Filling in the Gaps about Bayard and Alice Hand

Filling in the Gaps about Bayard and Alice Hand

My request for scans of the letters and other documents in the Alice Whitfield Hand collection at the University of the South has been filled. I have read through the biographical information and the letters for 1858 and 1859. And I now have some answers for some of my questions. Along the way, I have learned a few more things. And, yes, I even have more questions.

My guess about the vessel that Bayard Hand shipped out on for the expedition to Paraguay was indeed correct. He served on the U.S.S. Southern Star. He postmarks a letter to her from almost all the ports they stopped in on the way down – Barbados, Pernambuco, and Rosario. His brother in law C. T. Quintard dropped her a line and kidded Alice about Bayard’s role in the expedition by comparing him to a sailor in a cartoon in Harper’s Weekly, who is shown poking a pistol in the face of the Paraguayan dictator Carlos Antonio Lopez.

The biographical information attached to the letters lends support to my surmisal that Bayard and Alice met in Beaufort NC at the time when he was serving with the Coast Survey. Her father had lost his business in Halifax County due to a fire in 1851, and moved the family to Beaufort to build another inn or boarding house. So they were well established there by the time Bayard was back from the Brazil Station, and visiting Beaufort in Coast Survey vessels. Shortly after their wedding in September of 1858, Alice’s father picked up his business and removed back to Halifax County (hence the census entries recorded there for 1860).

It would appear from a number of sources that Bayard Hand had a weak physical constitution. Both times that he was sent to the hospital during his short time at Annapolis, the stays (one in 1852, and the other in 1853) were for longer durations than would be normal for the particular ailments. The year 1858 was marked by at least two serious episodes. In June he was admitted to the naval hospital in New York – not for the fever that he had had when recently down in Florida, but for a nervous condition that the physician said was due to a lack of sleep. It wasn’t until after four days that the doctor noted that Bayard was finally sleeping. He was kept in the hospital a total of seven days. And in November, when the U.S.S. Southern Star left Norfolk, Lt Bayard was in a doctor’s care, unconscious for eight straight days with no other diagnosis. So it does not seem as surprising for him to die a victim to a simple bout of pneumonia.

Alice, as the young widow, inherited from her husband. His family in Rome Georgia saw to it that she received the stock shares that were Bayard’s from his grandfather’s business, the Roswell Manufacturing Company. This would explain the rather large amount listed for her personal estate in the 1860 census. She also received his naval uniform. The uniform was kept in Alice’s family and passed on to her descendants. The cloth has wasted away, but the buttons, the epaulets and the bicorn hat remain.

There was one disturbing missive among the manuscripts. C. T. Quintard had written to Bayard days before the lieutenant’s death (Quintard was not aware of his illness). Evidently, Bayard had confessed a moral struggle to the Episcopal priest at the family home in Rome after his return from Paraguay. Quintard pleads with him in the strongest terms to forsake an unnamed vice. I confess that I became quite concerned for the state of the lieutenant’s soul, knowing the proximity of his death.

And that’s the way with research. You end up knowing some, but never all.

Looking for Mrs Bayard Hand

Looking for Mrs Bayard Hand

After reading the article about Lieutenant Bayard E Hand in the History of Rome and Floyd County, I confess I was dissatisfied that his wife’s name was not included. I was curious to find out who she was and what had happened to her.

At the first it was difficult to come up with her name, mainly because of the incorrect details in the article. Searches beginning with his name, tied to the state of Virginia as the place of marriage, coupled with an 1853 date (his Academy graduation date) proved fruitless. When I eliminated those secondary datums and concentrated on Bayard Hand I got several hits with marriage data for him – indexes, posted bonds and licenses – all with the 1858 date. And the name of his bride was Alice Whitfield.

