Civil War Wiki
Charles Smith Hamilton
[[Image:File:CSHamiltonBGgen.jpg|center|200px|border]]Charles Smith Hamilton
photo taken between 1861 and 1862
Personal Information
Born: November 16, 1822(1822-11-16)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: April 17, 1891 (aged 68)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: Union Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Major General
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Battles: Mexican-American War
American Civil War
Relations: {{{relations}}}
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Charles Smith Hamilton (November 16, 1822 – April 17, 1891) was a career United States Army officer who fought with distinction during the Mexican-American War. He also served as a Union Army general during the early part of the American Civil War.

After the war Hamilton entered law enforcement and engaged in manufacturing.

Early life[]

Hamilton was born in Westernville, New York. He attended the United States Military Academy and graduated in 1843, standing 26th out of 39 cadets. He was appointed a brevet second lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Infantry. Hamilton was promoted to second lieutenant on November 17, 1845 in the 5th U.S. Infantry, and promoted to first lieutenant on June 30, 1847.[1]

During the Mexican-American War, he received a brevet promotion to captain for the battles of Contreras and Churubusco and was wounded in the Battle of Molino del Rey.[1]

He resigned from the U.S. Army on April 30, 1853, moved to Wisconsin, and became a farmer and miller.[1]

Civil War[]


Hamilton in his major general's uniform

Hamilton chose to follow the Union cause and was appointed colonel of the 3rd Wisconsin Infantry on May 11, 1861, and was promoted to brigadier general on May 17. He was then given brigade command in Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks' division of the Army of the Potomac. At the outset of the Peninsula Campaign, Hamilton was given command of the 3rd Division, III Corps. He led this division during the battle of Yorktown. Before the battle had completely terminated, Hamilton was transferred to the Western Theater where he commanded the 3rd Division in the Army of the Mississippi at the battles of Iuka and Cornith. Following Corinth in October 1862, he was promoted to major general, effective from September 19, 1862.[1]

During his brief military service in the conflict, Hamilton served in both the eastern and western theaters. He commanded divisions, "wings"[2] and corps of the Army of the Potomac, the Army of the Mississippi, as well as in the Army of the Tennessee.[1]

Hamilton resigned from the U.S. Army on April 13, 1863.[1]

Later years[]

After his army service Hamilton became a U.S. marshal and a paper manufacturer. He died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1891 and is buried there in Forest Home Cemetery.[1]

See also[]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Eicher, p. 275.
  2. Wings in the context of the Civil War refers to groupings of divisions and more frequently corps, often temporary, within field armies.