The title of my talk is "Thunder and Lightning The Stormy
Relationship Between Stonewall Jackson and A.P. Hill. Now I like
to know who I am dealing with here in the audience. How many
Stonewall Jackson fans do we have? How many A.P. Hill fans do we
have? Lets start by saying that the relationship between Thomas
Jonathan Jackson and Ambrose Powell Hill begins long before the
start of the Civil War in 1861. We have to go back to 1842 when
they both entered the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Jackson was born in Clarksburg, Virginia, the western part of
that state. We all know that January 21, 1824 had been his
traditional date of birth but how many people have read Bud
Robertson's new book on Stonewall Jackson. Well, he has proven
that Jackson was actually born on January 20th at 11:45. Jackson
was raised by his uncle. Jackson was eight years old when his
parent's had passed away. He was brought up on a farm and his
activities included working on the crops and livestock. He even
worked at his uncle's saw mill. His schooling was very meager
because that part of Virginia was very poor. He was a very slow
learner but the one thing that was most important to Jackson above
everything else was his religion. At that young age, Jackson did
not belong to any particular religion but he did attend both
Baptist and Methodist services. So, this is the background of
Thomas Jonathan Jackson. He entered West Point fully educated, he
was a laborer, farmer, slow learner and he was pretty much a
loaner. Here's a quote, Jackson said, "it is not desirable to have
a large number of friends."
Now we go to the other side of the coin. Ambrose Powell Hill
was born in Culpepper, Virginia on November 9, 1825. His family
was wealthy and he basically didn't have to work. He was a very
good student and he enjoyed history as well as the outdoors and he
was an excellent horsemen. Here's where Hill's uneasiness with
religion came from. Hill's family was brought up with the
allegiance to the Church of England but when that new right of
Baptist revival movement swept through that area of Virginia, his
family became born again. But Hill protested, after all, A.P Hill
was a fun loving guy. He was not about to give up his dancing or
his card playing. So basically what happened to Hill is that he
So even before Jackson and Hill meet, they are coming from two
different worlds. In 1842 at West Point they have their first
encounter with the United States Military Academy and each other.
Upon Hill's arrival at the Academy he begins making friends
right away particularly Virginians but then he meets somebody from
the western part of Virginia, Thomas Jackson. He doesn't want
anything to do with Jackson at all. After all, Hill is an
aristocrat and looks down on Jackson. He thinks he is a country
bumpkin, a hillbilly. In Hill's eyes Jackson is no better than
poor white trash.
During their studies at West Point, Jackson has a hard time.
If Jackson has any free time, he reads his bible. Now to Hill
education comes easy. As I said, he's an excellent horsemen. And
when he has any free time, he goes off and gets together with his
Virginians and they start having card games, or they get together
to smoke. But, if there's ever an opportunity to go for an
adventure, Hill will go to New York City.
How many people have read Bud Robinson's book? A.P. Hill
Southern Confederate Warrior. Well on one such visit to New York
City, A.P. Hill contacted venereal disease. There are these sweet
little old ladies down in Virginia that condemn Bud Robinson, they
say, "he gave A.P. Hill venereal disease". But Bud says, "please
ladies, please, I didn't give it to him, I just discovered that he
had it." Because Hill had V.D. he had to take a year's leave of
absence from West Point. So, Jackson graduates in 1846, one year
ahead of Hill.
The war with Mexico breaks out and Jackson distinguishes
himself by being breveted three times. No other American soldier
deserved it more than Jackson during the Mexican War. A.P. Hill,
he's left behind at West Point. He finally graduates a year later
in 1847. He gets to Mexico but unfortunately most of the action
has subsided. Here's a description of A.P. Hill in Mexico, "he
wore a flaming red flannel shirt and a broad rimmed sombrero. He
carried on him a long artillery saber, a pair of large horse
pistols, two revolvers, and a large butcher knife. No Mexican was
safe." Most of the fighting had been over. But Hill was not a
When the Civil War breaks out in 1861, the two Virginians find
themselves on the same side and on July 21st Jackson receives his
name Stonewall on the fields of Manassas. Hill again loses his
chance for glory because he is ordered to go to the lower part of
the Bull Run expecting a Federal flank attack. It never comes.
