Private Hamilton McPhaul was born ca. 1837 in Florida. His family had relocated from North Carolina between 1837-1838; his mother was listed on the 1850 census, but is absent from the 1860 census.
In 1860, he was living at the residence of his father Duncan near Mount Pleasant in Gadsden County, Florida along older sister Ella, and younger brothers Christopher (who served in the same company), William and John. Hamilton's father was farmer of no small means, owning real estate valued at $1,000 and a personal worth of $4,000. Hamilton’s profession was given as farm laborer; he had attended school within 12 months of the 1860 census.
In 1861, he enlisted in Captain Rabon Scarborough’s Florida State Militia Company, the “Dixie Blues”.
He reenlisted in Captain Davidson’s Company on April 19th, 1862 at Quincy, Gadsden County, Florida. He was absent sick at Gadsden County, but was able to rejoin the company before June 30th, 1862.
Hamilton was present with the company from June 30th, 1862 until April 7th, 1863 when he was left sick at Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. He was captured at New Market, Tennessee, some 7 miles east-northeast of Strawberry Plains on June 21st, 1863.
He apparently was able to escape; he was reported present with the company on July 9th, and remained with it until February 19th, 1864. During this period, he suffered a pay stoppage for “ordnance stores lost” between November 1st and December 31st, 1863 in the amount of $13.30; this likely due to the Confederate defeat at Missionary Ridge on November 25th.
On February 19th, 1864, he was ordered into a hospital while at Dalton, Georgia. Hamilton returned to the company, and was with it through the remainder of the war; he received a gunshot wound in the right leg at Bentonville, North Carolina on March 19th, 1865, and was admitted General Hospital No. 10 at Salisbury, North Carolina, from where he was paroled on May 2nd, 1865.
He was admitted to the 2nd Division, 23 A.C. Hospital on May 20, 1865 where he endured the above-knee amputation of his right leg as a result of his wounding at Bentonville. He was discharged from the hospital on June 25th, 1865; his rank was stated as “Corporal”. Hamilton took the Oath of Allegiance at Salisbury, North Carolina on June 21st, 1865.
He married Adaline (née Johns) on 24 March 1878 in Gadsden County, Florida. They had one child born in November of 1878; there is no further record of Adaline.
Hamilton taught in public schools in Gadsden County, and was a Justice of the Peace in 1878. In 1880, he gave his occupation as “getting lumber for the railroad”. Hamilton married the widow Malissa (Sanders) Creswell on November 9th, 1881, who also had a daughter by her previous marriage.
Hamilton and Malissa had three children together. In 1885, Hamilton was both a farmer and a post office worker. In that same year, he also served as the official enumerator for the 1885 census of Gadsden County, Florida.
Hamilton died on September 28th, 1887 at Mount Pleasant, Gadsden County, Florida and is interred at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Chattahoochee, Gadsden County, Florida.
Malissa applied for and was awarded a Florida Confederate Pension for Hamilton’s service. 
 State Library and Archives, Florida Memory, Collections (photographs), https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/263375, accessed 2016-05-02)