General Walker's Oration.A splendid vindication of the South's love and reverence for her heroes.
As General Walker came to the front, his shattered and almost useless arm hanging limp at his side, a burst of applause went up  that made the welken ring. He was in splendid voice, and spoke with a feeling that carried the crowd with him from the beginning. He said: Mr. President and Gentlemen of i/e A. P. Hill Monument Association: We meet to pay tribute to the memory of a comrade whom we love and admire, and who is worthy the love and admiration of all true Southern hearts. We come thus together in no spirit of disloyalty to the present, or ‘to the powers that be,’ but in a spirit of loyalty to the past, and out of reverence for a great nation which perished in its infancy. The war between the States has long been over; the most prominent actors in that struggle have passed from the stage of life; the angry passions it engendered have subsided, and with no feelings of animosity towards any living on account of that strife; with hearty acquiescence in the settlement of all vexed questions of government and politics fairly submitted to the arbitrament of the sword and fairly decided by the award, the people of the South accepts the result in all its legitimate bearings and just deductions as become a brave and honorable people, but with no feeling of inferiority; with no craven spirit; with no regrets or professions of sorrow for the past, and with no apologies to offer. They staked their all upon the uncertain chances of war, and they will stand the hazard of the die. Though overpowered, they are proud of the record they made—of the valor of their armies; of the patriotism and courage of their women, and of the sufferings they endured in a just cause. They honor and reverence their chosen leaders and cling to their memories with tender recollections, which neither time nor change can efface.
Broken with the storms of State.A few months ago, in the city of New Orleans, the President of the Confederate States of America lay dead—‘an old man broken with the storms of State,’ who for twenty-five years had been proscribed and disfranchised by the government under which he lived; denied the rights of citizenship accorded to his former slaves; without country, without fortune or influence, and by whose life or death no man could hope to be gainer or loser.  No mercenary motives influenced a single individual to mourn for him. And yet the whole Southland, all the sons and daughters of the Confederacy, all their children and their grandchildren, from the gray-haired veteran to the infant of tender years, wept over his bier and mourned with genuine heart-felt sorrow for Jefferson Davis. Dead, but his spirit breathes;
Dead, but his heart is ours;
Dead, but his sunny and sad land wreathes
His crown with tears for flowers.
A statue for his tomb;
Mould it of marble white;
For wrong, a spectre of death and doom;
An angel of hope for right.
They mourned for him, not because they grieved for the proud banner which was furled, or for the cause which was lost, but because he had been their President, just and true, in the days of their trial and adversity, and because he had been persecuted for their sakes. History records no more touching scene than the South weeping at the grave of Jefferson Davis—a scene which touched even the bitterest foes of the sad mourners. Mr. Ingalls, then United States Senator from the State of Kansas; a man as noted for his hatred of the Southern people as for his brilliant talents, from his place in the Senate chamber said: ‘He could understand the reverence of the Southern people for Jefferson Davis.’ ‘He honored them for their constancy to that heroic man.’ ‘Ideas could never be annihilated.’ ‘No man was ever converted by being overpowered.’ ‘Davis had remained to the end, the immovable type, exponent, and representative of those ideas for which he had staked all and lost all.’ Such a tribute was scarcely to have been expected from that source, and seems to have been wrung reluctantly from him by the admiration excited by the spontaneous outpouring of the sorrow of a whole people over the loss of their loved and faithful leader. Had these words been all, spoken by that brilliant but bitter man on that occasion, it would have been better for his future fame and better for the country. But he said more that was uncalled for and unjust to his fellow-citizens of the South. He said: ‘The South had not forgiven the North for its supremacy and superiority.’ ‘If the South could  hold the purse and the sword it was patriotic.’ ‘The Southern people had not accepted the amendments to the Constitution in good faith.’ ‘They had their heroes and their anniversaries.’ ‘They exalted their leaders above the leaders of the Union cause.’ To these charges—that the South has its ‘heroes and its anniversaries;’ that it ‘exalts its leaders above the leaders of the Union cause’—we plead guilty, and we are proud of our guilt. Yes, the South has its heroes and its anniversaries. The State of Virginia has, by solemn enactment of her General Assembly, made the natal day of her illustrious son, Robert E. Lee, a legal holiday, equal in in its observance to the birthday of her other great son, George Washington, the father of his country. If that be treason, let them make the most of it.
