Robert Frederick Hoke

Major General

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Reference: Alabama Department of Archives & History. Custodian of the original pictures. Confederate Officers photo album.

Robert Frederick Hoke was born at Lincolnton, North Carolina, May 27, 1837, and was educated in the local schools and at Kentucky Military Institute. The outbreak of war in 1861 found him managing his family's various manufacturing enterprises, which included a cotton mill and an ironworks. He entered the Confederate Army as a 2nd lieutenant of the 1st North Carolina Volunteers, with which he took part in the battle of Big Bethel. He was subsequently promoted major and lieutenant colonel of the 33rd North Carolina and colonel of the 21st. Hoke made a distinguished record on all the battlefields of the Army of Northern Virginia from the Seven Days to the campaign of Chancellorsville. He was severely wounded during Early's defense of Marye's Heights during the latter campaign. Meantime, he had been appointed brigadier general to rank from January 17, 1863. After his recovery he was stationed in North Carolina. For his brilliant exploit in capturing Plymouth and its garrison of three thousand Federals, he was promoted major general from April 20, 1864. He aided Beauregard in bottling up Butler at Drewry's Bluff and in the repulse of Grant at Cold Harbor; and his division was again ordered to North Carolina in December 1864. After participating in the defense of Fort Fisher, he served gallantly under Joseph E. Johnston at Bentonville and until the final surrender. His farewell message to his command bade them teach their children that "the proudest day in all your proud careers was that on which you enlisted as Southern soldiers." After the war General Hoke returned to private pursuits and lived nearly a half century. He died at Raleigh, July 3, 1912, and is buried there.

Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.