Monday, March 10, 2014

A Wisconsin Military Man

Wm Hawley with his staff
Union Colonel William Hawley was made the commander of the 3rd Wisconsin Infantry March 10th 1863.

William Hawley was born August 19th 1824 in Porter, New York.  Hawley served during the Mexican American War with the rank of Sergeant.  He moved to Madison, Wisconsin in 1854, where he went into the furniture business.

When the Civil War started Hawley received a commission in the Union Army.  He helped to raise the 3rd Wisconsin Infantry.  It was made up mostly of Scandinavians and mustered into Union service in June 1861 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin with Hawley as the Captain of Company K.  He was promoted to Colonel and take command of the 3rd on March 10th 1863.   He would be with the men at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Sherman’s March to the Sea, and finally the Grand Review in Washington, DC in May 1865.  He mustered out of service on July 18th 1865.

After the war Hawley tried a business in Flint, Michigan before rejoining the United States Army, serving as a Second Lieutenant in the 11th United States Infantry, being stationed in Virginia.  He was promoted to First Lieutenant on December 6th 1866.  He would serve in Louisiana, Texas and the Dakota Territory.

Traveling back east in December 1872 he was caught in a blizzard got frostbitten and came close to dying from exposure.  Hawley died in Buffalo, New York January 15th 1873 after a short illness.  He is buried in the Glenwood Cemetery in Flint, Michigan.

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