b. 29/02/1832 Salem, New York. d. 23/03/1911 Hoosick Falls, New York.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 06/04/1865 Deatonsville (Sailor’s Creek), Virginia.
He was awarded the Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism shown on April 6, 1865, during the Battle of Sailor’s Creek, where he captured Robert E. Lee’s son, George Washington Custis Lee, while serving as a Corporal with Company F, 121st New York Volunteer Infantry. His Medal of Honor was awarded on December 29, 1894.
A competing claim for the capture of Lee was made in 1897 by David Dunnels White, a soldier of the 37th Massachusetts Infantry Volunteers. The claim was turned down by the U.S Army. In 2011, White’s descendants submitted another claim which was also rejected. Their theory seems to be that Lee escaped after his initial detainment by White and was recaptured by Hawthorne.
Hawthorne died at the age of 79 on March 23, 1911, and was buried at Maple Grove Cemetery, Hoosick, New York.
Capture of Confederate Maj. Gen. George Washington Custis Lee.
BURIAL LOCATION: MAPLE GROVE OLD CEMETERY, HOOSICK FALLS, NEW YORK.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: BELIEVED TO BE FAMILY.