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Full text of "Memorial addresses on the life and character of Robert M. A. Hawk (a Representative from Illinois) delivered in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, Forty-seventh Congress"

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Robert MA.Hawk 

February o» 1883 



Robert M. A. Hawk 







G () V K K N M E N 1' P K I N T I N G < ) I"' K ICE. 


JOINT RESOLUTION to provide for the publication of the memorial addresses delivered 
iipoTi the life and character of Honorable R. M. A. Hawk, of Illinois. 

Resolved by the Sivate and House of liepresentatiTes of the United Slates of 
America in Congnss assembled, Tliat there he printed twelve thonsaud copi«'s 
of the iiietnorial addresses delivered in the Senate and Honse of Kepresenta- 
tives npon the life ai.d character of Honorable Kobert M. A. Hawk, late a 
Representative from the State of Illinois, tofjether with a portrait of the 
deceased, nine thonsaud copies tliereof for the use of the Honse of Repre- 
sentatives, and three thousand copies for the use of the Senate. And a sum 
sufficient to defraj' the expense of preparinjf and printing the portrait of the 
deceased for the publication herein provided for is hereby appropriated out 
of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated. 

A])proved. Feljrnary 24, 1883. 

H ^v;i/. 




Death of Robert M. A. Hawk. 


In the House of Representatives, 

June 30, 1882. 

Mr. Henderson. Mr. Speaker, the sad duty is devolved upon 
me of announcing to the House the death of my late colleague, 
Hon. Robert M. A. Hawk, a Representative in Congress from 
the fifth Congressional district of the State of Illinois. He died 
at his rooms in this city last night at the hour of ten o'clock and 
fifty minutes., p. m., after a very brief illness. 

I will only say at this time that all of us who remember Major 
Hawk, as in his crippled condition he came into and went out of 
this Hall, will feel saddened at the announcement of his sudden 
death, and that at some future day the House will be asked to pay 
a proper tribute to his memory. 

I offer the resolutions which I send to the Clerk's desk,-and ask 
for their adoption. 

The Clerk read as follows : 

Resolved, That the House has heard with sincere regret the announcement 
of the death of Hon. Robert M. A. Hawk, late a Representative from the 
State of Hlinois. 

Resolved by the House of Representatives {the Senate concurring herein), That 
a special joint coniniittee, of seven members of the House and three members 
of the Senate, be appointed to take order for superintending tlie funeral and 
to escort the remains of the deceased to their last resting place; and that the 
necessary expenses attending the execution of this order shall be paid out of 
the contingent fund of the House. 



Resolved, That the Clerk of tlie House communicate the foregoing resolu- 
tions to the Senate. 

Resolved, That, as a mark of respect to the memory of the deceased, this 
House do now adjourn. 

The resolutious were unanimously adopted. 

Before the announcement of the result, 

The Speaker said: The Chair has been furnished with tlie 
names of the following members to accompany the remains : 

(xeorge R. Davis, of Illinois ; Lewis E. Payson, of Illinois ; 
Samuel W. Moulton, of Illinois ; William H. Calkins, of In- 
diana; George C. Cabell, of Virginia; James A. McKenzie, of 
Kentucky, and William Cullen, of Illinois. 

The Chair will also state that the following members of the 
House will act as pall-bearers: 

Thomas J. Henderson, of Illinois; James W. Singleton, of Illi- 
nois; Charles G. Williams, of Wisconsin; William D. Kellcy, of 
Pennsylvania; William M. Springer, of Illinois ; Dudley C. Has- 
kell, of Kansas; George D. Robinson, of Massachusetts; Samuel 
S. Cox, of New York; J. Proctor Knott, of Kentucky, and John 
II. Lewis, of Illinois. 

And then, in pursuance of the last resolution (at eleven o'clock 
and seventeen minutes a. m.), the House adjourned. 

In the House of Representatives, 

Febi-uary 6, 1883. 

Mr. HiTT. The House by its special order set apart this hour 
for the consideration of resolutions expressive of its esteem for the 
late Hon. Robert M. A. Hawk, and in order that his associates 
might have opportunity to pay*fitting tributes to his character and 
memory. I therefore offer the resolutions which I send to the desk. 

The Clerk read as follows : 

Resolved, That the House has heard with i^rofound regret the annoujice- 
ment of the death of Hon. Robert M. A. Hawk, late a member of this House 
from the State of Illinois. 


Resolved, That, as a mark of respect for his memory, the ofificers and members 
of this House will wear the usual badge of mouruiug for thirty days. 

Renolred, That a copy of these resolutious be communicated by the Clerk of 
the House to the family of the deceased. 

Resolved, That, as .i furtlier mark of respect, the House at the conclusiou of 
these memorial procecdiug.s shall adjouru. 

Resolved, That the Clerk couimuuicate these resolutions to the Seuate.- 

Address of Mr. Hitt of Illinois. 

Mr. Speaker: Duringthe present Congress death has many times 
arrested the intense and clamorons activity of this body by the 
annonnceraent of the fall of one member after another. When that 
messenger passes by it is always solemnizing, but never so striking 
and so sad as when a man in the prime of life, in the fullness of 
his powers and promise, is suddenly cut down. We pause to-day 
by the grave of one who fell suddenly, his harness on, in the midst 
of labor aud strength and hope, to honor his memory with fitting 
ceremony, to record on the Journals of the House and express by 
friendly voices the large measure of esteem in which he was held. 

At such a moment we naturally turn back to the story and lesson 
of his life. I will not dwell upon his career as a legislator in this 
body. You saw it ; you know it well. At the mention of his 
name every one here recalls the tall, manly form of Major Hawk, 
sitting erect and attentive in his place or moving haltingly and 
heavily on his canes and the one leg that battle had left him, his 
frank, earnest face, his clear, kindly eye, his courteous bearing, his 
full beard just turning to gray, his sincere, decided tone of voice. 

His life was terminated so abruptly that it seems a story iialf 
told; but it is a career of real interest, showing at each step the 
growth of a strong, well-rounded, admirable character. 

Robert Moffett Alijson Hawk was born April 2.'), 1839, on 
a farm near Greenfield, in Hancock County, Indiana, where his par- 
ents had recently come from Abingdon, Virginia. His mother was 
of Scotch-Irish blood, that vig(nxms element which has furnished so 
much of strength and directing energy to the American people. 
She was the daughter of Captain Moifett, an ludian fighter, and 


her p-randfather was killed at the battle of tiie Great Kanawha. 
Major Hawk inherited the soldierly instinct. The father was an 
intelligent, energetic, industrious, highly respected man. 

The little family had lived there near seven years, and three 
children had been born to them, M'hen the mother died. Mr. Hawk 
soon after removed with his children to Illinois, and settled in Car- 
roll County, where he married his second wife, and where they are 
now living. Their long lives hav^e been peaceful and happy; many 
children have blessed their home. Of old Mr. Hawk's fourteen 
sons and daughters nine are living to minister with affection to the 
advancing years of the patriarch. 

The infancy and growing years of Robert Hawk were passed in 
the healthful surroundings of farm life in a new country. That 
little county of Carroll, in Northwestern Illinois, now all covered 
with farms, was in those early days a region of wild, swelling prairies 
of singular beauty, breaking away westward toward the Mississippi 
River, its border, into great ridges, and crossed here and there by 
lines of grove bordering the streams. All who visited that coun- 
try in its first unpeopled fresimess were charmed with tiie landsc^ape 
and the rich promise of its coming years, promise already in large 
part fulfilled. The settlers were of an excellent class, sterling men 
and women, intelligent, brave, large-hearted, laborious, and honor- 
ing labor — so far-sGeing that they built schools and churches be- 
fore they changed their log cabins into better houses. He had 
the training of such schools, the precepts and example of good 
parents, the wholesome influence of home, and the simple life of a 
new country. By them his character wa.s fashioned. 

At sixteen he taught for a time in one of the common schools. 
Habits of study and industry were early formed. He worked on 
the farm, seizing every opportunity for study, preparing for col- 
lege — the fruitful dream of so many a farmer boy. At last, after 
long effort and delay and diligent application, he was ready ; and 
in September, 1861, he entered Eureka College, in Woodford 
County, Illinois. 

But 1861 was not a favorable year for scholastic meditations or 
pursuits. It was the opening, the arming hour of the war. The 
drum-beat of that memorable epoch disturbed the studies and fired 


the souls of how many thousands of students ! Remember, too, 
young Hawk was now twenty-two years of age, a full-grown man, 
taller than those around him, of powerful frame, full of eonsoious 
strength. His upright mind, trained to principle, felt all the obliga- 
tion of patriotic duty, and his heart responded in full sympathy 
to the lofty passion of the hour. He tried hard to keep to his 
studies, but after a few months more, when the reverses to the 
Union armies in 1862 brought President Lincoln's call for 300,000 
more volunteers, he threw his books aside and left college forever. 
He reverently consulted his parents, and shall I mention another 
one still, and a dearer one, the star of his young heart, who bade 
him go, while she would wait till her hero came marching home. 
There was a touch of old-time chivalry in tliis martial lover's de- 

Throughout that summer of 1862 the whole of Northern Illinois 
was an animated, enthusiastic recruiting field. Every neighbor- 
hood was stirred with the profound excitement that pervaded the 
people. The young men from the farms, leaving the harvests un- 
gathered ; from the workshops, from the professions, from everv 
class, formed themselves into companies. There were examples of 
devotion to the highest motives of man in almost every household. 
The companies poured into Rockford from a dozen counties and 
were there organized into regiments. In the company from Mount 
Carroll Robert Hawk went to Rockford in July, and they were 
soon organized, with others, into the Ninety-second Illinois Volun- 
teers. They elected their company officers, and young Hawk was 
chosen first lieutenant. 