Our heroes and our anniversaries.And why shall not the South have its heroes and its anniversaries? The South has its history; its traditions; its wrongs; its ruins; its victories; its defeats; its record of suffering and humiliation; its destruction and, worse still, its reconstruction. She has many cemeteries filled with her own patriotic dead, slain fighting her battles; and she has on her soil, beneath her bright skies, larger, more numerous, and more populous cemeteries, filled with brave men, slain in battle by the hands of her warriors. Is there nothing worthy the song of the heroic muse in all this? For four years the Confederate government floated its flag over every State beneath the Southern cross, and the Confederate armies carried their battle-flag in triumph from the Rio Grande almost to the capital of the Keystone State, and spread terror to the Great Lakes. Its little navy showed the strange colors of the new-born nation from the Northern sea to the equator, driving the American merchant marine from the high seas, until scarcely a ship engaged in commerce dared show the Stars and Stripes on the Atlantic ocean. For four bloody years the Confederacy stood the shock of all the power and resources of the greatest republic on the face of the globe, and fought for independence on more than one hundred battle-fields, and at last, when her armies were worn away by attrition and her means of resistance exhausted, succumbed to ‘overwhelming numbers and resources.’ 
Vanquished, yet victorious;Was there no heroism in all this? Heroes are not made to order. Deeds make heroes—imperishable deeds, born of virtue, courage, and patriotism. Genius may make men great; power and place may make men famous, but the crown which decks the brow of the true hero is more than genius can give or power and place can bestow. If Robert E. Lee is not a hero in the highest and best sense of the word, can you point to a name on the pages of history more deserving the title? For four years he successfully led the armies of the Confederacy, proudly, grand, supremely great! In the sublime language of the gifted Senator Hill, of Georgia, ‘He possessed every virtue of all the other great commanders without their vices.’
Overcome, but not humiliated;
Defeated, but not dismayed.
He was a foe without hate,‘He was a public officer without vices, a private citizen without wrong, a neighbor without reproach, a Christian without hypocrisy, and a man without guilt. He was a Caesar without his ambition, Frederick without his tyranny, Napoleon without his selfishness, and Washington without his reward. He was as obedient to authority as a true king. He was as gentle as a woman in life, pure and modest as a virgin in thought, watchful as a Roman vestal in duty, submissive to law as Socrates, and as grand in battle as Achilles.’ And Stonewall Jackson! is he not a hero every inch from spur to plume? His fame is as bright as sun at the noon-day; as fixed and imperishable as the everlasting mountain peaks of his native State. When his spirit passed over the river and rested under the shade of the trees, the unspotted soul of a Christian hero went to its reward. Who denies that he was a military genius? Who says he was not an unselfish patriot? Who does not admit that he was as pure, as simple, and as free from guile as a little child? Amid the lurid lightnings, fierce passions, and dead thunders of the greatest civil war of modern times, when men's minds were full of evil machinations, and their hearts filled with hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness, he laid down his life; and yet, strange to tell, not one word of unkindness or reproach assailed his memory. The most implacable  of our foes breathed no word of criticism or charged him with a single act or speech unbecoming a true Christian hero. If Stonewall Jackson was not a hero, then the history of the world, its wars and revolutions, its struggles for country and freedom, never knew a man worthy to wear that title.
A friend without treachery,
A soldier without cruelty,
And a victim without murmuring.
