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Rush Hawkins

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Rush Hawkins

Rush Hawkins
Colonel Rush Hawkins
Born (1831-09-14)September 14, 1831
Pomfret, Vermont
Died October 25, 1920(1920-10-25) (aged 89)
New York City, New York
Place of burial Brown University Providence, Rhode Island
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1846 – 1847; 1861 – 1863
Rank Brevet Brigadier General
Commands held 9th New York Infantry
Battles/wars Battle of Antietam
Battle of Fredericksburg
Other work politics

Rush Christopher Hawkins (September 14, 1831 – October 25, 1920) was a lawyer, Union general in the American Civil War, politician, book collector, and art patron.

Early life

Hawkins was born in Pomfret, Vermont to Lorenzo Dow Hawkins and Maria Louisa (Hutchinson) Hawkins. At age 15, Hawkins enlisted in the 2nd United States dragoons for service in the Mexican-American War. After the war, he settled in New York City where he studied law.

Hawkins married Annmary Brown in 1860; she died in January 1903 of pneumonia.[1]

Civil War

In 1861, Hawkins helped raise the combined operation against Pamlico Sound in North Carolina.[3]

The idea became the objective Ambrose Burnside's North Carolina Expedition. Hawkins was again conspicuous at the battles of Roanoke Island and New Bern in 1862. Upon the arrival of significant reinforcements to North Carolina in April 1862, he assumed command of a brigade. Hawkins' brigade was attached to Jesse L. Reno's division and fought at the battle of South Mills where he was wounded in the left arm.

After recovering Hawkins returned to Virginia with his regiment and briefly commanded the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division in the newly formed VII Corps in southeast Virginia. Hawkins led his brigade (now the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, VII Corps) during the siege of Suffolk. Just two days before the siege was lifted, Hawkins turned over command of his brigade and on May 20, 1863 was mustered out of the volunteer service with his old regiment.[4] He did not return to active duty but was appointed brevet brigadier general of U.S. Volunteers on March 13, 1865. He remained active in the New York Militia receiving a brevet promotion to brigadier general of New York Militia in 1865.

Later life

Hawkins was a Republican member of the New York State Assembly (New York Co., 11th D.) in 1872. He became a noted—and certainly obsessive—rare book collector, having started shortly before the Civil War. He amassed a collection of 225 incunabula; his goal was to have the first and second books from every European printer before 1501. Remarkably, he was able to acquire 130 of the 238 known fifteenth century European printers. In 1990, the book collection was moved from the Annmary Brown Memorial at Brown University and transferred to the John Hay Library.

Hawkins and his wife were also avid art collectors and created an excellent collection of 19th century American art. Hawkins was appointed Assistant to the Commissioner General for the United States Commission to the 1889 Universal Exposition in James McNeill Whistler, who removed all of his work in protest and later wrote The Gentle Art of Making Enemies (1890), which in-part details his experiences with Hawkins.

While attempting to cross the street in front of his home at 42 5th Avenue in New York City, Hawkins was struck by an automobile and died from his injuries. He is buried with his wife in a crypt at the Annmary Brown Memorial on the Brown University campus in Providence, Rhode Island.

See also


  1. ^ "Obituary 1 1903". The New York Times. 31 January 1903. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Eicher p.xiii
  3. ^ Symonds p.12
  4. ^ Eicher p.288

External links

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