US GenWeb

This biography is from HEROES OF ALBANY, by Rufus W. Clark, D. D.

Hugh Hammill

In the history of Mr. Hammill, we have another instance of patriotic ardor and heroic suffering for the cause of human liberty; and another victim of the barbarities practiced upon our noble men in southern prisons.

Hugh Hammill was born in Ireland, in the year 1844. He came to this country with his parents in 1846, and settled in the city of Albany. At the breaking out of the war, he felt that his adopted country needed his services, and, like many others of his countrvmen, he gave his heart and his life to the American Republic.

He enlisted in Company E, Twenty-fifth Regiment of National Guards, in May 1862, and served for three months at Suffolk, Va. He returned home on the 5th of September, and on the 14th of October he again otfered his services to the government, and became a member of the Tenth Regiment. He was afterwards removed to the One Hundred and Seventy-seventh Regiment of New York Volunteers, and was with them in their skirmishes and marches for hundreds of miles to Port Hudson. He was also in the terrific charges upon Port Hudson, and saw hundreds of his brave comrades fall, while he, equally brave and daring, escaped the deadly fire of the enemy. Having most faithfully served the country of his adoption, he returned home, on the 1st of September, 1863.

But, while there was any doubt as to the issue of the struggle in which we were engaged, Mr. Hammill could not rest, and notwithstanding his terrible experiences at Port Hudson, and in the toilsome marches and skirmishes in which he had been engaged, he, like a noble patriot, enlisted again, and on the 19th of November, 1863, joined Company E, of the Seventh Heavy Artillery Regiment.

He bravely fought in all the battles of the Wilderness, Coal Harbor and Petersburg, and through all the terrible fires to which he was exposed, we do not learn that he received any personal injury.

On the 16th of June, 1864, he was captured by the rebels, and at the same time his Captain, and most of his company, were taken prisoners. These were sent to Richmond, and then to Andersonville prison. In consequence of the barbarous treatment Mr. Hammill received, he became very sick, and, while slowly recovering, he was removed to another prison. At that time he was, in his feeble state of health, exposed, in the open air, for three days and nights, to a severe rain storm. This brought on a relapse, and he continued to sink until the 16th of November, 1864, when death released him from his sufferings.

It is sad to contemplate such an end, for one who had manifested such an ardent and persistent devotion to the interests and welfare of his adopted country. But his deeds will never be forgotten, and the memory of his worth will be gratefully cherished by a large circle of relatives and friends.

Mr. Hammill was educated in the faith and worship of the Roman Catholic Church, and was a member of that church up to the time of his death.

Send comments or suggestions to:
Debby Masterson

Go Back to Albany County Biographies
Go Back to Home Page