Orange County Notes

Squabble, at "Montpeliso"

The files of the National Archives in Washington, D. C. contain claims made by landowners to the Confederate and Federal governments during the Civil War for supplies, etc., they furnished to the troops. Orange County's Joseph Hiden, owner of "Montpeliso" (also known as "Peliso") was no exception. His file shows that he supplied wood, rails, horses and other supplies.

Ihe file also holds papers relating to charges of mutual disrespect between Hiden and Brigadier General D. R. Jones. (General Jones married Rebecca Taylor, a daughter of General Joseph Pannill Taylor, brother of President Zachary Taylor.) The following letter by Orange County native Philip B. Jones, Jr., the. General's aide-de-camp, is contained in the file that described the incidents leading to theses charges.

Richmond 11th April 1862

I was present when Gen D. R. Jones had a conversation with Mr. Jos. Hiden at his residence near Orange C H. Gen Jones' headquarters were at Mr. Hiden's house where Gen Smith his predecessor in command of the division had been located, when we moved there the offer was made to Mr. Hiden that we should either keep our own mess or else board with him after time he accepted the latter proposition. During our stay at Mr. Hiden's he treated Gen'l Jones with neither consideration or respect no seats were reserved for himself or staff at the table and if we were detained by business or any other cause when the bell sounded we were compelled to eat the scraps left by the other boarders.

On the occasion referred to Gen Jones was detained a few moments and nearly all of the seats as usual were occupied, he met Mr. Hiden in the passage where I was remonstrating with him as to the manner in which he treated Gen Jones and said to him that he had never been treated with any respect since he had been in his house and never been able to calculate with any degree of certainty upon getting seats at the table. Mr. Hiden denied the charges and his manner was such to irritate Gen Jones who then used strong language, which under other circumstances would not have been done, during this conversation no ladies were present and Gen Jones used no threat of a personal character towards Mr. Hiden. After this conversation Mr. H. followed Gen Jones and accosted him in front of a door leading to what he afterwards learned was the chamber of Mrs. Barbour and the Old Lady residing at the house, it is possible that the conversation might have been overheard this Gen'l Jones regretted. During our stay at Mr. Hiden's no member of his family was ever treated with any disrespect what ever.

In conclusion as a citizen of Orange I deem it my duty to say that Mr. Hiden has ahvays been regarded as a very eccentric person and I may add that in my opinion Gen Jones acted as any other gentleman under the same circumstances would have done.

P. B. Jones, Jr.


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