Emmet and Virgil Hamilton

Emmet A. Hamilton was born in 1843 in Massachusetts, the son of James S. H. (b. 1811) and Caroline (Colton, b. 1808 or 1811).

Massachusetts natives James and Caroline were married sometime before 1836 and resided in Massachusetts for some years. They left Massachusetts sometime after 1847 and by 1850 James had settled the family on a farm in Castleton, Barry County, Michigan, where Emmet attended school with his four older siblings, including his brother Virgil, who would also join the Third Michigan. By 1860 James had moved his family to Cannon, Kent County, where he and his oldest son Virgil (listed as “Mortimer V.”) worked as cabinet-makers.

Emmet was 18 years old and probably living in Kent County when he enlisted in Company E on May 13, 1861. He was wounded on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, subsequently absent sick in the hospital in July. In fact he had been admitted to a hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Emmet soon returned to the Regiment, and was reported missing in action on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run. He was probably killed in action on August 29 and left on the field at Second Bull Run, although, according to his military service record, it is possible that he may have died from his wounds in a field hospital on November 10.

Either way, he was presumably among the unknown soldiers whose remains were reinterred in Arlington National Cemetery.

No pension seems to be available.

Virgil Mortimer Hamilton was born on February 12, 1836, in Hartford, Connecticut or Hampden, Massachusetts, the son of James S. H. (b. 1811) and Caroline (Colton, b. 1808 or 1811).

Massachusetts natives James and Caroline were reportedly married in Enfield, Hartford County, Connecticut in 1832 and may have lived in Hampden, Massachusetts. In any case, the family resided in Massachusetts for some years. They left Massachusetts sometime after 1847 and by 1850 James had settled the family on a farm in Castleton, Barry County, Michigan, where Virgil attended school with his four younger siblings, including his brother Emmet, who would also join the Third Michigan. By 1860 James had moved his family to Cannon, Kent County, where both he and his oldest son Virgil (now listed as “Mortimer V.”) worked as cabinet-makers.

Virgil stood 5’9” with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was a 25-year-old engineer possibly living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company K on May 13, 1861. He was present for duty from January of 1862 through November, but absent “in the hands of the provost guard” in December of 1862. He was on duty as a provost guard at Brigade headquarters from January of 1863 through November. (In July he forfeited $2.50 for a lost bayonet.)

He reenlisted as a Sergeant, on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Plainfield, Kent County, was absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, and returned from furlough by the first of February. Virgil was present for duty from February through April and severely wounded in early May. He was subsequently absent sick in the hospital. See photo P-283.

There is no further record, and no pension seems to be available.

By 1870 his parents were living in Spring Creek, Johnson County, Nebraska; also living with them was 7-year-old Michigan-born Emil E. Hamilton. By 1880 James and Caroline were still living in Spring Creek, Nebraska, where James worked as the post-master.