The private soldier's valor.I might prolong the list, but will speak here of but one other. His name I do not know, but his deeds of valor I have seen, while his courage, his fortitude, and his unexampled achievements all the world admires. This greatest hero of modern times is the private soldier of the Confederate army, who courageously and nobly did his duty, enduring the hardships and privations of his station without a murmur. He was the equal of the most famous soldiers of ancient or modern times. The Grecian phalanx was not more solid. The three hundred at Thermopylae were not more devoted. The Roman legion was not more steadfast and courageous. The Old Guard was not more reliable and certain in the hour of danger. The Light brigade was not more daring. Half-clad, half-starved, he endured the greatest fatigues and hardships without repining, and faced the heaviest odds without blanching or faltering. And is it counted strange that the Southern people cherish the memories of these men? Is it a matter of reproach that they have their heroes and their anniversaries? Is it a matter of surprise that they exalt their leaders above the leaders of the Union cause? Does any reasonable man expect less? Does he expect us to exalt General Grant above General Lee; General Sherman above Stonewall Jackson, or General Sheridan above A. P. Hill? [Great and continued applause. Blood is thicker than water. The affections of a brave people cannot be transferred from their own leaders to the leaders of the opposing side any more than water can run up hill by the force of gravity. It is contrary to the law of nature. The Southern people respect and admire the brave men who fought against them, and they feel a patriotic pride in their greatness, but they love their own heroes with a love which surpasses the love of woman. They are ‘bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh,’ and each atom of the dust of their dead who wore the gray is dearer to them than all the dust of all the brave men who wore the blue.  For in all the colors that deck the world
Your gray blends not with blue.
The colors are far apart,
Graves sever them in twain,
The Northern heart and the Southern heart
May beat in peace again.
But still, till time's last day,
Whatever lips may plight,
The blue is blue, but gray is gray,
Wrong never accords with right.
Loyalty to the Government of the United States does not require disloyalty to our own people or our own traditions. Loyalty to the Union does not require that we should love Mr. Ingalls, of Kansas, or canonize Benjamin F. Butler, of Massachusetts. In thus honoring and cherishing the memories of their dead, the Southern people honor themselves and exalt themselves in the estimation of all right-minded people. If they failed to do this, they would deserve and receive the contempt of all brave people. The desire to honor the memory of dead friends is a natural instinct, firmly implanted in the human heart, and is as old as the history of the human race. Sophocles, in his tragedy of Antigone, tells us that when the daughter of Oedipus was brought before Cleon, King of Thebes, accused of paying the rights of sepulture to her brother, Polynices, slain in combat, declared a traitor, and his funeral rites forbidden under penalty of death, she acknowledged and exulted in the deed. And when asked by the king, ‘And darest thou, then, to disobey the law?’ she bravely and defiantly answered the tyrant thus:
I had it not from Jove,
Nor the just gods who rule below;
How could I ever think
A mortal law, of power or strength sufficient
To abrogate the unwritten law divine,
Immaculate, eternal, not like these
Of yesterday, but made ere time began.
Shall man persuade me then to violate
Heaven's greatest command, and make the gods my foes?
Believe me King: 'Tis happiness to die:
Without remorse I shall embrace my fate.
But to my brother had I left the rites
Of sepulture unpaid, I then indeed
Had been most wretched.
I cannot live to do a deed more glorious.