While Jackson will go on as Stonewall Jackson and becomes the
hero of the Confederacy particularly during the 1862 Shenandoah
Valley Campaign. In twelve weeks Jackson will fight five battles
defeat three Union armies and march his foot cavalry over 550
miles. He will capture 5,000 prisoners and a large amount of
supplies. But more than all this, Stonewall Jackson will
immobilize more than 60,000 Union troops much needed by George
McClellan in his plan to take Richmond.
Something special about George McClellan, George McClellan was
A.P. Hill's roommate at West Point. They also courted the same
woman, Ellen Marcy. Ellen Marcy and A.P. Hill were engaged to be
married but somehow, someway Ellen Marcy's parents found out that
A.P. Hill had venereal disease. Ellen Marcy ended up marrying
George McClellan. Now, don't feel too sorry for A.P. Hill. He
would marry Kitty Morgan, the sister of Confederate General John
On June 3, 1862, General Robert E. Lee assumed command of the
Army of Northern Virginia. That same day Major General Ambrose
Powell Hill christened his new command, the Light Division. It was
the largest division in the army and he trained it for speed.
On June 23rd Lee had a meeting with his division commanders in
Richmond. McClellan was about to take that city and his army is
moving upon it. So, Lee at his headquarters summoned James
Longstreet age 43, Daniel Harvey Hill, age 40, and Stonewall
Jackson age 38 who had just completed his spectacular Shenandoah
Valley Campaign. As a matter of fact, Jackson had just ridden 52
miles in fourteen hours just to be at that meeting. Also in
attendance was A.P. Hill the youngest general there at 36. The
meeting lasted four hours and Lee's plan relied on the timing of
Jackson. Now Stonewall said he could have his men, who were still
in the Valley, ready to take on George McClellan on the 26th. Now
the other generals thought that was cutting it a little bit too
close. Lee decided that the engagement would begin on the morning
of the 26th with Jackson already in position.
June 26th arrives and no sign of the mighty Stonewall. It
becomes noon and still no Jackson. Three o'clock in the afternoon
and A.P. Hill, who was a feisty general wanted to get into action,
and is wondering where's Jackson. Hill decides to take things into
his own hands and so he orders his Light Division to cross the
Chicahominy River to initiate this turning movement against
McClellan. Surely Hill thought that by the time he made contact
with the enemy Jackson would be there right? Isn't that logical?
Wrong! Jackson never shows up. Hill initiated the attack of that
Union force and the Battle of Mechanicsville was a disaster for the
The next day, the Battle of Gaines Mill, Lee orders both James
Longstreet and A.P. Hill to combine their forces and attack
thinking that Jackson would be there. Well, Hill's Light Division
and Longstreet's Division take an even greater beating. Why? No
sign of Jackson. He finally gets there after most of the action
had subsided and both Hill and Longstreet's men could fight no
Let me say something about what happened right after Gaines
Mill. It's a premonition of something that is going to happen a
year later. Jackson was late for the Battle of Gaines Mill because
there was confusion - confusion over two roads going to that area.
Jackson took the wrong road. Now when Jackson finally shows up, he
arrives at Lee's headquarters and this is how Lee greets Stonewall
Jackson, "Ah, General I'm glad to see you. I had hoped to be with
you before." Shades of what's going to happen a year later in
Gettysburg with the arrival of J.E.B. Stuart.
Three days later, Longstreet and Hill were both ordered to
attack at Fraiser's Farm with the idea that Jackson again would
swoop around and support them. Well, Jackson got as far as White
Oak Clark and he just stops with the easy hearing of the sound of
the gun. Again, the Light Division is hit hard. So, you have
three good reasons why A.P. Hill does not like Stonewall Jackson.
