|Death: ||Dec. 5, 1891|
Sgt., 5th Vermont Infantry, Co. F.
1st Lieut., 23rd U.S. Colored Infantry, Co. E
He has a cenotaph at West Cemetery in Middlebury, Vermont, where his wife Caroline Wooster Hawley and daughters Caroline Hawley Mead & Ava Hawley are buried.
The Committee on Invalid Petitions, to whom was referred the bill (H.R.. 8104) granting an increase of pension to Lieut. George S. Hawley, have considered the same, and make the following report:
George S. Hawley served as a private in Company F, Fifth Regiment Vermont Volunteers, from August 27, 1861, to December 15, 1863, when be re-enlisted in the same regiment and served until March 11, 1864, and on the next day (March 12, 1864) was mustered into service as first lieutenant Company E, Twenty-third United States Colored Troops, to serve three years or during the war. He was honorably discharged September 30, 1864, on account of wounds received in action before Petersburg, Va., July 30, 1864. The proceedings of a board of officers, convened at Annapolis, Md., September 27,1864, contain the following:
Case No. 813.
First Lieut. George S. Hawley, Company E, Twenty-third United States Colored Troops.
The board find this officer now suffering from the effects of a gunshot wound in the face. The ball entered on the left side below the malar bone, passing through the hard palate and posterior nares and emerged through the malar bone of the right aide, carrying away the teeth of both sides of the upper jaw, interfering with the functions of mastication. The board is of the opinion that this officer will not be fit for duty in the field again, and they recommend he be discharged from the service.
L.P. GRAHAM, Brigadier-General, Volunteers. G.S. PALMER, Surgeon, United States Volunteers. T. HENDRICKSON, Major, United States Army.
The claimant was pensioned at $17 per month from September 30, 1864, to May 3, 1880, and at $18 per month from that date to 1883, since which time he has received $24 per month
Examining Surgeon E. D. Warner, September 6, 1873, thus reports his condition:
"He was wounded by a musket-ball which entered the left side of the face at the lower part of the antrum, passing directly through and emerging directly opposite. The teeth in the upper jaw were all removed except one back molar. The entire roof of the mouth was all carried away, leaving nasal passages entirely open. The result was a flattening of the antrum on both sides of the face, a long-continued discharge from the face, speech was almost destroyed, deglutition seriously affected in consequence of food passing directly into the nostrils. He can only masticate by artificial teeth and a large plate, which covers the entire roof of the mouth. The face is greatly disfigured."
Dr. F. P. Wheeler, examining surgeon, May 3, 1880, reports his condition substantially the same, and adds, that without an artificial upper jaw and roof of the mouth Lieutenant Hawley "can neither articulate a word nor masticate and swallow food or drink." Surgeon Wheeler further certifies that the pensioner is suffering with "arthritic rheumatism, affecting all the joints and the extremities, and that the pensioner, on account of said rheumatic disease, has not been able for the last year to perform any manual labor, and but very little for the last five years."
Again Dr. Wheeler says:
"I cannot resist the conclusion that the disease with which this pensioner is afflicted has been gradually induced by impaired digestion, imperfect assimilation of food, and blood poison, caused by a lack of those secretions so essential in the preparation of food for the stomach in the first process of digestion, occasioned by the gunshot wound through the mouth."
The same surgeon, November 14, 1881, reports Hawley --"In nearly a helpless condition; cannot walk nor bear his weight upon his feet; has but little use of his hands and arms; cannot sustain himself upon crutches; his joints enlarged and stiff from chronic arthritic rheumatism. Pensioner is rendered completely helpless by this rheumatism, and cannot make a move of any kind without assistance. I find his disability equal to and entitling him to $50 per month."
The pensioner is now in the Soldiers' Home in Montgomery County, Ohio, totally disabled and without property except his pension. He has a wife and family of young children, and has gone to the Soldiers' Home in order that bis dependent family may have the entire benefit of his pension. We call attention to the following statement of Hon. John W. Stewart, M.C. from Vermont, who has personal knowledge of the facts touching Lieutenant Hawley's unfortunate condition :
To the Committee on Invalid Pensions:
Gentlemen: House bill 8103, introduced by me and referred to your committee, granting increase of pension to George S. Hawley, is, in my judgment, meritorious, and I beg leave to submit a brief statement of facts within my personal knowledge.
The nature and extent of the wound and its immediate evil results to the pensioner are sufficiently shown by the records of the case from the Pension Office, now before you.
