Colonel Joseph Roswell Hawley commanded the second brigade of Seymour's army, including the Seventh Connecticut, Seventh New Hampshire, and the Eighth United States Colored Troops. An unusual collection of veteran and inexperienced units, Hawley's brigade would play an important role in the battle.
Their commander was a thirty-seven year old native of North Carolina, who at the age of eleven moved to his father's native state of Connecticut. After graduating from Hamilton College in 1847, Hawley served as a delegate to the 1852 Free Soil Convention, and was an early leader in the state Republican party. Hawley also served as editor of the Hartford Evening Press, a staunchly Republican and abolitionist newspaper.
As a captain in the First Connecticut Infantry, Hawley fought at First Bull Run, after which he was appointed lieutenant colonel of a new, three-year regiment, the Seventh Connecticut. Rising to the colonelcy of the Seventh, Hawley participated in the unit's battles along the Atlantic seaboard, eventually rising to brigade command.
Hawley's Brigade, particularly the Seventh New Hampshire, did not perform well at Olustee, and Hawley himself was accused of giving an incorrect order that threw part of his troops into confusion. Nonetheless, he remained in brigade command during the Petersburg and Fort Fisher campaigns, and eventually led a division. Hawley was mustered out of service in 1866 as a brevet major-general. His prominent post-war career included election to the Connecticut governorship (1866) and terms in both the United States House of Representatives and Senate (1881-1905).
Colonel Hawley's Official Report of the Battle
External Web sites related to the Battle of Olustee
Wikipedia page on Joseph Roswell Hawley
Union Order of Battle
Battle of Olustee home page