The Angel of Marye’s Heights.

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lelliott19

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As promised, here is William Preston Hix's 1874 account, along with some additional information, provided for context.

William Preston Hix, the son of Edward and Mary Hix, was enumerated on the 1860 US Census for Laurensville, Laurens County, SC as 22 yo (b. @1838). His occupation is listed as "portrait painter."
1578884390350.png

In 1859, Richard Wearn established the Premium Photograph and Ambrotype Gallery in Columbia, SC. By 1860, portrait painter and colorist William Preston Hix was in partnership with Wearn under the name Wearn & Hix. The pair worked together for the next 15 years (excepting the time that Hix was serving in the 3rd SC.) Besides painting portraits, Hix likely utilized his artistic talents in the hand-tinting of photographs.

The firm of Wearn & Hix is probably best known for the 1865 series of nineteen images illustrating the destruction of Columbia, SC and the 1868 portrait of Robert Smalls.
1578892205409.png

The Daily Phoenix. (Columbia, SC), April 21, 1874, page 2.
William Preston Hix painted a portrait of Maj Gen Joseph B Kershaw in 1873. It is evidently not the one at the South Carolina State House or the one in the collection of the Museum of the Confederacy. He is also reported to have painted a portrait of Maj Gen Matthew C Butler (1871); a full-length post-war portrait of PGT Beauregard; and a large oil-on-canvas entitled "The Women of the South Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (1866.) I have been unable to locate any of the paintings.

The Wearn & Hix partnership ended suddenly in January 1874, when Richard Wearn committed suicide. Afterwards, W. P. Hix & Co. continued to work in carte vista, cabinet cards, and stereographs, while giving "much attention to the tinting of photographs" and to "producing paintings in oils and water colors."

A BEAUTIFUL WORK OF ART -- A correspondent of the Louisville (Ky.) Ledger thus speaks of a picture which is being executed by Capt. W. P. Hix, of this city [Columbia, SC]. The figures will be life size:
"The sudden death of Mr. Wearn will not deter Capt. Hix [William Preston Hix] one of the finest and most famous portrait and landscape painters in the South, from carrying out his announced determination to undertake the execution of a great national work, based on a heroic incident which took place at the fierce battle of Fredericksburg...." [The Daily Phoenix. (Columbia, SC), January 18, 1874, page 2.]
1578883368992.png

William Preston Hix and his three brothers (Edward Melville, Willis Dickie, and Clarence Eugene) all enlisted in Company A of the 3rd SC, which was part of Kershaw's brigade.

William P. Hix joined for duty April 14, 1861 and was enlisted June 1, 1861 at Columbia, SC into Captain B C Garlington's Company, which became Company A, 3rd South Carolina Infantry. Company Muster Roll dated June 30, 1861 lists his age as 25. He was discharged February 13, 1862 on Surgeon's certificate of disability for a fistula in his arm.

His older brother Edward M. Hix served as a Corporal in A/3rd SC and later as Sergeant Major of the regiment. His younger brother Willis Dickie Hix also served in A/3rd SC, as did C E (Eugene) Hix who was killed at Fredericksburg. William P Hix filed the claim for Eugene's arrears pay on their father's behalf.

So while W P Hix, the artist, was not a direct witness to the incident, his older brother and one of his younger brothers would have been witnesses - and both of them survived the war.

Sources:
  • 1850 US Census Laurens, Laurens County, South Carolina.
  • 1860 US Census Laurensville, Laurens County, South Carolina.
  • Partners with the Sun: South Carolina Photographers, 1840-1940, Harvey S. Teal, University of South Carolina Press, 2001, pp. 144-145.
  • Yorkville Enquirer. (Yorkville, SC), October 25, 1866, page 2.
  • The Crescent Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 9, William Evelyn Publisher, 1867, page 73.
  • Portrait - Robert Smalls https://npg.si.edu/object/npg_NPG.2011.76
  • Ron Field, "Palmetto Faces: South Carolina at War; Portrait by a Photographer of Post-Destruction Columbia," Military Images Magazine, Autumn 2015. https://militaryimages.atavist.com/palmetto-faces-autumn-2015
  • Hix-Blackwell House Link
  • Newspaper article: The Daily Phoenix. (Columbia, SC), January 18, 1874, page 2

1578890843671.png

Yorkville Enquirer. (Yorkville, SC), October 25, 1866, page 2.

1578889902610.png
 
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War Horse

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As promised, here is William Preston Hix's 1874 account, along with some additional information, provided for context.

William Preston Hix, the son of Edward and Mary Hix, was enumerated on the 1860 US Census for Laurensville, Laurens County, SC as 22 yo (b. @1838). His occupation is listed as "portrait painter."
View attachment 342011
In 1859, Richard Wearn established the Premium Photograph and Ambrotype Gallery in Columbia, SC. By 1860, portrait painter and colorist William Preston Hix was in partnership with Wearn under the name Wearn & Hix. The pair worked together for the next 15 years (excepting the two year that Hix was serving in the 3rd SC) Besides painting portraits, Hix likely utilized his artistic talents in the hand-tinting of photographs.

