1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

 

Captain Robert L. Hamilton

 

 

2nd Lieutenant Robert L. Hamilton
Photo taken when he was a brand new officer with the 22nd Infantry.

National Archives photo 111-SC-98064

 

 

Robert Lee Hamilton was born in West Virginia on January 10, 1867.

He entered the United States Military Academy at West Point on June 16, 1887 at the age of
twenty years and six months. His best subjects at the Academy were Drill Regulations and
Ordnance and Gunnery, and his worst subjects were Mathematics and French. He graduated
37 out of a class of 64 on June 12, 1891. Upon graduation he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant
in the 22nd Infantry. He was one of two graduates from the Military Academy that year
assigned to the 22nd Infantry, the other being Hanson E. Ely.

He joined Company D 22nd Infantry at Fort Keogh, Montana on September 30, 1891. He served with his Company
on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation and at Camp Merritt, Montana (established at the Lame Deer Agency)
from March 1 to June 1, 1892 where he was Camp Adjutant and Camp Quartermaster. He was stationed at Fort Keogh
from June 5, 1892 to July 1, 1893 except for July 1892 when he was with the Regiment suppressing mining riots in the
Coeur d'Alene region of Idaho.

Officers of the 22nd and 14th Infantry

National Archives records this as having been taken at Fort Keogh, Montana in August 1892.
Second Lieutenant Robert L. Hamilton is standing back row second from the right.

National Archives photo 111-SC-98064

 

 

Hamilton was detailed to the Infantry and Cavalry School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on September 1, 1893, being one
of two 22nd Infantry officers attending the School's class of 1894-1895, the other officer being 2nd Lieutenant Albert
C. Dalton. The essay written by Hamilton at the School to meet his graduation requirements was entitled "Improvements
that have been made in Small Fire-arms and the consequent effect upon Tactical Formations". He graduated from
the School on June 18, 1895 with the distinction of "Distinguished Graduate". His record shows that he was in Europe
for the next three months, starting on July 1, 1895, though without specifying the reasons for being there. During the years
1894-1895 he was officially assigned to Company I 22nd Infantry.

Hamilton was at the Frankford Arsenal in Philadephia, Pennsylvania for instruction in ordnance work from October 1, 1895
to October 1, 1896. He rejoined the Regiment at Fort Crook, Nebraska from November 1, 1896 to October 30, 1897. In 1897
he was assigned to Company H 22nd Infantry. He was then sent to the Army's Engineer School at Willets Point, New York
for a course in submarine mining on November 1, 1897.

On January 26, 1898 Hamilton was promoted to 1st Lieutenant of the 5th Infantry.

When war with Spain broke out in April 1898 Hamilton left the Engineer School and joined the 5th Infantry at Tampa, Florida
on April 28. Assigned to Company K 5th Infantry he went with his Company to Galveston, Texas on May 11. From June 5 to
July 19, 1898 Hamilton was detached from his Company and placed in charge of the Torpedo Casemate at Galveston Harbor.
Learning that his Company was under orders to be sent to Puerto Rico for combat duty, he requested and was granted
release from his duty at the Casemate to join his Company, then in Camp at Tampa, where he joined them on July 21.

The orders for the 5th Infantry were changed and Hamilton went with the Regiment to Santiago, Cuba on August 20, 1898
where they were involved in occupation duties. While there Hamilton was Acting Regimental Quartermaster, Post Exchange
Officer, officer in charge of prisoners and commanded Company K 5th Infantry. He was on sick leave from September 11
to November 22, 1898. On March 11, 1899 he became Acting Engineer Officer, Department of Santiago
and Puerto Principe, Cuba.

On September 7, 1900 Hamilton was promoted to Captain of the 22nd Infantry. He remained on detached service with the
5th Infantry, travelling with them to the Philippines where he rejoined the 22nd Infantry already on station there. He was
assigned to command of Company I 22nd Infantry on December 6, 1900. The official report of the 22nd Infantry for the
month of February 1901 made note that on February 22 and 23 Hamilton led a mounted detachment from the 22nd Infantry
in pursuit of bandits "to Bantog-Bobi, west of Rio Chico, without success."

He was appointed Regimental Commissary of the 22nd Infantry on May 17, 1901, leaving his Company and joining Regimental
Headquarters at San Isidro on June 8. While at San Isidro he also carried out the duties of Depot Commissary there. He was
relieved from duty as Regimental Commissary and appointed Regimental Adjutant of the 22nd Infantry on September 8, 1901.
On that same date Hamilton was on detached service to Manila, officially representing the 22nd Infantry for mourning and
memorial services related to the assassination and death of President William McKinley lasting from September 8-21, 1901.