No body of men superior to them in the finest qualities that 
make an intelligent soldiery went into the great volunteer armv of 
citizens, and an election by their choice was high evidence of per- 
sonal worth. 

In September the regiment departed for the field, going to 
Kentucky, where they formed part of Gejieral Baird's division. 
Throughout the remainder of that year they were almost inces- 
santly marching in various operations in Kentucky. It is said 
that they marched nearlv eio-ht hundred miles in that time. 


Lieutenant Hawk was soon noted for his fine soldierly bearing, 
his attention to duty, the intelligence with which he learned the 
art of war and adapted himself to camp life. At Winchester and 
at Danville he showed the coolness and courage of the soldier at 
the right moment. 

In January he was promoted to be captain. Soon after the regi- 
ni«!nt went by steamer to Fort Donelson, which was in a critical 
position and hard pressed, the attacking force being led by the hon- 
orable gentleman from Alabama [Mr. Wheeler], whose active, 
able spirit was as manifest then as here in these happier, peaceful 
days of debate. The spring was taken up with operations near 
Franklin, where they formed part of Gordon Granger's corps. In 
June they were engaged about Trianna and in the defense of that 
pla'Oe, then at Shelby ville and AVartrace, where, by order of (ien- 
eral Rosecrans, and to their great satisfaction, they were attached to 
Wilder's brigade of mounted infantry. Thus transformed, a new 
and far more active life began, and during all the rest of the war 
they were almost incessantly in movement. Over the mountains 
they went into the Tennessee Valley, back to the river, on toward 
Ringgold, wiiere Captain Hawk, with two companies, re])ulsed a 
body of the enemy, superior in force, who had attacked a teamsters' 
camp. In the operations before and beyond Chattanooga tluy 
were ever in advance or doing other duty belonging to this ai-m of 
the service. 

At Chickamauga Captain Hawk, with his company, was on 
courier duty and served at the headquarters of general Rosecrans 
throughout that terrible battle, carrying messages to various pai'ts 
of the field. " When the right of the army was crushed tlie gen- 
eral, followed by Major Hawk and his reserve of Company C, 
dashed along the broken lines, amid shot and shell, endeavoring to 
rally the retreating mass, but it was like attempting to stay the 
ocean's tide by throwing pebbles in its way." These arc; the words 
in which the scene was described by an officer of the regiment who 
was an eye-witness. 

He continued on courier duty under General Thomas until De- 
cember, when he rejoined the regiment at Caperton's Ferry. Ju 


the f5pring they were placed in Kilpatrick's oavalrv and were there- 
after under that restless and gallant commander. 

In the engagement at Tunnel Hill Captain Hawk wa.s remarked 
for coolness and efficiency. They were in fre([uent combats through- 
out the Atlanta campaign ; they took part in tlie march after Hood ; 
and then came Sherman's manili to the sea, one of the UK^-^t fas(!i- 
nating chapters in military history. The cavalry, protecting the 
front, flanks, and rear of the advancing army of four great in- 
fantry columns through a hostile country, was ever in motion. 
Captain Hawk showed peculiar skill in some of these operations. 
They were in many minor engagements, at Powder River, at 
Waynesborough, and other places in the Carolines ; but I pass on 
to the last I shall mention, April 10, 1865, in Xorth Carolina, 
when they were just touching upon the end of the war. They 
were pressing the enemy when they came to Swift Creek, not far 
from Raleigh, about 10 o'clock in the forenoon. The bridge had 
been partially destroyed, and the enemy held the opposite side. 
Three companies crossed the stream wading. The bridge wa.s re- 
paired. The remainder of the regiment crossed. Just then an 
officer rode up from the rear, bringing the news of Lee's surrender. 
The lines resounded with exulting shouts of joy. But the en- 
emy, holding an earthwork on the hills opposite, had lost nothing 
of their oft-tried courage, and charged tlie adv^ance companies, who 
were driven back ; but the main body of the regiment checkeil 
them and made a counter-charge, driving the enemy up the hill 
and out of their first line of works. Between their first and second 
line of rifle-pits the Xinety-second halted to reform, and Captain 
Hawk, as he rode before the line rallying the men to stand firm, 
fell just as the bugle sounded the advance, pierced by a terrible 
wound from a minie-ball, Avhich cut the iliac artery and j^assed 
out near tiie center of the abdomen. The mist gathered over his 
eyes as he heard the victorious shouts of his men, who swe])t bv 
where he lay, sinking, apparently dying. 

Surgeon Helm, who was close at hand, was by his side in a few 

moments. In a recent statement he tluis describes his condition : 

The blood was spontiu^ from him iu lar^e quantities, so mtieh so that I 
thought he would certainly bleed to death. Very soou he faiuted ; aud it is 


here that the surgical peculiarities of the case come in. He remained in that 
faint two or three minutes, so long, indeed, that I supposed he was dying; 
but had it not been for that faint it would have been impossible to have saved 
him; he would not have survived three minutes. While in that condition 
the action of his heart was so nearly stopped that the blood almost ceased to 
circulate and gave time for a clot of blood to form around the wound in the 
torn iliac artery, thus preventing further hemorrhage. I do not suppose there 
is another case of that kind anywhere ; and this made the matter one of in- 
terest to the entire medical fraternity. 

The wounded officer was tenderly carried to a neighboring; liouse 
and afterward to hospital. Tiie circulation was cut off from the 
riuht leg, which began to mortify and was amputated. Slowly and 
throuo-h long anguish he recovered, until at last his venerable 
father, who had come to his side, took him home. His family 
greeted his pale and wasted fiice with tears of joy and pity ; and 
she who for anxious years had faithfully kept the vigil of love for 
her returning hero now welcomed him back. In July following 
thev were married. For seventeen years, to the end of his life, 
that accomplished and cultivated lady presided with grace and dig- 
nity over tlie hospitalities of their beautiful home at Mount Car- 
roll, encouraging and aiding him in his incessant labors; and many 
honorable members, his colleague.s, who have met her in this city 
will share in the sympathy due to her grief as she sits to-day with 
her fatherless children in their sorrow-stricken house. 

The grateful people of his county elected him that .same year to 
the post of county elerk. As he became more widely known he 
was more and more esteemod, and again and again, and yet again 
thev re-elected him. He was an efficient and accominodating pub- 
lic officer, laborious and punctual. I have been told that such was 
his svstem and industry that wiiile performing all the duties of this 
position he found opportunity for a course of legal study. He re- 
signed in 1877 to accept a seat in the Forty-sixth Congress, to 
which he had been chosen by the people of the fifth Congressional 
district. He was again elected ro the Forty-seventh Congress, and 
last year, just as the convention was about to assemble to renomi- 
nate him for another term, they received the telegram of his sud- 
den death, June 29, and adjourned for his ftineral. He died in 


Mr. Speaker, the gentlemen of tliis House who accompanied his 
remains from here to their last resting place at his home will not 
forget the vast throng who came by thousands to manifest their 
sorrow for their beloved neighbor and friend and representative. 

He was a man of many friends. He made every one his friend 
by unconsciously showing in every word and act how worthv he 
was of friendship, how pure his mind, how gentle his heart. 

A quiet man, without sensational brilliancy, his upright Christian 
character, vigorous sense, genuine honesty of soul, and strong, placid 
nature inspired confidence. He was trusted most by those who 
knew him best. No men ever had a better opportunitv to know an- 
other than the soldiers of his regiment had to know him. In the 
fiery furnace of war, in the daily life of the camp, marching and 
fighting, man beside man, for months and years, the whole nature is 
brought out, every side it, shown, and if the man is not genuine it 
will be discovered. They can not make a mistake in estimatino- 
him. Their love and respect for Major Hawk were unbounded. 
Last summer at their annual reunion the joy of that festal dav 
was mingled with general sorrow, expressed in a hundred touching 
ways, for their comrade so recently gone, and words of regret and of 
praise were on .every lip. 

He was truly representative — the type of what our country pro- 
duces in numberless instances — a home-bred American bov risino- 
with years into increasing strength as new responsibilities and new 
honors came to him, a self-reliant man who set no traps to catch suc- 
cess, but went straight on in his plain duty. His faculties were equal 
to his opportunities; and his whole life, from the time he left school 
until his death, w^as passed in the public service — military or civil — 
everywhere with fidelity and zeal. 

He never lost his simple manners, and he was guided by the clear 
common sense of the plain citizen. His convict'ons were earnest ; 
his reasoning direct. His conversation waa pleasant, flowing on in 
a vein of good sense and good humor, warmed with a genial spirit, 
and was always fitting. In any company he was self-possessed, at 
ease, and dignified, and his dignity Mas not lessened by an amiability 
which was natural to liim. His courteous regard for others was not 


a mere habit to conciliate or attract supporters, but arose from sterl- 
ing- goodness of heart. Of a (cheerful disposition and a spirit averse 
to hates, his frank face was always pleasant to look upon. The peo- 
ple of his district held him in affection. When he came into a vil- 
lage his appearance brought a group of friends about the lame sol- 
dier, and you could trace him through the town at a glance by the 
circle that surrounded him. 

As a member of this House be made no pretensions to leader- 
ship, but he was always at his post, and not only regular in attend- 
ance, but careful in attention to the business of legislation. Dur- 
ing the first session of this Congress I often saw him, and I ad- 
mired the direct, ])rompt manner in which he dispatched business 
here and at the Departments. As a speaker his remarks on the 
floor were not so frequent as to make them common, but were prac- 
tical and thoughtful, and were listened to with much respect. In 
committees, those great laboratories where so large a part of legis- 
lation is done, where errors and crudities are searched out and 
pruned away, and each provision of a proposed law adjusted to the 
others and to existing law, he was a conscientious, judicious worker, 
examining every phase of a subject with patient care. In his own 
attairs he was an excellent business man, and he brought the meth- 
ods of business to public interests. 

He understood all the feelings of the laboring cla.>^s. His own life 
was one of labor. He knew the value of a day's work. He min- 
gled with the working world, and sympathized with poverty and 
hope struggling for better things. He knew what it wa.s to pass a 
lono- dav under the summer sun in farm work ; what it was to write 
twelve hours a day in an office. Yet he was more than a laborer; 
he appreciated those qualities in strong, sagacious minds by which 
thev can combine and direct others, and lead great enterprises to 
success. He studied the wants of all impartially in framing legis- 
lation, but his heart inclined instinctively to the great nudtitude 
who can not come to Washingt(»n and plead their cause before com- 
mittees — the people at large, upon whom the law must operate. 

In promoting the interests of his constituents he was watchful 
and loval to them first. He represented a district where there is 


much intlopendent political thought and intelligent criticism, and 
he satisfied the demands of" locality without sacrificing his convic- 
tions on national interest and the fairly balanced claims of" every 
section. In the daily work of caring for the numberless inquiries, 
wants, and applications of his people, his work was arduous and 
faithful. I remember to have read a letter from him in which he 
remarked at the close, " This is the fifty-sixth letter I have written 
to-day." Between applicants upon whose claims he had to pass he 
tried earnestly to be' fair, studied each case anxiously, lest by some 
mistake in judgment or imperfect information he might do injustice 
to some worthy man. Every member here knows how often this 
duty falls upon a Representative and how delicate and difficult a task 
it sometimes is. 

He satisfied his constituents — no easy task, for that Galena dis- 
trict had been accustomed to being represented by men of national 
reputation, Baker, Washburne, Burchard, ivith ^vhom he would be 
compared. But the people appreciated his solid qualities, his 
worth, his faithful services. They trusted and honored him again 
and again, and when he was cut off so untimely they mourned his 
death as a personal sorrow. 

In the cemetery hard by that picturesque town of Mount Carroll, 
on a hillside of lawn, and scattered trees, and flower-beds that 
brighten graves, he was buried, and there on the sp(jt where the 
maimed soldier, his last march finished, has laid down in the bivouac 
of the dead, friendly and loving care has erected a monument, high, 
massive, pure, like the stainless man who sleeps beneath, to com- 
memorate his name. Even more durable than the century-defying 
stone is the work of a true life, and this plain, earnest man whom 
we honor to-day did that work well as a citizen whose influence 
was always on the side of right, as a soldier who gave all and 
suffered much, as a public officer ever faithful, as a legislator wise 
and careful, as a Christian devout in his heart and exemplary in 
his walk before God and man until he was taken to a life beyond 


Address of Mr. Sher\a^in, of Illinois. 

Mr. Speaker: Death's pale flag has been planted in our midst 
many times during the last yea^. Out from this busy arena it has 
led us once, twice, thrice, yes, many times, and shown us glimpses 
of the endless hereiifter and beyond. Its somber folds float over us 
at this hour. It emphasizes the perishableness of human life. It 
suggests the littleness and futility of ambition. We are ready to 
exclaim as we sit in its shadow, " How frail we are ! " 

liast Wednesday this House honored itself in honoring the 
memory of Mr. Orth. Saturday last it pronounced its eulogies 
upon Mr. Lowe, and to-day we suspend the business of the nation 
to do honor to the names and characters of two more of our associ- 
ates — Updegrafp and Hawk. They were both known to us by 
their constant attendance upon the sessions of the House, by their 
careful attention to its business, by their zeal and conscientious dis- 
charge of all their public duties. 

Mr. Hawk was a man whom to know was to respect and love. 
His friends were attracted to him so strongly that they never fell 
away, and to-day I think of him as my friend, warm, generous, and 
true. I cannot think of him as a member of this House alone — 
his position is lost in the contcm})lation of his social qualities. 

I never saw Mr. Hawk until we met here at the first session of 
the Forty-sixth Congress. He represented that district so long 
ably represented here by Mr. E. B. Washburne, and afterward by 
the distinguished gentleman, the present Director of the Mint. The 
home of General Grant and others distinguished in military and 
civil life were in his district and in the county adjoining the one in 
which he resided. That district comprises one of the most intelli- 
gent and prosperous communities in Illinois or the whole land. It 
is filled with churches, schools, and public libraries. It contains 
many prosperous towns and its agricultural resources are without 

It was in such a country, among such a people, near the banks 
of the Father of Waters, that Mr. Hawk grew up to manhood and 


resided until his death. He was born in the State of Indiana, of 
parents who were originally from Virginia, but removed to Illinois 
when Mr. Hawk was but a mere lad. He was brought up upon 
his father's farm in Carroll County, and received his education in 
the common schools of the neighborhood and at Eureka College, 
where he took a partial course. His education was not completed 
when the war broke out. In common with the tens of thousands 
of stalwart young men of the country, he left all to follow the flag. 
His was not the wild impulse of blind, unthinking enthusiasm, but 
the cool, earnest deliberation of a young patriot who had mastered 
the history of his country, who l^elieved that the hopes of the world 
were bound up with our Constitution and our laws, and that it was 
a duty which every man owed to such a country to be ready to die 
for it when the time should come. He laid aside his books, he 
surrendered his plans of life, and stepped into the ranks as a pri- 
vate soldier, saying, " Ask of mo what thou wilt and I will dare." 

He rose to the rank of captain in his regiment, the Ninety-sixth 
Illinois, and was frequently in command of a battalion and in- 
trusted with the execution of movements which required great vigor 
and sagacity as well as bravery, and in every place he acquitted him- 
self with honor and with entire satisfaction to his superior officers. 
For these services he was l)revetted a major in his regiment. He 
had gone through all the war without receiving any bodily injury 
until almost the very last day that any fighting was done, when he 
received a wound in his leg which caused its amputation. He 
sealed his country's triumph with his blood. Henceforth he was to 
go through life maimed. He accepted his fortune with manliness 
and after a long time of suffering in the hos])ital returned to his 
home. He was at once placed by the citizens of his county in the 
office of county clerk, a position which he continued to hold until 
he was elected to the Forty-sixth Congress. He was renominated 
by his party to the Forty-seventh Congress without opposition, and 
had he lived one day longer would have been renominated for the 
Forty-eighth Congress, as the convention had been called to meet 
the day after his death and the primaries had instructed for him. 

In his service here he was always governed by the highest and 


purest motives. He gave all his time aud all his strength to the 
performance of his duties. He studied the questions before the 
House with conscientious care, and having formed his judgments 
followed them implicity. He never posed for effect. He was sin- 
cere in all his acts and thoughts — a hater of cant and pretense. In 
all matters affecting the pensioners of the Government he took a 
great interest. His sympathies for those disabled in the service of 
the country were active and constant, and yet restrained by moder- 
ation. He was indefatigable in the performance of all his Depart- 
ment duties. No labor was too great which seemed to be demanded 
by his constituents. The most trivial matters of this character were 
attended to with the same care bestowed upon the more important. 
Mr. Haavk did not escape detraction. Although he was a man 
of the highest motives and most honorable in all his intercourse 
with men, he was assaulted by slander and defamation of the most 
violent kind , but he overcame his assailants and his triumph was 
assured. No one can fully know, Mr. Speaker, how much he suf- 
fered from these assaults. He was extremely sensitive, and such 
charges caused him more pain than the gunshots of an enemy ; but 
his sufferings were buried in his own bosom and were only known 
as they were accidentally revealed, Politic^d life was not pleasant 
to him. He intended to retire fnnn it at the close of his third 
term and devote himself to the education of his family and the en- 
joyment of his home. All the pride of his life was centered in that 
home. All his hopes of worldly happiness clustered around it. 
His was a Christian's life. For many yesirs he had belonged to 
the church called Christian, and in every walk of life had followed 
its teachings consistently. He was one of the building committee of 
the Vermont Avenue Christian Church in this city. His private 
life was illuminated by Christian truth, and was as pure as a child's. 
He was devoid of all envy and selfishness, all unworthy ambition. 
I can say of him as Charles Lamb said of another : 

From all self-seeking, envy, low design, 
I have not found a whiter soul than thine. 

We buried him at sunset in the cemetery of the village where he 

was known so well. His neighbors, for many miles in all direc- 


tions, came with sad and sorrowing faces to pay their trilnite of tears 
to his memory. The aged grandfathers who had known him from 
his boyhood were there. The comrades who had marched and 
fought with him were there. The associates of his later life were 
there, and even the children of the village joined their lamentations 
with those of his nearest friends. There we left him, our brother 
and our friend, with the peace of God in all his looks. 

