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Daniel Harvey Hill
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Personal Information
Born: July 12, 1821(1821-07-12)
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Died: September 24, 1889 (aged 68)
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Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Confederate States of America
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Branch: Confederate Army
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Rank: Major (USA)
Lieutenant General (CSA)
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Commands: Division command, Army of Northern Virginia; corps command, Army of Tennessee
Battles: Mexican-American War
  • Battle of Contreras
  • Battle of Churubusco
  • Battle of Chapultepec

American Civil War

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Daniel Harvey Hill (July 12, 1821 – September 24, 1889) was a Confederate general during the American Civil War and a Southern scholar. He was known as an aggressive leader, and as an austere, deeply religious man, with a dry, sarcastic humor. He was brother-in-law to Stonewall Jackson, a close friend to both James Longstreet and Joseph E. Johnston, but disagreements with both Robert E. Lee and Braxton Bragg cost him favor with Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Although his military ability was well respected, he was underutilized by the end of the Civil War.

Daniel Harvey Hill is usually referred to as D. H. Hill in historical writing, in part to distinguish him from A. P. Hill, who served with him in the Army of Northern Virginia.

Early life[]

D.H. Hill was born at Hill's Iron Works, in York District, South Carolina to Solomon and Nancy Cabeen Hill. His paternal grandfather, Col. William "Billy" Hill, was a native of Ireland who had an iron foundry in York District where he made cannon for the Continental Army. His maternal grandfather was a native of Scotland. Hill graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1842, ranking 28 out of 56 cadets, and was appointed to the 1st United States Artillery. He distinguished himself in the Mexican-American War, being brevetted to captain for bravery at the Battle of Contreras and Churubusco, and brevetted to major for bravery at the Battle of Chapultepec. In February 1849, he resigned his commission and became a professor of mathematics at Washington College (now Washington and Lee University), in Lexington, Virginia. During this time, he published an algebra textbook that was notable for its word problems that castigated Northerners, involving questions such as figuring the profit a Connecticut merchant made off of fraud. In 1854, he joined the faculty of Davidson College, North Carolina, and was, in 1859, made superintendent of the North Carolina Military Institute of Charlotte.

Marriage and children[]

On November 2, 1848, he married Isabella Morrison, who was the daughter of Robert Hall Morrison, a Presbyterian minster and the first president of Davidson College, and through her mother, a niece of North Carolina Governor William Alexander Graham. They would have nine children in all. One son, Harvey Jr., would serve as president of North Carolina State College, (now North Carolina State University.) Their youngest son, Joseph Morrison, would preside as the Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court from 1904 to 1909.

In July 1857, Isabella's younger sister, Mary Anna, married Thomas J. Jackson, who would later earn the nickname "Stonewall" as a Confederate officer. Hill and Jackson had crossed paths during the Mexican-American War, and later developed a closer friendship when both men lived in Lexington, Virginia in the 1850s.[1][2]

Civil War[]

At the outbreak of the Civil War, D.H. Hill was made colonel of a Confederate infantry regiment, at the head of which he won the Battle of Big Bethel, near Fort Monroe, Virginia, on June 10, 1861. Shortly after this, he was promoted to brigadier general.

He participated in the Yorktown and Williamsburg, operations that started the Peninsula Campaign in the spring of 1862, and as a major general, led a division with great distinction in the Battle of Seven Pines and the Seven Days Battles.

It wasn't war; it was murder.

— D.H. Hill following the Battle of Malvern Hill (Seven Days Battles)

On July 22, 1862, Hill and Union Maj. Gen. John A. Dix concluded an agreement for the general exchange of prisoners between the Union and Confederate armies.[3] This agreement became known as the Dix-Hill Cartel.

In the Maryland Campaign of 1862, Hill's men fought at South Mountain. Scattered as far north as Boonsboro, Maryland when the fighting began, the division fought tooth and nail, buying Lee's army enough time to concentrate at nearby Sharpsburg. Hill's division saw fierce action in the infamous sunken road ("Bloody Lane") at Antietam, and he rallied a few detached men from different brigades to hold the line at the critical moment. He had three horses shot out from under him during the battle.[4]

Hill's division was held in reserve at the Battle of Fredericksburg. At this point, conflicts with Lee began to surface. On the reorganization of the Army of Northern Virginia after Stonewall Jackson's death, Hill was not appointed to a corps command. He already had been detached from Lee's Army and sent to his home state to recruit troops. During the Gettysburg Campaign he led Confederate reserve troops protecting Richmond, and successfully resisted a half-hearted advance by Union forces under John A. Dix and Erasmus Keyes in late June. In 1863, he was sent to the newly reorganized Army of Tennessee, with a provisional promotion to lieutenant general, to command one of Gen. Braxton Bragg's corps. In the bloody and confused victory at Chickamauga, Hill's forces saw some of the heaviest fighting. Afterwards, Hill joined several other generals openly condemning Bragg's failure to exploit the victory. President Jefferson Davis came to personally resolve this dispute, in Bragg's favor, and to the detriment of those unhappy generals. The Army of Tennessee was reorganized again, and Hill was left without a command. Davis then refused to confirm Hill's promotion, effectively demoting him back to major general.

After that, D.H. Hill commanded as a volunteer in smaller actions away from the major armies. Hill participated in the Battle of Bentonville in North Carolina, the last, sad fight of the Army of Tennessee. Hill was a division commander when he, along with Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, surrendered on April 26, 1865.


From 1866 to 1869, Hill edited a magazine, The Land We Love, at Charlotte, North Carolina, which dealt with social and historical subjects, and had a great influence in the South. In 1877, he became the first president of the University of Arkansas, a post that he held until 1884, and, in 1885, president of the Military and Agricultural College of Milledgeville, Georgia until August 1889, when he resigned due to failing health. General Hill died at Charlotte the following month, and was buried in Davidson College Cemetery.[5][6]

In memoriam[]

The large library at North Carolina State University is named after Daniel Harvey Hill, Jr. (1859 – 1924), the son of Gen. D. H. Hill.

See also[]


External links[]

Daniel Harvey Hill at Find a Grave Retrieved 2008-07-06


  1. Bridges, Lee's Maverick General, pp. 21-25, 277.
  2. "Justices, Judges and Officers of the Courts (1686-2006)". Arkansas Judiciary. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  3. See Dix's report to Union Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, July 23, 1862, Official Records, Series II, vol. 4, pp. 265-68.
  4. Hill's report of his operations from July 23 to September 17, 1862 is included in the Official Records, Series I, Vol. 19, pp. 1018-1030.
  5. Bridges, Lee's Maverick General, pp. 277-279.
  6. Owen and Owen, Generals at Rest, p. 176.

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