Thursday, May 1, 2014

General A. P. Hill "Little Powell"

General Ambrose Powell Hill.
Affectionately known as "Little Powell" by his men.

Born~ November 9, 1825  Culpepper Va.  
Died~ April 2, 1865. Killed in Action during the siege of Petersburg Va.

Hill entered the United States Military Academy in 1842.  The class started with 85 cadets. Powell became friends with future generals such as Darius N. Couch, George E. Pickett, Jesse L. Reno, George Stoneman, Truman Seymour, Cadmus M. Wilcox, and George B. McClellan. Thomas J. Jackson was in the same class but the two did not get along. Jackson would later be his commanding officer during the war. Hill and Jackson came from different backgrounds. In 1844 Hill returned from a furlough with a case of gonorrhea, medical complications from which caused him to miss so many classes that he was required to repeat his third year. He was reassigned to the class of 1847. This class granted him the friendships of Henry Heth and Ambrose Burnside. He graduated in 1847, ranking 15th of 38
Military Career~
He was appointed to the 1st U.S. Artillery as a brevet second lieutenant. He served in a cavalry company during the final months of the Mexican-American War, but fought in no major battles. After some garrison assignments along the Atlantic seaboard, he served in the Seminole Wars, again arriving near the end of the war and fighting various minor skirmishes. He was promoted to first lieutenant in September 1851.
From 1855 to 1860, Hill was employed on the United States' coastal survey.

On March 1, 1861, Hill resigned his U.S. Army commission. After Virginia seceded, he was appointed colonel of the 13th Virginia Infantry Regiment. The 13th Virginia was in Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's army that were transported by railroad as reinforcements to the First Battle of Bull Run, but Hill and his men were sent to guard the Confederate right flank near Manassas and saw no action during the battle.

Hill was promoted to brigadier general on February 26, 1862, and command of a brigade in the (Confederate) Army of the Potomac.
During the Peninsula Campaign of 1862, Hill performed well as a brigade commander at the Battle of Williamsburg. His brigade blunted a Union attack. On May 26th Hill was promoted to Major General and division command. Hill's division initially formed part of James Longstreet's command, but after an argument between Hill and Longstreet, which nearly resulted in a duel, Hill was transferred to Stonewall Jackson's Second Corps.

June 1st was the first day that Hill began using a nickname for his division: the Light Division. This contradictory name for the largest division in all of the Confederate armies may have been selected because Powell wished his men to have a reputation for speed and agility.
Hill launched multiple attacks throughout the Seven Days Battles, including at Mechanicsville, Gaines's Mill, and Glendale. His division was held in reserve at Malvern Hill.

Notable Commands~

     *  13th Virginia Infantry
     * A. P. Hill's Light Division, Second Corps
     * Third Corps, Army of Northern Virginia

Post War~ N/A

Fascinting Fact~

Ellen B. Marcy was engaged to Hill but, her parents pressured her to break off the relationship. Later she met and married Hill's West Point roommate George B. McClellan. Although he felt no ill will about the affair afterward, during the war a rumor spread that Hill always fought harder if he knew McClellan was present with the opposing army, because of Ellen's rejection.
On July 18, 1859, he married Kitty ("Dolly") Morgan McClung, a young widow, thus becoming the brother-in-law of future Confederate cavalry generals John Hunt Morgan (Hill's best man at the wedding) and Basil W. Duke.  Personality conflicts resulted in tensions with fellow officers. Both General Longstreet and Stonewall Jackson Had Hill arrested on separate and unrelated occasions.. Hill in turn challenged each of these officers to duels. Despite the differences in personalities, when it came to fighting, All were able to put aside petty difference to fight the war. General Robert E. Lee went a long way in keeping the peace between his Generals.


On The Game Table~

LEVEL~             2
RADIUS~           12"
MODIFIER~       -2
COHESION~      16

The above models come from the GHQ Line of Civil War Commanders. There is a bit of humor in the fact that the blister pack that contains General A. P.  Hill, also contains both General Stonewall Jackson and James Longstreet. General Hill Is Painted wearing his famous red flannel Shirt that he would wear into battle. His soldiers would know "something was up" when they saw their beloved General trot by on his horse wearing his "battle shirt."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.