To learn more about her it would be crucial to find her parents, and with that knowledge locate her in the federal censuses – 1850 the one before their marriage and 1860 the one after Bayard’s death. A family tree revealed that Alice’s father was William Thomas Whitfield (1819-1909) and her mother was Mary Elizabeth Crump Squiggins (1812-1880). The extra names listed for her mother proved very helpful in verifying the correct William Whitfield, for there was more than one possibility in each of those census years. Crump was her maiden name and Squiggins was the name of her first husband. So, the innkeeper “Wm. Whitfield” and his wife “Mary” in the 1850 census for Halifax County, NC are the correct ones – besides the three younger Whitfield children, four older “Squigings” children are noted.  But an “Alice” is not listed. Since she was born in 1842 she would have been eight years old at this census. There is an eight year old Whitfield daughter in this household, however her name is listed as “Temp.” I suspected they were one and the same, and was able to confirm it when a search on the Squiggins name turned up a family Bible in which her name is listed as T. Allice Whitfield. (Her marriage to Hand is also recorded in this same Bible, so a double confirmation). This coupled with the knowledge that her paternal grandmother’s name was Temperance, led me to conclude that her full given name was Temperance Allice Whitfield. From her marriage records forward she must have dropped Temperance and in some cases the second “L” from Allice.

All of this information made it easy to isolate the correct 1860 census record. Her father W T Whitfield was still a Hotel Keeper in Halifax County NC. Her mother M E Whitfield is there with her brother and sister; and Alice herself is listed as Allice Hand. Of note, Allice had a personal estate of 4000 dollars, forty times what her father possessed. I know from probate records that Bayard died intestate, and that Bayard’s stepfather must have seen to it that she was cared for out of her husband’s holdings.

So, what then happened to her after this?

The only record for Alice Hand after this date is the marriage bond that lists Alice W Hand marrying Julius Burton Timberlake in Halifax County, NC on November 5th 1863. Together they had five children, a son and four daughters. They named the first daughter Annie Bayard Timberlake, a touching tribute to her first husband. And Alice’s grandson Julian Burton Timberlake Sr. attended the Naval Academy and served in the First World War, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander by the time of his retirement in 1934.

One other search result led to a Facebook page and a surprising discovery. The family of Alice Whitfield Hand has donated her letters to the University of the South in Sewanee TN. They posted a scan of a letter that she had received from Bayard’s brother-in-law the Rev. Charles Todd Quintard, (later the first vice-chancellor of this same college). This letter from November 1858 is a warm “welcome to the family” to Alice and a humorous attempt to press her for news about the “scamp” naval lieutenant Bayard E Hand.

[Aside – I have ordered scans of some of her letters to hopefully answer some other questions I have, like did they meet at her father’s inn when he traveled between Rome GA and either Norfolk VA or Annapolis MD. Or was it at Beaufort at a later time. I will follow up with a post at a later date with what I learn.]

The Sad Tale of Lieutenant Bayard E Hand Part Two

The Sad Tale of Lt Bayard E Hand Part Two

When I was researching Bayard E Hand via Google an interesting article was listed high in the results. It was entitled “A Sailor’s Odd ‘Cruise.’” Someone had copied the entry to their family history from the book, A History of Rome and Floyd County by George Magruder Battey, Jr.

In summary, it relates that Bayard fell in love with a young Virginian girl just after graduating from the academy. They were joined in marriage but only had a short time together before he shipped out to South America. She then went to live with his mother and stepfather in Rome GA to await his return. The length of time of his absence is not noted, just that his ship put in to Wilmington NC, from whence he went on another 30 day leave to visit his wife and his parents. He returned to Wilmington, somehow contracted pneumonia and died on July 16, 1855 (a glaring error as will be seen below). His stepfather had him buried in Rome GA and placed a tombstone over him that referenced his career in the USN. This led to an unforeseen problem much later, when Sherman’s forces occupied the area in 1864. Someone took it into their head to remove Bayard from “traitorous” soil and had him shipped north to be reburied in a more friendly land. His stepfather was understandably outraged, but could do nothing about it until sometime after the war, when he successfully retrieved his step son’s body.

Though the historian was most likely well versed in the history of the disposition of the lieutenant’s body, the case is somewhat different when it comes to the details he relates about Bayard when he was alive.

Carrying forward from where I left off in last week’s post, Bayard left on a cruise on August 9, 1853 to the Brazil station shortly after graduating from the naval academy. There was no mention of him being married at this time. He was promoted twice in the time he was gone, coming back a lieutenant in November of 1855. (It can be seen by this date that the historian was in error as to Bayard’s death date, though to be fair his may have been a printer’s typo).

