A Soldier to the Last: The Exceptionally Sad Story of Private Jesse H. Hutchins

Private Jesse Hutchins Grave.

As I was condensing my large photo file of Civil War battlefields, I came across a picture I had taken at Appomattox Court House of the tombstone or Private Jesse H. Hutchins, of Company A, 5th Alabama Battalion.

Hutchins joined the Confederate army five days after the bombardment of Fort Sumter and remained in service until the bitter end, surviving all the carnage that service in the Eastern Theater of the war brought on. For 1,454 days he served with devotion to the cause. On April 8, 1865, less than 24-hours until the Confederates would ask for a cease-fire to start negotiations to end the war in Virginia, Private Hutchins was killed in skirmish with Union cavalry. A tragic end for a soldier who had sacrificed so much, endured so many trials, and be so close to heading home.

His grave site is located in a little cemetery right off Virginia Route 24, as you approach the entrance to the entrance to the National Park.

In a war of the magnitude of the Civil War, tails like Private Hutchins sometimes get lost in the shuffles of history. But, that is the reason the war is still such an interest to historians today—the individual tales that weave the fabric of our American Civil War history show the immense suffering, loss of life, yet perseverance and a new beginning  that this tragic event in American history brought us.

All this by cleaning out and reorganizing a photo collection!

Authored by Phillip Greenwalt

3 Responses to A Soldier to the Last: The Exceptionally Sad Story of Private Jesse H. Hutchins

  1. According to a March 1863 muster roll, Hutchens (sometimes spelled Hutchins) enlisted on April 5, 1861.

    Interesting is that Hutchins was noted on the muster roll for December 31, 1864 to February 28, 1865 as “Guarding negroes at work on fortifications around Petersburg. Absent without leave Dec 23 to Dec 31, 1864.” Everyone needs a little Christmas vacation.

    1. Thanks for the little extra bit of info, Emmanuel. Sometimes, even just a little bit like that can help make these guys feel more real. It’s all that’s left of them….

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