From September 21 to November 27, 1901 Hamilton was Telegraph Instructor for the Department of the Philippines. He was
then on detached service from November 27 to December 7, 1901 attending a session of a General Courts Martial in Malabon
in the Philippines. As the 22nd Infantry left the Philippines he was enroute to the United States from January 31 to February 25, 1902.

Hamilton was the Regimental Adjutant and Recruiting Officer of the 22nd Infantry at Fort Crook, Nebraska from March 11 to
May 29, 1902. He then took leave from May 29 to July 29, 1902. He was with the Regiment at the maneuvers at Fort Riley,
Kansas from September 5 to October 2 when he was admitted sick into the Field Hospital at Fort Riley. He stayed in the
hospital until October 6 and was on detached service at Fort Crook from October 11 - 22. On October 22 he resumed
his duties as Adjutant and Recruiting Officer.

 

COL Henry Wygant, Commanding Officer 22nd Infantry
(on the left)

CPT Robert L. Hamilton, Adjutant (on the right)

Photo taken at Fort Crook, Nebraska 1903

Photo from the Omaha Daily Bee, October 11, 1903
University of Nebraska, Lincoln , Nebraska State Historical Society

     

 

Hamilton went with the Regiment to St. Louis, Missouri for the dedication of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition
April 28 to May 1, 1903 then took leave to May 5. He became the Signal Officer at Fort Crook on May 19, 1903.
He took leave again until July 31 and resumed his duties as Regimental Adjutant, Post Adjutant, Recruiting Officer
and Signal Officer at Fort Crook on August 1. He again took leave and returned to the post on October 11. He was
enroute from Fort Crook to San Francisco October 21-25 and was at the Presidio in San Francisco from October 25-31.

Hamilton sailed with the 22nd Infantry to the Philippines on October 31, 1903 onboard the Transport Sheridan,
arriving in Manila on November 28, 1903. He was enroute from Manila to Camp Marahui on the island of Mindanao
from December 1-6. In addition to his duties as Regimental Adjutant, at Camp Marahui he became the Camp Adjutant
and Recruiting Officer. He took part in the engagement with hostile forces at Ramaien on Lake Lanao, on January 22, 1904,
when the four Companies of 1st Battalion under command of Major J.S. Parke moved across the lake by boat and
engaged Moro forces at the mouth of the Ramaien River. Sometime after this engagement Hamilton was sent on detached
service to Zamboanga until March 2. He returned to Zamboanga on detached service again, this time as a witness in a
General Courts Martial from March 16 to 29.

Hamilton left Camp Marahui on April 7, 1904 bound for the United States. Once back in the States he was granted leave
for one month which was then extended for another 15 days. On his way back to the Philippines he was assigned to duty
involving recruits on June 24. He sailed from San Francisco on July 1 and arrived in Manila on July 31, 1904. He rejoined
the Regiment on August 20. On August 21 he was detailed as Post Adjutant and Recruiting Officer at Camp Marahui.

From October 22-25, 1904 Hamilton commanded 2nd Battalion 22nd Infantry in an engagement against the Sultan of Oato
near Lake Lanao on the island of Mindanao. His Battalion in concert with Troop F of the 14th Cavalry, a Provisional Company
of the 23rd Infantry and a battery of the 17th Field Artillery made an envelopment of the Sultan's territory by land and by boat
across Lake Lanao. The entire force was commanded by Lt. Colonel Henry E. Robinson of the 22nd Infantry. On the morning
of October 24 Hamilton landed his Battalion in boats under fire from the Moros and assaulted and captured several small forts.
Before the assault on the final fort the artillery joined up with the Battalion and the battery fired on the fort for thirty minutes
resulting in the Sultan's surrender. Hamilton's loss for his Battalion was one officer and one enlisted man wounded. In the report
of Colonel Henry Wygant, Commander of the 22nd Infantry and Commanding Officer of Camp Marahui concerning this
engagement Hamilton was commended "...for energy and judgment in the landing of his command. To his tireless energy
was due the success of troops in capturing the first Cotta (fort) before the arrival of the artillery."

