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front at the most opportune moment, and the last charge of the enemy met the same disastrous fate that had befallen those preceding it.
The next day (August 30, 1862,) Hill's division was again engaged, and late in the evening it was ordered by Jackson to advance in echelon of brigades. This order was promptly carried out: Pender, Archer, Thomas, and Branch steadily advancing. These brigades held together, and drove everything before them, capturing two batteries, many prisoners, and resting at night on Bull Run.
At Sharpsburg we find a record of brilliant service on the part of A. P. Hill unsurpassed in the war. Having been delayed at the surrender of Harper's Ferry, he did not arrive upon the battle-field of Sharpsburg until half-past two in the afternoon, when he reported to Gen. Lee, and was ordered to take position on the right. His troops were not in a moment too soon. The enemy had already advanced in three lines, had broken through Jones' division, captured McIntosh's battery, and were in the full tide of success. With a yell of defiance, Archer charged them, retook McIntosh's guns, and drove them back pell-mell. Branch and Gregg, with their old veterans, sternly held their ground, and pouring in destructive volleys, the tide of the enemy surged back, and breaking in confusion, passed out of sight. During this attack Pender's brigade was moved from the right to the centre, but the enemy were driven back without actively engaging this brigade. The three brigades of the division actively engaged did not number over 2,000 men, and these, with the help of the splendid batteries, drove back Burnside's corps of 15,000 men.
After the battle of Sharpsburg, when Gen. Lee determined to withdraw from Maryland, Hill's division was directed to cover the retreat of the army; and in the performance of this duty enacted one of the most terrible episodes of the war. The story of Boteler's Ford is one at which the imagination shudders. It taught the enemy the danger of pressing a retreating army of veterans. On the 20th September, 1862, Lee's army was well across the Potomac, when it was ascertained that some brigades of the enemy had ventured to cross during the preceding night, and were making preparations to hold their position. Gen. Jack
son at once ordered A. P. Hill to take his division and drive the enemy back. The Federals had lined the opposite hills with some seventy pieces of artillery; and the infantry, who had crossed, lined the crest of the high banks on the Virginia shore. Hill's lines advanced simultaneously and soon encountered the enemy. The advance was made in the face of a tremendous fire of artillery. The infantry opposition in front of Gregg's centre and right was but trifling and soon brushed away. The enemy, however, massed in front of Pender, and, extending, endeavoured to turn his left. Gen. Pender became hotly engaged, and informing Archer of his danger, he (Archer) moved by the left flank, and, forming on Pender's left, a simultaneous daring charge was made, and the enemy driven pell-mell into the river. “Then," writes Gen. Hill, describing the action with graphic pen, “commenced the most terrible slaughter that this war has yet witnessed. The broad surface of the Potomac was blue with the floating bodies of our foe. But few escaped to tell the tale. By their own account they lost 3,000 men killed and drowned from one brigade alone!” In this battle Gen. Hill did not use a piece of artillery ; but, relying on the musket and bayonet, he punished the enemy beyond precedent, and repaid, in one triumphant hour, all the suffering and injuries of a campaign.
The subsequent career of Gen. Hill is so merged in the general record of the Army of Northern Virginia as scarcely to claim particular notice. In May, 1863, he was made Lieutenant-General, and commanded one of the three corps into which Gen. Lee's army was then divided. In the Pennsylvania campaign his was the first corps in action at Gettysburg. In Gen. Lee's flank movement of the same year to get between Meade and Washington city, A. P. Hill sustained the only reverse of his career, and experienced his first defeat; he having fallen upon a superiour force of the enemy at Bristoe Station, concealed by the railroad embankment, and in a vain effort to dislodge it losing several hundred killed and wounded, and five pieces of artillery. It is said that in the 27th North Carolina infantry, out of 464 officers and men who went into this battle, upwards of 300 were killed and wounded, in a less time than fifteen minutes. In the momentous campaign of 1864, Gen. Hill was again conspicuous, his corps, with that of Ewell, opening the action in the Wilderness. A few days thereafter his feeble health gave way completely, and he was unable to remain on duty, when Gen. Early was assigned to the command of his corps. It was then composed of Heth's, Wilcox's and Mahone's (formerly Anderson's) divisions of infantry, and three battalions of artillery under Col. Walker; the infantry numbering about 13,000 muskets for duty.
