Isaac Roberts Hawkins (May 16, 1818 - August 12, 1880) was a politician and soldier. A lawyer by profession, Hawkins served during the Mexican War, and was part of a peace delegation from Tennessee, which unsuccessfully sought to diffuse the pending Civil War in 1861. He joined the United States Army in 1862. In March 1864, he and his regiment was captured at Union City, Tennessee by Confederate Colonel William Duckworth, after Duckworth tricked Hawkins into believing he face a much larger Confederate force, much to the disgust of the Union officers.
Hawkins was released and returned to active service. After the war, he served in the U.S. congress from 1866 to 1871.
Nathan Bedford Forrest was very familiar with the Union City incident. Duckworth had been under his command. The successful bluff sprang to Forrest's mind at the Battle of Fort Pillow the following month. Forrest decided to give the garrison at Fort Pillow a chance to surrender. Forrest and his aide-de-camp, Charles W. Anderson, fondly reminisced about Hawkins inglorious surrender.