3559. Class of 1893. Before or near Soissons this brave officer met his death-heroically as he had lived-he died the death of a very fine gentleman and soldier; his last hours were characteristic of his whole life, his thoughts were always for others. Killed while directing an attack on a machine gun emplacement,in France (reported July 29, 1918). Aged 47 years.
Colonel Hamilton Allen Smith, was a native of Florida, having been born in that State in January, 1870; his boyhood days were spent in that State and in Georgia, from which latter State he came as a cadet to the United States Military Academy, graduating with the Class of 1893. He was assigned to the 3rd Infantry after graduation, with station at Fort Snelling, Minn., and with this regiment he saw service in the Cuban campaign and in the Philippines, and also in Alaska. With his regiment he went to the Mexican border in 1916. In 1901 he was promoted to his Cap- taincy, and in 1917 he received his Majority and was detailed in the Inspector General’s Department at Fort Sam Houston. He was a graduate of the School of the Line and of the Staff College.
Colonel Smith sailed with the first Expeditionary Forces under General Sibert. Early in the year of 1918 he was given the command of the 26th U. S. Infantry, and saw active service at Chateau Thierry and Cantigny. As a result of the excellent work done by his regiment Colonel Smith was congratulated by Generals Buck and Bullard.
Before or near Soissons this brave officer met his death-heroically as he had lived-he died the death of a very fine gentleman and soldier; his last hours were characteristic of his whole life, his thoughts were always for others.
Colonel Smith was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross posthumously by the Commanding General of the A. E. F., as shown by the following communication received by the widow of Colonel Smith:
201-Smith, Hamilton A. (Misc. Div.)
The Adjutant General’s Office.
Mrs. Hamilton A. Smith,
Fort Sam Houston, Texas – – Washington, December 2, 1918.
This office has been advised by cable by the Commanding General,
American Expeditionary Forces, that he has awarded the Distinguished Service Cross posthumously to your husband, Col. Hamilton A. Smith, 26th Infantry, for “near Soissons, France, July 19-22, 1918, he spent the greater part of his time in the front lines, to encourage and direct his command, without sign of fear for his personal safety, and by his courageous leadership inspired his officers and men to effective combat. He was killed while directing an attack on a machine gun emplacement.”
The Quartermaster General of the Army has been directed to cause the Distinguished Service Cross to be forwarded to you, and it is be lieved that you will receive same in a short time.
Colonel Smith left to mourn his loss, a widow and five children, one of whom is a Sergeant of Engineers with the American Expeditionary Forces, and three brothers as well as a ‘large circle of friends who knew his worth and value as a man and a soldier. He was buried with military honors in the cemetery at Orry-la-Ville, and his body rests in a vault in the tomb belonging to Monsieur Barre Renaux. Many tears were shed for an allied hero – dead on the field of honor.
“Greater love hath no man than this * * *”
J. H. S.