J. Miller


J. MILLER HAWKINS was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on May 7, 1875 as an extra man with the Engine Company 2 to take the place of Thomas R. Grapevine who had resigned. Miller Hawkins was a bookbinder by trade and was living on or near the northwest corner of Broadway and Mickle Street when appointed to the Fire Department. He served until April of 1876 when he was replaced by William Stanton.

Miller Hawkins was born Jacob Miller Hawkins was born in July of 1849 in Philadelphia to William H. Hawkins and his wife, the former Adelaide Wonderly. His obituary indicates that he was born in 1852, however, it is in error, as he appears in the August 1850 Federal Census. Shortly afterwards, William and Adelaide Hawkins moved to Camden, New Jersey. William H. Hawkins became active as a volunteer fireman, serving at different times with the Fairmount and Independence fire companies. When the Census was taken in 1860 the Hawkins family was living in Camden's Middle Ward. 

Miller Hawkins, athough quite young, did serve his country during the Civil War.He enlisted as a Private on June 9, 1864. He was assigned to Company A, 37th Infantry Regiment New Jersey on June 23, 1864. The Thirty-seventh Infantry was commanded by Colonel E. Burd Grubb. On May 16, 1864, New Jersey Governor Parker issued a proclamation calling, "by desire of the president," the militia of the state into active service for the period of 100 days, to date from muster into the United States service, to be armed, equipped, and paid as other United States volunteers, "to serve in fortifications or wherever their services may be required, within or without the state." No bounty was to be given, nor were even their services to be credited upon any draft. These troops were to be infantry exclusively, and the governor urged that at least five regiments might be raised and forwarded with all convenient speed. In accordance with this proclamation, recruiting  began without delay, and the nuclei of two regiments were speedily established- one in the southern part of the state to be called the 37th, to be commanded by E. Burd Grubb, of Burlington, a gallant and dashing soldier. It was thought advisable that the different militia and rifle corps regiments should, if possible, embrace this opportunity to go into the movement in a body, thus preserving their regimental organizations and preventing the  many delays incident to and consequent upon the organization and officering of new regiments. This expectation, however, was not realized. Recruiting becoming languid, local bounties were offered by different cities, but notwithstanding that, and every other  inducement offered, it began to be apparent that neither of the two regiments would be enabled to fill its ranks, and consolidation must be effected. This was accordingly done at Camp Delaware, Trenton, and on June 23 the consolidated regiment, under the name of the 37th N. J. volunteers, was mustered into the service of the United States. It left Trenton on June 28, 700 strong, direct for Baltimore, where steamer was taken for City Point. It furnished detachments for fatigue duty of various kinds such as unloading vessels, working on fortifications, etc., being assigned to Berry's Brigade, 3rd Division, 10th Army Corps, and brigaded with other 100-days regiments from Ohio. The regiment took an active part in the operations before Petersburg from August 28 to September 26, and was mustered out October 1, 1864.

Private Hawkins soon returned to the Army. On February 5, 1865 Miller Hawkins reenlisted. He was sent as a sergeant to Company K, New Jersey 40th Infantry Regiment on March 2, 1865. This regiment was organized under the immediate superintendence of Colonel Stephen R. Gilkyson, under General Orders No. 243 of the war department, and was forwarded to the field by companies, the last company being mustered in on March 10, 1865. Upon reaching the field the companies were attached to the 1st brigade, the regiment proving courageous and efficient in all the engagements in which it participated. In the last fight before Richmond it displayed conspicuous gallantry, the men fighting with the steadiness of veterans. It was mustered out at Hall's Hill, Virginia, July 13, 1865. The total strength of the regiment was 1,409, and it lost during its term of service by resignation 2, by discharge 23, by promotion 17, by transfer 151, by death 19, by desertion 399, by dismissal 1, not accounted for 33, mustered out 767.

When the Census was taken in 1870 Miller Hawkins was back in Camden, living with his parents and working as a bookbinder, a trade he would follow throughout his life. His father, William H. Hawkins, worked for a time as a constable in Camden during the late 1860s and early 1870s, and as a policeman in the late 1870s. As stated above Miller  Hawkins was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on May 7, 1875 as an extra man with the Engine Company 2 and served until April of 1876. Miller Hawkins was living on or near the northwest corner of Broadway and Mickle Street, with his parents. 

The Hawkins family moved around quit often in the 1870s, 1880s, and into the 1890s. City Directories from the years between 1878 and 1897 record no less than nine different addresses. In 1878 the family was at 35 Broadway, in 1879 and 1880 they were at 22 Haddon Avenue, in 1881 the address was 726 Federal Street, 833 Bridge Avenue in 1883. The 1884 Directory shows the Hawkins family at 218 Amber Street, and at 208 Point Street in 1885. By 1888 the family had gone to 218 Royden Street, and 1890 saw them at 136 Mount Vernon Street. By July of 1890 they had again relocated, this time to 1024 South 2nd Street. By the latter half of 1892 the Hawkins family was living at 814 Market Street.

J. Miller Hawkins died on October 3, 1897 and was buried at Harleigh Cemetery. His parents remained at 814 Market Street into 1898, then moved to 411 Arch Street the following year.

Philadelphia Inquirer - October 6, 1897