Dick Hamilton, 92-Year-Old Negro, Succumbs
YPSILANTI – Dick Hamilton, 92-year-old Negro, widely known in Ypsilanti, and believed to be the only Washtenaw resident who fought in both the confederate and federal armies in the Civil War, died yesterday at his home here.
For many years, “Dick” was employed as a general handy man in the homes of a number of prominent Ypsilanti families and he also had worked for various business concerns.
A large group of his former employers will be among attendants at the funeral services which will be held at 2 o’clock tomorrow afternoon in the A.M.E. church here. Burial will be in Highland cemetery.
Born into slavery about 1846 on the plantation of Thomas Shuford, near Lincoln, S. C., he was sold at an early age to Peter Summey, a nearby planter, and at the age of 15 years accompanied the latter to war as his personal servant. The boy was taken prisoner quite early in the war by the 15th Pennsylvania cavalry, and for the remainder of the great conflict he fought in various federal units, including the 10th Michigan cavalry. He participated in the battles of Honey Hill, Bull Run, Pitts Landing and the Wilderness.
After the close of the war he came to Ypsilanti, soon joining a 16-piece brass band organized here to tour the nation. At Topeka, Kans., the group joined the Sells Bros. circus, and traveled with that organization for several years. Hamilton believed himself to be the last survivor of that band. Circus life was followed by a short career as a member of an independent brass band which quickly went broke on the road, and Hamilton joined another show, with which he traveled for some time.
Returning to Ypsilanti, he married Anna King, who died May 1, 1926, since which time Hamilton has made his home with his son, Norman. There also are several grandchildren.