Hamilton, Charles Smith. Papers, 1842-1886 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection includes typescripts of the memoirs of Charles (1822-1891) and Sophia Hamilton (1826-1911), as well as original manuscripts of correspondence and records from the Civil War.
Charles Smith Hamilton was born in Oneida, County, New York, in 1822, and graduated from the US Military Academy West Point in 1843. He had served in the Mexican War and was farming in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, at the outbreak of the Civil War. He organized the 3rd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry and served as Colonel and Brigadier General. In 1863, he was commissioned Major General, which provoked a dispute over his rank and led to Hamilton’s resignation.
This collection consists of the original handwritten correspondence dealing with Hamilton's command of troops at the siege of Yorktown, the Shenandoah campaign, and the battles of Iuka and Corinth, Mississippi. A rough draft of his letter of resignation to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, as well as the acceptance of his resignation, are also included in the collection, along with various orders from commanding officers. In addition, the collection includes a few letters before and after the Civil War, three maps including Iuka, and correspondence relating to a patent issued to Hamilton in 1864 for parts for grain elevators and distributors. Photocopies of both Charles and Sophia Hamilton's memoirs are also included in the collection.
Catherine Hamilton Kappauf of Champaign, Illinois, great-granddaughter of Hamilton, donated the collection to the Library in 1969.
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