Hugh Jones Gaston, son of Alexander Francis Gaston and the former Miss Eliza Jones, was born on the 26th of August 1837 in New Bern, North Carolina. Hugh was named for his maternal grandfather, Dr. Hugh Jones. Hugh's paternal grandfather, the Hon. William J. Gaston, was a well-known lawyer, politician, and jurist from North Carolina.
Like his older brother William, Hugh Gaston attended Georgetown College in Washington, D.C. and graduated in 1858 with a degree in law. At the beginning of the Civil War, Hugh enlisted as a private in a Tennessee artillery company. A year after North Carolina seceded from the Union, Hugh Gaston re-enlisted in Company S, North Carolina 48th Infantry Regiment on 11 Jul 1862; serving as Adjutant to the field staff.
North Carolina's 48th Infantry was ordered to Virginia and fought with General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia in the conflicts at Bristoe, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania. On September 3, 1862, following their victory at the Second Bull Run, General Lee's Army entered the state of Maryland.
On September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek, Lee's Army engaged in the first major battle to take place on Union soil in the American Civil War. Known as The Battle of Antietam, it was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with about 23,000 casualties.
Captain Hugh Jones Gaston was one of those casualties. He was severely wounded in the shoulder and face dying two weeks later on the 15th of October 1862 near Hagerstown, Maryland.
The Washington Confederate Cemetery in Hagerstown, Maryland, is the final resting place for many Confederate soldiers who died in the Maryland campaigns during the Civil War. It is believed that Capt. Hugh Jones Gaston is buried here.
Obituary published in The North Carolina Standard
December 3, 1862
We record with much regret the death of Hugh Jones Gaston, Adjutant of the 48th Regiment, N.C.T. He was wounded in the Battle of Sharpsburg in his shoulder and face and died at a farm house near that place about the 2nd week of October. He was the youngest son of Alex Gaston, Esq., who was the only son of the Hon. William Gaston. His only brother, William, was killed by the Indians near Ft. Walla Walla about four or five years ago in his first engagement and Hugh received his death wound in his first engagement at Sharpsburg. Hugh Jones Gaston was the last male of the line. His great-grandfather was Alexander Gaston who fell in the Revolutionary War having been "murder by the Tories" in the words of Mr. Mason and "baptizing as it were his son in his blood as he fell". Adjutant Gaston was exempt from service at the beginning of the war.
He volunteered as a private in an artillery company at Memphis and remained there until his native state was threatened when he returned and offered his services to her. He was a young gentleman of intellect and education and was very brave. His death is another in the long catalog of our bravest and best young men who have also been cut off by this war.