Let the lifeless body rest ; 
He is gone who was its guest — 
Goue, as travelers haste to leave 
An inn, nor tarry until eve. 
Traveler, in what realms afar, 
In what planet, in star. 
In what vast aerial space, 
Shines the light upon thy face ? 
In what gardens of delight 
Rest thy weary feet to-night ? 

Address of Mr. Rosecrans, of California. 

Mr. Speaker: It is the office of personal friendship to speak of 
him in his private life; of political associates to tell of him as 
he appeared among them, faithful to his convictions, generous, tol- 
erant of their opinions, firm in the maintenance of his own. 

The few words I have to speak in memory of our deceased col- 
league will be as a comrade of the Union Army and as the com- 
mander under whom he served in the Army of the Cumberland. 

An old English poet says : 

The glories of our birth and state 

Are shadows, not suVjstautial things. 
There is no armor agaiust fate ; 
Death lays his icy hand on kings; 
Scepter and crown 
Must tumble down 
And in the dnst be equal made 
With the poor crooked scythe and spade. 



/ The garlands wither on your brow ; 

Then boast no more your mighty deeds; 
Upon death's purple altar now 

See where the victor victim blced.s! 
All heads must come 
To the cold tomb ; 
Only the actions of the just 
Smell sweet and blossom in the dust. 

But what this poet says of the leveler Death is measurably true 
of all great and transcendent human interests, in comparison with 
which those of the individual dwarf into insignificance. Such a 
transcendent fact was the war for the maintenance of the unity of 
this nation, in the presence of which the soldier and the officer, the 
private and the general became comi*ades in the common cause. 

The muses of poetry and of history, imparting their lessons by 
instance, example, impress all our minds with the idea that heroism 
is a natural endowment and inheres in the person of the hero. But 
whoever will reflect on his own experience of what impresses him 
and comj)are it with what lie knows of others and of heroes in his- 
tory will find that trueherosim lies in domination over ordinary hu- 
man motives on account of something believed to be greater and bet- 

The degree of the heroism depends on the extent to which the ac- 
tion overpasses and dominates ordinary motives, interest, and pas- 
sions, and the greatness of the object for which these sacrifit^es are 

Maidvind finds something heroic in the endurance of labor and 
of suffering, even for future personal advantage and renown, but 
a still hio;her degree of it when that endurance and labor are for 
the o-ood of others or for the love of truth in science or in art. 

Greater still do we regard the heroism of him who perils life to 
save the lives of others. 

When the storm howls over the face of the ocean ; when the 
fierce waves, like devouring demons, assault the passenger-laden 
ship off some inhospitable coast; when they breach the walls which 
protect the lives of all on board, wlK»se heart does not l)eat with 
admiration to see the frail life-saving boat and crew start through 


the storm and waves into the jaws of death to save imperiled pas- 
sengers and crew ? 

But if such heroic acts command unreserved admiration, what 
measure of it shall be given to those men who, unskilled and un- 
trained to arms, went to save our ship of state from wreck, and all 
the hopes it bore — the hopes of fifty millions of people, the hopes 
of their posterity for unborn generations, and of the liberty-seek- 
ing millions of all the world for all coming time — staked on the 
success of this great and peculiar experiment to demonstrate the 
practicability of self-government in the world. 

In the presence of a work so great all minor heroisms dwindle 
into insignificance, and all actors in it, whether of lofty or of hum- 
ble rank, become comrades in the grand army engaged in a com- 
mon cause of such immeasurable grandeur. 

lu this sense our deceased colleague and I were comrades. 
Young, tall, handsome, of a noble, generous nature, he early re- 
sponded to his country's call for defenders, and while with me had 
become a captain in the Ninety-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, 
in the Army of the Cumberland, and rendered arduous, brave, gal- 
lant, and effective service, the details of which are told by others. 
He was on courier duty with his command during the campaign of 
Chattanooga, and at my head(juarters during the bloody but to us 
glorious field of Chickamauga, which stemmed the hostile tide 
and gave us Chattanooga, the objective of our campaign. He did 
his duty nobly at the head of his command ; was with me at the 
point and moment of supreme danger in the Ijattle. More words 
might be said, l)ut could higher eulogy be pronounced (^n him or 
on any of all the brave men who served in such a cause ? God 
bless them, each and all ! Living may they be honored and 
blessed by all who live beneath the flag, and dying be regretted as 
he is regretted over whose death we are now expressing our sor- 
rowful respect. 


Address of Mr. Henderson, of Illinois. 

Mr. Speaker: I regret that I am n<jt better pre})ared to ?-peak 
of tlie life and character of my late friend and colleague, Major 
Robert M. A. Hawk, than I am to-day. I had met Major Hawk 
before he was elected a member of this body, and had a somewhat 
slight but pleasant acquaintance with him ; but I was not then and 
am not now familiar with his early history, and will therefore not 
attempt to speak of his early life further than to say that he was a 
native of Hancock County, in the State of Indiana, and emigrate<l 
with his father's family at an early age t(j Carroll County, in the 
State of Illinois, in which last State he was educated at Kureka 

Major Hawk was a soldier in the late war. When tweuty-three 
years of age he enlisted as a volunteer, and on the 4th day of Sep- 
tember, 1862, was mustered into the service of the United States 
as a first lieutenant in the Ninety-second Regiment of Illinois Vol- 
unteer Infantry, in which capacity he served until the 23d day of 
March, 1863, when he was promoted to the office of captain, and 
served as such until the 21st day of June, 1865, at which time, 
having served nearly three years, he was mustered out of the serv- 
ice. Of the conduct of Major Hawk while in the service as an 
officer and soldier I have no personal knowledge. I know he was 
woundinl in an engagement with the enemy near Raleigh, North 
Carolina, on the 10th day of April, 1865, from which wound he 
lost his right leg, and that he was brevetted a major for soldierly 
conduct on that occasion. 

I know also that every pulsation of his heart beat with i)atriotie 
devotion for his country ; that he loved this great Republic with a 
love as deep and strong as the love of his own life, which he periled 
fiir its preservation and perpetuation; and from his reputation and 
mv knowledge now of his character I have no hesitation in saying 
that he was during his service a brave, faithful, and efficient officer 
and soldier. 


On his return from the Army to civil life Major Hawk was 
elected clerk of the county court of Carroll County, where he had 
lived from boyhood. In that office he served the people so accepta- 
bly and with such fidelity and ability that he was three times suc- 
cessively re-elected, and he held the ofiice until in 1878, when he 
was nominated and elected a member of the Forty-sixth Congress 
from the fifth Congressional district of Illinois. Having been 
re-elected in 1880 as a member of the Forty-seventh Congress, he 
held a seat in this body from the 4th day of March, 1879, until 
his death, which occurred in this city, after a very brief illness, on 
the 29th day of June, 1882. 

As a Representative in Congress Major Hawk won not only 
the sympathy but the respect and confidence of his associates and 
fellow-members. On his entrance here as a member of this body 
he was an inexperienced legislator. But feeling the full force of 
the responsibilities resting upon him, he at once addressed himself 
to his public duties with an earnest desire to discharge them intel- 
ligently and faithfully. And those of us, Mr. Speaker, who served 
with him and who knew him during his service in Congress will 
well remember how punctually he took his seat, and how faithfully 
he observed the proceedings of the House during its sessions. 

As his colleague and friend I was brought in almost daily asso- 
ciation with Major Hawk, and I can bear testimony to the con- 
scientious, able, and faithful manner in which he served his con- 
stituents and the country. He was an honorable, upright, useful 
member of this House, and during all his service here he brought 
no reproach upon his good name, nor did he bring any upon his 
constituents who had honored him with their confidence. 

The death of Major Hawk, Mr. Speaker, was so sudden and 
unexpected as to be a shock to us all. He had but just returned 
from a contest in the new district in which he had been ]Ua( sd by 
the legislature of our State. And having carried every «^unty in 
the district, and being assured of a nomination and election as a 
member of the Forty-eighth Congress, he was in good spifits and 
looking remarkably well. But surely Death hath all seasons for 
his own. And in the flush of a great triumph, and after an illness 


of l>iit a tew liniirs, that noble, manly form, that strong, robust 
man, \va.-; silent in death. And the hearts of all of us who had 
>ieen him from day to day as he came into and went out of this 
Hall were filled with sorrow. 

Mr. Speaker, Major Hawk was a high-minded and honon»ble 
man. He had a noble, manly, generous nature. He was just and 
true in all the relations of life; and in his death we have lost a 
faithful Representative, and the country a good citizen and a ster- 
ling patriot. 

Address of Mr. Carpenter, of Iowa. 