Gallant, chivalrous, noble A. P. Hill.The people of the South have done no deed more glorious than in doing honor to their heroic dead and in perpetuating their memories in enduring monuments and life-like statues. Out of their poverty, they have erected monuments to Lee and Jackson, and Albert Sidney Johnston, and A. P. Hill. May the good work go on, until Davis, and Joe. Johnston, Jeb Stuart and Ewell, and many others have received the honor. Let every city, town and county in the South erect monuments to Confederate valor, and thus teach future generations to respect the men who upheld the conquered banner. But though many may worthily receive this honor, there is no name more worthy of a monument than he whose statue we unveil here to-day. Gallant, chivalrous, noble A. P. Hill; the daring, dashing, successful military chieftain; the courteous, knightly, kind hearted gentleman; the unselfish and sincere friend and the devoted patriot; the officer who rose from the rank of colonel to major-general in the short space of ninety days, and who filled every rank in the Army of Northern Virginia from colonel of a regiment to lieutenant-general in the incredibly brief space of fifteen months; the soldier whose military genius, valor and individuality so impressed itself upon every body of troops he commanded that it became famous for its achievements even in the history of that splendid Army of Northern Virginia. Wherever the headquarter flag of A. P. Hill floated, whether at the head of a regiment, a brigade, a division, or a corps, in camp or on the battle-field, it floated with a grace and a confidence born of skill, ability and courage, which infused its confidence and courage into the hearts of all who followed it. It was ever advanced nearest the enemy's lines, ever at the post of danger, always in the thickest of the fight. It floated over more victorious fields, and trailed in the dust of fewer defeats than any flag in the Army of Northern Virginia. Ambrose Powell Hill was born in Culpeper county, Virginia, in the year 1825, and entered the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1842. Owing to ill health, he did not graduate until July, 1847, and was immediately ordered to join his regiment in Mexico as second lieutenant of artillery. He reached his post of duty in front of the City of Mexico in time to participate in several of the closing engagements which opened the gates of the city to the  American troops and placed General Scott in possession of the halls of the Montezumas. For gallant conduct in these affairs he was breveted first lieutenant of artillery, having won his spurs in his first battle. After the close of the Mexican war, Lieutenant Hill was stationed for several years in Florida, leading a quiet, uneventful life, interspersing the routine duties of garrison life with reading, hunting, and fishing. In 1857 he was detailed for service in the United States Coast-Survey Office, at Washington city, where he remained until the Spring of 1861. In this position, as in all others, Lieutenant Hill was faithful and attentive to his duties, and a great favorite with all his brother officers, as well as in the refined circle of society in which he moved. In the year 1860 he married a sister of the distinguished Confederate general, John H. Morgan.
Responded to Virginia's call.And now the young soldier's cup seemed full, with nothing more to be desired. In the enjoyment of domestic felicity, possessed of fortune, surrounded by friends, with every prospect of speedy promotion and advancement in his chosen profession, he had every inducement to side with the Union, and every selfish consideration appealed to him to cast his lot with the government he had served from boyhood, and to remain with the flag he had marched under in foreign lands. When the year 1861 was ushered in, and he saw State after State withdrawn from the Union, and heard their senators and representatives resign their seats in Congress, and war became inevitable, he was urgently appealed to by his army associates to remain in Washington, and was promised that in the event he remained he would not be required to use his sword against his native State. But the good Virginia blood which coursed through his veins, and which came to him from revolutionary sires, claiming kindred with the old Culpeper minutemen, acknowledged allegiance to no power save Virginia. And as soon as the secession of his State became a fixed fact he resigned his commission in the army, and bidding farewell to old friends and comrades, reported to duty to Governor Letcher, and was commissioned colonel of Virginia volunteers. Colonel Hill was at once ordered to report to General Joseph E. Johnston, then in command of the troops on the upper Potomac, and was assigned to the command of the Thirteenth Virginia Infantry,  made up of companies from the counties of Orange, Culpeper, Louisa, Hampshire, and Frederick, in Virginia, and one company from Baltimore, Maryland. This regiment was composed of splendid material, and by his training and discipline and from the spirit he infused into its officers and men, it was made equal to the best of the regular troops, and became as well known throughout the Army of Northern Virginia as its first loved commander. Of this regiment General Lee said: ‘It is a splendid body of men.’ General Ewell said: ‘It is the only regiment in my command that never fails.’ General Jeb Stuart said: ‘It always does exactly what I tell it.’ And General Early said: ‘They can do more hard fighting and be in better plight afterwards than any troops I ever saw.’ From Harper's Ferry to Appomattox this splendid body of men carried the battle-flag of their regiment into every battle fought by Lee and Jackson, and never failed. To the last, the remnant of the regiment was as undaunted, as unwavering, and as ready to respond to the order to charge as at the beginning, and when at the surrender they stacked arms in front of a division of the Federal army, and set their faces homeward, they marched off with the swinging gait of Jackson's foot cavalry, cheering for Jefferson Davis and for the Southern Confederacy. Though their first loved commander was then dead on the field of honor, his spirit was still with them. ‘They were as brave as ever fought beneath knightly plume or on tented field.’ The pass at Roncesvalles looked not on a braver or a better band when fell before the opposing lance the harnessed chivalry of Spain. At the battle of Slaughter's Mountain, when the left of the Confederate line of battle was flanked and driven back in confusion, the Thirteenth remained unshaken, and at the word, sprang forward in the face of the advancing column of the enemy to save a battery of Colonel Snowden Andrew's artillery, left unsupported and in imminent danger of being captured. After saving the battery and checking the enemy's advance they held their ground while almost surrounded, until A. P. Hill's division came to the front, and with his victorious line they assisted in driving back the assailing columns for over a mile, and when night closed the pursuit bivouacked in the very front of the Confederate lines, within a pistol-shot of the enemy's position, and fully a mile in advance of the rest of the division. But, asking pardon for this digression, we return to our subject.
