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In obedience to messages from General Lee and President Davis, General Hill, after crossing, went forward with the brigade of Brigadier-General Ripley to co-operate with the division of General A. P. Hill. At the request of Brigadier-General Pender, Hill directed Ripley just at dark to act in concert with that dashing officer in the effort to turn the enemy's position at Ellerson's Mill and drive him from it.

The desperate charge across an open field in the face of a murderous fire, in which that brave soldier and noble man, Colonel Montford S. Stokes, of the First North Carolina regiment, fell mortally wounded, was neither planned by General Hill nor executed under his directions. (Official Records, Series 1, Volume XI, Part 2, page 623.) The suggestion that General Hill deliberately and unnecessarily rushed those gallant men into danger is unfounded and unjust. [126] The galling fire that had broken Pender's left called for immediate action, and in the hurry of the moment it became necessary to develop the strength of the enemy's position by assault instead of reconnoissance, but under the orders of General Lee and the President, not of General Hill.

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A. P. Hill (4)
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