He blames Jackson for the disasters at Mechanicsville, Gaines Mill,
and Fraiser's Farm.
In defense of Jackson let me just say that Jackson just
finished his campaign in Shenandoah Valley. He was totally
exhausted, his men were exhausted. Jackson was at an independent
command. During the Valley campaign he made all the decisions. He
was in charge. Here he had to communicate and coordinate his
movements with other generals to follow Lee's plan. And finally,
I think the third most important reason why Jackson was late in
arriving was because he did not have his map-maker, Jed Hopkins.
Jed Hopkins made the maps of the Valley. Anytime Jackson was going
to embark on a new campaign he always had Jed Hopkins make the map.
Jackson decided to leave Jed Hopkins back in the Shenandoah Valley
and proceed without him. There's defense for Jackson during the
Seven Days Campaign.
If anybody has the opportunity to go down to Lexington,
Virginia during the summer there is a theater company and they put
on a production called "Stonewall Country". There's one scene
called "The Thirty Days Freak Out" that talks about Jackson during
that time. I definitely would recommend it.
While finally the Seven Days ended with McClellan retreating
from Richmond. Robert E. Lee had saved the Confederate capitol.
Are there any Longstreet fans here? Well, Jackson wasn't the
only person Hill was having trouble with. There's James
Longstreet. John M. Daniel, he's the editor of the Richmond
Examiner. He had attached himself to A.P. Hill's Light Division
during the Seven Days Campaign. During the Battle at Gaines Mill,
he was wounded. When he finally returns to the paper, he started
writing a column about his exploits with A.P. Hill and the Light
Division glorifying it. Well, Longstreet did not care for that.
So, he started writing to the Examiner disputing a lot of the
accounts of the battle. Well, then he started giving his version
of the Seven Days to the rival newspaper, the Richmond Whig. Now
there's a newspaper war between the Examiner and the Whig. Hill
got furious. This is the last straw for A.P. Hill so what did he
do? He wrote a letter to Robert E. Lee. "I have the honor to
request that I may be relieved from the command of Major General
Well, ill feelings for the two generals got to a point where
Hill challenged Longstreet to a dual. What was Robert E. Lee to
do? He could have one or two major generals dead from fighting a
dual so he acted quickly. Robert E. Lee transferred A.P. Hill
under the command of Stonewall Jackson. Hill was glad to get away
from Longstreet but as I mentioned before he didn't like Jackson
and he blames Jackson for the disaster during the Seven Days
Campaign. Literally Hill was jumping out of the frying pan and
into the fire.
Lee decides to write a message to Jackson. He knows there's
ill feeling between the two generals and so he wants to smooth it
out a little bit. This is the letter that Lee sends to Jackson,
"A.P. Hill, you will I think find a good officer with whom you can
consult and by advising with your division commander as to their
movements, much trouble can be saved you in arranging details and
they can act more intelligently." Well, since when did Jackson
ever confer with his subordinates? Robert E. Lee found Hill to be
a good officer, but Jackson had his doubts.
A.P. Hill and the Light Division were sent to Gordonville to
support Stonewall Jackson who was planning to attack part of the
Union army at the Dead of Dawn Post and the new Federals set at
On the night of August 7th, Jackson issued a set of simple
written marching orders, Major General Richard Ewell was to lead
with his division, Hill would follow and then Brigadier General
Charles Langer would close up the column. The starting hour would
be at dawn. Later that night Jackson changed the orders but failed
to inform Hill. At sunrise Hill's division is waiting for Ewell to
pass. Ewell had taken another road. So finally when Hill realized
that Langer's division was moving and not Ewell's, Hill basically
halted his division because he did not want to move his division
between brigades of another division. His halt upset Jackson very
much and he got furious with Hill. Beyond that Jackson also
thought that the Light Division was too big for Hill to handle. He
even suggested taking a brigade away. He thought it was too slow
in getting to formation and marching. The timely arrival of A.P.
