Hugh Johnson was born in Carter County in 1840, the son of Jesse Johnson Sr. and Polly Boggs Johnson.
During the Civil War Hugh rode with Capt. William Jason's Field's Company of Kentucky Partisan Rangers. He was captured near Grayson, KY, on May 11, 1863, and spent several months at the infamous Union prison at Point Lookout, MD. Four of Hugh's brothers; Jesse Jr., John, Willis W., and Francis Marion, also were Confederate soldiers, while another brother James Sippi Johnson, served with the Union in the 40th Kentucky Mounted Infantry.
In 1860 Hugh married Barbara E. Porter, daughter of John and Sarah Porter. Hugh and Barbara had 15 children: John, Mary Jane, Sarah, Martha Sidney A., Rebecca C., Hugh C., Barbara E., Alice, Jesse C., Richard, Rose B., William H., Causby E., and Charles. Hugh died in 1912. He and Barbara are buried in a small family cemetery on Mauk Ridge in Elliott County.