Hamilton S. Hawkins

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Hamilton Smith Hawkins
Hamilton S Hawkins.jpg
Hamilton S. Hawkins
Born (1834-11-13)November 13, 1834
South Carolina
Died March 27, 1910(1910-03-27) (aged 75)
Glen Springs, New York
Buried West Point Cemetery
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1861–1898
Rank Major General
Battles/wars American Civil War
Spanish–American War

Hamilton Smith Hawkins (1834–1910) was a United States Army Major General during the Spanish–American War.

Hawkins attended the United States Military Academy between 1852 and 1855, but did not graduate with the class of 1856 due to deficient academics. Despite being a South Carolinian, Hawkins served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He fought at several battles, including the Battle of Gettysburg. He remained in the army after the Civil War and participated in campaigns against the Plains Indians. He became the only commandant of West Point to have attended the academy and failed to graduate. He served in this position between 1888 and 1892. Hawkins was Commandant of the United States Army Command and General Staff College, then known as the United States Infantry and Cavalry School, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas between October 1894 and April 1898.

On May 4, 1898, Hawkins was appointed brigadier general in the volunteer army and was in command of the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, VII Corps stationed in Tampa, Florida when the Spanish–American War began. He was transferred to command the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, V Corps and sailed to Cuba. His brigade landed at Daiquirí, was lightly engaged in the fighting at the Battle of Las Guasimas and spearheaded the assault at the Battle of San Juan Hill. While the main U.S. attack was pinned down under Spanish artillery on San Juan Hill, Hawkins permitted Lieutenant Jules Garesche Ord to begin an attack on the hill and then rushed to the front of the main body of his brigade yelling "Come on! Come on!" and led his troops up the hill where he was severely wounded in the foot near the crest. On October 4, 1898, Hawkins was appointed major general of volunteers and returned to the United States.

Hawkins died on March 27, 1910 in General Springs, New York.

The Battery Hawkins built in 1914 to protect Pearl Harbor was named for him.[1]


  1. ^ Jeffrey J. Gudmens (2005). Staff Ride Handbook for the Attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941: A Study of defending America. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: Combat Studies Institute. p. 80. ISBN 978-1-4289-1644-9. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Edwin F. Townsend
Commandant of the Command and General Staff College
October 1894 – April 1898 (closed during Spanish–American War)
Succeeded by
Charles W. Miner