Battle of Roanoke Island Online Exhibit
Colonel Rush Hawkins
Caption: Col. Rush Hawkins, commanding 9th New York Regiment, or "Hawkins' Zouaves."
Source: Illustration and text (below) from Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, March 22, 1862, page 300
Colonel Rush C. Hawkins.
This gallant and popular soldier was born in 1827, at Woodstock, Vermont and is the grandson of Dexter Hawkins, a native of Providence, Rhode Island, who, entering the Revolutionary army when he was only 16, fought with it till our forefathers had achieved their independence, and particularly distinguished himself In the battle of Bennington. Col. Hawkins is also a grandnephew of Gov. Hopkins, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. At eight years of age he was left an orphan by the death of his father. He was educated the military school of Capt. Partridge, of Norwich, Vermont. In his 16th year he went to Boston, to seek his fortune, and there met with Lieut. Lynch, who, by a strange coincidence, was in command of the rebel flotilla at Roanoke Island, where Col. Hawkins and his splendid regiment so greatly distinguished themselves. Having expended his last dollar in the payment of his fare to the City of Notions, he offered his services to Lieut. Lynch, who was just starting on his well-known expedition to the Dead Sea. The Lieutenant engaged young Hawkins as Volunteer Cadet, and in that capacity he entered the sloop-of-war Portsmouth. After visiting the chief towns in the Mediterranean, Hawkins returned just in time to take part in the Mexican war for upon the arrival of the Portsmouth at Pensacola that vessel was ordered to Vera Cruz. He there entered the Corps of Sappers and Miners, organized at Wes Point, and followed Gen. Scott to the very Halls of the Montezumas. Before, however, he reached this point he was often under fire, and always conducted himself with the greatest coolness and daring. He was present at the celebrated charge up the Causeway, which ended in the surrender of the City of Mexico.