(1845 - 1918)
Home State: Mississippi
Branch of Service: Infantry
A 16 year old student in Carollton, MS, he enlisted as Private in Company K, 11th Mississippi Infantry at Vaiden on 19 March 1862. He went to war with a slave, Elbert, as body servant but Elbert died of typhoid bronchitis near Ashland, VA on 18 April 1862.
On the Campaign
He was wounded in action at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862.
The rest of the War
He was captured at Gettysburg, PA on 3 July 1863 and held at Fort Delaware for the rest of the war, being released on 15 June 1865 on taking the oath of allegiance.
After the War
With a stake from his father and father-in-law at his marriage in 1869, he became a partner in 1870 in the Vaiden, Kopperl, & Hawkins general store in Vaiden, MS. He was also President of the Vaiden Bank after 1890. He attended the 50th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg in 1913. He was Senior Warden of St. Clement's Episcopal Church in Vaiden when it was built in 1876 and had served in that post for 46 years at his death in 1918, age 72.
References & notes
His service from his Compiled Confederate Service Records and the Confederate Veteran magazine via the Historical Data Systems database, as Rhesa Reed Hawkins. Details from Emily Barksdale Humphrey's An Informal History of St. Clement's Episcopal Church (1976) [PDF] and family genealogists. His gravesite is on Findagrave.
Probably named for his maternal grandfather Rhesa Read, he was son of Major Frank Hawkins (1815-1896), thought to be the richest man in the state at the start of the war and cousin to later Confederate General (the Reverend) Leonidas Polk. Rhesa married Elizabeth "Lizzy" Vaiden Herring (1849-1920) in Carroll County, MS in July 1869 and they had 3 children; the first, son Louis, born in 1870.
Some of his wartime letters are among the Barksdale Family Papers, 1861-1965 at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
More on the Web
See more about Vaiden, Kopperl, & Hawkins on a Vaiden history site from Ron Collins.
05/15/1845; Granville County, NC
03/17/1918 Vaiden, MS; burial in Vaiden Cemetery, Vaiden, MS