M'Clellan's movement checked.In the spring of 1861 General Joseph E. Johnston, learning that General McClellan was organizing a force on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, about New creek, and threatening his flank, sent A. P. Hill with his own (the Tenth Virginia) and Third Tennessee regiments to Romney in Hampshire county, to observe and check the movement. The task was accomplished by Colonel Hill in a manner to call forth honorable mention, and on his return to the army it was confidently expected by his friends that he would be promoted and assigned to the command of the regiments then under him, but the government at Richmond held that Virginia had already more than her share of brigadiers, and that no more appointments would be made from that State for the time being. That Colonel Hill was disappointed at this there can be no doubt, but he submitted without a murmur, and with his three regiments reported to General Arnold Elzey, of Maryland, who had just been promoted, and whose old regiment, the First Maryland united to Hill's three, was known as the Fourth brigade. At the battle of First Manassas, Colonel Hill's regiment was not engaged, having been sent to the right flank to strengthen a position supposed to be in need of reinforcements. The loss of this opportunity was another source of disappointment, but during the remainder of the year 1861, which was spent in masterly inactivity— Colonel Hill was untiring in his efforts to drill, discipline and organize the raw recruits of which General Johnston's army was composed, and by his experience, his military education, and his skill as an organizer, he contributed much to lay the foundation for the future success and efficiency of that army. In March, 1862, Colonel Hill received his long-deferred promotion, and was assigned to the command of Longstreet's old brigade, composed of the First, Seventh, Eleventh and Seventeenth Virginia regiments then at Orange Courthouse, on the march to the Peninsula. During the manoeuvres around Yorktown, and on the retreat to the Chickahominy, General Hill was distinguished for his energy and activity, and for the skill with which he handled his brigade. At the battle of Williamsburg, fought on the 5th of May, 1862, against his old schoolmate and friend, General McClellan, his coolness, courage and skill won the admiration of the army and the  applause of the whole country, and marked him for speedy promotion. In May, 1862, he was promoted to the rank of major-general and given command of the division composed of Pender's and Branch's North Carolina, Archer's Tennessee, Gregg's South Carolina, Field's Virginia, and Thomas' Georgia brigades. In the army then defending Richmond, Hill's division composed the extreme left, stationed along the left bank of the Chickahominy, opposite Mechanicsville, and was not engaged in the battles of Seven Pines and Savage Station. During the thirty days which elapsed between the promotion of General Hill and the beginning of the Seven-Days' battles around Richmond, he spent his time and gave his best energies to the improvement and discipline of his new command, and with what success he labored, and to what state of efficiency he brought it, let its records speak.
