Stephen Amos Hibbs was the brother of my 3rd-great-grandmother Martha (Hibbs) Mason. He was born in 1826 in present-day West Virginia, the son of John and Jane (Amos) Hibbs.
West Virginia was formed in 1863 when the western counties of Virginia decided that they didn’t really want to secede from the Union. But just because they opted to become a Union state doesn’t mean that they were 100% behind the Union cause. Far from it. The state was pocketed with Confederate sympathizers. Among them: Stephen A. Hibbs.
On 1 May 1863, he was captured by Union forces for being a “bridge burner.” His record in the Union Provost Marshals’ Files notes that he was a “rebel.” Page 1 of the record names him as “Stephen A. Hibbs / Cit.” (short for “citizen.”) This last term isn’t indicating his citizenship (as in voting rights, etc.) It’s an indication that he was a civilian, rather than a member of the Confederate army.
How do I know this is 1863 when there is no year on the record? It’s stated that he was captured in “Marion Co., Va.” — not West Virginia. West Virginia didn’t become a state until 20 June 1863, making that the latest that this record could have been (accurately) created. (Yes, there’s the possibility that they wrote “Va.” out of habit, kind of like how it’s usually February before you start writing the correct year on your checks.) It also states that he was 37 years old. Census records consistently place his birth year in 1826. 1826 + 37 = 1863.
After the war, Stephen left Marion County, West Virginia and settled briefly in Warren County, Illinois. He then moved to Wayne County, Iowa, where he was a practicing physician and cattle farmer.1)Biographical and Historical Record of Wayne and Appanoose Counties, Iowa (Chicago: Inter-State Publishing, 1886), p. 395. Available on Google Books.
Did his Southern sympathies cause him strife after the war? (His sister Martha was married to a Union soldier. That could have made for an awkward Christmas dinner… ) Is that what precipitated his move west? Or was he simply looking for more opportunity for himself and his family than what was available in Marion County? Either way, it looks like he made a fresh start.
A Note About the Other Stephen A. Hibbs
Many people have combined this Stephen with the Stephen A. Hibbs who served with the 7th Iowa Infantry. That is a different Stephen A. Hibbs. According to his pension file, he was born in 1845, much too late to be the same one.2)Stephen A. Hibbs, Civil War pension file, application 1196430. Available online at GenealogyCenter.info.
Stephen Amos Hibbs in Review
Stephen Amos Hibbs first married Malinda Yost. After her death, he married Eliza (Blue) Glover, the widow of Stephen Glover. In 1865, he and his family moved to Warren County, Illinois and to Wayne County, Iowa in 1868.3)Biographical and Historical Record of Wayne and Appanoose Counties, Iowa (Chicago: Inter-State Publishing, 1886), p. 395. Available on Google Books. He died 11 March 1902 and is buried in Southlawn Cemetery, in Seymour, Wayne County, Iowa.4)Dr. Stephen Amos Hibbs memorial, FindAGrave.com.
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|1, 3.||↑||Biographical and Historical Record of Wayne and Appanoose Counties, Iowa (Chicago: Inter-State Publishing, 1886), p. 395. Available on Google Books.|
|2.||↑||Stephen A. Hibbs, Civil War pension file, application 1196430. Available online at GenealogyCenter.info.|
|4.||↑||Dr. Stephen Amos Hibbs memorial, FindAGrave.com.|