Hill saves Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain.
Now after the Union was pushed away from Cedar Mountain, they
are in the vicinity of Manassas that same field where Jackson
received his name "Stonewall" the previous summer. On August 20th
preparations were being made to cross the Rapidan and take a
position. The movement was to have occurred as early as possible.
Now to A.P. Hill early as possible is dawn of day but to Stonewall
Jackson early as possible means the rising of the moon. Now
sometime after a moonrise, Jackson decides to go down to the camp
of A.P. Hill to make sure that division is already on the road
moving. He is furious when he sees that Hill's division is still
in camp at that time. Well then Hill was ready, he takes out the
written orders prepared by Robert E. Lee to prove that the movement
was to take place at dawn of day. What happened, Jackson decided
to change the orders to the rising of the moon.
Well, four days later Jackson was ready for his flanking
movement on the Union Army. It would be a march of 54 miles in two
days. The order of the march issued by Jackson provided for
Ewell's division to lead, followed by A.P. Hill's division with
Brigadier General William Cauliver bringing up the rear. The
placing of the Light Division was delivered by Jackson to show
displeasure to A.P. Hill. Nevertheless, the march was successful
and the Battle of Second Manassas was a great Confederate victory.
At the end of the Battle, A.P. Hill sent the following message to
Jackson, "General Hill presents his compliments and says the attack
of the enemy was at halt". Jackson was reported to have said in a
rare smile, "I knew he would do it."
Overall though Stonewall Jackson was not happy with A.P. Hill
during the Second Manassas Campaign. He would find fault with the
Light Division for marching too slowly, and then he would criticize
them for moving too fast causing stranglers to drop from the
column. Stonewall Jackson was rarely satisfied with the
performance of A.P. Hill up to this point.
Now after the victory at Second Manassas Robert E. Lee decided
to invade the North. On September 4th during their trip North,
outside of Leesburg, Virginia, another clash occurred between
Stonewall Jackson and A.P. Hill. It seems the Light Division was
moving a little bit too fast for Jackson. So, Jackson rides up and
decides to go to General Thomas, who was leading the brigade of the
division. He tells Thomas to halt his brigade so that the men
behind them would finally have a chance to rest and they can close
up the column and prevent stragglers. So, what happens? A.P. Hill
rides up and he sees that his own division has stopped. Somebody
has given them the order to halt without his permission. He rides
up to General Thomas and asked him who gave the order to the
division to halt. What does General Thomas do? He points to that
man, Stonewall Jackson. Hill is furious, and stomps away. Hill
goes up to Jackson, "Stonewall, if you plan on issuing orders to my
division, you have no need for a division commander. Take my
sword". Jackson tells Hill, to keep his sword but places him under
arrest and tells him to get to the back of the column. The command
of the Light Division is now under the command of General Brandt.
Just think how Hill felt at that time - humiliated. His own
division marching and he's in the back of the column under arrest.
Stonewall Jackson is in Maryland, and a North Carolinian
Lieutenant wrote in his journal, "General Hill marched on foot with
the rear guard all day through Maryland - an old hat slouched down
over his eyes, his coat off and wearing an old flannel shirt
looking mad as a bull." Can you imagine how Hill felt. Here they
are invading the North, this could be the final battle. This could
bring independence to the Confederacy and where's Hill? Oh has he
had it with Stonewall and placed under arrest of Jackson.
