James Hatfield led a somewhat sad life after his return from the war. According to the 1890 Veterans Census of Defiance County, James served in Company M, 111th Indiana, enlisting on November 19, 1861. He was discharged on October 4, 1864, having served 2 years, 11 months, and 15 days.
He appeared in the Indiana Civil War Index as enlisting in Goshen, Indiana, at the age of 18. That listing put him in Company M, 2nd Cavalry, 41st Regiment. James Hatfield does appear on that roster, mustering out as a Corporal. Hatfield's unit was involved in some of bloodiest, hardest fighting of the war, including Shiloh, Chickamauga and the Siege of Atlanta.
At some point, he settled in Defiance, Ohio, after the war. In the 1880 census, he lived on High Street with his wife, Kate, who was born in Ireland. In 1880, he labored as a drayer*, but prior to that he worked on a machine at the Turnbull Wagon Company. Perhaps the following incident at the company caused James to seek other employment:
|Defiance County Express, February 28, 1879|
Beginning about 1894, James Hatfield's health, both mental and physical, began to decline.
September 6, 1894: "James Hatfield had a stroke of paralysis. This is his third attack and quite serious." (Defiance Evening News)
September 20, 1894: James Hatfield, who has been dangerously ill, is able to be on the streets again." (Defiance Republican Express)
December 20, 1894:
"TAKEN TO TOLEDO
James Hatfield of East Defiance Placed in the Asylum Today.
James Hatfield, of East Defiance, was adjudged insane by Judge Hay some days ago. Mr. Hatfield suffered a severe spell of sickness early in the fall, from which he has never fully recovered. For some time, his friends have noticed that his mind was unsettled and were fearful that he might do some deed of violence. It is hoped and believed that after he receives treatment at the asylum, he will finally recover his health.
Mr. Hatfield is aged about 50 years, and is an honored member of Bishop post, G. A. R. Monday, officer Dave Ross went to Mr. Hatfield's home and told him that they wanted to take him to some medical institute where he would receive treatment. He agreed, and Tuesday morning Sheriff Rath took him to Toledo."
(Defiance Republican Express - December 30, 1894)
January 10, 1895: "Mrs. Hatfield has been appointed guardian of her husband, James Hatfield." (Defiance Democrat, January 10, 1895)
No evidence was found to indicate that James ever made it home again. The Defiance Democrat reported on November 25, 1897:
"DIED AT ASYLUM. Judge Hockman has received notice from the Toledo Asylum that James Hatfield, a Defiance County inmate, died there November 17."
The burial place of James Hatfield remains unknown. It was noted that Mrs. Hatfield received relief from the township during her latter years, from $3 - $5 a month.
What is a drayer? A drayer is one who pulls a cart, known as a dray. This cart is low, sturdy, without sides, and is used to carry heavy loads. Originally, the the cart had no wheels, and was rather like a sledge or sled. This sled would have to be "dragged" or "drayed" along the ground, either by horse or by the drayer himself. The drayer could have carried any load, and can be viewed as the equivalent of the modern day supply delivery man. A popular occupation for a "Drayer" was to bring beer and spirits to the local bars/pubs.
(This is part of a series on Civil War veterans of Defiance County who were part of the G.A.R., Bishop Post, that headquartered in the city. Formed in 1879, the post was named after a local man, Captain William Bishop, Company D, 100th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Army who died as a result of wounds received in battle. The veterans' photos are part of a composite photo of members that has survived. If you have other information or corrections to add to the soldiers' stories, please add to the comments!)