BANK CHECK SIGNED BY TWO UNION GENERALS – DANIEL E. SICKLES & JOHN P. HAWKINS

$270.00

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Item Code: 410-491

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This item is an 1881 check drawn on Daniel Sickles account at the Bank of the Metropolis in New York’s Union Square. The check is made out to General John P. Hawkins in the amount of $28.58 and is endorsed by Hawkins on the reverse as “JOHN P. HAWKINS MAJ.” Reverse also has cancelation stamps.

Check meas. approx. 8.00 x 3.00 inches and is in good condition. All ink is strong. Sickles signature is exceptionally bold.

Daniel Edgar Sickles was an American politician, soldier, and diplomat.

As an antebellum New York politician, Sickles was involved in a number of public scandals, most notably the killing of his wife's lover, Philip Barton Key II, son of Francis Scott Key. He was acquitted with the first use of temporary insanity as a legal defense in U.S. history.

Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, Sickles became one of the war's most prominent political generals, recruiting the New York regiments that became known as the Excelsior Brigade in the Army of the Potomac. Despite his lack of military experience, he served competently as a brigade, division, and corps commander in some of the early Eastern campaigns. His military career ended at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, after he insubordinately moved his III Corps to a position where it was virtually destroyed. He left the battle with an amputated leg, struck by cannon fire, and was eventually awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. He devoted considerable effort to establishing his role in achieving the Gettysburg victory, writing articles and testifying before Congress in a manner that denigrated the intentions and actions of the army commander, Maj. Gen. George G. Meade. After the war, Sickles commanded military districts during Reconstruction, served as U.S. Minister to Spain, and eventually returned to Congress, where he made important legislative contributions for the preservation of the Gettysburg Battlefield.

John Parker Hawkins was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on September 29, 1830. His elder sister was Louisa Hawkins Canby (who married Major General Edward Canby).

Hawkins graduated from West Point in 1852 ranked 40th out of 43 cadets, and was assigned to the 2nd US Infantry.

When the Civil War began in 1861, he was a First Lieutenant and Regimental Quartermaster of the 6th US Infantry. Hawkins was promoted to captain on August 3, 1861, and was posted to Missouri to serve as a Commissary of Subsistence. He was sent to western Tennessee in 1862, and was promoted to lieutenant colonel on November 1 of that year. The following month he became the Commissary General for Gen. Grant´s Army of the Tennessee. On April 25, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Hawkins Brigadier General in the U.S. Volunteers, with rank to date from April 13, 1863. However, the U.S. Senate returned the nomination to the President on April 1, 1864. The following day Lincoln renominated Hawkins and the Senate subsequently confirmed the appointment on April 18, 1864.

Hawkins was assigned to command a brigade of the United States Colored Troops (USCT) and the District of Northeastern Louisiana. In April 1864 he assumed command of the 1st Division of the USCT. He and his division distinguished themselves in the assault and battle at Fort Blakely on April 9, 1865, which resulted in the capture of Mobile, Alabama. Hawkins was mustered out of the volunteer service on February 1, 1866.

In the wave of the mass promotions at the end of the war Hawkins was promoted to brevet major general in both the U.S. Volunteers and the regular army.

Hawkins stayed in the army and reverted to his regular rank of captain in the Subsistence Department. He served in a number of postings and received a series of promotions: to major on June 23, 1874; to lieutenant colonel on September 3, 1889; and colonel on March 12, 1892. He was appointed Commissary General of Subsistence of the U.S. Army with the rank of brigadier general on December 2, 1892, and remained in this position till he resigned on September 29, 1894, aged 64. He died on February 7, 1914, in Indianapolis, Indiana and was buried at the local Crown Hill Cemetery.  [ad]

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