WOODROW C. HUGHES was born on March 10, 1842 to Mathias and Susanna Hughes. The elder Hughes worked as a laborer when the Census was taken in 1850. Woodrow Hughes grew up in and around Mt. Holly and Camden, New Jersey

Woodrow C. Hughes enlisted as a Private Company I in Company I, 4th Infantry Regiment New Jersey Volunteers on August 17, 1861.

This regiment became part of the Grand Army of the Republic defending first Washington DC and then taking part in the Peninsula Campaign to wrest Richmond, then the capital of the Confederacy, from the Rebel forces. Then fought their way up from the mouth of the James River to within several miles of Richmond but the tides of war turned and they were overwhelmed by Lee's forces. The Fourth New Jersey fought on June 27, 1862 at Gaines Farm, VA, a battle also referred to as Gaines' Mill. During the battle of Gaines' Mill, Private Hughes was shot twice in the left leg, above the ankle and above the knee. He was taken prisoner, and was transported to Richmond for imprisonment in the infamous Libby prison. Also taken prisoner at Gaines Mill and taken to Libby were Lieutenant Colonel William B. Hatch, his cousin Second Lieutenant Charles H. Hatch, First Lieutenant Thomas Grapevine, and First Sergeant Joshua Fish Stone. All were exchanged for Confederate prisoners within three months of capture. For Private Hughes and Lieutenant Hatch the war was over, their wounds rendering them unfit for further military service. William B. Hatch was promoted to full Colonel and took command of the Fourth New Jersey in late August, 1862. He led the regiment at Fredericksburg in December 1862 and during the battle of Marye's Heights was mortally wounded.

Discharged on November 29, 1862, Woodrow Hughes returned to civilian life in Burlington County. On March 31, 1863 he married Rebecca Ann Bullock. When the census was taken in 1870 there were three daughters at home, Lizzie, Ida, and Ella. Woodrow Hughes was then working as a coal heaver. The Hughes family was still in Northampton Township, Burlington County, when the census was again taken in 1880. By 1887 the family moved from Mt. Holly to Camden, Woodrow Hughes finding work as with the Pennsylvania Railroad in the city as a brakeman, conductor, and eventually as a baggage master. 

The family settled in South Camden, and moved several times in the late 1880s and early 1890s. The 1887-1888 City Directory shows the family at 737 Clinton Street. The 1888-1889 Directory shows them at 636 Berkley Street, while the 1890-1891 Directory list the Hughes family at 581 Stevens Street. It is worth noting that in those times the railroad ran up along Mickle Street, and down Seventh Street. Many railroad workers lived in this neighborhood in these years.

By 1898 the Hughes family was living in a large three-story home at 428 Chambers Avenue in Camden. This street was laid out and the homes on it built after 1891, and it is well possible that the Woodrow Hughes family were the original owners. When the Census was once again taken in 1900 Woodrow and Rebecca Hughes were still at the address. Also at home were his blind son Robert, age 21, a daughter, May Hughes, age 19, and Herbert Hughes, age 16. Also there was Woodrow's oldest child, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Hughes Ireton and her husband, Charles Ireton, and their son, Harry C.  Another daughter also lived there in 1900, Ella Burdsall, 30,  (divorced) and her daughter, Rita Hinkle, age 5, as well as two boarders, Mary B. Shinn, widow, nurse, age 55, and her son Josiah Shinn, 23. 

Woodrow Hughes died on October 9, 1913. His widow filed for her Civil War Widow's Pension on October 13, of that year. The family remained in the house on Chambers Street through 1946, as Charles and Lizzie Ireton made their home there. The Hughes and Ireton families were well known in Camden. May Hughes Platt taught for many years at the Henry L. Bonsall Scholl and Jesse Starr School in Camden. Lizzie Hughes Ireton worked at Hemphill's Dry Goods store on Broadway for many years. 


1890 Civil War veterans Census

Chambers Avenue
looking North
from Berkley Street - 1890s
428 Chambers Avenue is marked in red
"Scan courtesy of Rebecca Hughes, b. in Camden 1904, and lived at 428 Chambers Ave. with her relatives from 1914-1922.