Mr. Speakkh : Major Kohekt M. A. Hawk was one of nature's 
noblemen. He was a large-framed, large-brained, large-hearted 
man. In peace he was a patriotic, public-spirited citizen ; in war 
he was an intrepid, self-denying soldier. He illustrated in his pri- 
vate life and in his public career the best type of American man- 
hood. It was my good fortune to know him well, and I hope 1 
am the better man for having known him. On coming to Wash- 
ington as a new member at the opening of the extra session of the 
Forty-sixth Congress it so happened that I made my home at the 
same house with Major Hawk. I soon made his acquaintance, and 
very soon came to appreciate his worth. At the close of the daily 
scvssious I would fretpiently linger and walk with him to the horse- 
cars on the way to our temporary home. As he had lost a leg at 
the battle of Bentonville, and as the amputation had left but a short 
stump, and of a character that would never admit of his wearing a 
cork leg, he uece.ssarily in walking carried a cane in one hand, and 
in the other a sort of substitute for the missing limb improvised 
for his special use, and which had U) be held constantly to its place. 
This employment of both hands, addetl to the disadvantage of his 
large physical frame, rendered walking to him a slow and difficult 
process. He frefpiently, therefore, in the delicate sensil)ility of his 
nature, more than half remonstrated with me for lingering after 
the day's adjournment to keep him company to our home. 

But as I turned the conversation upon some other subje<-t and 


walked alonj.; with him, on more than one o(^(^asion, 'n\ i\\Q. abandon 
of" familiar conver.sation, he opened to me the windows of hissonl, 
so that I think I ean estimate the unselfishness, the generosity, and 
the purity of the man. We talked of the war, of its incidents, of 
the men of that stirring period, and of the men and measures of to- 
day. I have said that I hoped I was the better man for ray short 
association with him. His example was more than a sermon. 
Notwithstanding he had been sadly maimed in the service of his 
country and knew that all the residue of his days, whether few or 
many, must be clouded with his paniful loss, yet I never heard him 
speak an unkind word of man or men or utter a syllable of regret 
for any service he had made in the line of a patriot's duty. 

No more than a fortnight before his d^ath, while riding at his 
side from the Capitol, the death of Major Farr, of New Hampshire 
(who had lost an arm in the war), was mentioned, when he remarked 
that the men who had the misfortune to lose limbs in the great re- 
bellion were fast passing away. And he went on to say that it had 
been estimated that persons thus wounded did not, on an average, 
live to be more than from 40 to 45 years old ; and then he said, 
with a tinge of sadness in his voice, that the Great Harvester would 
doubtless reach out his sickle for him before many years. It Avas 
not more than two or three weeks after ihis conversation that, u])on 
returningto ray rooms after a day spent at the Capitol, my wife said to 
me, •' Do you know that Major Hawk is sick ? " I replied that I 
did not; and I thought it hardly possible, as I had seen him but 
the evening before, and he had seemed in perfect health. But she 
said, " He was taken sick this morning, and the doctor has called 
to see hira two or three times during the day, and seems to be con- 
cerned about him." I went immediately to his room, and taking 
hira by the hand, said, " Major, I have just learned that you were 
sick." He replied, falteringly, " Carpenter, I ara very sick." 

In a moment he signified by a sign that he wanted to be raised 
np. The doctor and attending friend raised him upright, and pil- 
lows were disposed so that he could recline upon them ; but this 
had scarcely been done before he wanted thera removed, and after 
lying down was for a moment in great agony ; then said : " If I 
was turned upon my side I believe I could go to sleep." At the 


request of the doctor the gentleman who had been with him during 
the day ran for another physician, and I hastened to another part 
of the house for a restorative ; was back in two minutes, but in 
less than five minutes from my return, and before the consulting 
physician had arrived, all was over. 

Thus ended the earthly existence of Major Hawk. He wa.'< in 
the prime of life, if we count life by its years ; but counting it by 
what he had done for his country, his family, and the world, he 
had lived longer than many of us who survive him. The very 
dav after his death a convention assembled in his district to nomi- 
nate a candidate for the Forty-eighth Congress. If I remember 
rightly every delegation had been instructed for Major Hawk ex- 
cept from a single county. So he died at the high-noon of life and 
on the field of triumph. He died mourned by a grateful constit- 
uency, and by comrades who had touched elbows with him where 
heroes stood shoulder to shouldtT. 1 cannot better emphasize his 
military history than by making one or two brief extracts from let- 
ters Avritten by officers of his regiment. First, from his command- 
ing officer. He says: 

R. M. A. Hawk oulisted as a private at TiUiiark, Illinois, in An^iist, 18f>2, 
and was elected a second lieutenant, and ninstered as sndi .Septenilier 4, 1S(;2, 
the company Company C*, Ninety second Illinois Infantry. 

He was promoted to a captaincy at Danville, Kentucky, January 21, 186:5, 
and served with that rank until the close of the war, always on duty, willinjif, 
painstaking, intellijjent ; cool and courageous in the performance of every 
duty, in camp, upoji the marcli, and upon the battle-field; endearing himself 
by his manly, noble, and soldierly qualities to his commanding officers, his 
associates, and the men under his command. As his immediate commanding 
officer, I soon learned to rely upon him with implicit confidence that ripened 
into personal friendship ; and I often gave him commands on special occa- 
sions when I required an officer of his rank at important outi)()sls or for dan- 
gerous scouting duty. He was so modest that he always distrusted his own 
ability, never seeking any special commands, but was so true and faithful 
that I often imposed upon him dangerous duties out of his turn. And he met 
every duty with quiet dignity and admirable courage and judgment ; faithful 
and steadfast as was possible for the bravest soldier. 

From the letter of another officer of his regiment I venture to 
pluck one or two laurel wreaths to decorate his new-made grave. 


After speaking of his personal sorrow upon learning of his death, 

he says : 

I first met Major Hawk at Camp Fuller, Rockl'onl. His fine persKiial ap- 
pearance on dress-parade attracted my attention. In height over six feet, 
straight as an arrow, and clad in his bright uniform of blue, he looked every 
inch the graud soldier he afterward became. 

The writer then relates the fact that they became friends ; and 
for three years, on the march, in the bivouac, and in the terrible 
ordeal of battle, whenever and wherever tested, the manliness of 
his nature and the strength of his character became more and more 

Finally, when the last fiery trial of his military life came to him, 
this officer stood by his side. I will relate it in his own words : 

When he fell so terribly wounded in our last battle, an armistice occurring 
between the two armies, I followed him to Raleigh, North Carolina, and stood 
by him during his terrible suffering. The surgeons when about to amputate 
his limb told him he might not survive the operation, and if he wished to say 
anything he had better do so. He then looked up at me and said : "Major, 1 
wish to whisper to you." I drew close beside his couch, leaned over my heail, 
and 1 e whispered in my ear these words: " If I die, tell my folks at home I 
was proud to give my life for my country ; I was proud to die for the old flag. 
And then should they ask about my spiritual welfare, say to them that death 
had no terrors for me ; that I was prepared to die." He then looked at the 
surgeons and spoke to them as calmly and coolly as when on dress-parade, 
saying : " Gentlemen, proceed; I am ready." 

Such was Major Hawk as a citizen soldier. What he was as a 
Congressman you, Mr. Speaker, well know. He sat so near tlie 
Speaker's chair that when present he could not be unobserved by 
you ; and, sir, you seldom saw his seat vacant. He was as faith- 
ful to the great trust which the people of the fifth district of Illi- 
nois had imposed upon him as he was to his duty when on picket 
in the forests of Georgia, under regulations that affixed the pen- 
alty of death to the crime of sleeping on his post. But I need not 
enlarge. We all know with what discriminating judgment and con- 
scientious fidelity he discharged his duties here. 

He, however, was more than a soldier, he was more than a clerk 
of courts, he was more than a Congressman ; in every element of 
his nature he was a man. He was an honest, sincere, clean-handed, 


Avhite-souled citizen. He was a kind and ol)ligin^ neighbor. He 
was the faithfnl hnsbandof a h)ving wife. He was the generons 
father of adoring children. In tlie conijianionship of his honseliold 
he was the equal, the friend, and the confidant of every member of 
his family, from the wife to the five-year-old boy that ran laughing 
to meet him as he returned from his daily duties. Need I say more? 
If there be life beyond the grave, and character here is an earnest 
of character and condition there, then those who knew Robert M. 
A. Hawk need no assurance that when he stej)pcd from this hall 
into the shadowy reahn the door swung wide upon its hinges for 
his admission to a mansion not made with hands. 

Address of Mr. Curtin, of Pennsylvania. 

Mr. Speakkh : The story of the life of our dead coUcagne has been 
faithfully told, and in the few remarks 1 have to make I shall not 
attempt to repeat it. 

I learned to know Major Hawk early on my first entrance into 
this Hall as a member and knew him well and was honored by his 
friendship. It would be false to his memory if J were to attciu|)t 
to exalt him into a great orator or statesman or philost)pher. Much 
better and mora useful in all the avocations of life, he was an honest, 
pure-minded, upright man of broad common sense and gentle, kind 

I am quite sure it is proper fijr me to refer to one circumstance 
in his official conduct which illustrates his unselfishness and his deli- 
cate estimate of propriety when he had a personal interest in the 
result of his action. When the committee of which I was a mem- 
ber had under consideration the bill introduced into this House, 
and to the honor of its members passed unanimously, to give a pen- 
sion of $40 a month to those who had lost an arm or a leg in the 
military service in the late unhappy civil war Major Hawk refused 
to vote, I tried to persuade him tliat he was quite too sensitive ; 
but, offering as a reason that it would add to his income $200 a 
year, he refused. And that bill was carried through the committee 
and reported to this House in his absence. 


It Avas a pk'asaut exhibition here, whieh we have just had given 
us [referring to the remarks of Mr. Wlieeler] from a gallant soldier 
below the line, who has just paid a tribute so beautiful and truth- 
ful to the memory of our late colleague, supplemented bv the eulogy 
of his commander (General Rosecrans), soldiers who were enemies 
and now in friendship paying the homage of respect soldiers justly 
feel for the martial virtues. The history of his life and his services, 
the exhibition of the purity of his character is creditable to his col- 
leagues and his friends and has been fitly spoken. 