A record of dazzling achievements.The record of the ‘Light division’ of the Army of Northern Virginia, with its brilliant achievements, would fill a volume. Active, vigilant, ever ready, never taken by surprise; swift, dashing, yet steady and unflinching under the most trying circumstances; always in the fight, and ever adding fresh laurels to its crown of victory, and wreathing new chaplets of glory for its commander. Mechanicsville, Cold Harbor, Frazer's Farm, Slaughter's Mountain, Second Manassas, Ox Hill, Harper's Ferry, Sharpsburg, Boteller's Ford, Castleman's Ferry, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, besides many combats and skirmishes of less note—all fought in the short space of eleven months—make a record of dazzling achievements which cannot be surpassed in the annals of warfare. Time will not permit us to dwell upon these events; but at Mechanicsville and Beaver Dam creek, on the 26th of June, Hill's division began the series of battles known as the Seven Days Around Richmond, and bore the brunt of those bloody affairs. The division fought against heavy odds, strongly posted, and achieved success, but with heavy loss. At Cold Harbor, on the 27th, Hill's division was again hurled against the fortifications of the enemy behind Powhite creek, and for two hours sustained the unequal conflict, being again and again repulsed, and as often renewing the attack, dashing in vain against the impregnable position, until on the far left is heard the roar of musketry and the ringing cheer which announces that the Hero of the Valley and his foot-cavalry have gotten into  position and that the crisis of the day is at hand. Then gathering his decimated but undismayed battalions he hurled them once more against the fortifications with irresistible force and dislodged the enemy. Speaking of this battle, General Lee said: ‘Hill's single division fought with the impetuous courage for which that officer and his troops are distinguished.’ At Savage Station, on the 29th, the rear of McClellan's retreating column is forced to fight, and here again A. P. Hill's command bore the brunt of the day, suffering heavy loss. At Slaughter's Mountain, where Jackson first showed General Pope a front view of Confederate troops, A. P. Hill retrieved what threatened to be a lost field. At Second Manassas the Light division was in the ‘fore-front of the battle;’ and contributed largely to the success of the movements of Jackson's corps. At Sharpsburg General Hill's march from Harper's Ferry, his timely arrival upon the field, his prompt and vigorous assault upon the victorious columns of McClellan saved the Army of Northern Virginia from a serious disaster. When Stonewall Jackson fell, the question as to who should be his successor was one anxiously asked by the army and by the country. Great events were at hand, and soon the invasion of the North was to be undertaken. All eyes turned to Generals Ewell and Hill as the most worthy to succeed the immortal commander of the Second corps. The reinforcements sent to the army made it advisable, in the opinion of President Davis and General Lee, to divide the Army of Northern Virginia into three corps, instead of two, and on the recommendation of General Lee, General Ewell and General Hill were, in June, 1863, promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general, and Hill was assigned to the command of Third corps, composed of the divisions of Heth, Anderson and Pender. From that day until the day of his death Hill was ever by the side of General Lee, his trusted and efficient lieutenant.
From Gettysburg to five Forks.The necessities and casualties of war called Longstreet and Ewell away from the great chieftain, but Hill was always at his right hand in council and in action. To this larger command General Hill  brought the experience and the prestige of success gained as a division commander. From this time forward the life of A. P. Hill is written in the history of that famous corps, and is too well known to be detailed here. From Gettysburg, in July, 1863, to Five Forks, in March, 1865, it is a record of unceasing activity, sleepless vigilance, and of great battles. At Gettysburg he met and repulsed the corps of Reynolds and Howard, and captured the town. On the retreat from that disastrous field his corps held the post of honor and danger, in rear and nearest the enemy. No task which falls to a soldier's lot is more difficult to fill than to cover the retreat of a large army, with its trains and artillery. It requires the most sleepless and untiring vigilance to avoid surprise, the coolest courage to face sudden and unlooked for emergencies, and the faculty of inspiring dispirited, disheartened, and overtaxed soldiers with confidence and courage. How well General Hill was fitted to perform this difficult task the result proves. The entire army, with all its baggage-trains and artillery, was brought safely across the Potomac, and the pursuing army was not able to deliver one single telling blow to the retreating Confederates. General Hill's corps, like his old division, was ever in motion, always ready to march at a moment's notice, always in the fight, and always giving a good account of itself. Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spotsylvania Courthouse, Cold Harbor, Jerusalem, Plank-Road, Ream's Station, the Crater, Weldon, Hatcher's Run, Petersburg, and many other combats and affairs speak the deeds of Hill and his brave men. During the seige of Petersburg, Hill's corps was on the right of the army, which was the exposed flank, and which it was General Grant's constant aim and object to turn in order to cut General Lee's communication with the South, and force him to retreat. To avert repeated efforts to accomplish this cherished design, kept the Third corps in constant motion, while the rest of the army was left in comparative quiet. From July to March, every effort in that direction was met and defeated by General Hill with promptness and without heavy loss on his part. During the campaign of 1864, the Third corps captured from the enemy thirty pieces of artillery, large quantities of small arms and military stores, and more prisoners than it numbered, without the loss of a single gun, and with the loss of but few prisoners. The early spring of 1865 found the Army of Northern  Virginia reduced to an attenuated skirmish-line, extending from the Chesapeake and Ohio railway on the north of Richmond to the Norfolk and Western railroad on the south of Petersburg, a distance of over thirty miles, and confronted by an enemy more than three times its own numbers. The odds were too great to hope for successful resistance, and when General Grant massed his well-equipped veterans on General Lee's right, in front of Hill's corps, the ‘beginning of the end’ had been reached.
How Hill was killed.On the morning of the 2d of April the heavy columns of the enemy attacked the centre of Hill's corps, and after a short but sharp engagement broke through his lines and severed the two wings of the command. After this disaster General Hill attempted to force his way through the enemy's pickets in order to put himself in communication with that portion of his command from which he had been cut off. The attempt was desperate, and those around him sought to dissuade him from making it, but A. P. Hill was never known to shrink from any personal danger when duty called, and, accompanied by a single courier, he galloped along the road which ran in rear and parallel to his lines, encountering and firing his pistol at several of the enemy's stragglers until he came suddenly upon a group of sharpshooters. He advanced and summoned them to surrender, but was answered by a volley which killed him almost instantly, and wounded the courier. As he fell from his horse the only words he spoke were to say to his faithful follower, ‘Take care of yourself.’ Thus ended the life of the noblest type of manhood that nature ever produced. Thus closed the career of one of the most brilliant and accomplished soldiers of modern times. Thus fell the ardent patriot whom his people loved. Thus ‘died on the field of honor’ the commander whom the army idolized. His leading characteristics as a commander were celerity of movement and the ability to march his troops in good order on the shortest notice and in the shortest time. In this respect he resembled and rivalled Stonewall Jackson. Endurance, energy, courage and magnetism were his in a high degree. His soldiers believed in him with an abiding faith, and in the darkest hour his presence was hailed as the harbinger of light and victory. Added to these qualities was his superiority as  tactician, which enabled him to take in the situation of a battle-field at a glance to do the right thing at the right moment, and seize upon and profit by every blunder of his adversary. With all his fiery zeal, he was ever mindful of the safety of his men, and never exposed them to useless punishment for his own glory. He understood thoroughly the character of the volunteer troops under his command, and accorded them the respect due to citizen-soldiery, but demanded of them the strictest performance of every military duty and tolerated no flagrant breach of discipline. He looked closely after their rights, their safety and their comfort, often visiting the hospitals to see after his sick and wounded, and gave his personal attention to the workings of every department of the service. He was inexorable in requiring of his staff the strictest attention to their duties. He loved a good soldier, and was his friend, but to the skulker and the coward he was a terror, and the higher the rank of the offender, the more certain and severe the punishment. With his own hands he would tear from the uniform of officers the badges of their rank when found skulking on the battle-field.
