Peter W. Hilton

This biography appears on pages 518-519 in "Soldiers' and Citizens' Album of Biographical Record containing personal sketches of Army Men and Citizens Prominent in loyalty to the Union" Published in 1890

Peter W. Hilton, Racine, Wis., member of G. A. R. Post No. 17, was born in Hamilton, Canada, June 23, 1844, and his father, Peter W. Hilton, was born in 1812 in Bolton, England. He was a cabinet-maker and emigrated to Canada in 1843, going after a few months to East Troy, Walworth Co., Wis. In 1845 he went to Racine and established his business in company with a man named Waite. In 1864 he bought the entire interest which he conducted until his death in 1871. The mother, Elizabeth Mather before marriage, was born in Lancashire, England, and died Aug. 23, 1865. Mr. Hilton had three sisters, named Augusta, Catherine and Ann. The latter is deceased. Mr. Hilton became the apprentice of his father and was with him in business until he entered the army. He enlisted at Racine, Aug. 7, 1862, in Company A, 22d Wisconsin Infantry, and went to the front at Cincinnati under Colonel William Utley and Captain G. R. Williamson. He left the State September 16th and after arrival at Cincinnati went to Covington and successively to Lexington and Nashville. The regiment was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Army of Kentucky, and went in February to Brentwood Station, thence to Franklin, was next in a reconnoissance to Spring Hill, March 3d, and fought in the disastrous action at Thompson's Station, escaping capture with 1,100 soldiers to be taken prisoner by Forrest with Lieutenant Colonel Bloodgood 21 days later. They were attacked about daybreak, Mr. Hilton receiving a call and a "good morning" from a rebel before he was dressed. They were taken to Columbia, Chickamauga, Knoxville and Lynchburg en route to Richmond, where they were in Libby two days and went thence to Fortress Monroe and to Annapolis. The regiment was at St. Louis and Mr. Hilton remained about six weeks in Benton Barracks before exchange. They were sent to Nashville, where they remained until spring of 1864, and went to Chattanooga, Tenn., to join the 3d Division, 2d Brigade nd 20th Army Corps in the Atlanda Campaign under Sherman. In the first action at Resaca, May 15th, Mr. Hilton was wounded in the shoulder by a shell, which killed or wounded about 15 of his comrades and he went to the hospital at Nashville, rejoined his regiment at Chattahoochie River and was in the skirmish line when Hood attacked, September 2d, and moved with the head of the line when the mayor and city officials came out to surrender the city, after which they were in Atlanda, engaged in building breastworks and fortifications, mixed with skirmishing until they went to join Sherman on the march to the sea, leaving Atlanta November 15th. Mr. Hilton went to Savannah, engaged in forage and other duty on the way and was in a detail up the Savannah River to prevent trouble from the rebel gunboats; they were fired on, but captured the transport Resolute. Returning to Savannah, they took possession after its surrender and went North with Sherman through the Carolinas, Mr. Hilton fighting at Averysboro and going to Raleigh and thence after the surrender of Johnston to Richmond and Washington to the Grand Review. He received honorable discharge June 12, 1865, and was finally fully released from military obligations at Milwaukee on the 25th. He returned to Racine and engaged in business with his father and a year later went to work with the Geyser Threshing Machine Company. He engaged later with Blake & Elliott, with whom he remained 18 years and is now (1889) in the employ of the Racine Wagon & Carriage Company.

He was married March 11, 1875, to Mary, daughter of Williams and Maria (Whiting) Dibble and their children were named Charles, Henry D., Frank E., Cora, Elizabeth M. and William G. Henry, William and Elizabeth are the only survivors.