William H. Hicks was born in 1847 in Picton, Ontario, Canada, the son of John (b. 1810) and Ann (b. 1815).
John was born in Ireland and immigrated to North America where he met and married Canadian-born Ann, and they settled in Ontario. William’s family left Canada and came to Michigan sometime after 1855, eventually settling in Lyons, Ionia County by 1860 where John worked as a watchmaker. (William is not living with them, however, only one James W., age 19 who also worked as a watchmaker and Victoria, age 5.)
William stood 5’7” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion, and was 14 years old and residing in Clinton County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. He was first reported missing in action on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, but by early September he was listed as wounded, probably at Second Bull Run, and was subsequently hospitalized. He was reported absent sick in a hospital from October of 1862 until he was discharged for consumption on January 25, 1863, at the Third Corps hospital, near Fort Lyon, Virginia.
After his discharge from the army William returned to Bingham where he reentered the service as a Sergeant in Company I, Twenty-seventh Michigan infantry on December 9, 1863, for 3 years, crediting Bingham, and was mustered December 29 at Ovid, Clinton County. The regiment had been organized in Port Huron, Ovid and Ypsilanti and all but companies I and K mustered into service on April 10 and which left Michigan for Kentucky on April 12. Company I was mustered into service on December 13, 1863, and presumably shortly afterwards joined the regiment in eastern Tennessee. In March of 1864 he was sick at Knoxville, Tennessee from February 28, but recovered and rejoined the regiment before it was transferred to the Army of the Potomac.
The regiment arrived in Annapolis, Maryland in April of 1864 and subsequently participated in the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and North Anna in May. William was was wounded on June 3 at Cold Harbor, Virginia, and he was subsequently hospitalized in Washington, DC.
William died of his wounds on June 29,1864, at Washington, DC, and was reportedly buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
In 1884 his mother applied for and received a pension (no. 216608); his father also applied for a pension (no. 200150).