This short note, expressing his love for his wife and infant daughter, was written by Major Daniel Heyward Hamilton, Jr. (1838-1908), the son of Col. Daniel Heyward and Rebecca Motte Middleton Hamilton.
Daniel received his education at The Citadel — a military school in his native Charleston, South Carolina. He removed himself to Hillsboro, North Carolina in 1859 and became an instructor at Charles Courtenay Tew’s Hillsboro Military Academy. The American Civil War interrupted this tenure, after which he was commissioned a Major with an assignment to the 13th North Carolina Infantry. He subsequently served on the staff of General Roswell Sabine Ripley with additional service as the Adjutant of Gregg’s 1st South Carolina Regiment then commanded by his father. Major Hamilton received a dangerous wound at Shepherdstown, West Virginia which required his removal from active field service. He continued in service as the Provost Marshal of Columbia, South Carolina. During the scuffle at Catawba Bridge, the South Carolinian was captured.
After the four year war concluded in 1865, he successfully studied law and was admitted to the bar, but never practiced the profession. As an alternative, he became a competent educator in Hillsboro’s school district. Furthermore, Hamilton served his community of Orange County as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners and Clerk of the Superior Court.
Daniel was married to Frances Gray Roulhac (1839-1897) and their first child was Katherine Roulhac Hamilton (1860-1893). The letter was written from Weldon, North Carolina where the volunteers of the 13th North Carolina assembled and organized during the summer of 1861.
Addressed to Mrs. D. H. Hamilton, Jr., Hillsboro, North Carolina
Weldon, North Carolina
September 2d 1861
My dear wife,
I have but time to write a line. I have heard no news whatever. I miss you more than I can say but you will be with me next week, I have no doubt. I love you dearly, my darling wife. Kiss my baby for me & give love to all. I am sad at leaving you. God bless you my own.
Your devoted husband, — D. H. Hamilton, Jr.