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Advance on Washington, N. C., and defence of Richmond.

In February, 1863, Hill bade a final adieu to his old division, when he was ordered to assume command in the state of North Carolina. Before the campaign opened in the following spring, Hill had made a demonstration against Newbern, followed by an advance upon Washington in this state, which would have resulted in the capture of the latter place, but for Lee's order to send a portion of his command to Virginia.

Later in the spring of 1863 Hill was ordered to remove his headquarters to Petersburg, and placed in command of the department extending from the James to the Cape Fear. When Lee invaded Pennsylvania, the citizens of Richmond and the heads of the various [140] departments became greatly alarmed for the safety of the place. The officers in charge of the defences of the city and of the Peninsula had failed to inspire confidence in their vigilance, efficiency or capacity. When the troops of Dix began to move up the Peninsula from Yorktown and West Point, General Hill was ordered by the President to transfer all available troops from the south of the James and assume command of the forces gathered for the defence of the capital city. With the brigades of Cooke and M. W. Ransom, and a few other regiments, General Hill met the army of Dix near Bottom's Bridge, drove them back without serious difficulty in the direction of West Point, and in two or three days restored perfect confidence on the part of the panic-stricken people of the city.

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