His attachment to his family, and the sorrow of that home circle, 
is a subject quite too sacred for the formal demonstration on this oc- 
casion. There we should not enter. God struck the husband and 
father and God will pour balsam and balm into the Avounds he has 
inflicted on the bereaved family, and nothing that can be said here 
can in the least relieve their deep sorrow. 

It is for mortal man to die, as we have been frequently reminded 
during this Congress. It is for those who live to so discharge their 
duties, personal and relative, that when they die their memory will 
be preserved. When a good man dies there is a void in society, 
an aching void which it seems impossible to fill. But when a man 
dies who has failed to fulfill his duties to man and his country and 
those who surrounded him in life there is but a modicum of retrret 
at his departure, and he is soon forgotten. But whether high or 
low, whether statesman or peasant, whether rich or poor, the man 
is U) be most remembered who patiently works in his allotted sphere 
and faithfully discharges his duty. 

I found Major Hawk to be man of that kind, and this House 
properly honors the memory of a Representative who was honest 
and faithful and true in all the relations of life ; who had strong 
convictions and pursued them ; who had the courage to perform 
his duty and follow the right, and well he knew what was the right. 
Over his grave, from short acquaintance with him, I desire to ex- 
press sorrow at his death and gratification that his memory is to 
be embahiied, as we are told, in the community where he lived and 
by a constituency he faithfully served on this floor. 

I say that we have been called often in this Cony-ress to mourn 
the dead taken from this Chamber, so many during these short two 


years, men of long, useful, public .service, and some who had 
scarcely reached the meridian of life. Who can tell when tlie por- 
tals of this Hall shall again open to the great destroyer who may 
enter and seize another victim ? Who knows who that victim Avill 
be, whether old or young, whom we may be called upon again to 
mourn and pay these formal fitting ceremonies? When that time 
shall come I trust that over the dead body of another member of 
this House it may be said, he died an honest man, the noblest work 
of God, a sentiment never too old to be repeated. 

Mr. Speaker, all humanity is made of one family — the living 
and the dead. Those who go before us shed their benefactions 
ujion us by their good works. If they have worked patiently in 
their allotment, if they have discharged their duties, personal and 
relative, if they liave dealt honestly with their fellow-men, if they 
have sustained and supj)orted the Government of their country as 
did our dead colleague in its dark hours of distress and necessity, 
and have acknowledged their allegiance to Almighty God, they will 
shed their benefactions upon us. 

When we have filled our allotte-d time and the destroyer comes 
to us, may it be said that we have so discharged our duties that 
when we are gone we will leave something that posterity may imi- 
tate. That is all of life; it is all of death ; it is all of humanity. 
Well did Major Hawk fulfill his duties and leave to his family 
the priceless leg-acy of a useful and blameless life. 

T render this brief tribute to his memory ; a generous, kind- 
hearted, upright man. He was maimed in the service of his conn- 
try and dav and night he suffered constant pain, which he bore 
with the fortitude of a soldier and resignation of a Christian. To 
his' memory as a soldier, as a member of this House, and higher 
and holier emotion of the heart, to his memory I yield the hom- 
age of my respect, because he was my friend. 


Address of Mr. Wheeler, of Alabama. 

"The boast of heraldry, tlie pomps of power, 

And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, 
Await alike the iuevitable hour. 
The paths of glory lead but to the grave." 

"People of Illiuois, allow uie to plant the rose and the laurel upon the grave 
of your departed dead." 

Mr. Speaker : When a few liours ago I was honored by the gen- 
tlemen of the Illinois delegation with an invitation to participate 
in these mournful ceremonies I felt embarrassed, for the reason that 
I apprehended that without preparation I would be unequal to the 
task. This reflection inspired me with reluctance to assume so 
prominent an attitude. But when I recalled the shock which I 
felt when I heard of the death of our lamented friend, and the 
circumstances under which I made his acquaintance, which though 
brief was of the most pleasant character, I could not hesitate in 
my reply. 

In December, 1881, when the Forty -seventh Congress assembled 
in this hall, a manly, commanding form could be seen in the row 
of seats directly in front of the Speaker's desk. There was much 
in his appeai'ance to attract attention. Ever at his post of duty, 
he carried with him a sad reminder of the past which he could not 
conceal — the evidence of heroic service, the badge of honor won on 
the field of battle. 

But now we miss him in his wonted place. 
And search in vain for that congenial face. 

Mr. Speaker, there is an overwhelming sadness in the contempla- 
tion of the image of a dead friend, whom we can see in all the viv- 
idness of reality, as he lived and moved in our midst, while we 
know certainly that he has gone away fn^m us forever, tliat we 
shall meet him never again upon this earth. But in the language 
of the sacred writer — 

"Man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets." 


And in these touching lines we are reminded that nowhere is 
there exemption froai the inevitable decree : 

"There is uo flock, however watched and teiulwl, 
But one dead lamb is there ; 
There is no fireside, howsoe'er defended, 
But has one vacant chair." 

Bv tlie providence of God it is so ordered that time gradually 
throws the veil of oblivion over melancholy memories, while it 
opens up in dewy freshness all the joyous recollections of the past. 
So the wounded soldier whose virtues we commemorate to-day, for- 
getting tile gloomy sufferings and agonies of war, cherished only 
the flower-crowned memories of the march, the biv(»uac, and the 

I hold in my hand a history of the regiment in which INIajor 
Hawk was one of tht; iiighest officers, and certainly one of its 
leading spirits. My hurried perusal of tiiis volume shows that 
our late compeer was one of the brave men who led the front in 
that almost continuous battle from the Ohio through Kentucky, 
I'rom the Cumberland through Tennessee, and from the Tennessee 
tlirough Georgia to the Atlantic Ocean. 

Witii the gallant Rosecrans he breasted the storm of death at 
Murfreesborough and under the same intrepid eonnuander led the 
van in the historic conflict at ( "hickamauga. 

His trooi)s were part of the surging line which cliargi'd with 
such desperation on that bright sunny morning at Kencsaw. 

He was in the terrible onslaught at .Vtlanta, and in the leading 
colunm in the march preceding the battle at Jonesborough. In 
that engagement he fought with unusual bravery, and intlie march 
to the sea, lighting at every step, he earned the conunendation of 
(icueral Sherman, his distinguished eonnuander. 

At Macon, Buckhcad Church, AVaynesborough, Aiken, Averys- 
borough, and on hundreds of other fields, towered the portly form 
of him who was so lately with us in this hall ; and with the sound 
of victory upon his ears he fell wounded in one of the last battles 
of hisgallantchieftain, the present honored conunander of our Army. 

Much that I read in this work 1 heard from Major Hawk's 


own lips, who, on our first meeting, spoke of me as one who had 
often been very near him during the conflicts to wiiich I have re- 
ferred — on opposite sides, of course, but still near each othei* on 
American iields of battle — and this very fact seemed to awaken our 
mutual sympathies and tendetl gently but surely to draw us together 
into cordial relations. 

Let no man doubt the real cause of this almost instantaneous 
cordiality. It is this : We had in fact never been enemies. The 
word enemy is not the word to use in reference to our diffei^ences 
of position. We had simply been arrayed in opposing attitudes. 
Between the individual people of the Xorth and the South there 
was no real enmity. Let the historian, the philospher, the states- 
man, while he pauses with amazement and admiration, as he con- 
templates these great lately-contending hosts laying down their 
arms and assuming so readily and even gracefully the most friendlv 
relations, find his answer here : There had been no real enmitv 
between these warring peoples. 

Our war has no parallel in military literature. It is unlike all 
other wars in many of its leading features. 

The most sanguinary of the English wars comes down to us in 
history under the softest and sweetest of names. It is called the 
War of the Roses. Under that gentle and poetic designation lie 
coucealed the hideous features of a strife the most ferocious of any 
in the annals of modern warfare, waged as it was by brothers and 
kinsmen. It was, nevertheless, so wholly unlike our war that the 
distinguishing characteristics of the two may be profitably con- 
templated, contra.sted, and studied. 

That too, it is true, was a civil war, a war rendered the more 
terrific by the personal hc^stility of the combatants, for into that 
war entered all the fiercer and darker passions of the human heart, 
envy, jealousy, hati'ed, malevolence, malignity, and revenge, the 
most aspiring pretensions and the most inordinate ambitions, all 
prompted and urged by the family pride of the nol>ilitv and the 
autocratic prei-ogatives of royalty. 

It was a war waged for nobility, the nobility of persons where 
titles and place, manors and earldoms, crowns and klngd(jms were 
the stakes; where the resuh wa.s the tyrannical dominance of family 


on the one side and individual extermination on the other. While 
titles and crowns awaited the victors, the frowning executioner 
stood hard by with his keen ax, eager and anxious to chop off the 
heads of the vanquished. 

I^et us contrast this picture of war for a single moment with this 
more recent one of ours. 

