|Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from
microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 5/26/1921.
Victor Hamilton Rests
Impressive Funeral Services for Grantsville Hero
(By Edwin M. Hamilton)
Victor Hamilton, whose funeral was held here Friday afternoon, was a
son of the late John M. and Mrs. Minnie Hamilton. He was born April
18th, 1896, and was killed in France on July 22, 1918, at the age of twenty-two
On April 30, 1917, twenty-for days after America's entering the then
called European War, he enlisted in the U.S. Regular Army, and was assigned
to the 28th Infantry Regiment of the First Divison. On June 8, 1917,
he sailed, with the first contingent of American soldiers, to France, prior
to which he had been made a corporal in a machine gun company. In
October of that year his division moved into the Toul sector, being the
first American unit to occupy a front line position. In the following
May (1918) his outfit moved north where the Spring drives were beginning
On May 29th the world was thrilled with the news of America's first
real engagement, when the 28th Infantry supported by the machine gun company
of which Victor was a member, marched into Cantigny. The American
troops withstood the more serious counter-attack, and from then the First
Division took its place by the side of the seasoned veterans of France
and England. The movements of this division as well as of the others
which had come from America, were swift, until on July 18 it held a sector
from Soissons slmost to Chateau-Thierry.
Four days later, on July 22, the battle was reaching the climax, and
Germany had begun to sicken with the thought that perhaps, after all, a
nation three thousand miles away could halt their dreams of empire.
A new feeling of security came to those who had fought against imperial
domination, and the hope that civilization was not to be smothered was
On July 22, therefore, there was a complete reversal of the military
situation. Death could not have fittingly ended Victor Hamilton's
life until that condition had been brought about. In his usual vocations
he would not have left the field of action while the cause for which he
fought was going backward. But, on the 22nd, when the armies of righteousness
were on the long but certain march to victory, a machine gun bullet found
its way to his heart. In the middle of a command to his squad while
moving to an advanced position, the soul sped from it tenement of clay.
The task for which Victor Hamilton died was not completed that day.
It was not completed on November 11th, when the armistice was signed, nor
is it yet finished. The cause is old, but it will never be a complete
realization so long as men place a higher value on material things than
on eternal principles. Those who live merely in a jealous bickering
sphere, more anxious to destroy than better a fellow man's condition, are
not in touch with the things for which Victor died. He surrendered
every obligation the world might have owed him. He tossed to the
winds his ambition to a place in a profession. He gave his life and
all that life held for him, that the things which make life worth while
might remain for his friends. "Laid down his life for his friends."
Those of us who remember the personal side of his life recall his unfeigned
goodness, his splendid humor and practical philosophy. Hours could
be spent with him and he would discuss any subject from Tom Sawyer and
Huck Finn to the Zodiac. We are told by James Bryce that the four
virtues by which men rise to unusual success are intellect, energy, courage
and independence. Victor possessed these to a marked degree.
Those who knew him are aware of the continuous effort he made to develop
his intellect. He believed, with Emerson, that the world, after all,
existed for education, and he got more satisfaction from learning a thing
than later from knowing it.
He was energetic in every task he undertook. He supplemented the
question "What?" with the query "Why?". In work he was more mindful
of his responsibility than of the emolument. Play was to him work
in another from.
Courage was not to him a synonym of "boldness". Physical bravery
was a superfluity if not necessitated by a moral cause, and did he ever
find that he had committed an error, he deemed it more an act of courage
to retrace his step than to defiantly cling to his wrong.
He possessed the true independence which dies not dare. He did
not consider it more necessary to be independent of the opinions of others
than to be independent of his own prejudices. Independence to him
meant freedom to accept or reject; a duty at all times, as well as a right.
In a very great sense Victor is not dead. It is true that his
smile is gone and his voice is stilled, but the principles for which he
so usefully lived and so nobly died are still among us, the things which
The funeral was conducted at the M.E. Church, South, on Friday afternoon
by Rev. J. Smith Dye, pastor of the local Baptist Church, who drew from
the life and death of the young man a most impressive lesson. A brief,
but (illegible) eulogy was spoken by Hon. Albert G. Mathews, superintendent
of the Methodist Sunday School, and teacher of the class of which Victor
was a faithful and consistent member. His remains were then borne
by his late comrades, members of the American Legion, to Bethlehem cemetery
and deposited by those of his father and two brothers.
The military escort, under direction of Lt. Ray Wilson, and composed
of friends of the deceased, was very impressive, orders being executed
perfectly. The church was beautifully draped with bunting and flags
by the ladies of the church, and, with the lovely floral offerings of the
American Legion and the people of the town, presented a most beautiful
Victor Himilton is survived by his mother, Mrs. John M. Hamilton, and
by eight brothers and three sisters, all of whom except Mrs. Brook Fetty,
of Washington, D.C., were home for the funeral.