A Civil War Biography

John Parker Hawkins

Hawkins was born 29 September 1830 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He graduated 40th from the West Point class of 1852 and was assigned to the 2nd US Infantry as a brevet 2nd lieutenant. It would be two years before he became a 2nd lieutenant. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant and assigned as the regimental quartermaster for the 2nd US on 1 October 1858. He remained in this assignment until the war began.

After the war began Hawkins joined the commissary department as a captain and was assigned to commissary duty in Missouri. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 3 August 1861 then colonel on 1 November 1862. In 1863 he was named commissary chief of the Army of the Tennessee, but became ill and was on sick leave for three months. When he returned to duty on 13 April 1863 he was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers. He was transferred to Louisiana and given command of District of Northeastern Louisiana along with a brigade of US Colored Troops. In February 1864, now in command of the 1st divsion US Colored Troops, he, along with his division, joined the Union garrison at Vicksburg, Mississippi. In March 1865 his division took part in the siege and capture of Mobile, Alabama. He was brevetted brigadier general and major general in the regular army on 13 March 1865. He was brevetted major general of volunteers on 30 June 1865. He mustered out of the volunteer service on 1 February 1866.

After the war Hawkins remained in the regular army joining the subsistence department with the rank of captain. He served in that department for the next 28 years, retiring in 1894 as commissary general of subsistence. He retired to Indianapolis where he died 7 February 1914.

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