After the scenes of Spottsylvania Court-House, Gen. Hill reported for duty, resumed command of his corps, and fonght it to the last day in front of Petersburg. His next important service of this period was the battle of Ream's Station, where, on the 25th August, 1864, he attacked the enemy in his intrenchments, and at the second assault carried his entire line. Seven stands of colours, 2,000 prisoners, and nine pieces of artillery were taken ; and the thanks of Gen. Lee were obtained for the gallant action. The command of Hill engaged in this assault was Cook's and McRea's North Carolina brigades, under Gen. Heth, and Lane's North Carolina brigade of Wilcox' division, under Gen. Connor, with Pegram's artillery. • In the last battle of Petersburg, Gen. A. P. Hill fell in the flower of his youth and at the summit of his fame, having achieved a name wholly identified with the Army of Northern Virginia, and terminating his career with melancholy fitness in the closing scenes of that army's existence. He had desired to obtain a nearer view of a portion of the enemy's line during the attack of the 2d April, 1864, and leaving his staff behind in a place of safety, rode forward, accompanied by a single orderly, and soon came upon a squad of Federals, who had advanced along a ravine far beyond their lines. He immediately ordered them to surrender, which they were on the point of doing, under the supposition that a column of troops were at his heels. They soon discovered he was nearly unattended, and shot him through the heart. In the following night his body was hastily buried in the cemetery of Petersburg; and while the darkness was rifted with explosion after explosion of magazines taken up all along the line to Richmond, and while through pillars of fire the retreating army took its way into the great hollowness of the night, and while conflagrations and horrid sights streamed on the troubled air, a few men tarried around the dead form of the warriour and made him a grave in peaceful and consecrated ground.
Gen. Hill was of slender frame and delicate health, but of a handsome person and strangely fascinating manners. He had a quick and retentive intellect, a cordial and affectionate disposition, and sensibilities of rare refinement. Of his untiring devotion to the cause of the South, and able services in the field, it is unnecessary to speak. To his ceaseless care of his men, every veteran of his command will testify; and to his honour be it said, in every position he held, the health, comfort and safety of his brave comrades were considered as inferiour only to the imperative call of the country. His own life was held no more sacred than a private's; and at Williamsburg, where he commanded so ably, and won a Major-General's wreath, he twice saved, by his own hand, an unknown private who was struggling in personal combat. During many campaigns, Gen. Hill was too feeble to continue on horseback, and was dragged from field to field, yet unwilling to be absent from the post of duty and danger. In the campaign of the last year of the war, this was the case, though his attending physicians were then urging his family to use their influence to save his services to his country, by inducing him to rest. But no entreaty could avail; the iron will of the brave man spared not his feeble frame. He had returned from a furlough coerced by his Commanding General, in the hope of recruiting his health, on Friday before the fatal Sunday on which he fell. In his death, the South lost a noble defender, and the State of Virginia not the least of her many military ornaments in the war.
LIEUT.-GEN. DANIEL H. HILL.
"Bethel ” Hill a curiosity as well as celebrity of the war.--His Revolutionary ances
try.-Services in Mexico.—His adventures as a Professor and literateur.--Curiosities of “Hill's Algebra.”—The affair of Bethel and its exaggeration.-Gen. Hill's account of McClellan's retreat from Richmond.--His most memorable and heroic service at South Mountain Pass.--Gen. Hill's criticism of the battle of Sharpsburg.Heroic record of a North Carolina regiment.—Gen. Hill at Chickamauga.--Removed from command.-His literary exploits and eccentricities.
The name of Daniel H. Hill—“ Bethel” Hill, as he was sometimes called in the camp-a native of South Carolina, but an ardent citizen of North Carolina, a devoted lover of his adopted State, belongs to the curiosities as well as to the celebrities of the war. His personal eccentricities, his literary whims, and his adventures in the English language, furnished a stock of curiosity and amusement in the war. He had the somewhat equivocal reputation of a man who “had peculiar notions"; he was frequently charged with insubordination; but doubtful as were some of the parts of his military career, he was a grim and obstinate fighter, and on one occasion, as we shall see, he was engaged in one of the most brilliant and critical actions of the war, which saved the campaign in Maryland, made his reputation, and entitled him to at least one conspicuous record in history. Whatever the adverse criticism or unpleasant remark that may be made upon the commander, the splendid service is not to be forgotten, when he held McClellan's whole army in check at South Mountain Pass, covered the capture of Harper's Ferry, and saved Gen. Lee's army from an attack that would have divided it, and perhaps have destroyed it in detail.