John Wiley Pipes

Company E, 58th N. Carolina Infantry

John was the third son of Hiram Pipes and Elizabeth Allison/Ellison who served in the war. He was born on March 5th, 1828 at Darby, Wilkes County and was a twin to William Riley Pipes. They were known as Wiley and Riley according to John Hawkins' book on the descendants of Hiram Pipes. He joined the 58th North Carolina Infantry Regiment at Boone, N.Carolina, on September 26th, 1862. Census records indicate that he was a farmer in the Blue Ridge community of Wautauga County at the time. A set of on line records discovered by one of John's descendants, Rick Reid, says that John was mustered into Company "M" but was AWOL on January 13th, 1863. While away from his unit, ( in May of 1863) he was transferred to Company "G" and then on June 30, 1863 he transferred to Company "E". He is reported to have died from Dysentery at Nashville, Tennessee on December 13, 1863.

His brother William Riley was reportedly wounded in the war and walked with a limp the rest of his life. We are searching for records of William's service.

Before the war, John Wiley married Violet Matilda Brown, probably in 1851 or early 1852. They were members of the Buffalo Cove Baptist Church in 1852 and they had 4 children before his death in 1863: Jesse, born 1853; Delphia, born 1854; Mary, born 1858; and Martha born August, 1862.

The History of the 58th N. Carolina indicates that the 58th was mustered into the service of the State of North Carolina on July 24, 1862, with a complement of 10 companies, and began active service. Company M, formed in September, 1862 joined and brought the total to an even dozen companies. It was to Company "M" that John Wiley originally mustered. This company was later merged with Company "G", probably due to attrition.

The 58th was initially assigned to man various areas in eastern Tennessee and by the time John Wiley joined in late September they were sitting at Cumberland Gap waiting for their first action. By December they had moved to Big Creek Gap in Campbell County, Tennessee. The 58th North Carolina finally left Big Creek Gap on March 29, with instructions to proceed to Clinton, in Anderson County, Tennessee. The regiment reached their new positions on the Clinch River on the 30th of March. They moved around, pulling guard duty, repairing damage done by raiding Yankees and in general waiting for their first real battle.

It would be September of 1863 before they were finally tested and the battle was Chickamauga. The 58th fought with gallantry and with heavy losses in this confederate victory. According to official reports, the 58th lost 46 killed, 114 wounded and one missing, for 161 casualties, over 50% of the regiment's pre-battle strength, and sustained 49% of the total casualties for the brigade. Despite the official report, totals on muster rolls of the regiments involved indicate the brigade lost at least 79 killed, 217 wounded, and three captured or missing for a total of 319, ten fewer than initial reports indicate, but higher levels of those killed in action

The 58th spent most of October and November 1863 on the heights above Chattanooga. The command's duties included construction of breastworks and supporting artillery units bombarding Chattanooga below. In December they were moved to Missionary Ridge above Chattanooga and played a large part in the battle of that ridge. It was somewhere during this time that John Wiley contracted dysentery as did many of the soldiers from both sides of the war.

We have no record to indicate what his role may have been in either battle or the extent of his illness, but we continue to search. The unit went on to join the Atlanta campaign, and was at Resaca, Rocky face ridge, and many of the battles that occurred between the Confederate forces and General Sherman as he pushed across Georgia and into the Carolinas.

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