Strangers to Us All
Lawyers and Poetry

William Stewart Hawkins


The following biographical information on William Steward Hawkins was garnered from Noah Huffman's Filson News Magazine article (vol. 5, no. 4):

Hawkins was born in Madison County, Alabama in 1837. He studied poet and literature at both the University of Nashville and Bethany College of Virginia, where he received his undergraduate degree in 1858. Hawkins went on to study law with Tennessee Governor Neill S. Brown and was an advocate of secession. When the war began in 1861, he volunteered for a Tennessee cavalry unit. He saw battle at Shiloh, and in January, 1864 was taken prisoner by Union forces.

Noah Huffman writes about poems that Hawkins write while he was recuperating in a Union hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.

Hawkins was paroled in December, 1964 and was appointed to serve as Confederate Agent at the Union prison. Hawkins died the next year at age twenty-eight.

At least two of Hawkins poems were published after the war, set to music, and were "popular with the soldiers of Camp Chase" [the Union prison camp]. Huffman further notes that: "In addition to these known poems, The Filson's Tucker collection contains three original and unpublished poems by Hawkins . . . ." [Noah Huffman's article]

Colonel William Stewart Hawkins

Camp Chase and "The Bonnie Blue Flag"

Research Resources

11th (Gordon's) Tennessee Cavalry Battalion