Joseph Roswell Hawley

Joseph Roswell Hawley was born October 31, 1826, in the then-existing village of Stewartsville, North Carolina, located in what is now Scotland County. His mother was from North Carolina, his father from Connecticut; when the boy was eleven the family returned to Connecticut and young Hawley was educated in the North, graduating from Hamilton College in 1847. During the 1850's he became a lawyer, was a delegate to the 1852 Free-Soil convention, was one of the organizers of the Connecticut Republican party, stumped the state for John C. Fremont in 1856, and became editor of the Hartford Evening Press the following year. At the inception of the Civil War, Hawley aided in recruiting the first company of the 1st Connecticut Volunteers, was commissioned its captain on April 22, 1861, and commanded it at First Manassas. He became lieutenant colonel of the 7th Connecticut in September, colonel in June, 1862, and on September 13, 1864, was made brigadier general of volunteers. With his regiment he took part in the Port Royal expedition, the investment of Fort Pulaski, the battles of James Island and Pocotaligo, the Florida expedition, and commanded the city of Fernandina, Florida, in January, 1863. He directed a brigade on Morris Island during the siege of Charleston and at the disastrous battle of Olustee (Ocean Pond), Florida, in February, 1864. He then went to Virginia as commander of a brigade in Alfred H. Terry's division, served throughout the operations against Petersburg, and, when Terry took command of the Fort Fisher expedition, succeeded to command of the division. At the end of the war he was in district command in the state of his birth. With the brevet of major general he was mustered out in 1866 and the same year was elected governor of Connecticut. In the next forty years General Hawley had a varied political career, including a celebrated controversy with his former commanding officer in the Army of the James, General Benjamin F. Butler. Hawley won and lost a number of congressional contests; he was elected three times to a seat in the lower house and defeated twice. He was elected U. S. Senator in 1881 and served by reelection until his death in Washington on March 18, 1905. He was buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartford, Connecticut.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.