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ief of Hill's staff, in his able address upon the battle of Chickamauga, says: The corps of Hardee had lately gained as a commander a stern and dauntless soldier from the Army of Northern Virginia in D. H. Hill, whose vigor, coolness and unconquerable pertinacity in fight had already stamped him as a leader of heroic temper. Of the religious school of Stonewall Jackson, his earnest convictions never chilled his ardor for battle, and, in another age, he would have been worthy to charge with Cromwell at Dunbar with the cry, Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered. Hill received from Bragg the warm welcome of a comrade who had seen his metal tried on the hard-fought fields of Mexico. Not less cordial was the greeting of his old class-mate, A. P. Stewart, and of the plucky Pat. Cleburne, who seemed from the first to feel that he had found a soldier-affinity in the congenial spirit of Hill. When at last the scattered hosts had concentrated and confronted each other on the Ch
together, and constituted the main body of an army, which he estimated in another report to General Halleck at 120,000. If it were not manifest from this letter that McClellan was misled by the ordend the second directed that the sick and disabled of the army should be removed to Winchester. Halleck's correspondence with McClellan on the same day, September 13, 1862 (Official Records, Series 1art 1, page 145.) This was McClellan's own idea of Lee's design, and if he could have convinced Halleck of the correctness of his views, there would have been no reason for further hesitation about w portion of it in his correspondence at the time because it tended to sustain his view against Halleck. He did not send his chief the full copy of his order, and omit his report, written after his removal from command, a section which proved that he (not Halleck) had divined Lee's purpose from the beginning. The two paragraphs would not have been omitted in a copy intended for Hill, because i
orld as one of the best and bravest of all our leaders. It was this same gift that enabled General Hill to select from the lieutenants of his regiment Robert F. Hoke to be made major of his regiment over ten competent captains. It was this intuitive perception of persistent pluck, dash and coolness that prompted him to love and honor George B. Anderson, William R. Cox, Bryan Grimes, Stephen D. Ramseur and Robert D. Johnston, and led him later to urge the advancement of Gordon, Colquitt and Doles, of Georgia. In June, 1861 (a few days after the fight at Bethel), in a letter to his wife he said of Stonewall Jackson, then a colonel in command of a brigade, I see that Jackson has had an engagement and taken many prisoners. I have predicted all along that Colonel Jackson would have a prominent place in the war. Battle of Bethel. On the 6th of June, 1861, Colonel Hill, then at Yorktown, was ordered to make a reconnoissance in force in the direction of Fortress Monroe, and moved do
Heintzelman (search for this): chapter 1.7
up his artillery from his position near Richmond. The popular impression that the bridges across the Chickahominy had already been swept away when the fight at Seven Pines began on the 30th of May, 1861, is totally unfounded. The corps of Heintzelman and Keyes were then south, and that of Sumner north of the Chickahominy. The plan outlined by General Johnston was, briefly, that Huger should move from his camp, near Richmond, early on that morning down the Charles City road and vigorously attack the enemy's right, and Longstreet and Hill moving on the same road should attack the center and left of the force south of the bridge, while G. W. Smith's corps should advance on the Nine Mile road, and turn the left of Heintzelman and Keyes if Sumner should not have arrived, or engage and prevent the junction of his with the other corps, if he should cross. Longstreet and Hill were in position to attack at an early hour, but waited till ten o'clock for the arrival of Huger, whose divi
, give me gratitude to Thee, and may we never dishonor Thee by weak faith! Still later he wrote his wife: I look for a battle about the first of October. Pray for me that I may be well. (He was then in delicate health.) * * We are in the hands of God, and as safe on the battlefield as anywhere else. We will be exposed to a heavy fire, but the arm of God is mightier than the artillery of the enemy. After the battle Governor Ellis issued a commission of Brigadier General to him, as Governor Letcher had done at an earlier date in the case of Jackson, but President Davis delayed giving him the appointment till September, 1861. The response to a letter from his wife written during this interval, in which she complained of the delay, shows how little the outer world understood his character or his motives. You must not be concerned about my commission (he wrote). I feel too distrustful of my own skill, coolness and judgment. I have never coveted and always avoided positions of tru
