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Confederate Leaders: A. P. Hill

Ambrose Powell Hill (1825-1865)

Hill served in the Mexican War, the Seminole wars and on the frontier before resigning 1 Mar ’61 as 1LT. He was commissioned COL of the 13th Virginia Infantry, and served in West Virginia and at First Manassas (21 Jul ’61). Stationed in Northern Virginia during the winter of 1861-1862, Hill was appointed BG (26 Feb ’62) and placed in command of a brigade. His command fought at Williamsburg, after which he was promoted MG (26 May ’62). Hill led commanded a division at Mechanicsville, Gaines Mill and Frayser’s Farm. Called “Hill’s Light Division” for its speed in marching, Hill’s command was transferred to Jackson’s corps after Hill quarreled with Longstreet. Under Jackson, the Light Division fought at Cedar Mountain (9 Aug ’62) and Second Manassas (29-30 Aug ’62).

In the Antietam Campaign Hill’s division was one of several under Jackson assigned to capture Harpers Ferry. After the surrender of that post (15 Sep ’62) Jackson’s forces rejoined Lee at Sharpsburg, while Hill’s division remained to parole Federal prisoners. On 17 September Hill led his men on a 17 mile forced march to rejoin Lee. In the afternoon, as Burnside’s IX Corps was threatening to turn Lee’s right flank, Hill arrived and drove the Federals to the banks of Antietam Creek.

Ambrose Powell Hill

At Fredericksburg (13 Dec ’62) Hill’s command occupied Hamilton’s Crossing, south of the town, and helped repel the Union attacks of Meade and Gibbon. Hill marched with Jackson during Chancellorsville (1-4 May ’63) and, upon Jackson’ wounding, succeeded to corps command until wounded himself. Named LTG (23 May ’63), Hill took command of the newly created III Corps, leading it through the battles of Gettysburg (1-3 Jul ’63) and Wilderness (5-6 May ’64).

Hill was on sick leave during the period 8-21 May ’64, during which Ewell assumed temporary command of the III Corps. Hill rejoined his corps for North Anna, Cold Harbor, and the Petersburg campaign. In late Mar ’65 he was again away on sick leave. On 2 April, while returning to his unit at Petersburg he was shot and killed by a Union straggler.

Note: Biographical information comes from the U.S. Army Center for Military History Gettysburg Staff Ride book.

Posted in Civil War.

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