01601 - Captured Confederate Fort; Occupied by General Hill; Yorktown, VA 1862 [LC-DIG-cwpb-01601]
The “Battle of Yorktown” turned out to be a minor episode in the war. Due to its role in the American Revolution in 1781, both sides hoped the battle would be significant. This fortification was captured after the departure of the Confederates in 1862. Visible in the image is “Gen D. H. Hill” inscribed on the side of both a gun carriage and ammunition box, indicating who had been in possession prior to capture. This identification refers to Daniel Harvey Hill, better known as D. H. Hill, to differentiate him from A. P. Hill, also a General in the Confederate lines.
General D. H. Hill graduated from West Point in 1842 and served during the Mexican-American War. His brother-in-law was “Stonewall” Jackson, through Hill’s marriage to the sister of Jackson’s wife. Hill was promoted to Colonel upon joining the Confederacy at the start of the war and was promoted to Brigadier General in June of 1861.
Following the Battle of Yorktown, he was promoted to Major General and participated in numerous battles including “Seven Pines”, “Seven Days Battle”, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg campaign and Chickamauga. At Antietam, it was Hill’s men that saw much of the fighting that became known as the “Bloody Lane”.
By the Battle of Fredericksburg, he began to disagree with Lee and lost the promotion to replace his brother-in-law, after “Stonewall” Jackson’s death. Instead he was given command of the “Army of Tennessee” and a provisional promotion to Lieutenant General under Braxton Bragg. During Chickamauga, he disagreed with his superior General Bragg. Jefferson Davis intervened, siding with Bragg. The “Army of Tennessee” was subsequently reorganized leaving Hill without a command. His provisional promotion was rescinded and he spent the rest of the war as a Major General commanding smaller units and divisions.
Following the war he became the first president of the University of Arkansas and then president of the Military and Agricultural College of Milledgeville, Georgia. He died in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1889 at the age of 68.