When researching my family history, I usually deal with Confederates. So much so, that when I learned the husband of my 3rd cousin, Louisiana-born Newton Hawthorn/e, had been a member of Company B of the 2nd Louisiana Cavalry, I assumed he was part of the Confederate States Army. But, oops! His tombstone bears a recessed shield, as opposed to the Southern Cross of Honor carved on the stones of Confederate soldiers. Maybe I should look at this more closely…
But first, let me fill you in a bit more regarding Newton's vitals. He was born 1845-1847 in Catahoula Parish, Louisiana to Albert (b. abt 1808) and Martha (d. aft. 1860) Hawthorn. Newton spent all of his life in Louisiana, marrying Caledonia Lincicum/Lincecum there about 1868. The couple went on to have up to 11 children. I have seven names: Daniel P., Pitsy M., Simeon B., Bullard T., Urettah A., Gorda Macune, and Ella V.
Now to return to Newton's service during the Civil War. He enlisted in the Army of the United States of America at Natchez, Mississippi just after Christmas of 1863. Natchez was about 75 miles from his home in 1860 of Alexandria, La. An image of Newton's enlistment paper is found in his compiled service record at Fold3.
Though Newton was promoted to Sergeant just a couple of months after enlistment, his service would not be lengthy. Newton was discharged at Morganza, La (near Baton Rouge) October 1864 due to illness of chronic diarrhea and hemoptysis.
After learning a little about Louisiana's place during the Civil War, Newton joining a Union company no longer seemed strange. Per Wikipedia:
By 1860, 47% of the state's [Louisiana] population were enslaved, though the state also had one of the largest free black populations in the United States. Much of the white population, particularly in the cities, supported southern states' rights and slavery, while pockets of support for the U.S. and its government existed in the more rural areas.
Louisiana declared that it had seceded from the Union on January 26, 1861. New Orleans, the largest city in the South, was strategically important as a port city due to its southernmost location on the Mississippi River and its access to the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. War Department early on planned for its capture. The city was taken by U.S. Army forces on April 25, 1862. Because a large part of the population had Union sympathies (or compatible commercial interests), the U.S. government took the unusual step of designating the areas of Louisiana then under U.S. control as a state within the Union, with its own elected representatives to the U.S. Congress. For the latter part of the war, both the U.S. and the Confederacy recognized their own distinct Louisiana governors.
Given the timing of Newton's enlistment, as well as his proximity to New Orleans, it probably should not be a surprise he joined the Union Army.
By June 1890, the time of the U.S. Census of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Newton had returned to his county of birth – Catahoula Parish, La.
Newton died March 1906. A news article in the Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La) stated the following: "During a difficulty near Wright, Walt Brister shot and killed his uncle, Newton Hawthorne."
Newton P. Hawthorn was laid to rest at Hawthorne Cemetery in Little Creek, La Salle Parish, Louisiana. His gravesite is graced with a government issue military tombstone – recessed shield and all.
Are you wondering what's up with all the "letter" posts? I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (links to official page). This challenge lasts through the month of April, with Sundays off. Each day follows a different letter prompt, in order, from A to Z. Click here to see all my letter posts on one page (in reverse order). Though this is my second year in the challenge, it's my first with two blogs. My theme here is "kinfolk direct." Versus any name from the one name study, these genealogy and history posts all involve someone to which I am related. You may follow along with me by RSS feed and other social media platforms listed at the top of the sidebar. I and other bloggers in the challenge on Twitter will also be using #atozchallenge.
I'm also participating with Southern Graves. This blog as a whole is one of my themes – telling the tales of tombstones, primarily from those found in the Southern United States and usually the State of Georgia.
Are you participating in the challenge, too? Please leave a link to your blog in the comments, I'd love to pay you a visit. Good luck to all involved!