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.
, Cold Harbor, Frazer's Farm, Slaughter's Mountain
, Second Manassas
, Ox Hill
, Harper's Ferry
, Boteller's Ford, Castleman's Ferry, Fredericksburg
, 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
'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
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
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
From that day until the day of his death Hill
was ever by the side of General Lee
, his trusted and efficient lieutenant.