Our civil war, while it was one of the most sanguinary and terrific 
that ever employed the arm of the soldier or (nigaged the pen of 
the historian, was at the same time one of tlie most singular and 
remarkable ever recorded, in this one distinctive characteristic: 
that as between the soldiers who met and fought each other so 
desperately there was not and never had been, and from the nature 
of things never could be, any individual personal hostility, none 
of that despicable feeling known as hatred. No revenge, no ambi- 
tion, no malice, no blood-thirstiness. They had marched and 
fought and triumphed under the same flag for nearly a century. 
They had seen their popuhition grow from three to forty millions, 
and their territories expand from ocean to ocean. Hence, this war 
of ours did not arouse nor engage nor stir up the dark and fierce 
passions of the liiunan hciU't. We met and fought, not in a spirit 
of ano-er, but in the fulfillment of dutv. 

It was a war built upon abstractions ; not made nor sought nor 
wished for by the peopK; at large, but rendered inevitable by ex- 
traordinary circumstances and by the irreconcilable conflict of 
opinions. Hence, when this people met each other face to face as 
foes in war they were amazed, perplexed, and confounded at the 
most unnatural a.spect, and felt in their hearts more reluctance than 
hostilitv, more regret than revenge, more sorrow than anger. 

In such a war the savay-e instincts of fen )citv could have no 
])]ace, and hence upon the close of such a war there could be no 
revenoes to sratifv. Hence, also, the instantaneous national recon- 
ciliation which so puzzles mankind in the outside world is but the 
natural result of the reunion of that sentiment (broken but for a 
moment) which is the real characteristic of American civilization, 
that is, the design to work out the problem of human liberty and 
to establish the rights of man by the unity of labor, the unity of 
mind, and the union of the States. 


teople of Illinois, allow me to plant the rose and the laurel upon 
the grave of your departed hero, a soldier brave and determined in 
war, a citizen loved and respected by all who knew him, and a 
servant to his people, faithful to every duty. Paladin of an hun- 
dred battles, yet the pride and pomp and triumphs of war had not 
so carried him away as to make him lose sight of the humbler call- 
ings of good citizenship; and consequently we see in his career in 
civil life the same unerring integrity that carried him successfully 
through the war marking his demeanor as the industrious official, 
ever at the post of labor, thus commanding confidence and trust 
and assuring success amid the plaudits of his fellow-citizens, emi- 
nently exemplifying Pope's often quoted but most true words : 

Honor aud shame from no condition rise ; 
Act well your part, there all the honor lies. 

The Speaker. The question is upon the adoption of the resolu- 
tions which have been submitted. 

The resolutions were adopted unanimously; aud accordingly the 
House adjourned. 

0174 3 


In the Senate, June 30, 1882. 

A message from the House of Representatites, by Mr. McPher- 
son, its Clerk, communicated to the Senate the intelligence of the 
death of Hon. Robert M. A. Hawk, late a member of the House 
from the State of Illinois, and transmitted the resolutions of the 
House thereon. 

The President pro teinpore. The Chair lays before the Senate 
the resolutions of the House of Representatives, which will be read. 

The resolutions were read, as follows : 

Resolved, That tlie House has heard with sincere regret the announcement 
of the death of Hon. Egbert M. A. Hawk, late a Representative from the 
State of Illinois. 

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring herein), That a 
special joint committee of seven members of the House and three members of 
the Senate be appointed to take order for superintending the funeral, and to 
escort the remains of the deceased to their last resting-place, and that all 
necessary expenses attending the execution of this order shall be paid out of 
the contingent fund of the House. 

Resolved, That the Clerk of the House communicate the foregoing resolu- 
tions to the Senate. 

Resolred, That, as a mark of respect to the memory of the deceased, the 
House do now adjourn. 

(h-dered, That Mr. George R. Davis, Mr. L. E. Payson, Mr. S. W. Moulton, 
Mr. W. H. Calkins, Mr. G. C. Cabell, Mr. J. A. McKeuzie, and Mr. W. Cullen 
be members on the part of the House. 

Mr. Logan. Mr. President, I offer the following resolutions : 

Resolved, That the Senate has received with profound sensibility the mes- 
sage of the House of Representatives announcing the death of Hon. Robert 
M. A. Hawk, a Representative from the State of Hlinois. 

Resolved, That the Senate concur in the resolutions adopted by the House 
of Representatives, and that the President pro tempore of the Senate appoint 
three Senators to escort the remains of the deceased in conjunction with the 
committee on the part of the House, as provided in said resolutions. 


The President pro tempore. The question is on the adoption of 
the resohition.s. [Putting the question.] The resolutions are unau- 
iniously adopted. The Chair appoints the Senator from Illinois 
[Mr. Logan], the Senator from Iowa [Mr. MeDill], and the Sen- 
ator from Mississippi [Mr. George], as the committee on the part 
of the Senate. 

Mr. Logan Out of respect to the memory of the deceased Rep- 
i-esentative, I move that the Senate do now adjourn. 

The motion was agreed to; and the Senate adjourned. 

In the Senate, February 6, 1>>83. 
The President pro tonporc. The Chair lays before the Senate 
resolutions of the House of Ke})rescntatives, which "svill be read. 
The Acting Secretary read as follows : 

lUsolred, That this House has heard with profound regret the annoimce- 
iiient of the death of Hon. Robert M. A. Hawk, late a member of the House 
from the State of Illinois. 

Resohed, That as a mark of respect for his memory the ollicers and memliers 
of this House will wear the usual hadge of mourning for thirty days. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions he transmitted by the Clerk of 
the House to the family of the deceased. 

Resolred, That as a further mark of respect the House, at the oonclnsion of 
these memorial proceedings, shall adjourn. 

Resolved, That the Clerk communicate these resolutions to the Senate. 

Mr. Logan. Mr. President, I offer the resolutions which I send 
to the Chair. 

The President pro tempore. The resolutions ■will be read. 
The Acting Secretary read as follows : 

Resolved, That the Senate has received with profound sorrow and regret 
the announcement of the death of Hon. Robert M. A. Hawk, late a member 
of the House of Representatives from the State of Illinois, and tenders to the 
family and kindred of the deceased assurances of sympathy in their sad be- 

Resolved, That the business of the Senate be now suspended that oppor» 
tunity may be given for appropriate tribute to the memory of the deceased 
and to his public services and private virtues ; and that, as a further mark of 
respect, the Senate at the conclusion of such remarks shall adjourn, . 


Address of Mr. Logan, of Illinois. 

Mr. President, Robert ]\Iaffitt Allison Hawk was born 
on a farm two miles and a half east of Greenfield, Hancock C-ounty, 
Indiana, April 23, 1839. He wa.s the sou of \Mlliam Henry and 
Hannah (Maffitt) Hawk, The parents \vere both natives of Abing- 
don, A^'ashington County, Virginia, the mother being of Scotch- 
Irish extraction. The father was born December 2, 1809, the son 
(^f Andrew and ^lary (Myers) Hawk, and resided with his parents, 
working on a farm and obtaining such limited education as the 
schools of the day afforde<l. While not attending school he was 
put to work at the trade of his father, that of house-joiner. In 
1836, Xovember 10, he was united in marriage to Hannah Maffitt, 
daughter of Captain John and Isabella (Davis) Maffitt. He was 
a captain and Indian fighter in his time, as was his father, Avho 
was killed at the battle of the Great Kanawha. . He was a man of 
influence, a Baptist in religious belief, and politically a great 
admirer and follower of Thomas H. Benton. 

He removed about the year 1837 to Hancock County, Indiana, 
where Robert and his two brothers were born. Here they resided 
for about seven years, until October 30, 1843, when the mother 
died, leaving three small children. The following year the father 
reiiioved to Freedom, Carroll County, Illinois, and married for his 
second wife Margaret E. Davis. The three children, who had 
l)een left at their native home, were brought to the new home in 
1846, then quite an uninhabited ])lace. The father carried on the 
farm, and at times worked at his trade of house-joiner. Both the 
father and step-mother are now living in the same towni in which 
they first settled in Illinois. 

Prior to the year 1856 Major Hawk had received only a com- 
mon-school education. In that year he was placed at a private 
and select school for the purpose of being prepared for college. 
While he was but 16 years old he was an instructor in a common 
school in his neighliorhood. He was always favorably kno^\■n 
among his playmates and classmates, being of good temper and 


having a fine disposition. He was industrious and was a close 
student, and when not at work upon the farm his bookfs were his 

In September, 1861, he entered Eureka College, at Eureka, 
Woodford County, Illinois ; there he remained for about four 
months. The late rebellion having broken out, and while at 
home on a vacation from college, he enlisted in a company which 
was being raised by Mr. Stoifer at Mount Carroll, near his home, 
which company became a part of the Ninety-second Illinois Regi- 
ment, at Rockford, Illinois, and on the 2d of September of the 
same year he was selected a first lieutenant, and from that time 
continued with his company in all its marches and battles. He 
marched through Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia, 
and was made captain January 21, 1863. In July, 1863, the 
regiment was detached from Granger's Corps to Wilder's Mounted 

Captain Hawk showed marked ability, activity, and courage in the 
operations of his command at the battle of Cliattanooga ; he did gal- 
lant service also at tlie battles of Lookout Mountain and Chicka- 
mauga. Being at the headquarters of (jreneral Rosecrans, he per- 
formed the duty of carrying dispatches to all parts of the field of 

He continued detached w ith his company from his command 
until the 4tli of December, 1863, when he was ordered to rejoin 
his regiment. 

