Hamilton C. Dial, Confederate cavalry officer, was born in Tennessee on January 15, 1833, to Martin Dial and Margaret Campbell. By 1850 he lived in Shelby County, Texas, worked as a farmer, and by 1856 married Lucinda Eglintine Hurley. Their union produced two sons named Joseph and William. By 1860 Dial lived in Hopkins County with his two sons, and at the onset of the Civil War he joined the Ninth Texas Cavalry. He enlisted at Camp Reeves on October 14, 1861, as a third lieutenant of Company K. On May 15, 1862, he was promoted to captain at Camp Gibson. Dial was seriously wounded at the battle of Corinth on October 3, 1862, and captured. He was paroled and spent a short time furloughed and on special duty. In late September 1863 in Mississippi, Dial led a group of men on a search for much needed blankets and portable shelters to ward off the coming cold of winter. Dial was named commander of the regiment in September 1864 as a result of Col. Dudley Jones's lingering illness. On September 30, 1864, Dial and his men attempted to destroy the rail lines outside of Marietta, Georgia, but were caught in a rainstorm that effectively ended the mission and further lowered morale after the horrendous Georgia campaign. On October 14, 1864, he was promoted to major, but the unit surrendered on May 26, 1865.
Following the war Dial returned to Hopkins County, Texas, where he continued work as a farmer. He married Maggie J. Russell of North Carolina on June 4, 1866, in Hopkins County. On December 5, 1871, Dial served as the captain of Company A in the Thirty-ninth Reserve Militia in Hopkins County. He continued to work as a farmer throughout the 1870s and 1880s. Margaret passed away on November 21, 1889, and Dial married this third wife, Nora Burnett, in Cherokee County on March 1, 1894. Dial died on December 4, 1898, and is buried in the Gafford Chapel Cemetery in Hopkins County, Texas. His wife, Maggie J. Dial, is buried near him.
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Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas, National Archives and Records Service, Washington. Martha L. Crabb, All Afire to Fight: The Untold Tale of the Civil War's Ninth Cavalry (New York: Avon Books, Inc., 2000). Reconstruction Military Rolls, 1865–1866, 1870–1877, undated, Texas Adjutant General's Department, Texas State Archives, Austin, online inventory (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/30074/tsl-30074.html), accessed February 3, 2011.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Stephanie P. Niemeyer
Brett J. Derbes,
“Dial, Hamilton C.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 29, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
April 5, 2011
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: