in Hilliard's enlistment examination.