Ambrose Powell Hill

Corps Commander

Reference: Alabama Department of Archives & History. Custodian of the original pictures. Confederate Officers photo album.

Headstones: Find-a-Grave

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Ambrose Powell Hill was born in Culpeper, Virginia, November 9, 1825, and was graduated from West Point in 1847. After service in Mexico and against the Seminoles, he resigned from the U. S. Army on March 1, 1861, entering Confederate service as colonel of the 13th Virginia Infantry. He was appointed brigadier general on February 26, 1862. After a distinguished performance at Williamsburg and in the Peninsular campaign, he was promoted major general, May 26, 1862. During the Seven Days battles Hill and his command were a tower of strength. Afterwards he fought under Stonewall Jackson until the latter's death. Hill's fast marching "Light" Division was invaluable to Jackson at Cedar Mountain; and at Sharpsburg it was Hill who reinforced Lee in the nick of time to repell Burnside's assault. After Jackson was mortally wounded at Chancellorsville, he turned over command to Hill, who after being wounded himself, was replaced by J. E. B. Stuart. Hill was promoted lieutenant general from May 24, 1863, and afterwards led the newly constituted 3rd Corps. This corps began the fighting at Gettysburg, where Hill directed the battle on the first day. He fought through most of the Wilderness campaign in 1864 and in the defense of Petersburg in 1864-65. He was killed by a Federal straggler on the Petersburg lines on April 2, 1865, soon after Grant's final assault, while attempting with a lone orderly to reach his troops. After advancement to corps command, Hill, the victim of what now seems to have been a psychosomatic ailment performed somewhat unevenly and was often incapacitated. It is recorded that while Heth was inaugurating the battle of Gettysburg a few miles away, Hill, his corps commander, was found by General Lee in an ambulance at Cashtown. Subsequently, at Bristoe Station, Hill's impetuous assault on the Federal position without proper reconnaissance cost the 3rd Corps more than thirteen hundred casualties. Withal he was a magnificent combat officer, and when a major general was pronounced by Lee to be the best at that grade in the army. He is buried in Richmond, under a monument to his memory. Hill married a sister of General John H. Morgan, and was thus also a brother-in-law of General Basil Duke.

Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.