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Hamilton Lieber (18351876)

Alfred Hamilton Lieber, called Hamilton, was the second of three sons of Dr. Francis (Franz) Lieber (1798–1872), a German–American jurist best known for his codification of the laws of war at the behest of the Lincoln administration. Hamilton was also the brother of Brigadier General Guido Norman Lieber, to this day the longest-serving head of the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Department (1884–1901). Hamilton shared with his father and both brothers the experience of combat service in war. He differed from them in not taking up the role of writer/scholar. Hamilton was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy but left after the first year to become a farmer. In 1861, he joined the Illinois militia to fight for the Union in the Civil War. His younger brother Norman also served in the Union Army, while his older brother, Oscar, served and was killed as a Confederate soldier. In 1862, shortly before Oscar was mortally wounded, Hamilton lost an arm at Fort Donelson. Subsequently, General Halleck appointed him to his staff and made him a captain. After the war, Secretary of War Stanton made Hamilton a lieutenant colonel. On October 18, 1876, he died in Baden-Baden, Germany, where he was seeking medical treatment for wounds suffered in the Civil War. More . . .

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  April 24, 2013
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