SUBMITTED BY: JC Knowles
Hamilton Chamberlain Jones was born on November 3, 1837 in Salisbury, North Carolina. He received his education at the Ben Sumner School in Rowan County. He studied law at the University of North Carolina and graduated in 1858. When he returned to Salisbury, he continued his study of law under his father. He was admitted to the bar in 1860. Jones ran for the North Carolina Senate in 1860 but was not elected. He believed in ‘states rights’ but did not approve of secession. When North Carolina finally left the Union, Jones joined up with North Carolina.
Entering the service at the age of twenty-four, he was appointed Lieutenant of the Rowan Rifles and took part in the takeover of Fort Johnston on the lower Cape Fear River. When the State Troops were organized Governor John Ellis appointed Jones Captain of Company K, Fifth North Carolina Regiment.
The Fifth Regiment took part in the fighting in Virginia, especially around Williamsburg. In that battle, Jones was wounded, and while on leave to rest and recover, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and assigned to the Fifty-seventh North Carolina Regiment. Under Jones’ leadership, his regiment fought at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. He was taken prisoner at the Rappahannock Railroad bridge on November 7, 1863. He was first taken to Washington, D. C. and later to the prison on Johnson’s Island, OH.
In an exchange of prisoners, Jones was released and was promoted colonel of his former unit, the Fifty-seventh Regiment. He was wounded again in the fighting at Fort Stedman, VA on March 25, 1865. He was at home recovering when he received word of Lee’s surrender.
Returning home to Salisbury, Jones took up the practice of law with General Robert D. Johnston. For a brief time, the two gentlemen served as editors of the Charlotte News. In 1869, he was appointed to serve an unexpired term in the State Senate and was twice reelected to that office. In 1873, Jones married Connie Myers, daughter of Col. W. R. Myers of Charlotte, and they had six children.
In 1885, Jones was appointed the United States District Attorney of the Western North Carolina District, serving for four years. After serving his term as U.S. District Attorney, he returned to his private law practice. Jones died on August 23, 1904.