A. P. Hill

Ambrose Powell Hill Jr.
Image of Lieutenant General A.P. Hill.jpg
Nickname(s)"Little Powell", "A. P. Hill"
Born(1825-11-09)November 9, 1825
Culpeper, Virginia, U.S.
DiedApril 2, 1865(1865-04-02) (aged 39)
Petersburg, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
Allegiance United States
 Confederate States
Service/branchSeal of the United States Board of War and Ordnance.png United States Army
 Confederate Army
Years of service1847–61 (U.S.)
1861–65 (C.S.)
RankUnion army 1st lt rank insignia.jpg First lieutenant (U.S.)
Confederate States of America General-collar.svg Lieutenant general (C.S.)
Commands held 13th Virginia Infantry
A. P. Hill's Light Division, Second Corps
Third Corps, Army of Northern Virginia
Battles/warsMexican–American War
Seminole Wars
American Civil War
Third Battle of Petersburg 

Ambrose Powell Hill Jr. (November 9, 1825 – April 2, 1865) was a Confederate general who was killed in the American Civil War. He is usually referred to as A. P. Hill to differentiate him from another, unrelated Confederate general, Daniel Harvey Hill.

A native Virginian, Hill was a career United States Army officer who had fought in the Mexican–American War and Seminole Wars prior to joining the Confederacy. After the start of the American Civil War, he gained early fame as the commander of the "Light Division" in the Seven Days Battles and became one of Stonewall Jackson's ablest subordinates, distinguishing himself in the 1862 battles of Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg.

Following Jackson's death in May 1863 at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Hill was promoted to lieutenant general and commanded the Third Corps of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, which he led in the Gettysburg Campaign and the fall campaigns of 1863. His command of the corps in 1864–65 was interrupted on multiple occasions by illness, from which he did not return until just before the end of the war, when he was killed during the Union Army's offensive at the Third Battle of Petersburg.

Early life and education

Hill, known to his family as Powell (and to his soldiers as Little Powell), was born in Culpeper, Virginia, the seventh and final child of Thomas and Fannie Russell Baptist Hill. Powell was named for his uncle, Ambrose Powell Hill (1785–1858), who served in both houses of the Virginia legislature, and Capt. Ambrose Powell, an Indian fighter, explorer, sheriff, legislator, and close friend of President James Madison.[1]

Hill was nominated to enter the United States Military Academy in 1842, in a class that started with 85 cadets. He made friends easily, including such prominent future generals as Darius N. Couch, George Pickett, Jesse L. Reno, George Stoneman, Truman Seymour, Cadmus M. Wilcox, and George B. McClellan. His future commander, Thomas J. Jackson, was in the same class but the two did not get along. Hill had a higher social status in Virginia and valued having a good time in his off-hours, whereas Jackson scorned levity and practiced his religion more fervently than Hill could tolerate. In 1844, Hill returned from a furlough with a case of gonorrhea, medical complications from which caused him to miss so many classes that he was required to repeat his third year. Reassigned to the class of 1847, he made new friendships in particular with Henry Heth and Ambrose Burnside. Hill continued to suffer from the effects of VD for the rest of his life, being plagued with recurrent prostatitis, which was not treatable before the advent of antibiotics. He may have also suffered urinary incontinence due to inflammation of the prostate pressing on his urethra, which could also lead to uremic poisoning and kidney damage.[2] He graduated in 1847, ranking 15th of 38. He was appointed to the 1st U.S. Artillery as a brevet second lieutenant.[3] He served in a cavalry company during the final months of the Mexican–American War, but fought in no major battles. After some garrison assignments along the Atlantic seaboard, he served in the Seminole Wars, again arriving near the end of the war and fighting various minor skirmishes. He was promoted to first lieutenant in September 1851.[4]

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