Mr. Hawley is a resident of the town in which I live; he has a wife and a family of young children ; he has left them and gone to the Soldiers' Home, in Montgomery County, Ohio, in order that his dependent family may receive the entire benefit of his pension, $24 per month : he is totally disabled, and is only able to move about slowly and with great difficulty upon crutches; he can do nothing by way of support, and needs help and care from others ; his rheumatic difficulties began when he was in the service, but his terrible wound so overshadowed lesser complaints that the surgeon was not called upon to notice or treat him for rheumatism, so that the record evidence required by the Pension Office, when he made application there for increase of pension, could not be produced. Yet from the date of his discharge to the present time, this disease has made steady progress until it has reduced him to helplessness, and he lives a life of daily suffering from which there will be no release but death.
His imperfect mastication, resulting from his wound and the consequent incomplete digestion, have no doubt incidentally contributed to aggravate the disease h» contracted in the Army.
He has no property. I personally know him to be an intelligent, honest, and upright citizen, whose habits are and always have been exemplary.
I do not hesitate to commend his case to your favorable consideration.
I am, very respectfully,
J. W. STEWART, M. C.
January 27, 1885.
We also append Dr. Hall's affidavit, having knowledge of the facts, showing Lieutenant Hawley's soundness before going into the Army and present helpless condition.
Your committee recommend the passage of the bill granting him an increase of pension to $60 per month, from and after the passage of the act.
The undersigned, a physician of New Haven, Vt., being duly sworn, hereby deposes and states that he knew George S. Hawley, a former resident of this town, before he entered the military service of the United States; he was then a strong, sound, healthy man; that after his discharge he suffered from rheumatism ; that he was for years unable to perform manual labor; that he stated repeatedly to affiant that be suffered pain when he made any movement; that affiant believes that his disability is the result of exposure while in the military service.
E. D. HALL, M. D.
Subscribed and sworn before me this 26th day of December, 1884, at New Haven,
ALFRED M. ROSCOE,
[edited for length] (from Reports of committees: 48th Congress, 2nd Session)
He received his increase to $50 on Feb. 26, 1885. On May 11, 1889 he applied for an increase to $72 which was rejected, appealed and rejected again.
April 26,1889, Joseph K. Railing testified that "he was ward master in ward No. 18, hospital, Central Branch National Home for Disabled Volunteers; that George S. Hawley is a patient in said ward No. 18; that he is helpless and unable to take care of himself. The joints of his hands and arms feet and legs are swollen. His hands and feet are distorted and stiffened. He is much emaciated and very weak. The muscles of his arms and legs are much shrunken. He appears to suffer much when he exerts himself or makes any movement, and he needs assistance in dressing."
April 26, 1889, the following certificate was made:
His disability at the date of admission, as appears by the records, was due to gunshot wound through face, destroying roof of mouth and teeth. Chronic rheumatism of worst form. He is almost entirely helpless; entire loss of use of his lower extremities, and but very little use of hands and feet.
December 1, 1885: Condition as to original disability: The wound leaves opening through roof of mouth into walls. Can not talk distinctly without a plate. Rheumatism affecting joints of upper and lower extremities very badly. His hands are distorted and swollen. Toes, ankles, and knees so bad he can not walk; goes in wheel-chair.
Medical history in the branch: Admitted to hospital July 22, 1884; chronic rheumatism; December 1, 1886: His rheumatic disability is increasing; he is no longer able to walk with crutches, but goes on a wheel-chair which he can with difficulty wheel 1 inch from floor to matting. He is still able to feed himself but can not dress without assistance. His hands are very much distorted. The wound in mouth is about same—an opening through roof of mouth into nares. He also has piles...[edited out]
December 7, 1887: There has not been much change in his condition during the last year. He is less able every month to help himself; lies in bed a great deal; now in sick ward; can with difficulty wheel himself over an entirely smooth floor; fingers very much distorted.
June 13, 1888: Condition in appearance has not materially changed. He is every year growing less able to help himself; complains a great deal of pain in hands and other parts of body.
February 25, 1889: Almost helpless; has to be assisted about most of the time; he appears to be nearly free of acute pains.
April 19, 1889: Not much pain; more helpless; getting weaker; appetite fair for one in his condition.
F. H. PATTON, Surgeon
The widow applied for pension in her own right, but the claim was rejected July 29,1892, on the ground that the fatal disease, "la grippe", terminating in pneumonia, was not due to his military service. [edited for length] (from "Decisions of the Department of the Interior in Appealed Pension Claims, Vol. 6" pub. by the Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1893]
Sylvia B Wooster Hawley (1838 - 1861)*
Caroline H. Wooster Hawley (1841 - 1903)*
Caroline W. Hawley Mead (1870 - 1894)*
Ava Lillian Hawley (1872 - 1932)*
Dayton National Cemetery
Plot: E, 2, 1
GPS (lat/lon): 39.74735, -84.25989
Maintained by: Jen Snoots
Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Offi...
Record added: Feb 25, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 768259