In the year 1864 he was with his command and Mas engaged in 
several actions at Nicojack, Lovejoy, Jonesborough, and Powder 

On November 4, 1864, the division was reorganized and the 
Ninety-second became part of the second brigade of Kilpatrick's 

In what is known as " Sherman's march to the sea " Captain 
HaaV'K'.s company rendered very great service as part of the rear 
guard at Waynesborough, where he was engaged in hard fighting, 
losing seventeen of his men Ho was also engaged in a severe action 
at or near Aiken, South Carolina, losing twenty-six men. 

On the 12th of April, 1865, following and pressing the enemy 


iu luurcliiiig from Raleigh to Swift Creek, the bridge was destroyed 
by the enemy, who held the opposite side of the creek. When the 
bridge was captured the Ninety-.second Regiment crossed, and Cap- 
tain Hawk a.ud his company were in the advance pushing the enemy 
and making a gallant fight against a very stubborn resistance, when 
he fell, receiving a minie-ball, giving him a severe and almost mortal 
w(jund, from the effect of which he lost his right leg between the 
knee and hip-joint. He lay for a long time in hospital, but was at 
last taken home by his father. He was in a very feeble condition 
for many months. He was brevetted major on the 10th of May, 
1866, to rank from January 20, 1865. The greatest compliment 
that can be paid to a soldier is to say of him what I now say of 
Major Hawk, " He wa.s a brave, intelligent, and gallant soldier," 

While lying in bed, weak and feeble from his severe wound, he 
was married to Miss Mary G. Clark, an estimable young lady, now 
his widow, to whom he was engaged prior to entering the Army. 

In the fall of 1865 the people elected him county clerk, also in 
1869, 1873, and 1877, the duties of which office he performed 
during these many years with marked ability and fidelity. On 
account of his ability and his pleasant intercourse with the people, 
in November, 1878, he was elected to the Forty-sixth Congress, and 
again to the Forty-seventh Congress, Xovember, 1880. He became 
an earnest Republican at the breaking out of the rebellion and re- 
mained so up to his death. 

As a Representative in Congress he made an honest and faithful 
member, at all times doing his duty patriotically and well. Had 
he lived his career as a member of Congress would have been one 
of honor and glory. 

Major Haaa'K was a man belo\ed by all his neighbors and friends. 
He was a kind and considerate husband, and a generous and loving 
parent, a man of intellectual strength and good judgment, of rare 
business qualifications, calculated to be successful in whatever he 
might undertake. While here in AVashington attending to his 
duties as a member of Congress, on the 29th of June, 1882, at 812 
Twelfth street, he died suddenly of apoplexy. 

His attack was so sudden that few knew of his sickness. A phy- 
sician had been called in. The rooms occujiied by myself being 


immediately above his, I was notified of liis illness. Upon re]>air- 
ing to his rooms I found him quite sick. The physician and some 
other persons were by his bedside. I returned to my room for some 
purpose or other, when, on returning again to his rooms, in proba- • 
bly less than three minutes from the time I left him, I found him 
in a dying condition. I notified the physician, who was standing, 
apparently preparing some medicine, that the major was dying. He 
turned and looked at him apparently very nuich surprised. Just 
at this moment Major Hawk breathed his last. 

At his death none of his family were present. I immediately 
informed them by telegraph, at tlie same time stating to them 
that his remains would be taken to his home. His remains were 
properly cared for by the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House and friends, 
and on the next day, in the evening, with a connnittee from both 
Houses of Congress, we accompanied his remains to Mount Carroll, 
in Carroll County, Illinois, and there placed them in charge of his 
loving wife, family, and friends. The throng tliat assem- 
bled there on that day to take a last hjok at their friend and Kepre- 
sentativ(> gave evidence of the high esteem in which he was held b}' 
all the people in that j>opulons conununity. 

Tiie connnittee of Congress accompanied the remains of ^Nlajor 
Hawk to his final resting-place. He was buried in a beautiful 
cemetery on a high hill near Mount Carroll, with Christian rites 
and Masonic honors. Major Hawk was a member of the Christian 
Church and believed fully in a life beyond the grave. No one out- 
side of his immediate family mourns his loss more than myself. No 
better or purer man has it been my good fortune to know. 

Address of Mr. Hampton, of South Carolina, 

Mr, President : It was only as these resolutions which have just 
been read from your desk Avere brought into this Chamber that you, 
sir, and your distinguished colleague asked me to say a few words 
of tribute to the memory of the gallant soldier and upright Kepre- 


sentative whose loss your State deplores. I regret exceedingly tliat 
I have not had longer notice of this, for then I should have dis- 
oliarged this melancholy duty Avith more satisfaction to the State 
that honored him and to myself. 

The two earliest meetings between Major Hawk and myself 
were under peculiar circumstances. We met first amid the roar 
of battle, and neither of us knew the other. Years afterward, 
when he was placed in the other House, a fitting and honored 
Representative of the State of Illinois, I was sent to represent the 
State of South Carolina in this Chamber, and coming here crippled 
as he was, in walking up these steps one day, I met him, not 
knowing him, a man of commanding presence and of fine face, and 
drawn to him by the common symj^athy of a common affliction I 
ventured to speak to him. 

We fell into conversation ; and after a few moments he said to 
me, without one feeling of resentment and with a kind smile on 
his manly face, " I lost my leg in an attack that General Hampton 
made upon our camp." That was another bond of sympathy be- 
tween us ; and I am glad to say that during the brief time that he 
was spared the intercourse between us was that not of foemen but 
of friends. 1 learned to rerard him then as a man of hig^h char- 
acter, of sterling integrity, and of the very highest soldierly quali- 
ties, and it taught me this lesson, a lesson that cannot be impressed 
too often and too solemnly upon this country : that we are all now 
citizens of a common country, for the men who had fought, who 
had met in battle, and one of whom had been rendered a cripple 
for life, met his old foeman as a friend, and that old foeman now 
feelingly pays this tribute to his memory. And, sir, I feel assured 
that the humble flower that I shall venture to lay upon his tomb 
will not be valued less because it comes from one who had been 
his foCj but who now n^ourns hira ^s a friend, 


Address of Mr. George, of Mississippi. 

Mr. Peesident : I did not know Mr. Haavk, I never met him. 
It was my melancholy dnty, in compliance with the wishes of this 
body expressed by the Chair, to accompany his remains to his home, 
to convey to his family and his friends the respect which the Senate 
of the United States had for his memory. 

I was very much struck by what I saw and what I heard at the 
village of Mount Carroll, at which the deceased had lived. On the 
day that we arrived there the whole population of that village, of 
all ages and of all sexes and of all conditions, turned out to show 
their respect for the m(>mory of the deceased and to give their tes- 
timony, silent yet potent, to his worth. His remains were taken to 
the dwelling from which T learned that less than a week before we 
carried him back a lifeless corpse he had left in full health and 
vigor for this city to discharge his duties as a member of Congress. 

That community gathered around thnt dwelling. It was my 
fortune, with other members of the committee, to be so placed for 
about two hours, during which we were detained at his dwelling, as 
to enable us to see, to survey, and to scrutinize the faces of the very 
large crowd which had assembled to pay their respect to his mem- 
ory. It was a curious study to me, situated as I was, to look on 
that large crowd, without seats, standing, waiting, on that hot July 
day, for the opportunity which was extended to all to pass through 
his dwelling and take a last look at his lifeless form. 

The ceremony, as I remarked, consumed at least two hours ; yet 
in all that time, with that crowd uncomfortably standing in the hot 
sun, I saw no impatience, no restlessness, no sign of frivolity or 
eager curiosity. I saw only engraven upon the faces of all the 
men and women and children who were present the signs of the 
deepest melancholy and sorrow for the loss they had sustained in 
the death of Major Hawk. 

I moralized, Mr. President, in this way over that scene, that 
here was a man who had lived in that community from his youth 
up ; had served them in a county office — I believe county clerk— 


fur u iminber of years ; wasu member of one of the fraternities, the 
Masonic fraternity ; was a member of one of the churches ; was an 
active participant in the discharge of all public and private duties, 
and after a long service at home had been called by that community 
and others in the same vicinity to a higher sphere, and that all this 
service had but the more endeared him to the people who knew him 
best. He had served that community and his district here for sev- 
eral years. His service had been so acceptable that at the date of 
his untimely death he had either been renominated or his renomi- 
nation was assured for a seat in the next Congress. 

I learned this from the way that his neighbors behaved, the Avay 
they looked, and the way they expressed themselves when they 
talked at all ; that they regarded him as their friend ; that in all that 
he had done in private life, in all that he had done in more humble 
positions to which they had called him, and in all that he had done 
in the higher and more elevated position to which they in common 
with their fellow-citizens in that Congressional district had called 
him, he had so acted as to impress upon them that he was indeed 
and in truth their friend. 

Na higher compliment, no greater honor can ever be conferred 
upon a public servant than the recognition, as these people did rec- 
ognize, that their servant in all his acts was their friend. They 
gave this testimony. And if I might moralize now, I would say 
to my brother Senators as we are hastening to the same tomb, when 
our earthly career closes if we shall have been fortunate enough to 
have done like him, to have won from those whom we tried to serve 
the endearing epithet of friend, we shall have done well. 

The President j>/-o tempore. The question is on the adoption of the 
resolutions of the Senator from Illinois [Mr. Logan]. 

The resolutions were unanimously agreed to ; and the Senate ad-