Some of his characteristics.Like Napoleon at Lodi, he would mingle in the ranks like ‘a little corporal’ when the occasion demanded, and with his own hands help man the guns of the batteries. He was affable and readily approached by the humblest private; but the officer next in rank never forgot when on duty that he was in the presence of his superior. No commander was ever more considerate of the rights and feelings of those under him, or sustained the authority of his subordinate officers with more firmness and tact. If a deserving officer committed a blunder or was guilty of an unintentional violation of orders or discipline he would speak to him privately and kindly of his fault, but would never let those under his command know that he had censured the offender. He was quiet in manner, courteous and polite to all when not aroused, but when justly excited to anger was hard to appease. Punctillious in the observance of all the forms of military etiquette in his intercourse with others, he resented any failure to treat him with due courtesy. This led to an unpleasant difference between General Jackson and himself, which came near depriving the Army of Northern Virginia of the services of A. P. Hill.  The circumstances as related by General Hill were these: On several occasions General Jackson had given orders in person to General Hill's brigade commanders without his knowledge. This General Hill resented as a breach of courtesy to him and protested against it. One day while on the march he left the head of his command for a short while, and on his return found the leading brigades had gone into camp. On inquiry he found that General Jackson had given the order to his troops in his absence. Stung by what he considered an affront, and seeing General Jackson and his staff near by, he rode up to him and excitedly said: General Jackson, you have assumed command of my division, here is my sword; I have no use for it. To this General Jackson replied: ‘Keep your sword General Hill, but consider yourself under arrest.’ For several days General Hill remained with his troops, but not in command, and at his own request was allowed to take command in the battle which was fought in a few days, and afterwards remained in command. But the breach thus made was not readily healed, and General Lee interposed to reconcile their differences. He had several interviews with them separately and sought to pour oil on the troubled waters. At length he induced them to meet at his quarters and used every argument to effect a compromise, but each insisted that he was the injured party and refused to yield. To this General Lee replied: ‘Then let him who thinks he has been injured most prove himself most magnanimous by forgiving most.’ This grand appeal was irresistible, and effected a reconciliation which made it possible for the corps and division commanders to serve together in harmony, and with feelings of mutual respect for each other.
The last name on their lips.When Stonewall Jackson was dying, when his senses had ceased to respond to the scenes around him, and his thoughts were with his brave troops, and he was once more in imagination at the head of his invincible corps, he called the name of the commander of the ‘Light Division’ on whom he had never called in vain: and ‘Tell A. P. Hill to prepare for action’ fell from his dying lips. And in General Lee's last hours, when his mind reverted to the stirring scenes of his military career, and once more he rode at the  head of his armies, directing their movements he, too, called upon the commander of the Third corps, on whose strength he had so often leaned in the hour of peril, and his last command was ‘Tell A. P. Hill he must come up.’ In personal appearance General Hill was about five feet ten inches high, slightly but perfectly formed, and looked every inch a soldier born to command. His features were regular and his face attractive but not handsome. His every posture and movement was full of grace, and in any dress, however remote from camps, his military bearing and martial step would betray the soldier by birth and by training. He was a splendid horseman and was always well mounted. He was simple in his taste and dressed plainly but neatly, preferring the ease and comfort of his fatigue jacket to his general's uniform with its stars and its wreath. He cared little for the pride and pomp of war, and commonly went attended by a single staff-officer or courier. As has been so well said by another: ‘In all his career he never advanced a claim or maintained a rivalry. The soul of honor and of generosity, he was ever engaged in representing the merits of others.’ Of all the Confederate leaders he was the most genial and lovable in his disposition. And now our task is done, but the memories of the past cluster thick around us, and we could linger on this spot for hours talking with comrades. Of this warrior tried and true,
Who bore the flag of a nation's trust,
And fell in a cause, though lost; still just;
And died for me and you.
Loved comrade, brilliant soldier, chivalrous spirit, true-hearted friend, accomplished gentleman, ardent patriot—Ambrose Powell Hill, we dedicate this monument to thy memory as a feeble token of the love of old comrades and a faint expression of the admiration of the Southern people, for whom you fought and died so bravely. We hail thee as a hero! worthy of a monument in this historic city by the side of thy great commanders, Lee and Jackson; and fit companion for him who was ‘first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.’ Greater honors than this has no man received, and none greater can any man aspire to.