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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Hilliard, Louis

by Claiborne T. Smith, Jr., 1988

24 Dec. 1837–20 Aug. 1894

Louis Hilliard, Confederate officer, legislator, and judge, was the son of William Henry and Sallie Dortch Hilliard of "The Meadows" in Nash County. His grandfather, Robert Carter Hilliard (1771–1828), was the brother of Isaac Hilliard; he attended The University of North Carolina in 1799 and represented Nash County in the House of Commons in 1813–15 and in the Senate in 1817.

Hilliard was graduated from The University of North Carolina with a B.A. degree in 1858. His senior graduating thesis, "William Walker—the Great Fillibuster," is in the North Carolina Collection of the university library in Chapel Hill. During the Civil War he was a captain in the Confederate Army, serving as assistant commissary of subsistence with the Second Regiment from July 1861 until July 1863; he was then transferred to the Quartermaster Department. After the war Hilliard practiced law and was a member of the General Assembly from Pitt County in 1866. He was elected a Superior Court judge in 1874, but his appointment was questioned and the matter went to the state Supreme Court where his election and commission were declared void. From 1875 to 1877 he served as a trustee of The University of North Carolina. About 1880 he moved to Norfolk, Va., where he entered the cotton commission business.

Hilliard married first Claudia Gorham, by whom he had four children: Churchill, Emma, David, and Lillie. His second wife was Nellie Cherry, daughter of William and Mary Gorham Cherry. They had six children but only two, Landon and Elinor, married and left descendants. Elinor married Richard Blackburn Tucker, son of the Right Reverend Beverly Tucker, Bishop of Southern Virginia.


Alumni Records (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

Kemp P. Battle, History of the University of North Carolina, 2 vols. (1907, 1912).

John L. Cheney, Jr., ed., North Carolina Government, 1585–1979 (1981).

Louis H. Manarin, ed., North Carolina Troops, 1861–1865, vol. 3 (1971).

Additional Resources:

"An Act to Pay Louis Hilliard and Thomas J. Wilson for Services as Judges of the Superior Courts." Laws and resolutions of the State of North Carolina, passed by the General Assembly at its session [1881]. Raleigh [N.C.]: Ashe & Gatling, State Printers and Binders. 1881. 419. (accessed April 24, 2014).

Nash, Howard P., Edward H. Virgin, and William Collin Levere. The sixth general catalogue of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Evanston, Ill.: 1904. 268. (accessed April 24, 2014).

Moore, John W. (John Wheeler). History of North Carolina: from the earliest discoveries to the present time vol. 2. Raleigh [N.C.]: Alfred Williams & Co. 1880. 409. (accessed April 24, 2014).

"Religion A Political Test." The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star 34, no. 29 (July 16, 1872). 451. (accessed April 24, 2014).

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