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LT. GENERAL AMBROSE P. HILL
Item #: CWB12140
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Lieutenant-General Ambrose Powell Hill, the brilliant Confederate 
corps commander, was born in Culpeper county, Virginia, November 
9, 1825, and was trained for military life at West Point academy 
where, graduating with distinction in 1847, he began service in 
the First artillery, in which he was promoted second lieutenant 
the same year.

His studies of the great masters of war gave him early reputation 
for accurate and extensive acquaintance with the art to which he 
had devoted his life.  His services were required in Mexico 
during 1847 and afterward in the hostilities with the Seminoles.

Detached from field duty by the government he was employed in the 
position of superintendent of the coast survey, having in the 
meantime received promotion to the rank of first-lieutenant.  In 
October, 1850 he obtained leave of absence, and in March, 1861, 
his devotion to the cause of the South as against armed invasion 
induced him to resign his commission in the United States army.

Virginia was beginning at that time to organize its forces for 
defense against the threatened coercion, and conferred upon the 
accomplished soldier the rank of colonel, with assignment to the 
command of the Thirteenth regiment Virginia volunteers, which he 
industriously drilled and disciplined for the great service it 
afterwards performed.

The regiment thus made effective became distinguished in the army 
of Northern Virginia.  Commissioned brigadier-general February 
26, 1862, he acquired especial distinction at the battle of 
Williamsburg, and was promoted to the rank of major-general May 
26, 1862.  In the campaigns of this year he was constantly relied 
on by Lee for services requiring expedition, skill and courage.

In the preliminaries to the battle of Mechanicsville, Lee 
assigned Hill to the duty of crossing the Chickahominy, and 
without waiting for Jackson ordered him to make an immediate 
attack.  Hill's guns opened with effect June 26, 1862, and drove 
the enemy from their position.

His command bore a great part of the "brunt of battle" at Cold 
Harbor, Frayser's Farm, and in the following movements by which 
McClellan was driven from Richmond.  The command of Hill was 
usually termed "the Light Division," a suggestive designation of 
which its commander seemed to be proud, and which it illustrated 
by the celerity and courage of its movements in the battles 
against Banks at Cedar Run, and Pope at the second Manassas.

He participated in the capture of Harper's Ferry with its 
garrison of 11,000 troops and large supplies of artillery, small 
arms and general military stores, and was appointed to parole the 
prisoners and secure the fruits of the capture.  This 
accomplished he hurried to the field of Sharpsburg, reaching the 
scene of that bloody battle in time to be of special service in a 
critical juncture.

Attacking promptly at double-quick, with a part of his command, 
immediately on reaching the field, he joined other Confederate 
forces in a countercharge on Burnside's forces, which sent them 
back in confusion.  After remaining with Jackson in the valley he 
was ordered to join Lee at Fredericksburg, and was stationed on 
the right of Jackson's corps in the battle of the 13th of 
December.

At Chancellorsville, in 1863, he commanded his division under 
Jackson at the moment of that great soldier's wounding.  His 
orders from his daring chief were to "press right in," and while 
obeying the command he received the news of Jackson's fall.  The 
command devolving on him, and perhaps freshly inspired by the 
heroic orders of his commander, he "pressed right in" with an 
impetuosity which was stayed only by the severe wound which 
disabled him from further service that day.

The army was reorganized after the battle of Chancellorsville and 
General Hill, made lieutenant-general May 24, 1863, was assigned 
to the command of the Third army corps, which he commanded at 
Gettysburg and in the subsequent operations in Virginia.  On the 
2nd of April, 1865, his thin line at Petersburg was overwhelmed, 
and while personally commanding a part of his rallied force he 
ventured on danger with daring that was natural to him, and was 
killed by a Federal command whose surrender he had demanded.

The General's gallant escort and staff at once charged the enemy 
and recovered his body.  He was buried while Petersburg and the 
capital of the Confederacy were aflame and occupied by the 
Federal armies, and his corps was on retreat to Appomattox.  
Without the usual military honors he was committed to the grave.  
His personal purity, his devotion to  the South, his military 
renown, have become the heritage of his people.
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