Rush Hawkins
[[Image:250px|center|200px|border]]Colonel Rush Hawkins
Personal Information
Born: September 14, 1831(1831-09-14)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: October 25, 1920 (aged 89)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: United States Army
Union Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Brevet Brigader General
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Commands: 9th New York Infantry
Battles: Battle of Antietam
Battle of Fredericksburg
Relations: {{{relations}}}
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

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[edit | edit source]

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 1906 of pneumonia.

Civil War[edit | edit source]

In 1861, Hawkins helped raise the 9th New York Infantry, a Zouave-styled regiment, popularly known as "Hawkins Zouaves" for service in the Civil War. Hawkins was appointed colonel of the regiment on May 4, 1861 and served with distinction in North Carolina early in the war. He was part of Benjamin F. Butler's expedition to capture Fort Hatteras in 1861 and, Ambrose Burnside's expedition at the battles of Roanoke Island and New Bern in 1862. Upon the arrival of significant reinforcements to North Carolina in April 1862, Hawkins assumed command of a brigade in John G. Parke's 3rd Division. Hawkins' 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 he returned to Virginia with his regiment and briefly commanded the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division in the newly formed IX Corps. Hawkins was not present with the brigade during the Maryland Campaign but resumed command during the battle of Fredericksburg. After Fredericksburg, the 3rd Division, commanded by George W. Getty, was transferred to the 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 on May 20, 1863 was mustered out of the volunteer service with his old regiment[1]. 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. On 0ctober 8, 1861 - years prior to his own promotion - Hawkins had stated "brigadier generals are made of such queer stuff nowadays, that I should not esteem it any great honor to be made one."[2]

Later life[edit | edit source]

In 1872, Hawkins served briefly in the New York legislature. He also 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 Paris, France. Hawkins was "Commissaire Expert des Beaux Arts" and was responsible for selecting and organizing American art works for the exhibition. Hawkins feuded with 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 Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Eicher p.288
  2. Eicher p.xiii

External links[edit | edit source]

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