Well, Hill decided to take matters into his own hands. He
approaches Robert E. Lee and asks Lee if he could take over his
division until after the campaign and then there will be a court of
inquiry. Lee agrees. Just so happens that on September 10th while
approaching United States Military Arsenal at Harpers' Ferry, Hill
knew this is action was very important - this arsenal. On
September 15th Harpers' Ferry was captured. The take was 12,000
prisoners, 13,000 arms, 73 cannons, 200 wagons and much needed
clothing. Hill's roster shows there were only three men killed and
66 wounded. This capture of Harpers' Ferry, the United States
Arsenal is considered by many, including Dennis Frye, the greatest
victory ever for Stonewall Jackson in the war and the greatest
defeat suffered by the United States Army up to Pearl Harbor.
Jackson left the Arsenal in Hill's hands and rode off to join
Robert E. Lee at Sharpsburg. It was Hill and the Light Division's
duty to parole prisoners at the Arsenal. Well, September 17th a
courier arrives at Harpers' Ferry at 6:30 in the morning. It was
the Battle of Antietam and he said that Robert E. Lee needs all the
help he can muster. This is one of A.P. Hill's greatest moments.
In one half hour, he had his men on the road and pushed them 17
miles in seven hours to get there. He knew this was the
opportunity to save the Army of Northern Virginia and maybe the
entire country because at that time McClellan had overwhelming
defense fighting the Confederacy fighting the Army of Northern
Virginia. Lee had a very meager Army at that time. But, one thing
in the back of A.P. Hill's mind is that he knew he was going up
against his old foe George McClellan. He pushed his men, he got
them there at the right place and at the right time and when he did
would prove to Ellen Marcy who was the better man - him or George
McClellan. Like I said, A.P. Hill arrived at the right place and
at the right time and saved the army and Lee who knew disaster was
in sight was so overjoyed that Lee actually embraced A.P. Hill
right there on the field and that arrival of the Light Division
saved the Army of Northern Virginia.
The Light Division was finally on the move back to Virginia,
and what happened was that Jackson wanted to drop the charges all
together because of Hill's performance during the campaign. Hill
didn't want anything to do with it. He wanted a court of inquiry
to clear his name so Lee came to the rescue again. He promoted
Major General Thomas Jonathan Jackson to Lieutenant General and
gave him a corps. He kept A.P. Hill, a Major General, dropped all
charges and gave him back his command of the Light Division because
of his excellent performance during the Sharpsburg Campaign.
Jackson commanded the 2nd Corps, gave Longstreet command of the 3rd
Corps and A.P. Hill was back to his old self again as Major General
of his Light Division.
During this later part of 1862, winter set in and Hill decided
to write a letter to his good friend J.E.B. Stuart. Here's the
letter that A.P. Hill sent to J.E.B. Stuart:
"I suppose I have to vegetate here all of the winter
under that crazy young Presbyterian fool. I am like a
porcupine, all bristles and all sticking out too. So, I
know we shall have this match up before long. Hill will
get tired of helping Jackson after awhile and then he'll
get the damndest trashing. I shall get my share and
probably all of the blame for the people would never
blame Stonewall for any disaster."
December 13, 1862 down in Fredericksburg, the new Yankee
threat was commanded by General Ambrose Burnside. During that time
at Fredericksburg, Lee had a position, he held the heights there,
three nights. He placed Longstreet's men behind there and Burnside
kept moving his men up against that and getting slaughtered. But,
there was an area aside from Lee's Heights that went to Prospect
Hill. There he had Jackson's men and Jackson placed A.P. Hill's
Light Division in that area. There was a gap in Prospect Hill, a
sloppy area. That gap, the two sides of the gap, you had Brigadier
Generals James Baine Archer and Lange and their men of the Light
division. But the gap was going right between them. Hill saw the
gap, he knew it. Jackson even saw the gap, he knew it. He was
there to supervise the whole area.
In the summertime, spring and in the fall no one could have
gotten through but on that 13th of December, 1862 General George
Gordon Meade's Division broke through that gap. Luckily, James
Baine Archer rounds his men along with the assistance of Jubal
Early's men and fought those Yankees back and the Battle
Fredericksburg was a Confederate victory.
