Hill, Ambrose Powell

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Hill, Ambrose Powell

Ambrose Powell Hill, 1825–65, Confederate general in the American Civil War, b. Culpeper, Va. He served briefly in the Mexican War and had a varied army career until he resigned in Mar., 1861, to support the Confederacy. After fighting at Williamsburg in the Peninsular campaign, Hill became (May, 1862) the youngest major general in the Army of Northern Virginia. His division was heavily engaged in the Seven Days battles. He fought under Stonewall Jackson from July, 1862, until Jackson's death. Hill's division, noted for its fast marching, saved the day for Stonewall at Cedar Mt., just before the second battle of Bull Run (Aug., 1862), and its opportune return from Harpers Ferry enabled it to repulse Gen. Ambrose Burnside's attack in the Antietam campaign. When Jackson was mortally wounded in the battle of Chancellorsville, he turned his command over to Hill, but Hill himself was soon wounded, and Jeb Stuart took over. In the reorganization of the Army of Northern Virginia after Jackson's death, Hill was given command of the new 3d Corps. He was thereupon promoted to lieutenant general (May, 1863). His corps brought on the fighting in the Gettysburg campaign, and Hill directed the battle on July 1, 1863. He was at the head of his corps through most of the Wilderness campaign (1864) and in the defense of Petersburg (1864–65). In the assault that finally broke the Confederate lines at Petersburg (Apr. 2, 1865), Hill, with characteristic impulsiveness, went out to rally his troops and was killed.

See D. S. Freeman, Lee's Lieutenants (3 vol., 1942–44); biography by W. W. Hassler (1957, repr. 1962).

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