William Preston Hix is reported to have painted a full-length post-war portrait of PGT Beauregard. He also produced a painting entitled "The Women of the South Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (circa 1866-1867.) I have been unable to locate either painting. The firm of Wearn & Hix is probably best known for the 1865 series of nineteen images illustrating the destruction of Columbia, SC and the 1868 portrait of Robert Smalls.

The Wearn & Hix partnership ended suddenly in 1874, when Richard Wearn committed suicide. Afterwards, W. P. Hix & Co. continued to work in carte vista, cabinet cards, and stereographs, while giving "much attention to the tinting of photographs" and to "producing paintings in oils and water colors."

A BEAUTIFUL WORK OF ART -- A correspondent of the Louisville (Ky.) Ledger thus speaks of a picture which is being executed by Capt. W. P. Hix, of this city [Columbia, SC]. The figures will be life size:
"The sudden death of Mr. Wearn will not deter Capt. Hix [William Preston Hix] one of the finest and most famous portrait and landscape painters in the South, from carrying out his announced determination to undertake the execution of a great national work, based on a heroic incident which took place at the fierce battle of Fredericksburg...." [The Daily Phoenix. (Columbia, SC), January 18, 1874, page 2.]
View attachment 342010
William Preston Hix and his three brothers (Edward M, Willis D, and Eugene) all enlisted in Company A of the 3rd SC, which was part of Kershaw's brigade.

William P. Hix joined for duty April 14, 1861 and was enlisted June 1, 1861 at Columbia, SC into Captain B C Garlington's Company, which became Company A, 3rd South Carolina Infantry. Company Muster Roll dated June 30, 1861 lists his age as 25. He was discharged February 13, 1862 on Surgeon's certificate of disability for a fistula in his arm.

His older brother Edward M. Hix served as a Corporal in A/3rd SC and later as Sergeant Major of the regiment. His younger brother Willis Dickie Hix also served in A/3rd SC, as did C E (Eugene) Hix who was killed at Fredericksburg. William P Hix filed the claim for Eugene's arrears pay on their father's behalf.

So while W P Hix, the artist, was not a direct witness to the incident, his older brother and one of his younger brothers would have been witnesses - and both of them survived the war.

Sources:
  • Partners with the Sun: South Carolina Photographers, 1840-1940, Harvey S. Teal, University of South Carolina Press, 2001, pp. 144-145.
  • Portrait - Robert Smalls https://npg.si.edu/object/npg_NPG.2011.76
  • Ron Field, "Palmetto Faces: South Carolina at War; Portrait by a Photographer of Post-Destruction Columbia," Military Images Magazine, Autumn 2015. https://militaryimages.atavist.com/palmetto-faces-autumn-2015
  • Hix-Blackwell House Link
  • The Crescent Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 9, William Evelyn Publisher, 1867, page 73.
  • Newspaper article: The Daily Phoenix. (Columbia, SC), January 18, 1874, page 2
Now that’s cool. Bravo excellent research. Thank you.
 
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A. Roy

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Another monument to the Angel of Mercy in front of the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg.
I was intrigued by the quotation in your signature. Kind of relevant to this discussion here, but also interesting on its own. Do you have a source for that quotation? I'd love to know where to find that letter...

>>“I sometimes think the end of all things may be near at hand for I hear of brother arrayed against brother, father against the son, and wife against husband. It seems like Satan is turned loose upon the land”
Aug 1861 letter fm a mother in NC to her son in Tx<<

Roy B.
 
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C.W. Roden

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I wrote the story of SGT Richard Kirkland in a article on my blog a couple of years ago. Not sure if there is anything new that adds to the accounts, but I wanted to post it since it also includes photos of Kirkland's grave at the Quaker Cemetery in Camden, South Carolina.

 

War Horse

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I wrote the story of SGT Richard Kirkland in a article on my blog a couple of years ago. Not sure if there is anything new that adds to the accounts, but I wanted to post it since it also includes photos of Kirkland's grave at the Quaker Cemetery in Camden, South Carolina.

Thank you, I plan to visit that grave soon.
 
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J. D. Stevens

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I was intrigued by the quotation in your signature. Kind of relevant to this discussion here, but also interesting on its own. Do you have a source for that quotation? I'd love to know where to find that letter...

>>“I sometimes think the end of all things may be near at hand for I hear of brother arrayed against brother, father against the son, and wife against husband. It seems like Satan is turned loose upon the land”
Aug 1861 letter fm a mother in NC to her son in Tx<<

Roy B.
Thank you for noticing. The quote was taken from one of 25 letters written during the CW that were handed down by my gg-grandfather Philip Gathings. This particular letter was written by Philip's 80 year old mother, Jane Jackson Gathings, of Monroe, NC. If you would like more info or a transcribed copy of the letter, PM me your email so we do not distract from this fine thread.
 

lelliott19

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So have we established if Kirkland was an angel or a myth?
Good question Ole Miss. We have established that Maj Gen Joseph B Kershaw's 1880 account was not the first to tell the tale of Kirkland performing acts of kindness on the field at Fredericksburg. It's possible that earlier accounts will come to light, as more newspapers are added to the databases. Now that we can search old newspapers for key words, it really opens up the sources that are available for all kinds of research. I find it interesting that the original of the article appeared in a Louisville, KY newspaper. Who would have thought to look there for something about Kirkland?

