Confederate War veteran ‘Manse’ Jolly rides again in circuit court lawsuit

WALHALLA, SC — The next battle for a more than 140-year-old tintype thought to be of Anderson County’s own scourge of all things Yankee will take place April 20.

Anderson County Circuit CourtJudge J.C. “Buddy” Nicholson is expected to rule on a motion asking that a lawsuit against Jack L. Hunt of Westminster be dismissed because the plaintiffs seeking to gain possession of a purported tintype of Civil War renegade Manse Jolly from Hunt lack the standing to bring legal action.

According to Hunt’s attorney, Julian Stoudemire, the tintype belongs to Gladys Sims of Westminster, who Hunt has said asked him to hold the tintype for safekeeping, and not to the relatives of Sims, who claim Hunt has taken advantage of Sims to gain possession of the artifact.

Stoudemire also asked for sanctions for filing of a frivolous action and filed a counterclaim alleging the plaintiffs have defamed Hunt’s character. He seeks unspecified actual and punitive damages.

Manson “Manse” Sherill Jolly was a former Confederate soldier who is reputed to have killed perhaps several dozen Union soldiers following his return to Anderson County after the Civil War. He later fled to Texas, where he drowned crossing a flooded river.

If the tintype is of Jolly it would, according to experts, be only the third such image of him known to exist.

Gladys Sims, 87, has said her mother-in-law gave the tintype to her years ago for safekeeping. The tintype was an heirloom within the Sims family, which claims descent from the Jolly family.

Sims, in turn, has said she gave the tintype to Hunt. Hunt has denied having any personal interest in the tintype and has refused to turn it over to anyone except Sims, should she ask him to give it back to her.

On Feb. 10, three of Sims’ daughters and a granddaughter filed a lawsuit in Oconee County circuit court seeking its return.

In court papers, Sims’ granddaughter, Elizabeth Vardi, claims the tintype actually belonged to and now is part of the estate of her uncle, Sims’ late son, Jake Barnette Sims, who died in October 2007.

A co-defendant in the case, John Frierson of Lexington, has denied any conspiracy with Hunt over the tintype, as the plaintiffs have alleged. All he wanted, Frierson said, was a copy of it, which he obtained with Hunt’s help.

Hunt claims when he asked Sims for the tintype to make Frierson a copy is when she asked him to hold it for safekeeping.