Throughout 1856 up until September 1858, Bayard was attached to vessels serving in the Coast Survey. This was a service run by the Treasury Department which had as its mission to map rivers, creeks, bays, harbors, etc. along the coastline to promote and protect the nation’s water borne trade and commerce. Often they were called on to rescue merchant vessels in dire straits. Bayard was awarded a gold chronometer for his part in one such rescue.

I have records that indicate that Bayard served in the Coast Survey from as far north as New York to as far south as Florida. And my guess is that he spent a good deal of his time in the Carolinas, and in North Carolina in particular. For on September 27, 1858, Bayard married Alice Whitfield in Carteret County, NC, most likely in or near the county seat – Beaufort. Further research revealed that she was not a Virginian, but a North Carolinian.

The rest of my chronology for Bayard follows the order, if not the time period put forward by the historian. After his honeymoon with his sixteen year old wife, Bayard reported for naval duty in the Paraguay Expedition. This expedition was a punitive action triggered by an insult to the flag, when forces of the Paraguayan government fired on a US vessel in 1855, killing a US seaman.  I have differing records as to which vessel he served on. Both were steamers that were especially chartered for the expedition. One possibility was the steamer Fulton under John Jay Almy, the other (my money is on this one) was the steamer Southern Star under Alexander M. Pennock. Both returned to the US in May of 1859, which lines up with the rest of his story. Bayard would have had one more one month’s leave with his wife before his death at Wilmington NC on July 16, 1859.

The poignant inscription at the bottom of Bayard E Hand’s tombstone reads:

The anchor of his soul was Faith in Christ.

The Sad Tale of Lieutenant Bayard E Hand Part One

The Sad Tale of Lieutenant Bayard E Hand Part One

Sometimes you look at the data for an individual and something about it does not look right. So you look deeper for an explanation, a reason for why they don’t make sense. Take for instance the two dates connected with the Naval Academy and Midshipman Bayard E Hand of Georgia. He was appointed from that state’s fourth district by Representative Hugh A. Haralson on April 7, 1847. He graduated (or became a Passed Midshipman) from the Academy on June 10th 1853. That would seem to indicate that he was six years at the Academy. But not so.

It is helpful to know the history of an institution to better understand the details about an individual attached to that institution. When the academy was founded in 1845 it was called simply the Naval School and set up with a 5 year course – the first year ashore – three at sea – and the last back at the school. But it underwent a reorganization in 1850. From then on it was to be called the Naval Academy and the course extended to a total of seven years, the first 2 at the academy – 3 at sea – and the last 2 at the Academy. Only a year later this was revised again to 4 yrs at the Academy and practice cruises to give them experience at sea.

Bayard was caught in the middle of all these changes. Though appointed in 1847, he did not report to Annapolis at this time. Perhaps, because Bayard attended the University of Georgia the year before, he did not need to spend his first year at Annapolis. And the fact that the Mexican War was in full swing may have been a factor. Originally he was ordered to ship out of New York City aboard the USS Ohio for the Pacific and the blockade of Mexican ports there. Instead he wound up in Norfolk and shipped on the US frigate Brandywine for the Brazil Station.

When the Brandywine returned she put into New York in December of 1850. Hand did not go to Annapolis at this time either, rather he was on leave until October 1851 when he departed on the US sloop Cyane, then attached to the Home Squadron. This meant patrols along the Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean. Aboard the Cyane, Hand met the poet James Barron Hope, who would later dedicate his poem “A Story of the Caracas Valley” to him.

After the Cyane’s return in June 1852, and another short leave, Hand finally reported to Annapolis. He would put in a total of nine months on this “shore” duty, graduating as noted above in June of 1853. So looking at the totals, Bayard E Hand had been in the navy a total of five years and eight months, of which one year he was on leave, nine months physically at the Naval Academy, and three years and eleven months at sea.

Two months after becoming a Passed Midshipman, Bayard was again off for the Brazil Station for another three year cruise. That would take half of the six years he had left to live.

The rest of his story next time.