Eugene Hawley served in the American Civil War; many of his letters are in the Marion Hunter History Room.
Eugene Hawley was a young man of eighteen working on his uncle’s farm in Avon when the Civil War broke out. Anxious to join his friends enlisting in Connecticut regiments, it took him several weeks to get his parents’ permission to join the 5th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry. As a private he participated in several battles, including Cedar Mountain, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. He had the unfortunate experience of being captured and made a prisoner of war on two occasions, the first during the Battle of Cedar Mountain and the second shortly after Gettysburg. He was exchanged on both occasions, escaping the horrors of those who spent the rest of the war in Confederate Prisons. At Gettysburg, Eugene seriously injured a finger, crushing it between logs being placed in the breastworks of Culp’s Hill.
Hawley survived the war and returned to Avon where he worked as a laborer. After a few years he moved to Collinsville and worked at the axe factory before finally returning to New Haven where he died in 1913.