But today since we are talking about whose fault was it, who
caused that gap there. There was no reason for that gap to occur.
Well, Spring, Summer, Fall no one could have gotten through but
because this is winter that clumpy area is frozen over and there
was enough footing for those Yankees to get through. Well, I tell
you right now, I blame both - Jackson and Hill. Hill for being
there and not supervising the idea about closing that area.
Jackson, overall who is supposed to be overseeing the whole
Now after the Confederate victory at Fredericksburg on
December 13th, A.P. Hill wants to remove the matter with Jackson
concerning the charges filed against. Jackson wanted to let it
rest but not Hill. He wanted to clear his name. When Jackson
heard this, he was fed up with Hill. Both generals filed court
marshal against each other. Now what could Robert E. Lee do? I
mean for the next four months the talk of Army of Northern Virginia
was the pending trial between Stonewall Jackson and A.P. Hill. Lee
was about to lose one of his two best commanders. Well soon
everything had to be put on hold because of the new Union advance
in the form of General Joe Hooker.
James Longstreet and part of the 1st Corps had been sent to
southeastern Virginia to gather much needed supplies. So, the
Battle of Chancellorsville would be fought between Joe Hooker's
Army of the Potomac of 130,000 men against Robert E. Lee and his
60,000 man Army of Northern Virginia.
As you all know on May 2, 1863 when the two armies face each
other, Stonewall Jackson made his famous flank march with 28,000
men including the Light Division. It was done leaving Robert E.
Lee with only 14,000 men to take Hooker's army. At 5:15 p.m.
Jackson gave the order to assault again. The surprise attack
caught the Federals off guard and many were on the ground on the
Soon, darkness follows and much of the action subsided. But
during that evening Jackson and Hill and their parties were
reconnoitering the area to follow up the Confederate successful
attack when a volley was let loose from the 18th North Carolina.
They thought they heard cavalry approaching them but it was
actually the parties of Hill and Jackson. The 18th North Carolina,
part of Hill's division, fired and Jackson was hit. Jackson went
down and when that occurred Hill jumps off his horse, dropped to
the ground and avoided being hit and he rolls up and tells them to
stop. He went up to Jackson and cradled Jackson's head. He took
Jackson's belt off, took Jackson's gauntlets off which were both
blood soaked. When the stretcher bearers arrived and as they
carried Jackson away Hill said to Jackson, "I will try to keep your
accident from the knowledge of the troops." "Thank you, Jackson
replied." That was the last thing said between the two commanders.
A.P. Hill is now temporarily in charge of Jackson's corps but
then a quick burst of artillery came from across the way and hit
Hill in the back of the leg and he couldn't move because he was in
such great pain. Finally, they had to get Major General Robert
Rhodes to take over. Rhodes wanted to pass the command to J.E.B.
Stuart. Even though Stuart was a cavalry commander, the men had
confidence in Stuart. Stuart was summoned and did a magnificent
job with Jackson's 2nd Corps. The battle was won in
Chancellorsville and is considered Robert E. Lee's greatest
Now later that week Jackson's condition had weakened,
pneumonia followed the amputation of Jackson's left arm. Jackson
lapsed into delirium and in his final hours Jackson cried out,
"Porter, tell A.P. Hill to prepare for action, pass the infantry to
the front. Tell Major Harp." The devout Jackson had always hoped
to die on the saddle. In mid afternoon on Sunday, May 10th
Jackson's last words were, "Let's cross over the river and rest
under the shade of the trees."
Whatever Hill felt about the death of Thomas Jonathan Jackson
he kept to himself. Now the talk of the army was who can replace
Jackson. He commands the 2nd Corps. Well, Robert E. Lee had to
think about the possibilities. There were three of them, Richard
Ewell, who was always under Stonewall Jackson of the 2nd Corps.
Jackson knew Ewell. Ewell was out of commission because he had
been wounded at the Battle of Gulden just prior to the Battle of
Second Manassas. He was shot in the leg and his leg was amputated.
