Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Saluting Thomas R Hawkins: USCT

Thomas was born in Cincinnati Ohio around 1840. He must have really wanted to go into service. In August of 1863 he went in the place of a fella by the name of Henry Passmore. All 5'4 inches of him at Camp William Penn in Pennsylvania.

This may have been one of the announcements that Thomas may have seen to spur him into action.

He took out a declaration that he had not been discharged or had been given a court martial from service.

Here the Pennsylvania board signed off on his substitution for Henry Passmore


Thomas R Hawkins fought a gallant fight at Petersburg Va but his biggest battle was at New Market Heights. On Sept 24-29th 1864 the United States 6th Colored Infantry and Sgt Major Hawkins were under heavy attack with both musket and artillery fire. Sgt Major Hawkins was wounded severely but he managed to come away with the banner of the 6th infantry also known as the Regimental Colors.

The 6th suffered and lost more than half of their troops. Sgt Major Hawkins had wounds to his hip,legs and feet and was given a medical discharge from service on May 20, 1865.

In the battle of New Market Heights there was also other companies that fought along side the 6th. Among those were the 4th and 5th United States Colored Infantry to name few. Soldiers from these brigades were among the eleven that were awarded the Medal Of Honor on April 6, 1865.

Sgt Major Hawkins was not one of these men. He had to petition the government with the help of Major General Joseph B Kiddo to become a recipient.

Finally on February 8th 1870 He was given his award.

Twenty days later Thomas R Hawkins died, leaving a wife and son.

* Much thanks is given to AfriGeneas Friend Selma and her connections in guiding me on this path in saluting this hero.