Friday, January 14, 2022

Sion B. Hawkins: Georgia’s 25th Adjutant General

By Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Ga. Army National Guard


Lieutenant Sion Hawkins in World War I.
Georgia National Guard Archives. 
Sion Boone Hawkins assumed office as the 25th Adjutant General of Georgia January 14, 1941. The 53-year-old lieutenant colonel of the Atlanta-based 179th Field Artillery Regiment was appointed by Governor-Elect Eugene Talmadge January 5 to succeed Brig. Gen. Marion Williamson.

Hawkins was born Aug. 19, 1887 to Eugene and Mary Hawkins of Americus Georgia. Hawkins’ father was a prominent attorney and longtime mayor of Americus.[1]

Hawkins began his career in the Georgia National Guard in 1904[2] when he enlisted as a private. Hawkins rose steadily through the enlisted ranks while attending college. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1908 and went to work as a bookkeeper for a cotton company in Americus while maintaining his membership in the National Guard.[3] Following the declaration of war against Germany April 6, 1917, Hawkins entered officer training camp and was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant August 14.

Hawkins entered federal service Aug. 15, 1917 and was assigned to the 321st Machine Gun Battalion, 82nd Infantry Division. Promoted to 1st lieutenant February 6, Hawkins served overseas from May 2, 1918 and participated in the engagements of Lorraine, St. Mihiel and The Meuse Argonne. Returning to the United States in May 1919, he was discharged from federal service June 14.[4]

Lieutenant Colonel Sion Hawkins, 1939.
Following the post-World War I reorganization of the National Guard, Hawkins rejoined
the Georgia National Guard as a major assigned to the inspector general’s department. By 1927 he was assigned as major of the 122nd Infantry Regiment.[5] Promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1933, Hawkins served as the executive officer of the 122nd Infantry Regiment from 1933 until the regiment was converted to form the 179th Field Artillery Regiment in 1939.

Upon appointment by Governor Talmadge, Hawkins was promoted to brigadier general. During his tenure as adjutant general Hawkins also served as acting director of selective service. With his dual appointment, Hawkins not only oversaw the operations of the Georgia State Guard but advised state boards and employers on balancing the need for military manpower and critical civilian occupations.[7]

Hawkins served as Georgia’s Adjutant General until Jan. 12, 1943 when newly elected governor Ellis Arnell appointed Brig. Gen. Clark Howell to succeed him.

Hawkins died December 15, 1948 at the age of 61. He is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Americus.[8]


[1] “Eugene A. Hawkins, Americus Lawyer, Dead of Apoplexy.” The Atlanta Constitution. Nov. 7, 1917, 20.

[2] Secretary of War, National Guard Register for 1939 (National Guard Bureau: Washington D.C. November 1, 1939), 301.

[3] Year: 1910; Census Place: Militia District 789, Sumter, Georgia; Roll: T624_213; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0109; FHL microfilm: 1374226

[4] Georgia, U.S., World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013
Original data: Georgia Adjutant General’s Office. World War I Statements of Service Cards. Georgia State Archives, Morrow, Georgia.

[5] The Secretary of War National Guard Register for 1927. (Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office 1927) 193.

[6] The Secretary of War National Guard Register for 1939. (Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office 1939) 301.

[7] “Hawkins Lists Skills Needing More Workers” Atlanta Constitution. July 13, 1942, 13.

[8] "Sion Boone Hawkins (1887-1948) - Find A Grave...," Find a Grave, accessed January 4, 2021,

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