orward movement by Cleburne on the left. Stewart, having been transferred to Buckner, these two divisions constituted Hill's corps. In rear of the line from which Breckinridge and Cleburne moved to the attack, at nine in the morning, on the last decisive day, was the corps of the old veteran known as Fighting Bill Walker, and as eager for the fray as a school-boy for frolic. His command was composed of his own and Liddell's divisions, embracing six brigades led by such dashing soldiers as Ector, Gist and Walthall. But the first lesson learned by a staff officer, who went from the east to the west, was that even an old war-horse like Walker dared not to fire a gun or move an inch, acting upon his own best judgment, without an order brought with due formality through all of the regular channels. The Virginia Brigadier struck his blows where opportunity offered, and reported to his superior that he was striking. The western Brigadier lost his opportunity to strike, waiting for perm
ing and influential citizens, and the rank and file were among the first young men in the State in intelligence, wealth and social position. The service of six months proved a training-school for that splendid body of volunteers, that ultimately placed them at the head of companies, regiments, brigades and divisions. Among its originial officers were Major-General Hoke, Brigadier-Generals Lane and Lewis, Colonels Avery, Bridgers, Hardy, W. W. McDowell, J. C. S. McDowell, Starr, Pemberton, Fuller, and a score of others, while a number from the rank and file fell at the head of both companies and regiments at later stages of the struggle. In the outset of this discussion of the career of D. H. Hill as a Confederate soldier, I lay down and propose to maintain the proposition that from the time when he fought the first fight of the war with North Carolina soldiers on Virginia soil till the day he led the last attacking column of Confederates east of the Mississippi and checked Sherma
Black river on his front and right flank and an almost impenetrable forest on his left, he used twenty-five spades and several hundreds of bayonets during the night in making an enclosed work. Ben. Butler had started 5,000 men in three columns, with the confident expectation that two of the detachments would travel by roads passing north and south of the position at Little Bethel, and form a junction two or three miles in rear of it, where the roads traveled by the two came together, while Duryea's regiment of Zouaves would engage Hill in front till the other columns should unite, and then press him in the rear in his expected retreat. Two of the detachments mistook each other in the night, and engaged in a skirmish, in which two men were killed and eight wounded. The Zouaves, instead of following immediately upon the heels of the fugitive rebels, as contemplated by Butler, turned back, and fled precipitately on hearing the firing in front of their own reserve line. On the next d
its weakest point. The splendid conduct of our troops on our right and the dread inspired by Breckinridge's bold charge of the morning, bore fruit, however, in a way entirely unexpected, when it led the enemy to mass so much of his force behind Thomas. This was the occupation of the enemy while Hill and Forrest were riding up and down in front of our line and drawing the fire of the enemy upon the young troop who followed at their heels, and when there was a temporary lull in front of Longtreet on the left and left center. At last the thunder of artillery and the roar of musketry again burst upon us from along the whole front of the Virginia Lieutenant, while Hill in vain sent messenger after messenger to beg that three lines be formed and a general advance ordered on the right as well as on the left. Just before night General Polk permitted Hill to take charge of the forward movement of the three lines, Walker in front, his own corps composing the second and Cheatham the thi
Thomas Cabeen (search for this): chapter 1.7
er, McDowell, and other distinguished regimental commanders, to determine the plan of attack. He made a number of suggestions that were adopted and proved the value of his opinion as a soldier. For twenty years after the war Colonel Hill was the trusted representative of his district in the State Senate of South Carolina, and was the intimate friend of Patrick Calhoun, the father of the great statesman and orator, John C. Calhoun. General Hill's mother was Nancy Cabeen, the daughter of Thomas Cabeen, a native Scotchman, who was Sumpter's trusted scout and the bravest man in his command, as the General himself often declared. Two uncles of General Hill were soldiers in the second war with England, and one of them was the adjutant of Colonel Arthur P. Hayne's regiment. Solomon Hill, his father, died when his son Harvey was but four years old, leaving him with four other children to bereared by a mother who was noted for her piety, culture, common sense and devotion to her children.
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