It was on this deployment to the Philippines during 1904 that Hamilton, as Regimental Adjutant, compiled the history of the
22nd Infantry Regiment, published in Manila by E.C. McCullough & Co. He wrote the following dedication in the front of
the book:

To the regiment's "Killed in Battle" this recital of
unworthier soldiering is dedicated

 

     

The Preface page of the official
Regimental history of the 22nd Infantry
published in 1904 was written by Robert L. Hamilton,
who, as Regimental Adjutant prepared the history for
publication. Hamilton was also responsible for
compiling that portion of the history covering
the years 1885-1898.

At the bottom of the page is Hamilton's
hand written signature.

From the webmaster's collection

 

 

Hamilton took leave for two days January 1 and 2, 1905. He was sick in quarters at Camp Keithley on the island of Mindanao
from April 14 to May 5, 1905. He was ordered to Manila for treatment in the Division Hospital on May 5. His illness was severe
enough to have him ordered sent back to the United States for hospitalization. On May 16 he was relieved of his duties as
Regimental Adjutant after serving in that position for four years. On May 17 he was relieved from his responsibilities as
Post Adjutant and Recruiting Officer at Camp Keithley and on May 22 he sailed aboard the Transport Thomas bound for
the United States. Upon reaching the States he was admitted to the U.S. Army General Hospital at the Presidio at San Francisco
where he remained as a patient for several months.

While still sick in hospital he was officially assigned to command of Company B 22nd Infantry, then on their way back from the
Philippines. He was released from the hospital on December 16, 1905 but remained sick in his quarters at Fort McDowell at
San Francisco until January 26, 1906. While there his command was officially transferred from Company B to Company L on
January 15, 1906. He was ordered for treatment to the Army & Navy General Hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas, leaving
Fort McDowell on January 26, 1906. On that date Hamilton was officially recorded as having left the Regiment. His official status
became one of being on leave with a surgeon's certificate of disability.

This metal stencil used by Captain Robert L. Hamilton to mark his baggage and personal
possessions was offered for sale on Ebay some years ago

 

On September 13, 1906 Hamilton's leave was extended for two months on "account of sickness." On November 5 his Leave
Of Absence was extended for another six months for the same reason. He rejoined the 22nd Infantry in San Francisco on
April 20, 1907. He commanded a Company for two days, April 21-22 then on April 23 was sick in his quarters until May 3.
He was admitted to the U.S. Army General Hospital at the Presidio of San Francisco from May 27 to June 13, at which time
he returned to his quarters where he was sick in quarters until June 24.

On June 24, 1907 Robert L. Hamilton was retired from the Army with the rank of Captain on account of disability incident to the
Service. He retired to his residence at Omaha, Nebraska. (On June 13, 1916 his retirement was increased to the rank of Major
with disability contracted in the line of duty.) He had served twenty years in the Army with approximately sixteen and a half of
those years in the 22nd Infantry.

On March 5, 1914 Robert L. Hamilton (U.S.Army Retired) was detailed as Colonel of Infantry
on the General Staff of the Nebraska National Guard. He was carried on the record as a U.S. Army Officer
detailed to the National Guard.

Col. Hamilton was the senior instructor during combat training held by the 4th Infantry Regiment of the Nebraska National Guard
at Camp L.D. Richards at Fremont, Nebraska August 10-16, 1915.

 

Decorations of Robert L. Hamilton:
Left to right:
Spanish War Service Medal, Philippine Campaign Medal, Cuban Occupation Medal, Order of the Carabao

 

 

 

Robert L. Hamilton died at Spokane, Washington on April 16, 1952.

 

Burial:
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington
Arlington County
Virginia, USA
Plot: Section 3 Site 2052-A-1

 

Grave marker for Robert L. Hamilton

Photo by John Evans from the Find A Grave website

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

BIOGRAPHICAL REGISTER of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York
by Brevet-Major-General George W. Cullum, SUPPLEMENT VOLUME IV, Riverside Press, Cambridge 1901

BIOGRAPHICAL REGISTER of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York
by Brevet-Major-General George W. Cullum, SUPPLEMENT VOLUME V, Seeman & Peters, Saginaw. Mich.1910

BIOGRAPHICAL REGISTER of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York
by Brevet-Major-General George W. Cullum, SUPPLEMENT VOLUME VI-A, Seeman & Peters, Saginaw. Mich.1920

Official U.S. Army Registers 1892-1916

Annual Reports of the War Department for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1906 VOLUME I
Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 1906

22nd Infantry Regimental History published 1904

Biennial Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Nebraska for 1915-1916

 

 

 

 

 


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