We also know that William Preston Hix, the author of the first published account (that we now know of,) had served in one of the regiments in Kershaw's brigade and that he would have had direct interaction with men, including his own brothers, who witnessed the acts of kindness, first hand.

To me, it's not a 100% proven fact that what is described occurred exactly as described. BUT I think we can infer that men, who could have/should have known, believed that it happened as it is described. AND that it was accepted as fact by the men of Kershaw's brigade. I do think that Hix's account certainly lends credibility to other, later accounts.

Here is Kirkland's obituary from the Camden Confederate. It doesn't add anything to our understanding of the Kirkland incident, but I wanted to post it here anyway,
1578973236891.png

The Camden Confederate. (Camden, SC), October 16, 1863, page 2.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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I've often wondered why neither historian analyzed the William Preston Hix account that pre-dates Kershaw's description by six years; ID's Kirkland by name; and details the incident. I only ran across it a couple of years ago so maybe they weren't aware of it? Anyway, Hix had been discharged earlier in 1862. So while he was probably not a direct witness to the incident, his older brother and one of his younger brothers probably were witnesses and both survived the war. Another younger brother was killed at Fredericksburg. All four brothers served in Company A of the 3rd SC which was part of Kershaw's brigade. Ill post up the account a little later.
The thing is, I've come across various other stories of this kind of thing occurring that don't seem to have been repeated past the era? I've always wondered why the Kirkland story is so analyzed? The two men involved in the story from your regiment, where a Confederate officer crawled from a battlefield carrying a wounded Union soldier on his back, lived. Both could testify it was true. Another we never of hear of either in 2020 was documented by quite a few- one was a nurse who cared for him. Confederates advancing ( Gettysburg ) built a stone shelter over a wounded Federal soldier. Saved his life.

There are SO many stories of kindness in the face of danger, why is Kirkland's so contested? BTW, I think you were here n CWT when this was hashed out a few years ago? Anyone remember the thread?

Hi @War Horse ! Noticed you here not long ago and was delighted. How can we convince you to stay? Mints on the pillow, an eye mask, free breakfast in the lobby? :angel:
 

War Horse

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The thing is, I've come across various other stories of this kind of thing occurring that don't seem to have been repeated past the era? I've always wondered why the Kirkland story is so analyzed? The two men involved in the story from your regiment, where a Confederate officer crawled from a battlefield carrying a wounded Union soldier on his back, lived. Both could testify it was true. Another we never of hear of either in 2020 was documented by quite a few- one was a nurse who cared for him. Confederates advancing ( Gettysburg ) built a stone shelter over a wounded Federal soldier. Saved his life.

There are SO many stories of kindness in the face of danger, why is Kirkland's so contested? BTW, I think you were here n CWT when this was hashed out a few years ago? Anyone remember the thread?

Hi @War Horse ! Noticed you here not long ago and was delighted. How can we convince you to stay? Mints on the pillow, an eye mask, free breakfast in the lobby? :angel:
I think a do not enter sign on the operating room door would do the trick. Thank you for your concern @JPK Huson 1863. The last 2 years have been tough ones from a health point of view. I’m praying that’s finally all behind me now. Fortunately or Unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I should be around a long time now :smile:
 

Ole Miss

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I believe the scepticism from so many of the noble tales that came out during the 1880's when the romanticism of the Civil War was running full flow have caused the uncertainty many have of Kirkland's being true or not.
General Gordon's story of the interaction with General Barlow came out in 1879 along with Kershaw's telling of Kirkland's actions in 1880. Both were suspect even though all wanted them to be true as it showed the gallantry of the American soldier in war. These stories and the growing movement of "The Lost Cause" were instrumental in the reconciliation of North and South.
At this point and time does it really matter if Kirkland did or didn't offer succer to the wounded Federals? The story is firmly established in the lore of the ACW and it depicts the beau idea of soldier we all believe our GGGrandfathers to have been in life.
Regards
David
PS I believe the Kirkland did aid the wounded 'tween the lines
 
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I was intrigued by the quotation in your signature. Kind of relevant to this discussion here, but also interesting on its own. Do you have a source for that quotation? I'd love to know where to find that letter...

>>“I sometimes think the end of all things may be near at hand for I hear of brother arrayed against brother, father against the son, and wife against husband. It seems like Satan is turned loose upon the land”
Aug 1861 letter fm a mother in NC to her son in Tx<<

Roy B.
Of course, to a believer, Satan is *always* on the loose. To me, it's interesting that at the start of the three day Gettysburg Battle, Buford stated: "There's the devil to pay!". Perhaps innocently spoken about the immediate situation, it was nonetheless prophetic of the most horrific carnage of the War.
 
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