Saturday, May 31, 2014

He Changed His Position

Confederate Colonel Robert Hopkins Hatton was killed May 31st 1862 at the Battle of Fair Oaks [also called the Battle of Seven Pines].

Robert Hopkins Hatton was born November 2nd 1826 in Steubenville, Ohio.  While still a child his family moved to Tennessee.  He would receive a degree from the Cumberland University, pass the bar and begin a law practice in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1850.  He became a member of the Whig Party and won a seat in the Tennessee State Legislature in 1855 and to the United States Congress in 1858.  While in Congress Hatton was the chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Navy.

Hatton wished to see the Union preserved and opposed secession, but after President Abraham Lincoln made his call for troops Hatton changed his position.  He raised the Lebanon Blues, which became a part of the 7th Tennessee Infantry, and was elected the Colonel of the Regiment.  In 1862 Hatton and the 7th were part of the troops protecting Richmond, Virginia from Union Major General George B McClellan during the Peninsula Campaign.

On May 31st 1862 while leading troops at the Battle of Fair Oaks, Hatton was shot in the head and killed.  His body was sent back to Tennessee, but as Middle Tennessee was held by the Union his body was temporarily placed in Knoxville.  He would be reentered in 1866 in the Cedar Grove Cemetery in Lebanon, Tennessee.

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