Hugh R. Garden was born on July 9, 1840 in Sumter, S.C., the son of Alester Gibbes Garden and Elizabeth Richardson. His siblings were Alester Garden (1838-1863), and Frances Emma Garden (1842-1883) who later married Charles Manning Furman (1840-1934). Frances and Charles M. Furman were later the parents of Alester Garden Furman (1867-1962) who had a long relationship with Furman University.
Hugh R. Garden graduated from the South Carolina College in 1860. The following year he enlisted at Sumter, S.C. on April 8, 1861 for state duty as a private in company D, 2nd regiment South Carolina infantry, commanded by Col. J.B. Kershaw, and served at the taking of Fort Sumter. Garden was mustered into Confederate service May 23, 1861 and served at the first battle of Manassas in 1861. He was promoted to 2nd Corporal between June 30, 1861 – February 7, 1862.
In 1862, Garden raised and equipped a battery of field artillery known as the Palmetto Battery, the guns being cast under his supervision from church bells at Columbia. He served in General Lee’s Army at the second Battle of Manassas and till the close of the war, having participated in the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Cold Harbor, the Crater, Fort Harrison, and Appomattox.
Garden graduated in 1866 from the Law School at the University of Virginia and went into practice with his great-uncle, William F. DeSaussure, at Columbia, S.C. in 1867. In that same year he decided to move back to Virginia and there married Lucy Gordon Robertson in 1868. He moved to New York in 1883 and had a successful practice in corporate law.
Hugh R. Garden died on October 25, 1910 at Southport, N.C.