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Confederate (CSA)


Samuel Prioleau Hamilton

(1826 - 1897)

Home State: Georgia

Education: College of Charleston

Command Billet: Division Chief of Artillery

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: McLaws' Division Artillery

Before Sharpsburg

At Christmas-time 1836, in Charleston, SC,

Master Samuel Prioleau Hamilton, about 11 years of age, a promising son of Gen. James Hamilton, had his right hand so dreadfully shattered by the explosion of a powder-horn, which he held in his hand, as to render amputation above the wrist necessary.
In 1857 he was appointed the Naval Officer for the District of Savannah, a Federal Customs Service position, replacing his brother Thomas.

In 1861 he was commissioned Captain of Company A, 1st Regiment Georgia Regular Infantry, which was reorganized as "Hamilton's" artillery battery by order of the War Department on 24 July 1861. The battery was disbanded on 15 July 1862 and he was appointed Major of Artillery, CSA and assigned as Chief to General McLaws.

On the Campaign

He was acting Division Chief of Artillery on the Campaign until the return of Colonel Cabell at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was commissioned Major and Judge Advocate by January 1863, but was back as a Major of Artillery by July 1863 and commanded Cabell's Battalion.

After the War

He was a lawyer in Chester, SC and served a term in the state legislature. He also spent at least 10 years researching and writing a biography of his father, but never published.

References & notes

His service basics from Krick.1 His 1857 appointment from the New York Times of 9 January of that year. Further personal details from family genealogists. His gravesite is on Findagrave, source also of the quote above, from the Louisville Daily Journal of 10 January 1837.

His maternal great-grandfather Thomas Heyward (1746-1809) was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. His father James Hamilton, Jr. (1786-1857) was a US Congressman at Samuel's birth and later Governor of South Carolina (1830-32). Samuel's brother Daniel Heyward Hamilton (1816-1868) was Colonel of the First South Carolina Infantry and Daniel's son Daniel, Jr. (1838-1908) was a Captain in the same regiment. Both were at Sharpsburg.

He married Emma Levy (1832-1873) in December 1851 and they had 5 children.


01/24/1826; Washington, DC


11/24/1897; Chester, SC; burial in Evergreen Cemetery, Chester, SC


1   Krick, Robert E.L., Staff Officers in Gray; A Biographical Register of the Staff Officers in the Army of Northern Virginia, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003, pg. 147  [AotW citation 25847]