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Hawley, Joseph Roswell (1826-1905)
First Connecticut Infantry, Rifle Company A / Captain
Seventh Connecticut Infantry / Bvt. Major General
ca.300 Items

Papers, correspondence, letters, memorabilia, record books, letter books, clippings, drafts of speeches, biographical materials, etc. Hawley, following service in the First Connecticut Infantry, enlisted 30 August 1861 and was mustered-in as Lt. Colonel on 17 September 1861. He was promoted to Colonel on 20 June 1862, to Brigadier General on 13 September 1864, and was brevetted Major General on 28 September 1865. He was discharged on 15 January 1866. This is a very large, rich collection of materials. Also see following entry.

Location: MS

*Collection Examination*
[Compiled, edited and transcribed by K. Nolin, M.L.I.S.]

[Please note: most post-Civil War materials were not examined]

Record Book #1: “Record of Rifle Co. A. 1st Regiment,” includes information on the election of officers, debits and credits of members, the outfitting of the company, and on recruits.

Record Book #2: “Records” of Rifle Company A, 1st Connecticut Infantry, 1861 April 17-June 23, includes newspapers clippings (one of which pertains to the presentation to Hawley of an engraved, silver-mounted Colt’s pistol), muster rolls, reports, orders, and serial numbers of rifles issued to the company.

Record Book #3: Hawley’s letter book, 1865 March 6-June 21, contains letters sent from Headquarters, District of Wilmington, NC. Includes partial list of permits “to carry goods outside the lines,” April-May 1865. The letters and orders for March 1865 often deal with the difficulties of maintaining order and discipline among the soldiers and civilians as the war draws to a close. Also writes of the difficulty with soldiers, refugees and stragglers engaging in unauthorized seizures and foraging: “It is rapidly getting late for the planting season and our want of seeds, implements, mules & carts makes it very difficult to locate them [freedmen] upon abandoned lands near here.” [Letter of 20 March 1865].

          Letter of 23 March 1865 to Major General Gillmore: “When Maj. Gen. Sherman’s army reached Fayetteville it had a column of eight or ten thousand refugees clinging to its skirts. Gen. Sherman could carry them no longer and they all were sent down here.”

          Letter of 26 March 1865 to Lt. Colonel Campbell: “We are constantly discovering & gathering in abandoned property.”

Papers (1 Box):

One envelope containing early Civil War papers pertaining to Rifle Company A, 1st Connecticut Infantry, including requisitions, muster rolls, returns, and a list of those issued haversacks.

Memorabilia: GAR and other invitations from veterans’ organizations and for 7th Connecticut Infantry veterans’ reunions; reunion ribbon, 1881, Society of the Army of the Potomac; printed copy of Hawley’s address delivered at the 1879 reunion of the Society of the Army of the Potomac and correspondence relating to this address.

Box also contains a will made by Hawley on 25 April 1861; 1861 Confederate electoral ticket which Hawley picked up on Tybee Island, GA, in December 1861 from the deserted camp of a Georgia regiment; correspondence relating to Battle Flag Day, 17 September 1879 and the presentation of a commemorative medal to Hawley from his staff; correspondence related to Indian affairs and legislation; letter, 1880, from Oliver M. Mason (of Woodstock, Company K, 7th Connecticut Infantry) seeking a pension.

Letters:  15 July 1863 from Brigadier General Alfred Howe Terry (1827-1890), James Island, regarding the 7th Connecticut Infantry’s actions at Fort Wagner, SC; two other letters from General Terry, 28 March 1865 from Faison’s Depot and 8 May 1880 from St. Paul, Minnesota; 13 September 1864 letter from Edwin Stanton to Gideon Welles enclosing Hawley’s Brigadier General’s commission. Much of the correspondence post-dates the Civil War. Among his correspondents are Mark Twain, D. R. Locke (Petroleum V. Nasby), G. Weitzel, Gideon Welles, R. B. Hayes, J. Garfield, David D. Porter, A. H. Terry, P. T. Barnum, Edward E. Hale; Andrew Carnegie, P. H. Sheridan, Benjamin Harrison, Jessie Benton Fremont, J. M. Schofield, Horace Porter, Theodore Roosevelt, and Fitz John Porter regarding his 1882 legal case; two letters from Hawley, Gloucester Pt., Chesterfield County, VA, to Oliver Henry Perry, in Southport, CT, 1864 April 29 and June 1: the 29 April letter states that Hawley harbors no resentment over being passed by for promotion and he expects hard fighting very soon, and the 1 June letter reveals that Perry is working hard for Hawley’s promotion to Brigadier General.

One envelope contains three letters from Senator Hawley to L. M. and S. A. Hubbard, 1887 and 1888.

