Joseph Eldridge Hamblin

Joseph Eldridge Hamblin was born on January 13, 1828, probably in Yarmouth, Massachusetts. He was educated in the Boston public schools; was employed by a firm of engine builders, first in Boston and then in New York; and in 1854 became an insurance broker in the latter city. In 1851 he became a member of the 7 th Regiment, New York National Guard. He resided in St. Louis from 1857 until 1861, returning to New York when the war began and accompanying the 7th Regiment to Washington a week after the fall of Sumter. On May 14 he was mustered into Federal service as first lieutenant and adjutant of the 5th New York Infantry, also known as "Duryee's Zouaves," with which he took part in the first battle of the war at Big Bethel on June 10.  After some engineering duty at Baltimore, Hamblin was promoted to captain and then transferred to the 65th New York as major. With successive promotions to lieutenant colonel (July, 1862) and colonel (May, 1863), he took part in the Peninsular campaign, the Maryland campaign, and the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg—the regiment was first a part of the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Division of the IV Corps and then, after Sharpsburg, of the 3rd Division of the VI Corps. Hamblin served under U. S. Grant from the Wilderness to Petersburg in the spring of 1864 and went to the Shenandoah with the VI Corps under Horatio G. Wright to participate in the battles of Winchester, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek. At the latter battle he commanded a brigade, was severely wounded in the right leg, and received the brevet of brigadier general for "gallant and meritorious services." After his return to duty, he commanded the 3rd Brigade of Wheaton's 1st Division of the VI Corps at Hatcher's Run and in the other engagements leading up to Appomattox, winning the brevet of major general for conspicuous gallantry at Sayler's Creek. His commission as full brigadier general of volunteers dated from May 19, 1865. After the war General Hamblin reentered the insurance business in New York and in 1867 became adjutant general and chief of staff of the New York National Guard. At the time of his death in New York on July 3, 1870, he was superintendent of agencies for the Commonwealth Fire Insurance Company. He was buried in Yarmouth.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.