So while he was away recovering, Ewell had missed the Battle of
Second Manassas, Battle of Sharpsburg, Battle of Fredericksburg and
he missed the Battle of Chancellorsville. Now he was returned to
the army with a new leg and a new bride.
Who else did Robert E. Lee think could command the 2nd Corps -
J.E.B. Stuart. Why not Stuart. Stuart handled the infantry, the
2nd Corps during Chancellorsville and what a great victory. But
Stuart was a cavalryman. A true cavalryman.
The other possibility was A.P. Hill, his best division
commander. Lee decided to reorganize the Army of Northern Virginia
from a two corps system into a three corps army. He kept
Lieutenant General James Longstreet, commander of the 1st Corps and
newly promoted Lieutenant General Richard Ewell, commander of the
2nd Corps and newly promoted Ambrose Powell Hill, Lieutenant
General, commander of the 3rd Corps. Taking elements from the 1st
and 2nd Corps forming that new corps. With this the Jackson - Hill
feud had come to an end but so did the boldness of the Army of
Northern Virginia. That great army that had seen greatness in
their victories at Second Manassas, Fredericksburg,
Chancellorsville and that stalemate at Sharpsburg thanks to the
timely arrival of A.P. Hill were now yet alive. Nevermore would
Stonewall Jackson lead the 2nd Corps and A.P. Hill lead the Light
Division. The Army of Northern Virginia would be without its
Thunder and Lightning. The very next campaign after the death of
Jackson would end in disaster at Gettysburg.
Once and only once does General Robert E. Lee make this
statement after the war, "If I had Jackson at Gettysburg, I should
have won the battle and a complete victory there would have
resulted in the establishment of southern independence." By the
way, the map used by Lee during the Gettysburg campaign was the map
that was prepared by Jed Hopkins for Stonewall Jackson.
After Gettysburg, the war would continue for two more years
and A.P. Hill in time would become Robert E. Lee's most dependable
general. During the 1864 Campaign Robert E. Lee gave this advice
to A.P. Hill, "these men you command are not an army, they are
citizens defending their country. When a man makes a mistake, you
will have to do what I do. I call him to my tent, talk to him and
use the authority of position to make him to do the right thing the
next time." So during the Siege of Petersburg, A.P. Hill was
always in the right place at the right time defending the
Confederate lines protecting the city.
At this time, Hill's illness, that disease that was eating up
his body particularly during the war year finally taking its toll.
He would be in constant pain and suffered greatly especially while
On April 2nd, 1865 while riding with his chief of couriers,
Sergeant Tupper, on that day the Yankees had broken through the
Petersburg line and Hill was watching to try to rally his men to
close the gap when he encountered two Yankees. These two Yankees
Corporal John Mark and private Dan Logan of 138th Pennsylvania
Infantry they were hiding behind a tree and they had their rifles
and they took a beep on the two Confederates that were riding ahead
of them. The two Confederates saw the two Yankees and they charged
them. Hill yelled out to them to surrender. They leveled their
rifles and they both fired at the same time. Wolfert's shot missed
both Confederates but Corporal Marks his bullet rang true and
scraped Hill. It cut off his thumb, it hit him in the chest
and the bullet went right to his heart and killed him instantly.
He was dead before he hit the ground. All that Tupper could do was
grab Hill's horse, Chance, and after a while rode that horse
looking back seeing his dead commander on the ground. He rode off
to find General Robert E. Lee to tell the story of the death of
On reaching Lee's headquarters while telling him the story,
tears welled in Lee's eyes and with a choking voice he said, "He's
now at rest and we who are left are the ones to suffer." Robert E.
Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia one week later on
April 9th at Appomattox Courthouse.
Five years later on October 12, 1870 as Lee is dying and just
before he says his last words "strike the tent" Lee cries out,
"Tell, A.P. Hill he must come up!".