Some biographical materials are included in the collection; several letters to Harriet Hawley; drafts of speeches; Hartford Times, tercentenary edition, 8 October 1935; articles on roads, industry, insurance, newspapers, farming, etc.; two published letters of Hawley’s which appeared in newspapers: one, 1873 January 22 from Washington, DC, and one dated 29 December 1861, from Tybee Island, which was probably printed in Hawley’s Hartford Times:

          “Poor Dolph! [Charles C. Dolph, Branford, CT. Enlisted 3 September 1861 and was mustered-in a private soldier, Company D, 7th Connecticut Infantry, on 5 September 1861] Do you know the Dolphs that live near you? Well, their son, who belongs to Co. D, got news that his wife, and two children and sister had all died of diptheria [sic]. How he cried. Poor fellow! We comforted him all we could. I spoke pleasantly to him when we met and hoped he was getting along well. I believe he heard the other day that his mother was sick, too. Somebody came to the supper table last night and called for the doctor to see a crazy man and soon after a man said that Dolph wanted to see me. I went to his tent. There were half a dozen of his comrades there. One dim candle, stuck in a bottle, showed me the rifles stacked around the centre pole, the cartridge boxes, bayonets and knapsacks. The ground was covered with the splendid long moss they had pulled from the live oaks. Dolph sat squat upon the ground, his face and hands very dirty, his fingers constantly picking something, his body moving, his eyes dreadfully swelled with weeping. “Hallo, Dolph, how are you?” And he peered up to my face. “Colonel Hawley.” said somebody. “Yes,” said he, “that is Col. Hawley,” and he took my hand with a tight grip. [“] Col. Hawley, look at my baby, my poor, sick baby.” He had a little pile of moss, and on it lay his cartridge box, carefully covered all but one edge, with his blanket. That was his baby! And he turned the blanket down as tenderly as if the cartridge box were a delicate little baby.

He spoke brokenly and at intervals, and with a quick but mournful voice - “Poor baby - both babies sick - sister sick - (and he pointed to where he supposed they lay,) - poor baby - very sick. Give baby some water,” And he leaned on one elbow and effectionately [sic] held a leaf to the cartridge box, as if baby would drink. He seemed to consider himself in his own home and the family sick but living, but then he would say: “Won’t let me go home - no - no - no - (waiting a few seconds) - no - no - won’ let me go home;” his hands constantly fidgeting over something. Then he considered them all dead and he by their graves. “Sister,” and he laid his hand down on one side; “baby,” hands down again to mark each grave; “baby - wife - mother. Oh, yes, mother is dead - won’t let me go home.” I kept his hand ten minutes and sat down by him, and put my hand on his shoulder, and tried to compel him to listen. I told him his babies were happy and his mother was not dead, (is she?) and if he would be a good boy and sleep, and get well, he should go home. “Mother’s here and she says she didn’t get that money. You didn’t send it to her.” “Oh, yes, I did, Dolph; here’s the receipt of the express company. She’s got it now. You told me to send it to your wife right there at Col. F-’s, you know. She has got it before this time.” “Well - poor baby” - and he put “trees’ over their graves, etc., etc. I had to work some time to get him to take some medicine - an opiate - but it had little effect. “I’ve built six forts,” said he, “and mounted six cannon. I’m going to take down that fort tomorrow - that one over there - Pulaski, I mean.” Four men were going to watch with him - (the tears came into all our eyes, sometimes, I think.) and I told them to move out the rifles and bayonets. He caught them at it, and shouted, “Let my rifle alone! Give me my rifle.” And I let him take it, seeing it was not loaded, and he went furiously to work cleaning it. Finally he passed it to me to “inspect,” and I slipped it away.

          I think it is the most affecting case of insanity I ever saw. I couldn’t make him believe that we should send him home, but we shall. I don’t know whether to have you tell his folks or not. The men take as good care of him as they can. He has slept but an hour out of the last twenty-four, and is as ceaselessly active as a canary bird hopping about in his cage. He sent for me again to-day, but he could not confine his attention to anything. “Poor baby,” is his principal remark, and he still tends his cartridge box. “A soldier’s life is always gay,” the song says. A sad story, isn’t it? Call again on Dolph’s mother. Tell her he will be well treated. We hope his insanity is caused partly by fever, and if we can get him quietly sick with that, perhaps he will come out all right. If not, I’ll see that he goes straight to the Insane Retreat, at Hartford, and with him money enough to keep him awhile.

          It was his comrades and friends who contributed the thirty-five dollars he sent to his mother to pay the funeral expenses of his whole family.”

[Dolph obviously recovered from his fever if not his grief. He was wounded on 22 October 1862 at Pocotaligo, SC, reenlisted on 22 December 1862, and was again wounded at Drewry’s Bluff, VA, on 14 May 1864. He was transferred to Company I, 19th Veterans Reserve Corps, on 30 June 1865 and finally received a disability discharge on 15 July 1865.]