Schuyler Hamilton

Schuyler Hamilton, a grandson of Alexander Hamilton, was born in New York City on July 25, 1822.  He entered the Military Academy at the age of fifteen and was graduated in 1841, ranking twenty-fourth in a class of fifty-two. He was commissioned second lieutenant, 1st Infantry, shortly before his nineteenth birthday. He served on the plains and as an assistant instructor in infantry tactics at West Point before the Mexican War. He won two brevets for gallantry in Mexico and was twice critically wounded, once by a ball in the abdomen and once by a lance which passed entirely through his chest, piercing his lung. He served as aide-de-camp to General Winfield Scott for seven years and resigned his commission in 1855. For a time Hamilton lived in California; however, at the outbreak of the war he was settled on a farm at Branford, Connecticut. He returned to Washington as a volunteer private in the 7th New York National Guard in April, 1861, and soon was again serving Scott as military secretary with the staff rank of colonel. Upon Scott's retirement Hamilton joined his brother-in-law Henry W. Halleck in St. Louis as assistant chief of staff of the Department of the Missouri. He was commissioned brigadier general of volunteers to rank from November 12, 1861. In the operations against New Madrid and Island No. 10 he commanded a division under John Pope and then participated in the slow advance upon and siege of Corinth under Halleck. Hamilton commanded the left wing of the Army of the Mississippi and William S. Rosecrans commanded the right wing. At this juncture Hamilton fell ill of malaria and went on sick leave. He was appointed major general of volunteers to rank from September 17, 1862, an appointment which would expire by law if not confirmed by the Senate by March 3, 1863. Understanding that the nomination of an officer unfit for service could not be submitted to the Senate for confirmation, Hamilton resigned on February 27, 1863. In later years he felt that he had been dealt an injustice and endeavored to be placed upon the retired list, without success. His remaining years were spent at his New York home, where he died on March 8, 1903. He was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn.

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